Princess Half Marathon

SSP Half MarathonThe Sunset Properties Princesses are at it again! The weekend of February 25th Karen, Tara, Katie and Gwen headed to Disney World to participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

While this race is a lot of fun, participants get to take photos with the Disney characters as they run the course–but in reality, the main reason for participating in this race is to raise awareness and funds for leukemia, lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease.

This year’s run was a little more special to us because we ran in honor of one of our condo owner’s, Mrs. Adryn Davis. Mrs. Davis a beloved wife, mother, sister, and daughter lost her battle with leukemia earlier this year. Our hope was to take this trip to celebrate and honor the life of Mrs. Davis who was a true Princess in our eyes!

For more news about the Disney Half Marathon or Sunset Properties, please follow our blog or call use at 1.888.877.9270!

Money Saving Tips

All individuals are feeling the strain of the economy–so, with much less expendable income in most people’s pockets, extras like hobbies, going out to eat, and traveling to Fort Morgan, AL are often sacrificed. If you still want to vacate without busting your budget, think blue and white, as in the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. There are always free or low-cost events and activities for every age, and we have a few vacation ideas to save you even more money!

  1. Skip hotels–Stay in a Condo – Renting a private Fort Morgan cond, as opposed to a hotel room, might sound like it would be much more expensive. A condo, however, can save you money in a couple of different ways. First, if your rental has a kitchen, you can cut back on eating out. You can grab some groceries once you get to town, and stock the kitchen with all your favorites. If you don’t feel like laboring at the stove each morning, get quick fixes like cereal and frozen waffles. If you’ll be out all day, you could even pack some sandwiches for a picnic lunch–there is no shortage of locations to picnic in Fort Morgan. Lastly, if you are traveling in a large group, you can get better prices renting a beach house or three bedroom condo rental.
  2. Shoulder Season–Stay during low season –If you’re willing to vacation in off season, you can save a lot of money. Rates are already cheaper when it is less busy, and Sunset Properties offers even more money-saving deals during this time. If you can be flexible about your travel plans, you can get much better deals.
  3. Keep an eye out for specials – Much different than our competitors, Sunset Properties loves to offer flash sales and discounts on our Facebook fan page. Follow us on our page and you may be able to sneak away for pennies on the dollar!
  4. Stay Away from it all – One of the best things about visiting the beach and Fort Morgan is it’s quaint, secluded atmosphere. Something of a novelty these days around tourist destinations, Fort Morgan has embraced this label and the tourists love it. Fort Morgan, in reality, is just a short drive from Gulf Shores but far enough way from everything to enjoy the coasts major attraction…the beach. Did we mention laying out all day and playing in the ocean is free?

YAPPY HOUR–A Meet and Greet!

Skyler and Dottie checking out what the people are up to!

You guys know we LOVE our dogs!!! Most of the time Skyler will meet you at the door before any person can say hello! This winter we have decided to have Yappy Hour for our winter and early spring guests. This is a time for all of our guest who have dogs to get to know each other and for the dogs to have much needed play.

This yappy hour was so fun! Tara and I brought our dogs and Skyler, Harry, added some comic relief with their signature beagle yelp! Sophie and Charlie made an appearance to sniff things out but they weren’t ready to play this time. Hopefully they will jump in next week when yappy hour rolls around again! We should have a few more puppy friends in and I’m sure they will join the gang in digging jumping chasing and barking just outside the Sunset Properties Office!

Look for more dog events through the summer or just stop by to meet our fuzzy four legged friends as you enjoy your trip! See you soon!!!!!!

Winter Guest Activities

Winter Guest Schedule!!!
We are excited out Winter guests are back in town and we have planned a few activities for them to enjoy.  We wanted to keep everyone posted.  Take a look below at the fun stuff planned for January and February!!! 
  • Every Tuesday, Starting in February we will have yoga classes at 10 AM!  We’ll Carpool!  The more that participate the cheaper the classes will be!!!
  • Every other Thursday we will be serving complimentary coffee and doughnuts at the Sunset Properties Office at 10 am.  Come meet and greet with the other winter guests.
  • On the opposite Thursday’s we will have Yappy Hour at 3 in the afternoon.  Bring your dog if you have  one and let them  make some doggy friends.  If you are with out a fuzzy friend come by and meet the pups and your neighbors too!  This will be outside at the Sunset Properties Office.

Below is a link to the Gulf ShoresActivities Calendar  We’re so glad your back everyone!

Dogs are the Best Photo Contest Winners

We have our winners!!! We wanted to take a minute and share them with you. This contest was so fun. As I have mentioned many times Ft. Morgan Loves Dogs! We are so happy to see your fuzzy four legged friends when they come through. They brighten our day and always make us smile with their antics. Look for more information and events involving dogs in our area. We look forward to meeting your pets and seeing more fun pet photos to come. This winter we will be having “Yappy Hour” for our winter guest and their pets! We will be sure to share some photos of all the doggy festivities.

We loved every photo and the all tugged at our hearts because we are all pet owners, at Sunset.  The winner stood out from the moment we recieved it.

Our second place was the most popular on Facebook and made us laugh out loud, every time we looked at it!

We had a tie for third place and had to give credit to this big cutie and the tiny cutie as well.

We loved you photos everyone! Thank you for sharing your memories and pups with us!!!

Dolphin Rescue At Navy Cove Thanksgiving Eve

I was just closing up our office to head home Thanksgiving Eve when I received a call from the refuge office at Bon Secour.  A year or two ago I went through some additional training to learn how to gather data from a stranded sea turtle and take care of it if need be.  Today it was not a stranded sea turtle. It was a stranded dolphin.  They asked me to go and take a look at the animal and help out how I could until the recovery team could get there.

Our maintenance man Jim Merrick was here with me and we received some brief training about what to do then headed that way.  Jim was there a few minutes before me and when I arived he was already knee deep in the water helping the dolphin stay upright.  I brought some towels to help keep it’s back moist and we waited.

While we waited we heard the story of how the dolphin was found.  Several owners and their children saw the dolphin splashing in the harbor and then it beached itself on shore at the head of the harbor. The owners headed to the cove and got the dolphin back into the water.  They even got it back into the deeper water where it could swim.  However, the dolphin was very sick and headed back to the shore.  Soon after, Fish and Wildlife were called to help.  The employees at the Bon Secour refuge contacted the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulf Port, Mississippi.  The IMMS were on their way to retrive the dolphin and move it to their rehab facility.

In the mean time, Jim and some of the owners from Navy Cove were helping the dolphin stay upright and damp while we waited.  Mike Reynolds from the “Share the Beach” program joined us and was in contact with IMMS throughout our wait.  The dolphin kept his eyes closed and seemed very confused. At one point he seemed to really be struggling so the helpful volunteers moved him a bit further out of the water and dug holes in the ground on each side so he could rest comfortably with his flippers in a resting position.

The night was getting cooler and our volunteers were getting weary after 3 hours of being wet and holding the 400 pound dolphin upright but they forged on.  We eased the hours by checking out the stars on the crystal clear night and coming up with a name for the dolphin that we now all claimed as our own.  The family that originally found the dolphin named him Chance.

Just a bit before 7 in the evening the IMMS showed up with a vehicle of doctors and helpers and a large box truck to transport the dolphin to the rehab facility in Mississippi.  They carefully examined the sick animal and then just as carefully loaded him on to the truck.  Since that day, we have heard that he is doing some better and seems to be improving daily.  It turns out that Chance is an unusual case and they are doing all they can to help him heal.  All of the dolphin found beached since the oil spill were dead.  Chance is the first live dolphin so he is getting some great attention from the doctors who are helping him.  We have so many things to be thankful for here at the beach and this experience is the newest on our list.

“Dogs Are the Best” Photo Contest 2011

Win a $100.00 gift certificate!

We have an exciting announcement to make! Sunset Properties is holding our first annual “Dogs Are the Best” Photo Contest giveaway, and everyone is invited to enter.  So, make sure you spread the word to your friends and family.

Details for the giveaway are simple. Email us at with your favorite “dog at the beach” picture and a maximum of five sentences describing it. Submissions will be processed within  three  business days of receiving.  Any photo submissions posted on the Sunset Properties Facebook wall will be deleted—your official entry has to be emailed to us.

The winning entry will receive a $100.00 gift certificate towards a stay with Sunset Properties PLUS their pet fee waived.  There is also a 2nd prize gift certificate of $75.00 and a 3rd prize gift certificate of $50.00 and each of their pet fees waived as well.  Pictures don’t necessarily need to be posed.  We want GREAT pictures and GREAT stories.  If you want to know how we define GREAT keep reading. There is a two picture entry limit per person, per email address so make sure you pick the best pictures you have.  Here are examples of GREAT picture ideas/themes:
This is a DOGS AND THE BEACH themed contest!!!  Dogs at the beach, playing, sunning, or getting ready for a beach adventure with the family, all make for a great entry. So send us your doggy photos!!!!

Please no other cities or photos that do not obviously show you are at the beach or at a Gulf Shores land mark or hot spot.

  • A funny picture of your dog playing at the beach.
  • A beautiful sunset with you and your dog 🙂
  • Your family and dog enjoying the beach or getting ready to head to the beach.
  • Anything that’s cute, fun or pretty of your pet at the beach.  The best photos will be the ones that make us laugh, cry, sigh, move us, or make us want to bring our dog to the Beach.

Are you convinced you should win? We’ll be posting entries in an album on our Facebook Fanpage entitled “2011 Dogs Are the Best.” Please encourage your friends and family to “Like” their favorite picture.  In order for a photo to be in the contest it must be submitted to us via email so we can place it in our contest photo album on our Facebook page.  The amount of “likes” will be considered in our decision making for the winners. So participants should spread the word to friends and family and ask them to “like” their pictures. Ultimately, our office staff will choose the final winners.

The contest starts on November 2, 2011 and ends on December 4, 2011 @ 11:59 pm. Winners will be announced via Facebook on December 5, 2011.   We’re excited to see the entries!

Click here for Official Rules!

Fall at the Beach!!!

Have I mentioned that Fall is the best time to be at the beach? I know that summer is warm and the kids are out of school, and spring is great and sunny and not too hot! But Fall has the best of both of those and then some.  In the fall season at the beach it rarely rains, the skies are a beautiful sunny blue, and the days are warm while the nights get increasingly cooler.  You can enjoy the beach with virtually no crowds and the prices are nothing short of outstanding.  There are the same great restaurants and live music, shopping, high flying patriotic shows, and wildlife but we get to enjoy it during the fall in very special ways!

We have the fall migration of  birds and butterflies south, a million little jewels flying through our area all at once.  You can enjoy the new song stylings of amazing song writers throughout the area during the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival.  Don’t miss the Blue Angels Homecoming show, it will make your heart soar with patriotic pride. There are festivals and events almost every weekend along the beautiful Gulf Coast for you and your family to enjoy.

Coming up is the Elberta German Sausage Festival Oct 29th. Held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best German Sausage you have ever tasted! Made from a secret recipe developed by the founding fathers of Elberta, AL. This is the only place you can get the real thing! Arts & crafts, live music, carnival rides, baked goods & more. Don’t forget to visit the Bier Garten for a large selection of imported beers.

Nov. 2nd starts the SEC Women’s Soccer Championship. Eight hopeful seeds will square off in quarterfinal action before the field narrows for Friday’s (November 4) semifinals. Championship play is scheduled for Sunday, November 6 at 2:00pm and will be broadcast live. Don’t miss the action!
Admission: $5.00 adults, $2.00 Students

The 4th Annual Oyster Cook Off on Nov. 5th! Join us on the beach and watch teams from restaurants, businesses, and individuals along the Gulf Coast compete to see who wins best oyster bragging rights for the entire year along with cash and prizes! The oysters are provided to the teams to prepare three ways: Oysters Rockefeller, Cajun Oysters and Create-Your-Own Raw.
Admission: Free to the Public and tasting tickets are $1 each. If you are interested in registering your team to compete please download the application online at The entry fee is $250 per team and must be paid in full no later than October 15th.

The Frank Brown Song Writers Festival is coming up from Nov. 10th -20th. The festival provides an atmosphere to promote all writers, whether they had written hit songs which made people open their eyes and view the world in a different way or they are aspiring writers and musicians who knew they could do the same but needed a forum in order to get their music out to the world.

The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, November 11 & 12, on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Admission is FREE and the gates open at 8 am each day. The show includes static displays of aircraft of all types, food, beverage and vendor booths, virtual reality experiences and other attractions, including a Kids’ Zone, Sony Playstation II gaming area and bungee jumping. Home Depot will also have a Kids Workshop Area with craft projects. The air show begins at 9:45 am, with the Blue Angels slated to fly around 2 pm. The pilots will sign autographs after the show. There is also a night air show on Friday evening.
Visit the Museum’s display area at the air show and climb into our Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet. Check out other historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection including a F-14 Tomcat, a F-4 Phantom and a HU-16 Albatross. Don’t miss our special guest appearance of a P-38 Lightning.
Visitors are encouraged to use the back gate off of Blue Angel Parkway to enter the base. Patrons may bring chairs, but no coolers, backpacks, food, drinks or pets will be allowed. A handicap area is set aside for wheelchairs only. For those who have never attended an air show, be advised that the aircraft can be VERY noisy and young children need protection for their ears. It can also be windy on the tarmac and layers of clothes are recommended.

Admission: Gate admission is free. Bleacher seating is available for $5 per person. Because of pre-sold reserved seating for large groups, bleacher seats are usually sold out before noon on Friday and before 11 am on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and must be ordered before noon on Friday, Nov. 7. Groups of 50 or more can purchase bleacher seating for $3 per person.

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

Traverse Mobile Bay by Ferry and Arrive on a Fun, Island Getaway

by Mike Turner | July 26, 2011


Here is a great, day trip that will be a boat load of fun (literally) for the entire family.

It begins with a family style breakfast at Hazel’s Nook in Gulf Shores. Pancakes, yup, Waffles – yup, and my favorite- made to order omelets. (Bacon, onions, cheddar cheese, and salsa for me please).

Next, is a stop at the local store to stock up on munchies, water, soda, and sunscreen for the day of adventure, followed by a leisurely 25 mile drive down State Road 180 (West Fort Morgan Rd.) to the Dauphin Island Ferry Terminal. The Ferry runs every 45 minutes, and here is a link for specific times, etc.

Cost runs $30 for a car plus $10 per passenger over the age of 12. If you want to save some dough, you can park at the terminal and walk on or take a bicycle with you for $5. I have taken the bike route and it was a blast. Or if you have a Harley, you can grab a round trip ticket for $8. But you need to plan ahead and take some rain gear, just in case. Dauphin Island is very bike/motorcycle friendly.

The boat ride is a treat in itself, taking in the sights of other boats, maybe a tanker, or perhaps if you are lucky a dolphin playing in the boat’s wake.

As you arrive onto Dauphin Island, you feel like you have been transported back in time. It is 17 miles long and ¾ of mile wide barrier island that is parallel to the Gulf of Mexico.  It is a sleepy, fishing village with tons of charm, miles of undiscovered beaches, quaint eateries, and another great attraction – The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, home to the State of Alabama’s Marine Science Institute.

Here you will find a treasure trove full of adventure. Huge aquariums, touch-tanks, The Living Marsh Boardwalk, and Weather Station.

At the west end of the beach, there are vendors providing umbrellas, jet ski rentals, parasailing, water slides and certified lifeguards, clean restrooms and showers. Entrance fees are $2 to park, and $3 for each person over the age of 12. No alcoholic beverages, pets, glass or grills are allowed however.

There is also the Audubon Bird Sanctuary,  Dauphin Island has been recognized as one of the ten most globally important sites for bird migrations. The Sanctuary includes more than 150 acres of maritime forest, marshes, and dunes, including a lake, a swamp and a beach. It is located on the Eastern end of the Island and has walking trails and boardwalks in which to experience this unique natural treasure. Migrating birds utilize this area after their long flight across the Gulf from Central and South America to rest up before heading on. They also utilized the Sanctuary as their final feeding and resting area before their return flight. (And you thought the Atlanta Hub was busy).

And if that isn’t enough to do, don’t forget to check out Fort Gaines for an awesome view of Mobile Bay, and you can image yourself as a sentry watching out for enemy ships!

Have fun!

Bellingrath Gardens a must see when you visit the Beach

We’ve talked about this several times in the past, but we wanted to call attention to one of the most beautiful sites to see in the area. We visited their website and found this useful information. This is a definite “must see” for anybody with a green thumb!
Bellingrath Gardens

If you decide to venture over to Dauphin Island via the Mobile Bay Ferry, be sure to head on over to Mobile to smell the flowers at Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The garden features 65 acres of fragrant flowers that bloom year-round.
Belingrath Rose
Bellingrath Gardens and Home was the creation of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath. The Gardens were first opened to the public in 1932 while a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile newspaper announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. After an overwhelming response, the couple decided to keep the gardens open year-round beginning in 1934. Throughout the year, this 65-acre garden estate is in full bloom with camellias in the winter, azaleas in the spring, roses in the summer, chrysanthemums in autumn and Magic Christmas in Lights during the holiday season.
Bellingrath Christmas
In addition to the self-guided walking tour through the gardens, you can also enjoy a 45-minute cruise aboard the Southern Belle, and a tour of the 10,500 square foot home with its original furnishings. You can experience the Bayou Boardwalk, Mirror Lake, the Great Lawn, the Asian-American Gardens. Don’t forget to stroll through the Butterfly Garden and view the formal garden terraces. For more information, visit for events, admission rates and hours of operation.