Fourth of July Festivities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Hi Friends! Summer is in full swing for our Sunset Properties crew here on the Alabama Gulf Coast! With that being said, that means Independence Day is right down the road. We have a plethora of activities for kids, tees, and adults. With a Freedom Run at the Florabama, camel rides at The Wharf, and finishing the night off with fireworks! Bring the kids down for memories you both won’t forget.

Starting at 7 a.m on July 4 The Wharf is hosting a Shark Run 5K. For the folks that want to participate but don’t want to run they are also hosting a 5K competitive walk or a 1 mile fun run. The starting location will be in front of the Sand Dollar Lifestyles near the main entrance fountain. Once you get done running your tail off The Sandshaker is hosting the awards and after-party! Participants will receive free refreshments and cold beverages at The Sandshaker. Registration starts at $20 for the fun run and $39 for the 5K if you register online. With that you will receive a custom T-shirt and an award medal!

From 5 p.m- 9 p.m, The Wharf is hosting a street party! They will have activities for the kids as well as live music for everyone to enjoy. They will have a rock wall, surf simulator, bounce houses, and so much more! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride a camel? Well, July 4th is the night to find out. Head over and check out the Camel Rides ($5)! To end the night they will be having an 11-minute long firework show starting at 8:45 p.m!

The Flora-Bama is starting their activities July 2nd this year. They are kicking things off with their 2nd annual “Freedom Run” which features 2 courses. One is a 4 mile course and the other is a 1 mile fun run/walk. Make sure you wear your most festive red, white, and blue attire! The run will begin on the North side of Perdido Beach Blvd. and finish back at the Flora-Bama. Register online and pick up your packet July 1st 4p.m-6 p.m or July 2nd 6 a.m-7:30 a.m. with the race starting at 8 am.  Included in your registration fee is a T-shirt, Medal, 1 food ticket, and 2 drink tickets!  On July 4th , they will be celebration the nations birthday with live music and finishing the night with fireworks!

For those that just want to see the Fireworks Gulf State Park will be setting off fireworks at 9 p.m from the fishing pier. The website states, “the eastern area of the Gulf Shores Public Beach and the Gulf State Park are the best places to watch the firework show from.” Be sure to bring your radio along as 105.7 Sunny Radio provides a musical element that goes along with the show!

Welcome Home with Sunset Properties Rentals and Lulu’s Gulf Shores

This long after the holidays, I bet you’re missing that “at home” feeling that comes with gathering around the fire — or maybe your AC – with your family to just relax. I know I am! You might be looking at the calendar counting down the days to the next holiday, wondering if you can get a good deal if you start booking and planning now. Well, I have good news! You don’t have to wait! Sunset Properties and the Gulf Shores area are ready to make you feel right at home for a quick getaway that will give you the exact refreshment you need to make it to the next holiday season! 

Sunset Properties House Rentals

Okay, I know you’re probably ready to pipe up and ask me, “How am I supposed to feel more at home on a vacation?” And that’s a fair point. While we over here at Sunset Properties can’t do anything to replace the home you share with your family, we can give you the chance to get away from the stressful demands of everyday life to a place where your whole family is welcome and can feel comfortable. Two of the highest rated house rentals in Gulf Shores, Out of Office and Sea Turtle, are ready to provide that space for you. Out of Office is a three bedroom house that comes equipped with a fully stocked kitchen, a beautiful dining room, and a relaxing living room with a TV and beautiful view. Enjoy some calming family time on the couch without having to think about those bills on the table that have to be paid or that report you’re going to have to revise in the morning. If you and your family do get the itch to go for a walk or enjoy the beach life that Gulf Shores has to offer, there are multiple ways you can access the beach from Out of Office, so no worries about long walks or car drives. Best of all, Out of Office is pet friendly! Every member of your family is truly welcome, even the furry ones. 

Sea Turtle offers similar amenities to Out of Office, but this house rental comes with six bedrooms and can easily sleep seventeen! So, if you’ve got a large family who likes a lot of space or you’re teaming up with friends for this homey vacation, we’ve got you covered with all of the room you could need for everyone to be comfortable. Sea Turtle also has a large deck perfect for enjoying the beautiful view the rental offers. This house is also pet friendly, but there are some limitations, so make sure you read the description thoroughly before booking. 

These are just two locations that can make your family feel comfortable and welcome while still providing a getaway. Click over to Sunset Properties’ rental search to find the spot that’s right for you and your family – and when you do, make yourself at home. 

Lulu’s Gulf Shores

This past holiday season, I made a discovery of a holiday staple that before I tried it sounded like a prank: oyster stuffing. I had no idea that people were putting oysters in stuffing, but when I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised by the tang it gives to the classic homey taste of southern dressing. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like oysters. 

I think that that homelike comfort was a result of Lucy Buffett’s recipe. If you’re not familiar with Lucy Buffett’s story, she is famous singer Jimmy Buffett’s sister and an Alabama native who after a long time in Hollywood returned to the South to bring the joys of her upbringing to her community with her restaurant, Lulu’s. Lulu’s has a few great locations, but the Gulf Shores location has a myriad of events and activities to bring the whole family together. Take the kids over to have a cute, colorful hair braid put in or let everyone get matching henna tattoos! Lulu’s also has an arcade for the whole family to play in while you’re waiting for a table or for some after dinner fun. It’ll be just like playing together at home, only here you can earn prizes! If you’ve got a outdoors-loving, adventurous crew on your hands, you can head out to the Mountain of Youth to enjoy a three-story ropes course. Race each other to the top or just give each other the courage to get up onto the high levels. After spring of 2020, little ones can climb on Munchkin Mountain, so get some pictures of your younglings braving the elements for some special sibling bonding time. 

With all this talk of the things to do at Lulu’s, I’ve almost forgotten that it’s also a restaurant. Lulu’s not only serves great food, but they’ve also crafted menus for the dietary needs for almost everyone. In addition to the main menu which includes all of the staples like Lulu’s Famous Seafood Gumbo and Crazy Sista’s Crab Dip, Lulu’s Gulf Shores has allergy friendly menus that cater to those with dairy, egg, gluten, shellfish, soy, and seafood allergies and those who observe a vegan diet. Lulu’s offers options for everyone, and they want you and your whole family to feel safe and welcome eating with them. With all that Lulu’s has to offer, you and your crew may feel tempted to stay all day. And why not?!

Sometimes, we need to get away from our physical homes where our work and chores and family disagreements happen to really get back to the heart of having a home, which is being with and taking care of the people you love. Even if you just book a rental for a day or two for your kids’ long weekend to have a fun day at Lulu’s or take a walk on the beach, don’t wait until the summer or winter break to make some time to just “be.” None of these days you’re going to get back, so make sure you take time to just enjoy them. 

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the Destination for Your Winter Wonderland Vacation!

By: Raven Hunter 

It’s that time of year again! Soon, Christmas music will be playing on the radio (if it hasn’t started already), you’ll be rushing out to stores (or to your computer!) to find this year’s perfect gifts for your loved ones, and, most importantly, you’ll be deciding where or if you and your family will be travelling this year. Before you stress out trying to find that perfect family vacation spot or give up because all of the conventional options have been done to death, consider the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach/Fort Morgan area for this year’s winter getaway. 

Now, at this point you’re probably wondering, “What could there possibly be to do on the Gulf Coast in December?” And trust me, I feel you. If you don’t live on the Gulf Coast or even anywhere in the South, a place where the only “White Christmas” you’re going to get is in the pure-white sandy shores typically isn’t going to be on your radar when seeking winter vacation destinations. But trust me when I say that there’s plenty on the coast to help you enjoy all that the chilly season has to offer without being too chilly. 

Events

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach both offer several events to get you in the holiday spirit while you enjoy the tropical climate! Depending on when the kids get out for break, you can take them over to Gulf State Park for Gulf State Park Very Merry Christmas on December 5th or 12th! And, if your vacation starts earlier in the month, you can enjoy a seasonal concert by the Baldwin Pops on December 7th at 7 pm. For those of you who are wanting a performance experience on your vacation to-do list but have to wait until later in the month to start your vacation, the family-friendly Wingbeat Christmas Spectacular might be the place for you on December 11th or 12th. Also on December 11th, Lulu’s Buffet is offering a lighted boat parade. So, if indoor performances aren’t your thing and you want to spend some time outside, head on down to Lulu’s at dusk to watch an armada of masterfully decorated boats, or register your own if you’d like to participate! Either way, it’s fun for the whole family. 

Over in Orange Beach, the Wharf is really showing up with lots of fun options available through the whole month of December! Believe it or not, you can indeed ice skate in the South, and an awesome rink is available for the whole family to show off their skills! And, while you’re there, why not take the kids to have their pictures taken with Santa to capture the wonderful holiday memories you’re making on Alabama’s Gulf Coast? For you active types, the Yo Ho Ho 5K and Fun Run is to be held on December 11th. Click on over to register you and your crew for a fun time to exercise and push your limits!

In addition to the opportunities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, OWA is offering lots of events for Christmas at OWA including  Brunch with Santa and the Holiday Tree Show to give your holiday a little extra pizazz.  So, if you and your crew are wanting to make a trip to Foley, you can take your vacation on the road for a bit to take advantage of all the area has to offer! 

Fort Morgan

Let me guess, you’ve got some kiddos at home that love to learn. And, I bet they’re SUPER bummed that school’s gonna be out until the new year… right? Well, maybe not. But, a trip to Fort Morgan could still be the perfect addition to your vacation to keep your students’ brains stimulated even through the winter school hibernation. Fort Morgan is enriching for the whole family to learn about its roles in the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II, and you can take your kids on a journey through time on this historic structure with a self-guided tour. The grounds are open 7 days a week from 8 am – 5 pm except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day, so regardless of when you choose to squeeze a little learning fun into your vacation, Fort Morgan is waiting there to make it possible. 

Still the Beach!

Okay, I know I’ve been showcasing all of the opportunities to enjoy the Gulf Shores area without the beach, but hear me out on this one. Gulf Shores beaches are open year round, and there’s a lot you can do on the beach without going in the water. Be the only ones in your friend group to build sandmen instead of snowmen, or just bundle up and take a nice walk in the cool, crisp winter air. The weather promises to be warmer than any area with four seasons, and if you’re from farther north, then you might have a better cold tolerance than us southerners down here. Take advantage of the possibly less crowded beach this season for a relaxing, unique beach experience that you’ll tell of for ages to come. 
If this southern winter wonderland sounds too good to be true and you’re wondering how you can possibly make it work, rest assured that Sunset Properties has you covered. On the website, you can find over a hundred rentals that house from four guests to twenty-four. No matter the size of your family, Sunset Properties can help you find the perfect place to unwind after a day of seizing the holiday spirit and making irreplaceable memories.

There’s So Much To Do at Christmas at OWA!

At this point in the holiday season, many of us are approaching the dreaded Christmas vacation planning rush. You know the feeling. You’ve been too caught up in work or bills or whatever commands your attention this time of year to plan any fun Christmas trips or events, and then suddenly you look at the calendar and it’s mid-December. You rush to the computer to find something to do with your family this season as everyone’s off-time approaches, but everything you find has already been done, has already passed, or is too soon for you to have time to plan for it. Before you give up the ghost and spend your Christmas budget getting yourself a new computer, take a look at OWA’s website and browse the recurring events that Christmas at OWA has to offer all the way through the end of December. 

OWA’s entertainment venues are split up into two main locations, the Park at OWA and Downtown OWA, and both places have holiday events and opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. Here are just a few options to help you decide how to plan your itinerary for this year’s vacation! 

The Park at OWA 

The Park at OWA is an amusement park on the OWA property that offers super fun rides, challenging games, and delicious concessions for all ages! The park doesn’t offer many specific holiday events; however, the Last Chance Season Pass Sale runs from December 10-23. If you take advantage of this sale, you can gift your whole family with passes to the Park at OWA for the entire year of 2022 plus some bonus dates in December 2021! So, not only can your crew enjoy the park fun this year, but the gift just keeps on giving into the next. 

Downtown OWA

If you’re looking for some exciting or chill events for your family to just enjoy together, then Downtown OWA has more than enough options to suit your vacation needs. If you’ve got kiddos, then you’re going to want to make a stop or several in the North Pole. I know, the North Pole in southern Alabama sounds a little far-fetched, but if you can get past the warm weather, you’ll have no shortage of holiday fun and memories to enjoy with the younglings. 

First, take them over to Mrs. Claus’ Crafty Christmas to become Honorary Elves for the day! They’ll get the whole elf experience by baking cookies and decorating Christmas ornaments. Each child will get to keep an ornament for your tree and receive their own honorary elf certificate for your scrapbook, so you’ll walk away with plenty to commemorate this family vacation. 

If you visit on a weekend, make sure to take the kids to Storytime with Santa’s Elves! This fifteen-minute story time will give you a chance to take a break and unwind in between your holiday adventures while you listen to Santa’s elves read some classic Christmas stories. The stories start at the top of the hour at 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until December 23, so take the opportunity to get cozy with your kiddos at least once while you’re here. You may decide to go back a few times to hear other stories! 

The North Pole at Downtown OWA also gives you the quintessential North Pole Experience with photos with Santa and Christmas crafts. Don’t miss this chance to build your holiday spirit! 

Downtown OWA offers many other events for the family as well, like the Holiday Tree Show or the Tinsel Tones caroling. If all of this sounds too good to pass up, click on over to Sunset Properties to find one of the best rentals in Gulf Shores for you and your family to stay in, and let the holiday fun begin. 

2022 New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep: Make Your Mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast

With the new year rapidly approaching, many of our friends and guests are all deciding what resolutions they are going to make and the ones they intend to keep.  Here along our Alabama Gulf Coast, we are in the same boat, so to speak, as you are (although we frequently fish off our boats, but that’s “a whole nother story” as we say).  Are we going to lose weight, read more, take up a hobby or just spend more time with our families?  Seems Covid robbed so much time from us all, family time is at the top of many of our lists.  I have a suggestion, why not make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022?  We all want to leave our ‘mark’ somewhere without causing damage or harm, and here are five ways to do just that that range from temporary to a lifelong presence.

Write Your Name in the Sand

Leave Only Footprints is a phrase you’ll see all over while you’re visiting Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  This is a focused effort to keep our island as beautiful for tomorrow as it is today.  We clean up after ourselves, don’t leave unsightly messes on our beautiful beaches, don’t graffiti up our walls, and we help each other out when we need to.  But we all want to make a mark on our area, right? We want to let folks know we were here.  And most of us want more than a headstone to make that statement. How about you?  Want to make a mark on our island that no one will be unhappy with?  We have a couple of ideas.  One way is to write something in the sand.  Just above the tide line, use your big toe and scribble something profound like “Jack loves Dianne” or “Killroy was here”.  Or maybe just write your own name, the year, and circle it with a big heart take a quick Snap*, and you now have the best cover picture on Facebook*.  With a Gulf front beach home managed by Sunset Properties, writing your name in the sand is so easy, you can create a new one every day.  Check out Boardwalk 1085Castaways 3B or Carpe Diem for amazing opportunities to step right out of your beach vacation home and write your name in the sand.  The views inside these units are pretty nice, too.  I am thinking you’ll find more than one opportunity to share pictures on Facebook!

Hang A Dollar at the Flora Bama

Another way to leave your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast is to write your name on a dollar bill and hang it on the wall at the Flora-Bama.  Have you ever been to the World Famous Flora-Bama?  If you have, you already know what a cool place it is.  If you haven’t, you’re definitely missing out.  In spite of what you may have heard, The Flora-Bama is a family friendly place each day until 6:00 PM, then, at 6:00 it becomes an adult hangout.  If you haven’t yet signed your name on a dollar bill and hung it on the wall at this great American Roadhouse located on the Alabama-Florida state line, you should put that on your 2022 resolution list.  And, if you’re looking for a great place to stay near the Florida-Alabama line, you should check out Caribe B Penthouse 4.  This amazing penthouse condominium is any beach vacationer’s dream home! It sits high above the back bays of Orange Beach and is only minutes from the Flora-Bama.  This condo is family friendly and there is so much to do on the Caribe property.  If writing your name in the sand is still on your list, you’ll find easy access to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico about two minutes away.  Gulf State Park’s Alabama Point is almost right across Perdido Beach Boulevard from The Caribe.  Whether you’re planning to make your mark on a beach covered in sugar white sand or write your name on a dollar and hang it on a wall (or both!), we’ve got the perfect beach home ready for you!

Sign the Guestbook at the Welcome Center

There are two Welcome Centers nearby.  The Gulf Shores Welcome Center is located on Gulf Shores Parkway across from The Track.  Beautifully constructed and filled with brochures containing tons of local information and some of the best Southern Hospitality you’ll find this side of Birmingham, the Welcome Center in Gulf Shores is definitely worth a look.  Stop in, sign the guestbook, meet someone nice and find out all about our island.  There is a second welcome center in Orange Beach.  Located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, the Orange Beach Welcome Center is equally as inviting as its sister property in Gulf Shores.  Making your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast is as easy as signing a guest registry.  But, while you’re inside these centers, be sure to pick up a few rack cards and make a family plan that includes visiting some place new.  Each year, new business and attractions come to our area.  We are sure that while you’re in our welcome centers, you will discover something new to do!

Get a Library Card

Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to amazing libraries.  The Thomas B. Norton Library is located at 221 West 19th Avenue in Gulf Shores.  This is near the intracoastal bridge.  This library is as modern as they come and library cards for visitors to our island paradise are easy to get.  If you need to use a desktop computer, get a copy made or want to borrow one of the latest best sellers, the good folks at Thomas B. Norton Library can fix you right up. If your vacation home is Colony Club M6 be sure to stop by the library in Gulf Shores and sign your name to a library card application. You’re not only staying close to lots of retail opportunities, but you’re only about five minutes away from some amazing opportunities you can find only at a library!   But, what if you’re staying in Orange Beach at Phoenix I 1083  and you don’t want to drive to Gulf Shores?  No problem!  The Orange Beach Public Library located at 26267 Canal Road in Orange Beach offers library services second to none in our state.  For years, this library has excelled in offering programs and services for the whole family.  So, go ahead, make your mark on our island by getting yourself one of the best souvenirs around:  a library card!

Buy Your Own Piece of Paradise

For years, each of us traveled down here to the Alabama Gulf Coast on vacation and said, “one of these days, I’m gonna get my own place here.”  Well, “one of these days” came for us, and it can for you, too!  There are a variety of properties available to purchase year round and we at Sunset Properties are not just in the rental management/vacation home business, we are in the “let us help you buy your vacation home” business, too!  The process is easy really.  We learn as much as we can about our clients, then we keep our eyes and ears open and help them find and buy the exact right beach home.  What better way to make your mark on our area than to sign your name to a deed and actually own your own personal piece of paradise?  I’ll tell you:  none!  Become a local! Make that a resolution in 2022!   It’s as simple as reaching out to us and allowing us to find you your perfect place.  All that’s left after the paperwork is done, is your signature.  So go ahead, make a plan to make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022 by buying yourself a beach home.  And, if you choose to use a rental program to help you with expenses, we are absolutely ready to help you do that, too!

There are truly many ways you can make your own mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022, either as a guest or a parttime or fulltime resident.  At Sunset Properties, we are always happy to see our guests come visit us, but when they become our neighbors, we really celebrate!  It’s time to make our resolutions for 2022, and we hope you’ll put us on your list.  Go ahead, make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and let us help you do it the right way!  See you soon!  Happy New Year from all of us at Sunset Properties.

251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

www.sunsetproperties.com

Watch College Football at the Beach? Absolutely!

This year has certainly been one for the books.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has seemingly touched every part of our lives.  We have dealt with closures, quarantines, cancelled events, cancelled sports, missed family visits, and, sadly, sick friends and loved-ones.  Truly COVID-19 has not been kind to us this year.  We, at Sunset Properties, are feeling the same way you are.  We are getting on with our lives as best we can, while keeping the social distancing guidelines firmly in the forefront of our choices.  We wake up each day, watch the news and hope things will start to improve.  We have also been trying to help you keep your good cheer going with our blogs suggesting ways to make a good situation out of a bad one.  

 The latest casualty of this terrible virus is college football.  If you’re from Alabama, or pretty much anywhere in the south, college football is not just a sport, it’s a season.  Down here, we have spring, summer, football, holidays, and spring again.  And COVID or no COVID, we want our football.  Our annual pilgrimage to our favorite college campus is almost a spiritual experience.  It’s like going home.  Meeting up with our friends for grilled food and cold beverages before cramming ourselves into the stadium with 101,820 other people just like us, well, it’s a feeling we cannot replace. Many of us were disappointed to find out stadium tailgating has been banned and  we cannot attend games this year and maintain social distancing.   To a Saturday-Down-South-er, that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow.  That said and  to keep with our goal of helping you make the best of things, we at Sunset Properties, want to give you an alternative to the traditional way you’ve watched your favorite team play.  We want to invite you to grab a couple of your besties and their spouses, and come to your Alabama Gulf Coast for a couples weekend getaway.   

Here are five great reasons to plan a College Football Couples Getaway Trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

 1         Tailgating Has Not Been Banned

Because of fears of spreading COVID-19, tailgating, the original pre-game meet-and-greet, has been banned at several stadiums and college campuses this year.  However, in Fort Morgan, on the rooftop patio of USA 2, tailgating has not only not been banned, but it is actually encouraged.  This magnificent home will sleep up to 18 football fans comfortably, so you and your favorite cheerleader, together with a couple of your best friends, will have plenty of room to enjoy, not only the game, but also the view of the Gulf of Mexico.  In the kitchen you’ll find everything you need to prepare your favorite football snacks.  Stop by Rouses Market before you turn onto Fort Morgan Road for groceries.  We love Rouses.  In addition to foods you buy to prepare yourself, the good folks at Rouses always have something already cooked for you to grab and take home. And they have one of the best beer and wine selections anywhere.  Planning your tailgate party has never been so easy.  And if you’re staying at USA2, it will be one you’ll always remember.

 If grilling out before a game is your idea of a proper tailgate, check out Hayley House #12.  Located in Orange Beach, guests of Haley House #12 are offered the opportunity to use the grill located in the pavilion area of this gated community.  Once the game is over, you’ll love the super easy beach access from this amazing home that sleeps ups to eleven folks.  This beach neighborhood has its own private beach.  No matter which home you choose, please tailgate responsibly.  Our beach vacation homes are in neighborhoods where locals live. Please be courteous of your neighbors.  And when you visit our Alabama Beaches, please leave only footprints.

 2       Shopping is Allowed During the Game

When two or three couples get together, the ladies seem to want to go do their thing while the guys do theirs.  It just happens.  So, if the guys are going to be glued to the TV all afternoon and the ladies are not really that interested, what should they do?  How about a little retail therapy?!  Sure!  Shop!  There is certainly no shortage of places to enjoy spending a little money.  So, Ladies, lace up your sneakers, grab that cute face mask, and clutch your favorite cross body bag because guilt-free shopping is allowed during football games here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Are you looking for a fun souvenir?  Look no farther than everyone’s favorite “shark store”  and island staple, Souvenir City!  They have an amazing variety of items to choose from.  From fudge to hermit crabs, clothes to magnets, there is no shortage of choices and it’s no wonder they have been in Gulf Shores since 1956.  Don’t miss the opportunity to take selfies of yourselves as you walk right through the giant open mouth of a shark as you enter the store.  Your social media followers will love this!   If you’re wanting a little more than a mega-souvenir store can offer, take a short trip to Foley to the Tanger Outlet Mall Located right on Alabama Highway 59 in Foley, you’ll find nearly 100 outlet stores just ready and waiting to offer you one of the best shopping experiences anywhere!  

 3         It’s OK to Order Take Out

Under normal circumstances, when you’re able to watch a football game from your stadium seats, you would order food from the stadium concession stands.  But nothing is normal about 2020 or this football season.  You’re not going to be at the stadium.  That doesn’t mean you cannot still order your favorite snacks to enjoy during the game.  The good news is, the super nice and really talented folks at Orange Beach Concierge will blow your mind with the great food they’ll prepare for you. Forget hotdogs and nachos. Give your stomach a break from traditional stadium food and try their New Orleans Taste.  Be sure to call to place your order ahead of your arrival and they will even deliver your food right to your beach home!  Or stop by and visit them at The Wharf to pick up your take-out order.    Whether you’re lounging on the deck at Beach Time waiting for kickoff or are already in full-foam-finger-mode at Happy Clam, you cannot go wrong with appetizers or a great meal prepared by Chef David at Orange Beach Concierge!  Remember toplan ahead and order your ballgame day take-outfrom Orange Beach Concierge’s “The Pantry”  and make your football weekend experience with Sunset Properties one for the record books! 

 4         After the Game, There’s the Beach

 We know watching college football can be a blood pressure raising experience.  Pair the intensity of the game with the sometimes-suffocating heat from the stadium seats, followed by hours of traffic jams, and it can be challenging to just enjoy the rest of your afternoon or evening after the game ends.  Plus, when you’re in Tuscaloosa or Auburn or Knoxville or even Starkville and the game’s over, then what?  You go home, right? Or go to a friend’s place or maybe hit a club or two.  No matter where you go, you’re definitely going to sit in traffic.  But not here!  After your favorite game ends and you’re in our neighborhood, you can go to the beach!  No traffic.  No crowds.  No hassles.  The beach! And your favorite team jersey, paired with flip flops, is the perfect beach attire!  And let’s face it, the best beaches anywhere are right outside your vacation home’s front or back door, so how could you even resist?  Thirty-two miles of pristinely white sand are just waiting for you and your fan friends to enjoy.  Now that you’re not yelling at the refs on TV, go find the perfect beach spot, sit in the cool sand, relax, destress and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico

 5        After the Beach, There’s Coastal Nightlife

So, we helped you find a great place to tailgate and watch the game.  We suggested great food to enjoy and you visited our Alabama Gulf Coast beaches.  We have one more suggestion before you call it quits and pack up to head for home tomorrow.  Have a little nightlife fun before you leave.  Even though the pandemic has changed how our beach fun looks, it has not eliminated it.  We are taking all the precautions we can to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but we are still enjoying all the great things available here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Your Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches are open!  The Flora-Bama, located on the Alabama Florida state line is open and they would love to see you.  Live Bait which is located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach is open and often they have live entertainment.  The world famous Pink Pony Pub located in the heart of Gulf Shores is also open.  And so are The Wharf Ferris Wheel and Scoop’s Ice Cream Shop.  Many, many of your favorite beach stops are open and operating under different guidelines, and they are looking forward to seeing you.  Don’t leave our area until you have experienced at least one fun extracurricular outing. After all, you’ve been making memories with your best football friends all weekend, why not make just a few more before you head home?

 All of us at Sunset Properties are taking this pandemic seriously.  Like our neighbors, we are operating under different circumstances and providing extra cleaning and encouraging social distancing.  We don’t want anyone to be sick.  We also know that this, too, will pass.  While we are in the midst of our “new normal” we want you to know you are welcome to enjoy your favorite college football games in one of our beautiful, clean beach vacation homes.  Give us a call to set up your reservation or go online and book it yourself.  We are happy to provide you a “no contact” check-in and departure.  We, at Sunset Properties, are your biggest fans!  So, grab your college sweetheart and bring your team spirit to the Alabama Gulf Coast this football season and experience a winner of a football weekend getaway! 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Watch College Football at the Beach?  Absolutely!251-543-1370

Ten Important Things to Bring on Your Beach Vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan This Summer 2020

With all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we know you are wondering about your long awaited and eagerly anticipated beach trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  If you’re wondering what to bring, you’re not alone.  Many of you have called and asked us at Sunset Properties and Anchor Vacations what to bring.  While we are happy to make suggestions on the phone, we thought we’d just post a blog to help you guys out.  We pride ourselves on providing you, our guest families, with well-stocked beach vacation homes.  Having said that, however, there are still a few things you’ll need to bring from home to ensure you have the best possible beach experience during this Covid-19 cautionary time.

Here is a list of our ten important things to bring to the beach this Summer 2020:

  • Your Family

Pack up as many members of your tribe as you can fit into your vehicle and come on down!  The weather on our little island home is perfect and the rolling waves of theGulf of Mexico are spectacular.  Can’t find a boarding spot or doggie hotel for your fur baby?  No worries!  Bring him or her, too!  More than 25 of our beach rental homes are dog friendly (with some restrictions) and your four-legged friend is just as welcome as any other member of your family. If you get here and need a local dog sitter, just reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog ResortThey will love on your furry family members while you’re out doing human things.   As you embark on your vacation rental search, check out our dog friendly home named Sea Turtle, a delightfully decorated beach home in the Bay to Breakers Community in Fort Morgan.  This magnificent home features six bedrooms and five full baths (and 1 half bath) and sleeps up to 17 humans and 2 dogs.  Like we said, pack up all your family members and come on down.

  • Sunblock 

We think bringing sunblock goes without saying for most folks, but we always list it anyway.  A bad sunburn can quickly ruin a great vacation for everyone!  Our local hospital is accustomed to treating folks with burned skin, and we have complete confidence in the good folks at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, but we hope you won’t have to visit them while you’re here.  While the FDA recommends an SPF of at least 15, the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends a sunscreen with at least an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30. Sunblock is available in many stores around our island if you forget to pack it before you leave home.  Just remember to apply and reapply it all day long while you’re out enjoying our island paradise.  Even if it’s cloudy, apply sunblock.  Take it from us Locals, you can still get a pretty bad burn on a cloudy day. 

  • Shades

And pack your sunshades.  Protecting your eyes is always important, especially at the beach.  The sunlight creates glare off large bodies of water and things that reflect its light.  For example, our beautiful sandy white beaches can cause glare on bright days.  Glare is actually defined as sunlight that hinders sight.  It’s not a good thing.  Protecting your eyes, however, is always a good thing.  In addition to eye wear, think about adding a visor or ball cap to your bag.  These will help shade your eyes and the delicate skin on your face.  Remember to bring shades that protect against UVA and UVB rays, just like your sunblock will do for your skin.  And remember the kiddos!  They need shades, too!  

  • Toilet Paper

We urge you to bring toilet paper.  Your condo or beach home will have a starter roll in each bathroom.  To elaborate, Dunes 204 is a one bedroom, two bath condo overlooking the pool in The Dunes condominiums near Fort Morgan.  This home, with its super comfy sofa and fun bunk beds, will have toilet paper in each bathroom, but will likely not have extra rolls for you.  And keep in mind: our housekeepers do not restock that for you during your stay.  Even before the pandemic and Covid -19 issues that we have all faced this year, we asked our guest families to bring toilet paper from home.  It is more important this year than ever that you guys do that.  Pack your extra toilet paper along with all your other personal toiletries.  While our local grocery retailers have done a great job of keeping us stocked with toilet paper, we all know there can be shortages.  

  • Your Favorite Foods and Snacks  

Do you have something special you like to snack on?  We all do!  We suggest you pack your favorite snacks for your trip to visit us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  Again, our local grocery retailers like Rouses Market in Gulf Shores have done a great job of keeping their shelves stocked for locals and guests alike, but with the uncertainty that seems to be going on all around us, you cannot go wrong bringing your favorite non-perishable foods from home. All of our vacation destination homes feature fully stocked kitchens.  Take a look at the pictures of Shellchase.  In addition to the updated kitchen, you will find pictures of five bedrooms.  This home has sleeping accommodations for 12 people. This home also has plenty of outside living space, too.  Whether you will be enjoying your snacks on the private beach, in front of the TV or in your own personal deck space, we know you’ll love all that Shellchase has to offer!

  • A Beach Blanket

Social distancing is still important to us along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Beach blankets, for the most part, provide a space large enough for a few of the same family members to enjoy sunning and watching the waves safely together.  Our Safer at Home guidelines for the state of Alabama, encourage a six foot space between non-related families.  Enjoying your own beach blanket will be a great way to help you determine proper spacing.  We want everyone to enjoy their trip to our beautiful beaches and stay healthy both here and when you get back home.

  • Your Phone, Camera and Selfie Stick

Most of us have become dependent on social media to keep us up to date on local happenings and current events including our friends’ lives.  Just as we have come to rely on Facebook*, SnapChat* or Instagram* to help us keep up with our friends, they use it to see what we’re up to, as well.  Don’t forget your phone, camera and selfie stick.  We know you will find lots of opportunities to share how much fun you’re having while you’re in our neighborhood and we know you’ll want to post the best pics you can.  What better way to record your memories of your days and nights of fun in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan than by sharing them on your social media?  You’ll want to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf and eat breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe.  All of these will give you great opportunities for some fun pics!

  • Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is something everyone needs these days.  Be sure to pack some for your beach trip.  We encourage you to remember what the CDC recommends about handwashing and sanitizing.  For a refresher course,  follow this link to the CDC website for their latest recommendations.  You will most likely find sanitizer available in some of our retail shops and restaurants, but it’s always good to have a small bottle of your own with you.  And you might as well go ahead and pack a face covering or cloth mask.  While many of our retailers are not requiring you to wear one to enter their business, you can’t go wrong by sticking one in your purse or backpack, just in case. Be sure to pack one for each member of your family.  As of now, face coverings are not required on the beach areas or to use our pools or swim in the Gulf, nevertheless, having one handy is a great way to be prepared. 

  • Beach Towels

When you lease a vacation rental home from Sunset Properties, you will arrive to find meticulously sanitized bathrooms stocked with bath towels, wash cloths and kitchen towels for your whole crew.  It will not, however, have any beach towels.  We strongly suggest you bring at least one beach towel for each person in your group.  We ask our guests not to use our linens on the beach or at the pool.  Brightly printed, happy themed beach towels are a great way to display your personality on the beach and at the pool.  Your beach home will have a washer and dryer, so you’ll be able to do your laundry while you’re staying with us.  Be sure to bring your favorite laundry detergent, too.

  • Patience

And lastly, don’t forget to pack your patience.  We know you and the kiddos are super excited to be going to the beach.  This year, the excitement is especially strong because we have all been cooped up inside for much of the spring.  But the simple fact is, there are only a couple of ways to reach our Alabama Gulf Coast by car and they will most likely be heavily congested.  Expect delays.  But don’t think of them as delays.  Think of them as opportunities to make memories with your family as you travel.  Take a few minutes and stop and visit our neighboring cities on your way down.  Maybe plan a stop at Buc-ees in Loxley or Tanger Outlets in Foley to break the drive.  Maybe even stop and have a roll thrown at you at Lambert’s Cafe.  After all, you’re on vacation and the best part of your trip is literally just ahead!

At Sunset Properties and Anchor Vacations, we are so glad to invite you back to your vacation home!  We know once you get to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, all your troubles will just float away with the Gulf breeze.  No matter what’s going on in the world around us, the waves of the Gulf are always calming, the pristine white sandy beaches are always inviting, and your company is always welcome.  So, go ahead, pack up the family (don’t forget furry Miss Speckles and friendly Mr. Spot!), gather a few necessities, and come on down!  Your perfect vacation home is just a call or click away!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

*Facebook and Instagram are owned by Facebook, Inc.

*SnapChat is owned by Snap, Inc.

5 Things to consider when deciding to rent a Beach House or Condo for Spring Break 2018

Your family has decided you’re going to visit the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast and enjoy our sugar white beaches for Spring Break 2018, but you can’t decide if you’d like to stay in a condo or a beach house.

Location/View

Location.  Location.  Location.  We’ve all heard the term.  What does that mean here?  The location of your condo or beach house often determines the view.  High rise Gulf Coast Condos tend to offer better views of The Gulf of Mexico and/or Mobile Bay than beach homes located in beach neighborhoods.  However, there isn’t a much better view than the one you get from a deck of Gulf Front beach house.  Our homes are located throughout Pleasure Island in South Alabama.  Rentals are available in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Historic Fort Morgan.  No matter which you choose, you are only steps away from the Sugar White Sands of Alabama’s most beautiful beaches.

Parking/Elevators

“I wish parking was closer to our vacation front door.  This parking lot is huge!”

Most beach houses offer parking right under the house or in the adjacent yard.  Alabama Gulf Coast beach houses, by design, are built up on pilings or piers to prevent flooding during tropical rain storms.  Most do not offer elevators.  Instead they only have stairs leading up the main living floor.   Taking vacation supplies and luggage can be a challenge.

Beach front condos, Mobile Bay front condos and beach view condos, on the other hand, have large parking lots.  Typically, luggage carts are available and elevators are usually present, so taking people and luggage up to your vacation front door can be very easy.

Personal Space vs Price

Beach condos are usually compact versions of larger homes.  If personal space is a factor in your choice, a beach home may be your best option.  Usually, beach homes offer more square footage than their smaller compact counterparts. Condos tend to be more economical than beach houses, however, if you are planning to split rental costs between two or more families, a beach house may just fit the bill. When choosing the beach vacation destination home that will best fit your family’s needs, keep in mind Sunset Properties has rental houses and condos that offer a variety of choices, design layouts and pricing.

Extra Comforts

If certain vacation amenities like having a pool only steps from your home-away-from-home is a must, a condo will usually fit the bill.  Most condo complexes offer pools, fitness rooms, saunas and even a lazy river either on the ground level or the roof.  Beach houses, however, are single family homes and typically don’t have these adjacent to the house.  Beach houses are usually a part of a beach community and have a shared pool and/or fitness area within the neighborhood.  WIFI, DVRs, TVs, stereos and other entertainment comforts are available in most condos and beach houses.

 

Fur Baby on Board

Is your fur baby coming with you?  Both beach condos and beach homes allow pets.  Usually a pet deposit is required and pet size restrictions can be a factor.  If bringing your fur baby with you to the beach is a must, your options are open for both condos and beach houses.

 

If you’re still having trouble deciding which accommodation will best suit your family, email us at info@sunsetproperties.com or give us a call 251.543.1370.  One of our vacation rental experts will be happy to help you!

18th Annual Orange Beach Billfish Classic

Are you ready for a new adventure?  Join the top anglers in the country and lots of cheering fans at the 18th Annual Orange Beach Billfish Classic.  This event takes place out of the marina at The Wharf.  The events start on the 18th of May and go through the 22nd.  You can keep track of your favorite team and check often for their weigh-ins.  The fishing starts at noon on the 19th and goes until weigh in on at 11 AM on the 22nd. There is a Weigh in on Saturday also on Saturday from 6 until 10 PM.  So come enjoy all the fun activities at The wharf and then see if your favorite team won the big prize!  Below are all the details from the Orange Beach Billfish Classic Website.

First of the Gulf Coast tournament season and the kickoff tournament of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship series.  The Orange Beach Billfish Classic was formed in 1998 for the express purpose of providing financial support for organizations that speak effectively for all recreational fishermen. The OBBC quickly became a top event on the Gulf Coast tournament circuit and serves as an important fundraiser for The Billfish Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). In 2011, over $50,000 was donated to these organizations, bringing the total contributed over the history of the tournament to over $500,000.

2014- Triple Crown trophy
2014- Triple Crown trophy

The OBBC is the country’s only non-profit billfish tournament with 100% of all net profit donated to qualified 501(c)(3) conservation organizations. The OBBC is an all-volunteer effort so there is no overhead to deduct from the financial support that’s provided to our conservation beneficiaries.

Beginning in 2013, The Wharf Marina Entertainment Complex hosted the Orange Beach Billfish Classic for the first time, and hosted the tournament again in 2014 and 2015. Over the course of the four day event, the crews, anglers and participants enjoy a series of fun and food-filled events, with a Captain’s Meeting on Wednesday evening and culminating with an awards brunch on Sunday morning. The organizers look forward to a big turnout this year in order to continue to support the organizations that fight for our resources.

10361061_634166736676009_1355216962380415182_n“I’d like to take a minute to personally invite everyone to join us for the 2016 Orange Beach Billfish Classic,” Dorland said in a recent interview. “Our staff will welcome you with open arms and we’ll all do our best to show you what a great experience this event has become, from the great fishing to our world-famous Gulf Coast hospitality. Come fishing with us this year — you won’t be disappointed.”

Interested participants are welcome to contact Dorland personally at (251) 402-8190 for more information.

Orange Beach Billfish Classic schedule of events is as follows.
Wednesday, May 18th• 4-11 pm: Registration and Optional Cash Awards open under the big tent • 6 pm: Cocktails and Hors d ’Oeuvres • 7 pm: Dinner • 8-11 pm: Optional Cash Awards Pot Party 2016

Schedule Of Events Thursday, May 19th • 10:00 am: Mandatory Captain’s Meeting under the big tent • 10:30 am: Boats may leave The Wharf through Perdido Bay to Perdido Pass • 12 noon: Boats may leave Perdido Pass. Any boat choosing to leave through Sailboat Bay may not leave The Wharf Marina until NOON, May 19th • 12 noon: Fishing Commences Friday, May 20th • 7-10 pm: Weigh in at The Wharf Saturday, May 21st • 6-10 pm: Weigh in at The Wharf Sunday, May 22nd • 9-11 am: Tournament Awards Breakfast

 

Rainy Summer Vacation

It is that time of year  We are getting tons of calls from people planning their summer vacation.  It is also the time of year for us to get tons of rain. Unfortunately, travel insurance does not cover if you have a rainy summer vacation , but just because its rainy does not limit your fun things to do in the area.  We wanted to give you a few hits and helpful tips over the next few weeks so you will be completely prepared for your trip no matter what happens. This week I just wanted to talk to you about an alternate plan.

You never know from one day to the next what will happen on your vacation so the biggest tip is to be FLEXIBLE…  Flexibility will save hurt feelings, and bad attitudes from taking over the trip.  A little extra planning will allow for seamless transitions if it rains or if your group has just had enough sun for that week. Lucky you are on the Gulf coast it is the place to be when its rainy outside!

If you are just a group of adults looking for some great activities when it rains on your vacation.  Everything from shopping at the outlet mall or beach souvenir stores to Local cultural experiences at one of the many theaters or museums in the area.  Of course there is always a choice of movies and we have two movie theaters in the area  The Cobb Pinnacle Theaters, and Carmike Cinemas at the Wharf.  

When it rains on your summer vacation and you are planning for the ever-board teens that are here with you try Blond Johns for all of their surfing dreams.  Or if surfing and skating are not on their radar and movies or shopping is not their thing visit Adventure Island they have indoor laser tag and an arcade.  Or you could try Arena Next Play at the Wharf, or the indoor arcades at Waterville, or The Track.

Children have the most selections by far on rainy summer vacation days.  So when planning if you have little ones all you need to know is what they are interested in.  Of course just like above there are movie options shopping and arcades.  But specifically for kids or anyone interested in science or animals check out the Esturairum at The Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Esturarium is just a quick ferry ride away over to Dauphin Island.  If you are up for a little bit of a car ride take a day trip to Mobile or Pensacola.  In Mobile those science lovers in the family would enjoy The

Rainy Summer Vacation ideas
Rainy Summer Vacation ideas

href=”https://www.exploreum.com/”>Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center.  With rotating exhibits throughout the year this is a fantastic place to spend the day for the entire family.

Our all time favorite spot to direct families to is the Naval Air Station in Pensacola Museum.  It is free to the public although they always accept donations.  The museum has more planes that you can see in a day in every corner and even hanging from the ceiling.  History surrounds you at every turn and even in the cafe.  They have flight simulators, cockpit trainers, and a virtual flight deck.  Not to mention the Blue Angel’s practice here.  The 325-seat giant screen theater features the latest in state-of-the-art motion picture projection. The theater has upgraded from 70mm film projection to stunning premium laser-illuminated 2D projection system boasting full 4K resolution—nearly 9 million pixels on-screen—the first of its kind installed in an institutional theater.

So no worries!  There is plenty to do on rainy summer vacation it just takes a little planning ahead.  You will be sure to have the best vacation no matter what the weather happens to do while you are on vacation.