10 THINGS LOCALS KNOW ABOUT WINTER AT THE BEACH AND YOU SHOULD TOO

 

I’ve heard folks say:  I want to go to Gulf Shores and do what the locals do.  I want to know what they know.  I think those statements are a bit funny, because we, at Sunset Properties, are always sharing our knowledge with you, our readers and guests.  But I will admit, there are a few cool things we locals know about winters in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan that not a lot of folks outside our area are aware of.  I decided to write this blog to share

10 Things Locals Know About Winter At The Beach And You Should, Too just in case you’re contemplating a winter getaway vacation to our happy part of Alabama.

 

  • Shell collecting is the best

The beaches are less crowded and shell collecting during the winter months at the beach is so great!  With smaller crowds and fewer people walking the beaches, there is, quite literally, less competition to find the best shells.  Walking the beach along the Alabama Gulf Coast on winter days can be a bit breezy and sometimes it is a little cool, so you might want to wear a jacket or windbreaker for your outing.  Some days, however, the temps can reach the high sixties and even the low seventies, so don’t be surprised if you work up a little sweat while you’re treasure hunting.

 

  • Painting or writing a memory is a breeze

The winter sun reflecting off The Gulf of Mexico will make the water and sky sparkle and shine in amazing hues of blues and greens.  It’s easy to photograph our local beauty with a camera or phone, but why not take some watercolors or artist chalks and artists paper and capture your own memory?  Often you’ll find locals just sitting and relaxing on our vacant Gulf Shores beaches and making notes about or painting what they see.  If you take the time, we know our wonderful little island’s environment will speak to you.  You may not know it, but there may just be an artist inside you and this may just be the place to set him free.

 

  • The timing is perfect for great photography

If painting is not in your wheelhouse, why not take some breathtaking pictures of our island?  Less crowded beaches means you’ll have less opportunities for those crazy photobombers who seem to be everywhere in the summer.  Try shooting a few pictures in black and white and see how great they look!  The air is just crisper and cleaner during the winter months and the sunlight’s reflection off seemingly everything is amazing.  Sea oats are always great models.  We urge you to take pictures, but please do not disturb the sea oats.  They help hold our dunes in place and they are protected by law.  If you’re not the best photographer, but you want to capture some memories while you’re here, contact the good folks at Chasing the Son Photogrpahy and see if they can’t help you out.  

 

  • Local seafood is surprisingly affordable and there usually is not a wait to be seated

How long have you waited to be seated for dinner in the summer at the beach?  We suspect you’ve waited at least thirty minutes.  In the winter, however, seating is much quicker.  Locals know that most restaurants offer early-bird dinner specials, too.  It’s like eating at happy hour every night!  We cannot think of a better way to try a new menu item than to sample our great local Alabama Gulf Seafood at a reduced cost.

 

  • Fort Morgan is the perfect place for a December picnic

If you’ve never been inside the magnificent walls of Fort Morgan, we cannot think of a better day outing than planning a picnic on the fort grounds.  Take your picnic basket and blanket and spread out on the grassy area inside the fort for a cozy winter meal.  The walls of the fort help deflect some of the chilly breezes that can meander off Mobile Bay.  You’ll love the way the warm sun feels on your face and you’ll enjoy a making personal memory with your family or special someone.

 

  • Adult beverages taste better when you only have a few folks around

Everyone loves a great crowded night spot in the summer.  The fast pace of summers at our beach make our nights even hotter.  But there is something special about visiting a beach bar in the winter.  Sitting by a window where you can see the gulls playing outside or boats passing by as you sip your favorite adult beverage with just a few friends nearby gives you a whole new perspective on our laid-back beach life.  It is so nice to be able to enjoy a simple glass of wine or a rum topped bushwacker and have nice conversations with our friends.  If you want to meet a few of us, come on down to the Pink Pony or Bill’s By the Beach or Big Beach Brewing Company.  We might just be the folks sitting right beside you.

 

  • Shopping for beach attire and small gifts is easy

Did you know that many of our local shops run amazing sales on swimwear and local tees during the winter months?  Yep!  One of the best times to get amazing deals on fashionable swimwear is during the winter.  All those cool tees you were eyeing during your summer visit, those are on sale, too.  How about getting someone back home a great gift at a reduced price?  We are pretty sure you can find the perfect souvenir to take back home at an amount that won’t cut into your adult beverage budget.  Visit www.gulfshores.com for a complete listing of local retailers.  

 

  • Tanning is still a thing and flip flops are still acceptable footwear

That’s right!  You can still tan in the winter and you can wear your flip flops in January.  We do!  You can actually get a pretty bad sunburn if you aren’t careful.  While you may not want to don that string bikini in late December, you will most likely find days when shorts and t-shirts are comfortable.  Always, always, always use sunscreen while you’re visiting our happy little island.  Even on winter days, when it’s cold and snowing back where you come from, down here, the sun continues to tan us all winter.

 

  • Volunteer opportunities are all around

Want to become an intrinsic part of our little community while you’re here?  Great!  Locals are big on volunteering and we welcome our guests who want to participate.  Our local United Way is always looking for kind hearted folks who want to volunteer at their partner agencies.  The Thomas Norton Library usually likes to have volunteers around.  And our museums in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach may have volunteer opportunities.  

 

  • You can sleep cheap

This is one of the biggest secrets locals know.  After this blog posts, I guess it won’t be a secret anymore.  Lodging and vacation rental prices are at our yearly low, so finding an affordable place to stay is super easy.  You will get to stay in the same great places you did last summer but for about half the cost.  Sometimes it is even less than half!  Check out our website www.sunsetproperties.com or better yet, give us a call.  We may have a weekend special that isn’t posted and you might just be the lucky person who gets our rental deal of the week!


So we have you thinking about a winter beach getaway, huh?  Awesome!  Check out some of our amazing accommodations options in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  Don’t have time to look for yourself, that’s ok!  We are ready to answer your call at 251.543.1370 and help you find your perfect winter getaway vacation home!

5 REASONS TO ATTEND THE 2018 FRANK BROWN INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS’ FESTIVAL

Fall has reached the northern Gulf Coast and that means it is time to attend the 2018 Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  Locals know this 11 day event, held November 8-18, 2018, is the one of the best things that happens around here all year.  We love the Shrimp Festival, please don’t get me wrong, but the Songwriters’ Festival is a whole different kind of festival and one we know you’re sure to love once you experience it.

You’re probably asking:  Who is Frank Brown?  Or What is the festival about?  The festival, which highlights both up-and-coming singer/songwriters as well as those who are more seasoned and perhaps even Grammy winners, is named for Mr. Frank Brown.  Mr. Frank was the night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years before he retired at the age of 91.  He was a man of high morale character and one who loved the music at the Flora-Bama.

 

If this hasn’t peaked your interest and given you reason enough to check out this cool event, here are our top 5 reasons we believe YOU should experience the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

 

  1. You get to meet the people who wrote your favorite songs

We all have that one favorite song.  You know that song…the one that when it comes on the radio you actually turn up the volume really high and sing along.  You probably think your favorite performer wrote the song, and, in some instances, they did.  But often times the writers of your favorite lyrics are not the ones who sing them on the radio.  Often times, the writers are lesser known folks, at least to the general public.  You might think you’d have to go to Nashville to meet some of these talented individuals.  I have great news for you!  The good folks at the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival know who the best songwriters are and they invite them to perform for us, right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast and surrounding areas.  The performance line-up changes every year, but you may have an opportunity to enjoy your favorite song performed by the person who penned it.  How cool is that?

 

  1. You can visit venues as diverse as the performers

Another cool thing about this unique festival experience is the venues change and are as diverse as the festival goers.  With so much talent in one small geographical area, the need for lots of places to perform is evident.  With that, you have lots of choices of locations where you’d like to enjoy the events.  Locations vary from everyone’s favorite beachside roadhouse the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package where the festival began and the Bushwackers are world-famous, to Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores where the t-shirts are as happy and fun as the dining experience.  Bill-E’s Old 27 Grill in Fairhope, where the performers are serenaded by Bill-E’s Small Batch Bacon is also scheduled to host performances.  For a totally different musical experience, visit the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach during the festival.  The acoustics in this beautiful center overlooking Wolf Bay are amazing!  How about watching festival performances at a local church?  St. Andrews by the Sea- A Community Church located on Fort Morgan Road is a host site.  For a complete list of the 20+ venues where performances are scheduled,  check out the Venue Page of the festival.

  1. You can enjoy fabulous coastal dinners and

beverages

A few of the venues we have already listed are known for their great food and beverages.  The Flora-Bama has some of the best seafood on any state line!  Lulus’s in Gulf Shores offers not only an amazing menu as listed, but they also will prepare special meals for patrons with shellfish and seafood allergies.  How cool is that?!  Old 27 Grill never disappoints with their amazing burgers and ice cold beer.  Other great places to eat that area also festival venues include the Sunset Cork Room Restaurant and Wine Bar where your favorite wine and their fabulous grouper or blackened chicken breast are a perfect match.  While you’re enjoying the festivities, give Pirate’s Cove a try!  Also known for wonderful bushwackers and fat, juicy, sloppy, yummy hamburgers, Pirate’s Cove is a fun outing for couples and families alike.

 

  1. You are showing your support for veterans and

newcomers to the music industry

To be a writer of any sort is a challenge and a craft.  To be a songwriter, takes a special kind of gift turned skill.  Knowledge of the language, coupled with the perfect rhyme, and the placement of each exact word to tell a story that touches someone, is undeniably a gift only a few select folks have.  By visiting the venues of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, you are not only going to come away with a new appreciation for  these gifted individuals, you are showing them your support just by going.  Some writers are Grammy winners and some are just getting started on their journey, but all of them appreciate public support.  Go the festival to for the great feeling you’ll get by attending, but know your being there is making someone else happy, too.

 

  1. You become a part of history in the making

This is the 34th year of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  For thirty-four years, our coast has been honored to host hundreds of writers, singers and musicians.  For 34 years, we have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the artists who shape our music airways.  We know you will feel a deep sense of awe once you’ve experienced the festival for yourself.  We actually know of no one who has ever attended this festival who didn’t come away with a new perspective on songwriting and the historical importance these guys play in our everyday lives.  Come for the music.  Come meet the artists.  Come be a part of history.

 

At Sunset Properties, we are pleased to recommend local events to our guests and website visitors.  Because we are blessed to be “locals”, we get to enjoy all that our Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer.  We are also pleased to host any guests who plan to come and enjoy the Songwriters’ Festival.  We have rental properties located in Orange Beach, near the Flora Bama and only a short drive to the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach .  We would love for you to stay in one of our beautiful condos in Gulf Shores, just a short drive from Lulu’s or any venue in Baldwin County.  And we have lots of homes located on beautiful Fort Morgan Road, just a short drive from St. Andrews Church.  We, at Sunset Properties, are just as versatile as the songwriters and venues, themselves.  Give us a call and let us help you find your perfect vacation home for your festival stay.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com                                                                                    251.543.1370

10 Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving 2018 in Gulf Shores

School is back in full swing, footballs are flying around everywhere and the 2018 Holiday Season is in sight.  You’re planning a big ole family-filled Thanksgiving Weekend with lots of food and memories in the making.  Why not put a new twist on an old tradition?  Why not have all your family meet you at the beach for Thanksgiving?   There are lots of reasons to go to Gulf Shores and stay with Sunset Properties, and any time is the right time to go to the beach, but here are our

Top 10 Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving 2018 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan

 

  1.       Beach is less crowded than in summer

Have you ever noticed how many people choose to spend summer weeks at the beach?  Summers are the busiest times along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  We migrate south in search of warm days and sunny skies and a perfect Gulf to swim in.  What if I told you those are the same reasons to spend Thanksgiving at the beach?   Its true!  You get all the same great days with a bonus:  not as many people on the beach!  You’ll find stores, restaurants and your favorite shopping places will be much less crowded and the same beautiful beaches that call out to you in the summer are still awaiting your arrival!

 

  1.       Temperatures are amazing

Let’s talk temperatures for a minute.  Did you know the average daily temperature in Gulf Shores in November is 69.1 degrees?  Yep!  That’s right!  One degree off from a perfect 70 degrees is the average temperature around our island.  So when you head down in late November to escape the cold temps at home, go ahead and pack your favorite pair of fuzzy boots, but throw in some shorts and flip-flops, too.  You’re gonna need them!

 

  1.       Your favorite island attractions are open

Did you know your favorite attractions are open in November?  The Track, Adventure Island and Pirates Island Mini Golf may have different hours than they do during the summer, but they are still open and ready to welcome your family for a day outing filled with  fun!  Oh!  And don’t forget to visit The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo while you’re down in November.  Stop in and see how the animals love the cool fall weather!  Remember to check the websites of your favorite attraction before you go.  While they are open for business, their hours are usually different than when you went there in the summer months.

 

  1.       Fabulous accommodations are available

With your whole family coming over to celebrate this fun American holiday, you probably think you have to have your home in tip top spotless shape.  Who wants to do all that cleaning right before a holiday?  Wouldn’t it be nice if all the cleaning was already done and all you had to do was just cook and celebrate?  Great news:  we’ve got you covered!  All Sunset Properties rentals are not only tastefully decorated, fully stocked with linens and kitchen pans and dishes, but also are exceptionally clean when you arrive.  And when you leave, there are just a couple of easy things to do to tidy up before you check out.  Did I mention how well stocked our kitchens are?  Much of the same cooking pans you have at home will be available in your unit.  If you have a question about a specific item, simply call or text us at 251.543.1370 and we’ll be happy to help you.

 

  1.       Plenty of room for the whole family

Our rental properties range in size from one bedroom condos to six bedroom homes.  Need extra bathrooms?  A couple of our homes have seven bathrooms!  Our homes and condos sleep from two – twenty people and many allow dogs.  (After all, what’s a holiday without your fur baby, right?!)  Check out our one, two and three bedroom condos at The Dunes and The Indies for smaller family gatherings.  And give Grace, Sea Turtle and Coquille at Martinique a look for larger ones.

 

  1.       Great grocery stores are nearby

We know you’re already planning a magnificent meal for your whole crew and you’re probably thinking you’re going to have to cart all your food prep down to Alabama.  Not so!  We have amazingly stocked grocery stores and markets right around the corner.  Rouse’s Market is located at the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway and Publix is located at Colonial Promenade at Craft Farms.  These are two of our favorite places to stock up on fresh veggies and great meats and desserts.

 

  1.     Seafood is still in season

What’s a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast without having some fresh Gulf Seafood?  Did you know your favorite seafood is still in season in November?  If you’re in the mood for some Amberjack, Grouper, oysters or shrimp, you’re in luck.   How about some tuna, whiting or flounder?  Yep, these too are available fresh because they are in season.  While we’re on the subject, why not consider tossing your traditional turkey-and-stuffing dinner and make a big ole pot of fresh gumbo for Thanksgiving?  Now you’re talking!  Gumbo!  That’s an Alabama Gulf Coast Thanksgiving done right!

 

  1.     Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is on TV and the beach is right outside

What would Thanksgiving morning be without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?  We love watching those giant balloon characters fly down 59th to 34th in New York, right?  Without this,   it just almost wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving, would it?  Consider this:  how about watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on your vacation home TV with the Gulf of Mexico right outside?  Now, that’s what I call a Thanksgiving morning!  After you’ve had your coffee, watched bands and entertainers perform in New York, you can walk right outside on your deck overlooking the spectacular Gulf of Mexico and have some much needed relaxing family time with all your favorite peeps.  Talk about memories that need to be made!  Your perfect vacation home with your perfect view is just a click or call away.

 

  1.       Black Friday shopping is unmatched

What would Thanksgiving be without Black Friday Shopping?  With all those amazing deals we wait for all year long just begging to be snapped up, Black Friday is like a shopper’s Christmas ….before Christmas!  If you’re like me, you look online and wait in serious anticipation for those sale papers announcing the best places to shop on a chilly Thanksgiving night and early on a Friday morning.  Well, as a guest on our island, you’re in the perfect place to hit up all the best sales on Black Friday.  There are lots of fun beachy shops on the island that will have end-of-year sales.  The Wharf does Black Friday right!  San Roc Cay in Orange Beach never disappoints.  Pelican Place is just a short drive away.  And if you’re an outlet mall shopper, Tanger Factory Outlets in Foley is the place to be!

 

  1.  The best nap you’ll have all year is here

Who doesn’t take at least one nap during Thanksgiving break?  That much anticipated nap after Thanksgiving lunch cannot get any better than if you stretch yourself out on a lounge chair on your deck and let the sound of the lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico lull you to sleep.  Stretching out right on the sand is another option I highly recommend.  Toss a blanket on the warm sand, feel the angled rays of the sun on your skin and nap like you can no where else.  Truly, the best Thanksgiving nap you’ve ever had awaits you in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.

 

These are our top ten reasons to plan a Thanksgiving weekend getaway at the beach.

Sounds pretty good, huh?  We are sure we have the perfect vacation home to fit both your wants and needs for this holiday season.  Rentals fill up fast for this holiday weekend, so don’t wait too long to reserve your family holiday home. We at Sunset Properties are looking forward to hearing from you.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

 

 

5 Best Bushwackers in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

At Sunset Properties, our guests ask us about all kinds of thing.  We get questions like “where is the library?” or “how late is the pool open?” or “how long does it take to get to Owa?” or “where can I find a great Bushwhacker?”

 

We love giving our guests our best answers.  This blog will address the Bushwacker question.  First of all, for those who don’t know what a Bushwhacker is, I’ll tell you.  A Bushwacker is a  cocktail invented in 1975 in the US Virgin Islands.  Most bushwackers contain one or more of the following:  rum, vodka, Irish Cream, Amaretto, Kahlua, cream of coconut and ice.  Most bartenders won’t give up their exact secret mix and that’s what makes each one so special. Often topped with whipped cream, a cherry and a drizzle of chocolate, a Bushwacker is as much a perfect beach cocktail as a Hurricane is.  So now that you know what a Bushwacker is, here are our picks for the

5 Best Bushwackers in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

 

*        Lulu’s

Everything at Lulu’s is good, so it’s no surprise Lulu’s World Famous Bushwackers made our top five list.  Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s is located at the intra-coastal waterway in Gulf Shores just off Gulf Shores Parkway.  With so many great menu items to choose from and so much fun to be had, you might not think to order a Bushwacker at Lulu’s.  Take our word for it:  you want to try theirs.  With a perfect mix of vanilla ice cream, coffee liqueur, and Margaritaville Coconut rum, you cannot go wrong with this drink.  While you’re at Lulu’s, check out the great live music, the rope playground for the kiddies and their great gift shop!  Lulu’s also offers a menu especially for folks with shellfish allergies.  Go to Lulu’s to have a Bushwacker, but stay for the experience!

 

*        Pink Pony Pub

A staple in Gulf Shores since 1956, The Pink Pony Pub has survived both Hurricanes Frederic and Ivan.  It sits proudly (and pinkly) just off the Public Beach in Gulf Shores. It isn’t a fancy bar, and it’s ok to enjoy your food and drinks on the deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico barefooted and in your swimsuit, if you like.  There is usually a local band playing in the corner or karaoke about to start.  But we were talking about Bushwackers.  So to get back on topic:  Bushwackers at the Pink Pony are ohhh so yummy!    Sit that icy cold goodness next to The Pony Burger (a favorite since 1956) and some steamy hot fries, and you have a meal fit for a Beach Bum King!  So while you’re vacationing in Gulf Shores, go on by the Pink Pony.  Kick off your flip flops and find a spot on the deck to enjoy one of the best Bushwackers on our island.

 

*        Tacky Jacks

With three locations around our island, it’s hard to miss Tacky Jacks.  But the first location, on Safe Harbor Drive in Orange Beach, found humble beginnings as a grill and tavern in 1979.  The first Tacky Jacks welcomed patrons by car or by boat, just like they do now.  A great place to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Tacky Jacks is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy.  Now, about their Bushwackers, they are truly somethin’ else!  Try their Smoked Tuna Dip alongside your Bushwacker. The two are a perfect pairing.  If you’re feeling like you’d like a little extra special kick in your drink and they ask you if you want a “floater”… say “yes”.  An extra shot of dark rum on top of the frosty cocktail will certainly bring a smile to your face.  Don’t forget to get a t-shirt before you leave.  Tacky Jacks’ shirts have become almost as famous as their namesake.

 

*        Anchor Bar and Grill

Located at Hudson Marina in Orange Beach, Anchor Bar and Grill serves up some of the best seafood and burgers anywhere. Enjoy the gorgeous views of Terry Cove while you enjoy your Blonde Bushwacker.  Dine inside or outside and bring your whole family.  Come for the Bushwacker, but stay for the view and fabulous food . Make sure to check their social media accounts while you are in town to see what their Bushwacker special of the week is!  Once you experience the laid back goodness found at Anchor Bar, you’ll come back again and again.

 

*        Flora-Bama

If you Google “bushwacker” a picture of a Flora-Bama Bushwacker will pop up.  Yes!  They really are that good and that famous.  Everyone knows the Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar is famous for fresh oysters and cold beer.  The live entertainment is unmatched, as is their community involvement.  Since 1964, this famous roadhouse has held its place on the Alabama/Florida state line.  When it comes to planning great events, the Flora-Bama staff is unmatched.  When it comes to making great drinks, the bartenders at the Flora-Bama are outdone by no one.  They don’t call themselves “home of the world famous Bushwacker” for nothing!  If you’ve never been to the Flora-Bama, go just to try their Bushwacker.  You’ll find yourself having so much fun, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to go!

 

So, in this blog, we have listed our favorite spots for Bushwackers.  You’ll notice we didn’t number them.  It wouldn’t be right to list one as number 1 or one as number 5, because we think they are all equally great!  They are all a little different, but perfect just the way they are.  If you’re thinking of taking a Bushwacker Tour around our island, we suggest getting a cab or having a designated driver.  Each one of these adult cocktails contain a little more liquor than most folks are used to having in one drink.  So enjoy our suggestions, but please drink responsibly.  If you find yourself out and having too much fun to stop with just one Bushwacker, follow this link to find one of our fine taxi services to take you back to your vacation home.

 

We hope you enjoy your stay with Sunset Properties and we look forward to answering any other questions you might have for us!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Places to Dine if You Have Seafood Allergies in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

More and more people are developing allergies to shellfish.  While most folks love to come to our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast, there is that question:  where can I eat if I’m allergic to seafood?  We, at Sunset Properties,  did a little research and we have five restaurant suggestions for those of you who want to be able to enjoy dining out without worrying about having a shellfish reaction while you’re vacationing in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

 

  1. Cobalt, The Restaurant

Located in Orange Beach, Cobalt is one of our favorite places to dine out.  The atmosphere is one everyone should experience while vacationing on our island.  Always let your server know you or someone in your dinner party has an allergy just as a precautionary measure.  But because all entrees are cooked to order, Cobalt is our first suggestion for those of you with seafood allergies.  Order something from the grill, like their amazing Ribeye or Free Range Breast of Chicken.  Maybe you’d like to create your own pizza.  Give it a try at Cobalt.  We think your mouth will thank you!

 

  1. Lulu’s

Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s is always a fun place to go.  With way more things to do besides just enjoy a good meal, most folks have Lulu’s in mind when they think about dining out in Gulf Shores.  Good news for those of you with shellfish allergies:  you can eat at Lulu’s, too!  After you’ve played in the arcade and swung from the ropes, you’ll be ready to enjoy some of the best food anywhere.  Just let your server know you have seafood allergies and they will accommodate accordingly.  So go for the fun, stay for the food, take in some great music and enjoy a whole evening at Lulu’s.  And don’t forget to get a t-shirt before you leave.  Lulu’s has some of the trendiest shirts around!

 

  1. Amelia’s Deli

A local favorite for more years than I can count, Amelia’s Deli can sometimes be overlooked by island guests.  Please don’t miss a lunch meal at Amelia’s.  Especially if you have shellfish allergies, you must stop in.  The friendly staff and fresh sandwiches and soup will give you three reasons to come back again and again.  And you must try a slice of one of their oh-so-delicious cakes!  Most folks think of seafood and eating right on the beach when they come to our little island paradise, but Amelia’s is a treat any day!  Located on East 2nd Street in Gulf Shores,  in a little strip mall, Amelia’s is so convenient to just about anywhere you happen to be lodging.  And if you want enough food to feed a whole bunch of folks, call the good folks at Amelia’s!  They cater, too.

 

  1. Hog Wild Beach & BBQ

You don’t really much think about having barbeque when you’re on a beach vacation.  But, hey, you are in Alabama, right?  In south Alabama, we love our barbeque.  Hog Wild Barbeque located on Gulf Shores is sure to be a hit with your family.  A word of caution:  they do fry seafood and french fries together.  So stay away from the fried items on their menu.  Stick with the barbeque plates, or go all out and try the Tantrum then add some good old fashioned homemade “tater” salad and mac & cheese and you’ll be in hog Heaven!  We can’t say enough good things about this place.  TripAdvisor gives them 4.6 stars, so don’t just take our word for it, try the place many of your friends recommend, too.  Can’t get out to visit them at the restaurant?  That’s ok!  They deliver!  Just log onto their website to place your order.

 

  1. The Diner

Located in Gulf Shores, The Diner offers a unique dining experience.  Would you like a big ole juicy cheeseburger, cooked to order, with all the toppings set alongside some corn or green beans?  How about a hamburger steak and a trip to a super fresh salad bar?  This is the place for you!  The Diner in Gulf Shores serves breakfast, too.  For those of you with shellfish allergies, this just may be answer you’re searching for.  A word of caution:  they do fry seafood with french fries, so you’re going to want to stay away from fried food while eating at The Diner.  Even though you may not be able to have fries,  you really must try some of their delicious desserts and ice cream!  After all, what’s a trip to a real American diner without a milkshake or pie?

 

We know finding places to eat along the Alabama Gulf Coast can be challenging if you have allergies to our fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood.  We want you to know that your well-being matters to us at Sunset Properties.  Always please remember to check with any restaurant before you order to make sure you have no risk of reaction, but we found these to be good suggestions for you.  Also, keep in mind, we have two great grocery stores nearby Rouse’s Market and Publix and all of our condos and beach homes come with fully stocked kitchens.  If cooking for yourself is on your list, check out the kitchen in Dunes 608, in the Grand Caribbean 425 or in Indies 708.  Need more room?  Boathouse or Grace  or Navy Cove 2114 just might be the perfect vacation home for you!

Call us at Sunset Properties and we will be happy to make recommendations to get you into the right vacation home to fit your needs.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Best Places to Watch a September Sun Set in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan

September sunsets, when the sun’s rays seem to stretch across The Gulf of Mexico, long and slow across the water, can be some of the most spectacular all year.  To see a late summer sunset on the Alabama Gulf Coast is truly a treat!  At Sunset Properties, we get asked all the time:  where’s a good place to watch the sun go down?  While the public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are always great places to watch an Alabama day end, we have a few more suggestions of places to check out if you’re hoping to see an amazing September Sunset.

 

  1.       Sea-N-Suds

Do you like seafood gumbo?  How about a cold beer? Do you like eating outside watching The Gulf waves ebb and flow?  Put the beer beside the gumbo and add the fabulous Gulf view and you have a perfect evening at Sea-N-Suds!  For 43 years Sea-N-Suds has been a Gulf Shores favorite. We think it should be a state landmark!  If you’ve never eaten at Sea-N-Suds, you’re so  missing out.  If you’ve never have  tried their gumbo, you need to put that on your list of must-do-things!  This unique restaurant is located only about five minutes from Beachview 223. If watching the September sun sink below the horizon is in your vacation plans, you really should do it from the deck at Sea-N-Suds while you lazily eat a bowl of yummy gumbo and sip a cold beer.

 

  1.       Alabama Point Beach

Located just three-tenths of a mile past the Perdido Pass Bridge on the AL Highway 182 (Beach Boulevard) is Alabama Point East, a part of Gulf State Park.  The sand peninsula that forms Alabama Point East is a great place to go to watch the sun go down.  With plenty of parking, boardwalk access to the beach and an unmatched view of The Gulf, Alabama Point East is a great place to end a fun day at the beach.  If you’re staying with us at Grand Caribbean 425, you already have a great view.  However, just for fun, go ahead and check out the sunset from the beach just a few minutes away from your condo.

 

  1.       Fort Morgan Beaches

We can’t say enough about the beauty of the beaches of the Fort Morgan community.  For our guests who choose to vacation in Sea Turtle, USA 2, or The Dunes or The Indies, you already know the amazing views that your vacation home has.  However, for sunsets, you are doubly blessed!  Facing West from your favorite chari on your private beach, you have one of the best views on our island to watch the sun’s rays change colors as they shorten.  Be sure to bring a flashlight, too.  After the sun disappears, you’ll need your flashlight to do some great beach crab watching!

 

  1.       On the waters of The Alabama Gulf Coast

Watching a sunset from on board a vessel is always a cool thing to get to do.  Book a sunset cruise on the Wild Hearts and expect to see a sunset like you’ve not seen before.  The reflection of the setting sun on the waters of The Alabama Gulf Coast is a vision never duplicated.  If you’re staying with us in Orange Beach at Caribe B Penthouse 4 or in Gulf Shores at Grand Caribbean 215, catching a ride on Wild Hearts is so easy!  It leaves out of the back bay of Orange Beach , which is just a short drive away.  Each day has something a little different to see on our island and each sunset memory is uniquely perfect.  Contact the good folks at Wild Hearts to make your reservation and bring along your camera!  You’ll probably see some dolphins, too.

 

  1.       Gulf State Park Pier

So everyone knows the pier is a great place to go fishing, but what about sunset watching?  Yep!  It’s perfect for that, too!  Whether you’re staying nearby at Pat-Ti-O or a little farther away at Dunes 709,  you’re sure to enjoy watching a late summer setting sun from the pier.  The Gulf State Park Pier is open 24 hours, so even after the sun sinks for the day, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like and enjoy the evening from the pier.   The sound of the waves hitting the pier pilings is so relaxing.  We can’t think of a better way to end a perfect day in Gulf Shores.

 

Septembers on the Alabama Gulf Coast are usually pretty quiet.  Most folks have traveled back home to go to school and back to work before the holidays.  We think this is the perfect time to visit our island.  If you haven’t made your plans to visit in September, what are you waiting for?  Here is your invitation to experience Island Life in late summer!  We believe the best way to enjoy a September Sunset starts by reserving your vacation home with a rental management company named for Sunsets!  Contact us at Sunset Properties today!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

 

10 Things to Know About the Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

The Annual National Shrimp Festival has been a staple event in Gulf Shores in October for almost 50 years.  This year’s festival dates are October 11-14.  Each year, the Gulf Shores Public Beach area is packed with artists, musicians and festival goes expecting to have a fun-filled family weekend.  Each year, festival planners bring their A-Game and this year is sure to be no exception.  Whether you’re staying with Sunset Properties at Pat-Ti-O or Beachview 223 right in the heart of Gulf Shores or at Just Write in the Fort Morgan community, here are a few tips to make your Shrimp Festival Adventure a fun one:

 

  1.       Bring your camera

There is so much to see at the Shrimp Festival.  You won’t want to miss a single memory.  From the wonderful musical groups performing on the stages around the venue, to the fun sand castle contest going on along the beach, there will be so much to do and see.  You and your family will want lots of picture to take home to show your friends or to post to your favorite social media account.  A camera is a must for this year’s Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Leave pets at home

Many of our rental properties are dog friendly places.  We encourage you to check out our list of places to stay where your pet is welcome.  Please know, however, the Shrimp Festival is not a place for pets.  If you’re not comfortable leaving your fur baby in your rental unit, reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort, a local doggie daycare.  Reservations to play may be necessary, so give them a call to get all the details on what you need to bring so your dog can have a day out while you and your family enjoy the festival.

 

  1.       Plenty of cold drinks available

October days on the Alabama Gulf Coast can get pretty warm.  There will be plenty of cold beverages available all throughout the Shrimp Festival venue.  From water, to sodas to lemonade, you’re sure to find your favorite drink available.  For those of you over 21, adult beverages are also available inside the venue.  Please enjoy adult beverages responsibly.  If you must drive back to your vacation home, please don’t drink.  If you really want to let your hair down and have a few beers, please call one of our fine taxi services to take you back to your vacation home.

 

  1.       Entertainment is non-stop

This year, country music recording artist Joe Diffie will be headlining at the Shrimp Festival.  Local favorites like Tophat & Jackie, The Tip Tops, Brent Burns and Kristy Lee are also scheduled to perform.  On Sunday, there will be a church service provided by Liberty Church.  Check out the Entertainment Lineup for specifics, and rest assured there will certainly will be something for everyone to enjoy on the stages at the 2018 Annual National Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Fine Artists are unmatched

As you walk through the Fine Arts section of the Shrimp Festival, you will see museum quality hand created items from paintings, to photography to pottery.  With the artist personally present a the festival, you will be able to not only enjoy the creations, but chat with the creators.  This is a great place to find Christmas gifts for those folks who have everything.  There are so many one-of-a-kind pieces, shopping for that hard-to-shop-for person will be a breeze!

 

  1.       Crafters have fun affordable wares

Sometimes fine art pieces can be a bit pricey.  Maybe you want to buy a handmade gift but you don’t have a huge budget or a lot of room in your car to take it back home.  Don’t miss the Arts and Crafts section of the festival.  You are sure to find just the right handmade gift.  No factory made items are allowed in this section of the festival.  Just like in the Fine Arts area, all crafts are handmade and the craftsmen and crafts-ladies are right on site to talk with your about their wares.  Sometimes half the fun is finding out what skills it takes to create such fun and unique pieces of art.

 

  1.       Souvenirs are one-of-a-kind

Because the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber is the leading entity producing the Shrimp Festival, they have the best souvenirs.  Be sure to visit one of their booths and get an official tee shirt or koozie.  There is only one Annual National Shrimp Festival and only one place to get the official souvenirs:  right on site during the festival dates.

 

  1.       Kids have a special area

There is always something cool and fun for the kiddos!  From the Sand Castle contest to The Kids Area, your little mermaids and pirates will have a great time at the festival, too. And don’t forget about enjoying the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches while you’re in town.  Gulf Shores has some of the prettiest beaches in the world and we hope you will allot some of your weekend time to just enjoy the sugary white sand that wraps our shoreline.

 

  1.       BRATS shuttles are the best way to get there

There are plenty of ways to get to the Shrimp Festival, but parking in the festival venue is probably not an option for most folks.  Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, our county’s own public transportation service, is available to pick up and drop off festival goers from several locations around the island.  We suggest riding BRATS.  It is convenient, inexpensive and the drivers are some of the nicest folks around!  For a complete list of BRATS services and fees, please check their website.

 

  1.   There’ll be lots of Shrimp!  Shrimp! And More Shrimp!

And you cannot forget to have some shrimp while you’re in Gulf Shores!  Famously named for the cute little pink crustacean, The Annual National Shrimp Festival is home to some of the best shrimp around.  You’ll find fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and grilled shrimp.  You’ll see shrimp on a stick and shrimp with veggies or fries.  Come hungry and plan to stay for a day and enjoy on of the best festivals anywhere!

 

If you’ve never been to the Annual National Shrimp Festival, you’re definitely missing out.  If you’ve never stayed with Sunset Properties, you should give us a try, too, for your next visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  With rentals in Orange Beach like Moorings 414 and Grand Caribbean 215, you can’t go wrong.  How about staying in Gulf Shores at Light House 607 or Peninsula 401 ?  Or if you’d prefer to stay in the Fort Morgan community, check out Navy Cove 2113 or Southern Comfort.  No matter where you choose to stay for your Shrimp Festival Weekend getaway, we at Sunset Properties know we have the perfect rental accommodations for you and your family!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

241.543.1360

 

5 REASONS TO LIST YOUR VACATION PROPERTY WITH A LOCAL RENTAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY

So you bought your first vacation rental property.  Congratulations!!  We, at Sunset Properties, are very excited for you.  It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to own a second home in a vacation paradise and be able rent it out to guests when you can’t be there.  Renting your vacation home to tourists can help pay the mortgage, HOA fees and maintenance costs.  It’s really a win-win situation.  But how do you go about doing it?  Most of us have rented a vacation property before.  We decided to take a trip, called up someone, booked a place and went on vacation.  It’s likely that you rented a place in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan before you bought yours.  That whole rental process looks easy enough.  Just market the property.  Find some renters.  Fill out some paperwork.  And tah-dah!  The rent money rolls in!  Right?  Maybe.  But what if you’re wrong?  What if there are factors you haven’t considered?  What if issues with your vacation property arise and you can’t quite tackle them from your home?  Then what?

 

Here are 5 Reasons to list your vacation rental property with Sunset Properties instead of trying to rent it out on your own:

 

  1.   We Have Experience

Experience goes a long way.  We have been in the vacation rental management business on the Alabama Gulf Coast since 2001.  A lot has changed since 2001, but our commitment to our clients and staff has not.  Our clients are the reason we strive so hard for excellence.  Our staff is our client’s first impression of us.  Because of this unyielding commitment to excellence, our staff has been extensively trained.  We attend meetings, classes, and seminars with others in the rental management industry to discover best practices and apply them to our business.  We have faced a few interesting scenarios in the last 17 years.  Some of them turned out to be serious and some quite funny.  The thing is, if you would have told us back in 2001 about some of the unexpected things we’ve managed since then, we probably would have said:  no way!  But we’re here to tell you:  yes way!  Crazy, unexpected things happen!  We have gained invaluable experience by resolving a variety of issues. Experience comes from doing and learning and doing again.  We want to offer you our experience and hopefully save you from having to deal with some of the goofy unexpected things we have.  We’ve learned a lot these past 17 years and we continue to learn with each passing day.

 

 

  1.   We Know Our Area and Our Market

We know you already love our island paradise.  Why else would you have bought a second home here?  But do you know our area?  I mean really know it?  We can honestly say we do.  Sunset Properties is a member of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber , our local chamber of commerce.  We are also a partner of our Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. We maintain these affiliations so our owners and guests don’t have to.  We partner with other local businesses to ensure our whole island benefits.  By allowing us to manage your rental property, you get the benefits of these partnerships without having to do anything.  It is these relationships that allow us to know our market, as well.  We know what marketing trends are working and which ones are obsolete.  Additionally, we are in constant communication with other island businesses keeping ourselves current on local events.  We actively participate in the events that attract guests to our area.  We not only want to manage your rental property once guests arrive, we want to help be the catalyst that draws them here.  Again, you benefit without having to do anything.

 

  1.   We Know Our Clients

Because we are a small local family-owned company, we really do know our clients.  We form relationships with them long before we see them face to face.  We know them by name.  Many times we know several of their family members’ names before they even arrive to check in.   We begin to build a rapport the moment they reach out to us to inquire about any of our properties.  We are available to our guests and can be reached through our website or by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We don’t ignore calls or email. We consistently call or email back if a message is left.  If you’ve tried to manage your own vacation rental, you know people sometimes start looking for vacation homes late in the evening and sometimes in the middle of the night.  This can be a real challenge.  We have an overnight team and we are ready to respond.   We respond in a timely manner and begin building lasting relationships right from the start.  These relationships often last for years.  Often they branch out beyond that first guest to their friends and family.  Many of our clients have been our clients since 2001.  Many of them are not just our clients, they are our friends.

 

  1.   We Know Our Maintenance and Cleaning Teams

Things break and things need cleaning.  It is part of managing a vacation home.  When you are managing your vacation home remotely, you can ask someone else to make necessary repairs or to clean your property.  You pay a contractor to do these things and you believe they’re done.  That is until your guest calls and they don’t have enough towels or sheets or the coffee maker is broken.  Then what do you do?  You’re hours away and who do you call?  Do you refund some of your rental money to your guest?  No matter how you manage to resolve it, it is not a good situation.  At Sunset Properties, we know our maintenance team and we know our cleaning team.  We are close enough to each vacation home to be able to go see if the requested tasks were completed.  Remember our commitment to excellence?  This is also true with how we maintain the vacation rental properties we manage.  If a guest has an issue with a property we manage, we handle it immediately.  If your vacation home needs a repair, we make sure it’s done in a timely manner.  Your guest is our client and we want everyone involved to be satisfied.

 

  1.   We Know How to Help You Make Money

The last point we want to make is we know how to help you make money.  If you take all the previous points and add them together, you get a steady rental income.  That income can help you offset the costs of owning a vacation property.  Isn’t it time you started making some money off your investment?  We’re ready to help you do just that.  We will market your vacation home to an age appropriate renter.  We will allow pets if you want pets in your home.  We will make sure your home stays in good repair and is kept clean between guests.  We will keep an open line of communication with you, just like we do with our tourist clients.  We will work with you to make sure your unit is available when you want to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast.  We want you to be as satisfied with our services as our guests are.  And we want you to make money.

 

Managing a vacation rental home can be as fun and rewarding.  If you’re doing it on your own and are successful, we applaud you!  If you’re doing it on your own and are a little stressed out, we invite you to give us a call.  At Sunset Properties, we believe owning a vacation rental home should be a pleasant experience.   We love what we do and we are ready to show you.

 

So go ahead, reach out to us.  Let’s just have a conversation about how we can help you.  Let’s talk about what your wants and needs are and how, together, we can meet them.  And you can rest assured your vacation rental home will be in good hands because at Sunset Properties, we treat your investment as if it were our own.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

10 Fun Family Late Summer Things to Do at The Beach

So your summer’s almost over and you are taking the kiddos to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan one last time before you have to get back to PTA, homework and, of course, football.  But what do you do?  When you guys came down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and stayed with Sunset Properties earlier this year, you did it all, right?  You hit all the great spots:  Waterville, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Adventure Island.  So what’s left?

 

Here are ten great family outings that you must do before everyone goes back to school:

 

  1. Dine with pirates and princesses

“Arrgh, Matey!  Pass me them there eggs,”  might be what you hear when you having breakfast at The Hangout with pirates and princesses.  These unusual characters can be found most mornings at this local spot.   Have you ever dined with pirates before?  Most folks haven’t.  But, trust me on this,  you’re in for a treat!  This summer at The Hangout, you can have breakfast with these infamous folks from the High Seas. Come dressed in your best costume, enjoy some great food and stay for the treasure hunt.  This is a really cool way to start off any late summer day in Gulf Shores.  Contact the groovy staff at The Hangout for exact times and dates of this unique breakfast experience.

 

  1. Enjoy a live play

Remember The Lion King?  Everyone loves The Lion King!  Bring the whole family to see a live production of this timeless classic at the South Baldwin Community Theatre.  With several show times in August, there is sure to be one to fit your vacation schedule.  This production features bright costumes, great music and, of course, your favorites from the jungle including Simba and Rafiki.  If you enjoyed the animated version (and who didn’t, right?!) this live version is sure to take it to the next level.  Tickets are limited, so you will need to grab those as soon as you decide to put this fun outing on your “must do list”!

 

  1. Dance in the streets

The Wharf hosts the biggest street party on the island.  Enjoy island life outside in the evening summer breeze when DJ Matt and mascot Starla the Starfish get the party started around 7 PM on Saturday nights.   There are contests and prizes at this summertime event.  With all kinds of retail shops and restaurants right in front of you, once you get to The Wharf, you won’t want to leave before you see and do it all!  So throw on your boogie shoes or your favorite flip flops and head on over to Main Street at the Wharf and dance the night away with your whole crew.

 

  1. Take a segway tour

Coastal Segway Adventures offers 2-hour guided Segway® Personal Transporter tours through the beautiful Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.  The Trail features seven pathways through six different ecosystems totalling a 15 mile outing.  For two hours, your guide from Coastal Segway Adventures will lead you through the trail and talk about what you’re seeing all around.  We can’t think of a better way to enjoy nature in Gulf Shores than to explore your way through Gulf State Park.  Make sure you bring your insect repellent and sunscreen.  Oh, and don’t forget your camera.  You’ll probably see plants and animals not found in your own backyard!

 

  1. Visit a Nature Center

Speaking of Gulf State Park, have you ever been to the nature center at the campground on Lake Shelby? The nature center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native to our Alabama Gulf Coast region.  The good folks at the nature center want to create awareness about the plant and animal life in our area.  As much as this is educational, it is entertaining.  It’s a fun hands-on learning experience unlike any other around.  Through this kind of personal connection with nature, the staff there hopes to encourage others to share the same love for our environment that they have.  Don’t just visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, then leave without seeing this.  Stop by our little nature center and become a nature-loving part of our extended family!

 

  1. Have a family date night

Who says “date night” can only be for couples?  We think Family Date Nights are amazing, too!  But what do you do for a Family Date Night?  Gather up your whole crew and head on over to the Gulf State Park Pier.  It is great for way more than just fishing from.  Did you know that you can walk out on the pier even if you’re not fishing?  Yep!  It’s a great little walk, too!  The pier is 1540 feet long and 20 feet wide and features indoor seating as well as rail seating.  Here’s a fun fact:  they have Blue Bell ice cream in the concession store.  This outing may not be as flashy and sparkly as some of the others you and your family go on, but how great would it be to just get some ice cream, find a nice peaceful spot, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of The Gulf of Mexico as the waves roll around underneath you?   Sometimes the simplest things make the best memories.

 

  1. Check out some cool fireworks

There is always something cool going on at The Wharf.  In addition to being your Saturday night boogie spot, come to The Wharf on Monday nights all summer to catch some great fireworks!  Sparks after Dark Fireworks has become a summer tradition at The Wharf.  Find your spot on Main Street before 8:45 PM and get ready to watch the skies light up in all kinds of fabulous colors.  Be sure to follow this link for more details on this weekly fireworks show.  We definitely don’t want you to miss this!

 

  1. Be a groupie

All summer long, Pelican Place at Craft Farms is hosting their annual Sounds of Summer Event.  Every Saturday night from 6:00-8:30 PM bring your lawn chair and see a free concert.  What better way is there to start your own groupie “career” than at a free outdoor concert at the beach? This is a family friendly event, so the kiddos can officially become concert groupies, too!  There will be food and other vendors on site, so all you really need to bring is a lawn chair or a blanket.  Expect to see some of the best entertainment around and we are pretty sure you won’t be disappointed!

 

  1. Walk on water

Ever thought about walking on water?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just strike out across a body of water and not sink?  Well, now you can!  Lucy Buffett’s Lulus now hasl Water Walkers.  A water walker is an inflatable sphere that you can get inside of and actually walk across the water without getting wet.  You can run, roll, flip and flop inside your Water Walker and enjoy seeing down through the water with a whole new perspective.  While you’re at Lulus, you’re probably going to want to stay for a while and enjoy some of the best seafood on the island, so set aside a couple of hours for this adventure.

 

  1. Marvel at the Blue Angels

Oh my goodness!  Have you ever seen the Blue Angels in action?  This is thrill like none other.  Grown ups and kids alike love watching from the ground as the Blues fly overhead, barely missing each other in the air.  You will find yourself saying the word “wow” out loud before you even know it.  The Blue Angels practice at the museum at NAS Pensacola on just a select few days each year.  But you’re in luck, they should be in the air at least one of the days while you’re down this way.  Practices last almost an hour and admission is free.  With some careful planning, you can schedule your outing to include meeting these amazingly skilled Navy pilots and maybe even getting their autographs. Who wouldn’t want to get a Blue Angel’s autograph?  They truly are the heros and stars of the American skies.

 

Using this list as a guide, we know you’re sure to enjoy your late summer stay in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  But what if you’re not quite ready to make this your last beach trip for the year?  Well, here are two more reasons you need to come back to the Alabama Gulf Coast before the holidays:  The Annual National Shrimp Festival and The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.  

 

Don’t forget to contact us at Sunset Properties and make all your reservations early!  We still have a few rentals available in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan during these festival times, but keep in mind, our island tends to be pretty full of out-of-town folks who attend both of these and we don’t want you to miss out!  Book early and ensure you get the perfect vacation home for your family’s needs.  We look forward to speaking with you and helping you get on your way to having a perfect later summer vacation!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Phone 251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

 

Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Mid-Summer Heat in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan

Welcome to your mid-summer vacation  to vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  You have chosen a perfect time to come down, right before school starts back, when the Gulf Coast is in full swing!  There is so much to do around our island paradise, but we know it can get pretty warm in the middle of the day in July and August.    The Gulf is usually a wonderful 82 or 83 degrees and the pools are always just right.  But with average high temps hovering around 83 degrees during July and August, coupled with our usual humidity, the mid-day summer heat can maybe make you a little cranky.  You love hanging out on the beach, I mean, who doesn’t, right?  But what do you do in the middle of those rare days when it seems like it’s just too hot to hang out?   Here is a list of ten ways to cool off while you’re vacationing with Sunset Properties in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in July and August:

 

1  RIDE A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT

Did you forget and leave your personal watercraft at home?  No worries!  You can rent a jet ski and a go pro from Alabama Extreme Watersports right here on the island.  How much fun would that be?  Jet skis are the perfect way to beat the heat by riding on the water.  Maybe striking out on your own in unfamiliar waters doesn’t feel comfortable to you.  Then how about trying a waverunner dolphin tour with about 4 of your friends?  The good folks at Alabama Extreme Watersports will take you on a guided tour of the waters of Orange Beach.   Seeing dolphins is always a great thing, but seeing them from a waverunner is sure to be a thrilling outing everyone!

 

2  VISIT A MUSEUM

Did you know our island is home to three unique local museums?  If the weather feels too hot outside, stop by and cool off inside the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum, originally built at a school house in the early 1900s, now houses a wonderful collection of artifacts relating to Orange Beach’s fishing heritage and Native American roots. The Gulf Shores Museum , another local favorite, hosts permanent collection of items relating to island life and our island’s history, as well as a rotating exhibit that changes often.  Maybe you’ve stopped by before?  Stop in again!  Chances are you won’t see the same thing you saw last time.  Our third museum is the Museum at Fort Morgan and has artifacts dating back to when the fort was built on display.  This museum also has a wonderful little gift shop, so plan some extra time stay and shop for a bit!  There are so many cool things to see at the these three venues.  You’ll enjoy the family outing and, as a bonus, you guys will probably learn something you didn’t already know about your vacation home.

 

3  CHECK OUT THE REC CENTER

The  David L Bodenhamer Recreation Center in Gulf Shores has racquetball courts, indoor pools, and a full service fitness room.  This state of the art facility welcomes island guests and locals alike.  Day passes are available.  Reservations are not required.   There is a complimentary fitness towel service and a game area that kiddos just love.   The Bodenhamer Center is ADA accessible and open every day.  This is a great place to go any time of the year!  The climate is always perfect inside the rec center!   It is conveniently located at 319 West 19th Avenue, about two minutes from the Gulf Shores Museum.

 

4  PLAY LASER TAG

Have you ever played laser tag?  Arena The Next Level takes laser tag to “a whole nother level” (as we say down here) .  Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Arena The Next Level, is a perfect place to take the whole family.  Everyone can play laser tag in this 4000 square foot indoor arena showcasing a super cool sci-fi laser tag arena with lights, sounds and lasers.

And while you’re at Arena The Next Level, you must give Bazooka Ball a try, too.  This electronic glow-in-the-dark combat game features two inch round foam balls that can be shot out of low impact toy guns and travel up to 100 feet.  Come inside to get away from the midday heat and stay for the afternoon!

 

5  SPEND A DAY AT WATERVILLE

No matter where you’re staying in Gulf Shores, you’re only about ten minutes away from Waterville USA, the island’s only water park.  Enjoy the day outside minus the feel of the heat while you play your way through Waterville’s 12 water attractions including The Flowrider, Jet Scream and Screamin’ Demon.  In addition to water rides and slides, you’re going to want ride the Cannonball Run roller coaster, play in a fabulous arcade, and bungee jump on the trampoline called The Trampoline Thing.  Waterville is also home to some of the fastest go-karts around.  Waterville also hosts an Escape House mystery game.  This is an inside game that your whole family can play together!  Plan on spending a whole day at Waterville and enjoy the summer without scorching in the heat.  Once you get there, you won’t want to leave.

 

6  SPLASH AROUND AT OWA

Owa, the Alabama Gulf Coast’s newest entertainment venue is located in Foley.  In addition to Owa’s 21 thrill rides, super cool arcade and great places to eat, they recently added a splash pad for the kiddos!  Wacky Waters is a 9500 square foot splash pad that features everything from a super tall water dump bucket, a water dome and 15 other splashy and cool attractions.  Wacky Waters was most likely built with kids in mind, but adults love it, too.

 

7  ENJOY SOME RETAIL THERAPY

One of the best ways to avoid the midday heat, is to go inside a great store and shop.  We know you’re going to be looking for that perfect souvenir to take back home for yourself or someone special.  Stop inside one of the many boutiques scattered around our little island paradise. With great venues to shop like SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach and Pelican Place at Craft Farms, the midday heat will be the last thing on your mind.  Shopping  at The Wharf at Orange Beach or taking a thrilling ride on the Ferris Wheel will make the whole family happy.  Don’t forget about The Shops at The Boardwalk in Gulf Shores next to The Original Oyster House where your whole family can take a break and enjoy some fresh seafood and a tall, cold beverage.  You may even see an alligator or two just below the boardwalk.  Have your camera ready.  While our local wildlife doesn’t mind pictures, feeding or provoking them is not ever advised.

 

8  CATCH A MOVIE

Have you ever noticed how good movie theatre popcorn tastes?  And those little boxes of chocolate covered raisins?    And nacho chips with all that gooey, yummy cheese?  Why not cool off with a great snack and a current movie release?  Cobb Pinnacle 14 , located at Pelican Place, is one of our favorite places to go when it’s just a little too warm outside to hang out on the beach.  Watching a movie is always a special memory.  Often we think things like, “I saw that movie at this place” or “I was fourteen the first time I saw that movie.”  Why not make a special memory your whole family will hold onto?  With so many great summer releases to check out,  stopping by Cobb Pinnacle 14 is a perfect way to pass an afternoon.  With closed caption, assisted listening, and descriptive narration available on most films during most showtimes, everyone can enjoy a popular film.  You’ll be in a nice cool movie theatre, making a great memory, and enjoying some of the best popcorn around.  We say “that’s the ticket!”

 

9  CHILL OUT WITH SOME ICE CREAM

Scoops ice cream shop is one of the coolest places around.  Literally!  Located on in the heart of Gulf Shores, Scoops should be on your “to-do” list whether it’s hot outside or not.  Scoops has been serving locals and guests alike in Gulf Shores since 1980.  The truly have some of the best ice cream around and some of the best service, too.  Scoops ice cream is real  treat!  From banana splits, to malts, to milkshakes, to just a scoop of your favorite flavor, this little ice cream shop is sure to put smiles on everyone’s face.  So when you’re headed south on Gulf Shores Parkway, don’t just drive by.  Stop in Scoop’s and cool off the old fashioned way…with some delicious vanilla ice cream and the perfect toppings!

 

10  SCORE HIGH ON YOUR FAVORITE VIDEO GAME

We can’t say enough about how much fun you’ll have at Adventure Island, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach  This is seriously one of the best arcades around.  This inviting is also home to a rock wall and a roller coaster simulator  If you’re not wanting to spend too much time inside, Adventure Island has you covered on that, too.  Outside, you’ll find mini golf, go-carts, bumper boats and paddle boats.  Everyone loves bumper boats!  Adventure Island is not too hard to find, either.  Just look for the only volcano in Orange Beach.  Once you see the volcano, you’ll know you’re only minutes away for hours of fun.

 

So we’ve given you a short list of fun and cool things to do while you’re on vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  We know sometimes the heat can be a bit overwhelming, but your vacation can still be a boat load of fun!  If you’d rather not venture out away from your condo, remember the pristine pools at The Dunes in Fort Morgan and The Grand Caribbean in Gulf Shores are always perfect.  The lazy river that atop the Caribe in Orange Beach and the saltwater pool at The Indies in Fort Morgan are easily accessible family favorites!  If you’re looking for a beach house, contact us at Sunset Properties.  We have several of those, too, and we can help you find exactly what you’re looking in exactly the right spot.

We are glad you’ve chosen to vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast with Sunset Properties.

We hope this is your “coolest” trip ever!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com