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

 

Leave Only Footprints – Keep Alabama Beaches Clean!

As a child growing up just over the state line in the Pensacola area of Florida I remember a similar idea of leaving only your footprints behind. As I’ve gotten older I’ve always wondered why Alabama Beaches didn’t have the same signs for all the beach goers. The beaches across Alabama are implementing a similar plan and it is called Leave only Footprints!

The leave only Footprints, works off of the idea that, “you must be change you want to see in the world”. With that idea in mind and with the direction of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the cities and areas of the Alabama Gulf Coast have enacted several new rules regarding litter and items on the beach.

1. Personally owned structures and equipment left on the beach an hour after sunset will be removed byIMG_1355 the beach patrol.

2. Avoid walking on beach vegetation. Plant roots hold together the fragile dunes.

3. Keep the natural ecosystem intact by avoiding the removal of shells, driftwood or other items you may find during your island explorations.

4. Explore away from bird nesting areas. Nests may be located in the ground and camouflaged to resemble the surrounding environment, so please watch your step!

5. Consider the best type of transportation to see the island: your feet! Walking is not only a great form of exercise, but it’s an eco-friendly way to experience the Alabama Gulf Coast.

New Trash Cans and Recycle containers will be all along the beach to help keep trash and recyclables off of the beach and out of the water. Keeping Alabama beaches clean and safe for all of its inhabitants and visitors.IMG_3017

Each year more than 5 million visitors travel from across the nation and the world to enjoy the turquoise water and white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Come, stay, play and enjoy the striking beauty and laid-back lifestyle of our 32 miles of sugar-white sand. We simply ask that you take with you all those happy beach memories . . . and leave only your footprints.

The Leave Only Footprints program exists to ensure it stays that way for generations to come. Will you join us?

Food Crawl on the Gulf Coast Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan offer more than just seafood

You might think that your only option for food in Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, Alabama, is seafood. And while seafood is delicious, and you probably do want to splurge on it while you’re at the beach and can get the freshest choices, the restaurant options in these Gulf Coast towns provide something for almost every taste. Take a virtual trip around the world as we show you some of the restaurants that represent a variety of cultures and tastes. You can satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a quick burger, fill up on Southern favorites, or splurge on a sushi dinner.

Seafood
Of course we can’t leave off seafood – it’s a staple here at the beach! Tacky Jack’s 2 is a great pick shrimp_20pic_20107-122x79in Fort Morgan, and it’s just across the street from Sunset Properties. Along with a varied menu, Tacky Jack’s 2 will cook up the catch you bring in from the day’s fishing! Connected to the Gulf Shores Yacht Club & Marina, this local favorite promises to serve up fresh seafood. You can even sit outside, eat, and watch as the fishing boats head into shore for the day. The Original Oyster House has seafood and Cajun specialties (and an expansive salad bar), and DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen offers daily lunch specials starting at just $6. Other great seafood restaurants in the area include: Mikee’s Seafood, the Shrimp Basket, King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant, and Cosmo’s (in Orange Beach).

Mexican
If you’re in the mood for tacos, burritos, chips and salsa, and your other Mexican favorites, try photo 1Tequila Mexican Restaurant, Cactus Flower Cafe, or El Toro Mexican Restaurant, all located along Gulf Shores Parkway.

Italian
Whether you want pizza, pasta, or calzones, Gulf Shores has a few great options. Stop by Papa’s Pizza or Crico’s Pizza & Subs on Gulf Shores Parkway, or head to The Wharf to try Villaggio Grille. Papa Rocco’s has pizza, oysters, and live music, and Old World Bakery offers dine in, carry out, and free delivery.

Sushi
Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar is worth the drive for great sushi. Enjoy an outdoor bar, unique boutique shopping, and a dog-friendly atmosphere on the patios. Aji Sai Asian Cuisine also has a wide variety of rolls made fresh (located at The Pelican Place at Craft Farms).

Southern
Because they’re located on the Gulf Coast, restaurants in Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, AL offer the Southern classics. Dine on grits, cornbread, fried pickles, turnip greens, and all those other great Southern comfort foods at area eateries such as Original Oyster House, Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe, LuLu’s, and The Hangout.

Breakfast
If you can bring yourself to get out of bed and away from the beach early enough, there are several great breakfast spots in Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores. Just across the street, Tacky Jack’s 2 offers 20140225_102905mimosas, Bloody Marys, breakfast burritos, and more. Or you can head into Gulf Shores and get some coffee and treats at Cafe Beignet. Down the road in Orange Beach, Cobalt The Restaurant serves a breakfast buffet during spring and summer and a Sunday brunch year-round from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Fishing In Fort Morgan

It is time to come Fishing!!! Fort Morgan is one of the areas favorite fishing destinations.
With the pass just at the end of the island, the Gulf on one said and the quiet waters of the bay on the other side of the island, I can see why our tiny little hidaway is the perfect place to some fish.  March 15th was the start of the Alabama’s Gulf Coast for Pompano, Flounder, Mackerel, Whiting and a Cobia Tournament this tournament goes until April 30th.  There are people out fishing everyday in this tournament vieing for the best catch.  If you are a pier fishing enthausiest now is the time to be in Gulf Shores.  Not only can you try for the largest fish but once you have it weighed and measured you can have it cooked to order by one of our great Fort Morgan resturants like Tacky Jacks or Sassy Bass.

There is another local  tournament  The Captian Hook Classic Fishing Tournament May 11th, 2013.  This tournament added a new category this year of kayak fishing.  So all of you kayak fishermen this is the tournament for you.  It takes place here in Fort Morgan.  Hurry and sign up soon so you can catch your next monster.  Call us to book your fishing getaway today!

It’s Almost Spring Break!!!!

This year is flying bye.  Ok kids, Spring Break is upon us!!!!!  Have you made your plans yet???  Now is the time!  I know if you are basically anywhere north of the Gulf Coast you have had a very cold wet winter and you are probably ready for some lovely sunshine.

Maybe some warm days and a trip to the beach?  Now is the time to book.  we are just two weeks away from our first Spring Break visitors arriving and we have set some specials!  If a fishing trip is in your future either off the beach or from a boat Ft. Morgan is the place to be!

Just some fun family time is exactly what your want for Spring Break.  Relaxing on the, beach playing in the water, or enjoying the local nature it all can be done here in Ft. Morgan.  It is bird migration time and are flowers are already blooming!

Stay 3 nights in a 1 bedroom condo only $599.00
Stay 3 nights in a 2 bedroom condo only $699.00
Stay 3 nights in a 3 bedroom condo only $799.00

Stay 5 Nights in a 1 bedroom condo only $899.00
Stay 5 Nights in a 2 bedroom condo only $999.00
Stay 5 Nights in a 3 bedroom condo only $1099.00

Stay 7 nights in a 1 bedroom condo only
$1199.00
Stay 7 nights in a 1 bedroom condo only
$1399.00
Stay 7 nights in a 1 bedroom condo only
$1499.00

Give us a call to book today and then grab your little guys and head our way!  we look forward to helping you plan your trip!

A Runner’s Paradise…Sunset Properties

NOTE:  We have a guest Blogger for this post, Road Runner Girl,  Mindy,  joined us with her family and wrote a blog for us of her adventures.  Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!!

This weekend we headed to the beach for a mini-vacation. You would think since we live on the Gulf Coast that we would visit the beach more often. But sadly we do not. I was super excited about getting in some rest and relaxation with my wonderful family!

We were staying at The Dunes Condos in Fort Morgan, AL. These condos are a part of Sunset Properties and are fabulous!

So after my long run, we headed south. It takes us a little over an hour to get there but it’s paradise once we are there! Before we made it to our destination we stopped to walk on the beach. Unfortunately it was super super windy (I’m talking 25 mph winds) and it was hard to enjoy the beach as much as we would have liked. It was also cold…and the wind made it colder. But we didn’t let the chill spoil our fun too bad. We still walked around, took some pictures, and collected some seashells.

The red and purple flags were flying. A red flag means the surf is dangerous and to swim with caution. A purple flag means there is dangerous marine life in the water. Hmmm…I was kinda glad it was too cold to swim. I didn’t want my boys going into the water with these flags flying!

After we had enough of the wind and cold we climbed back into the warm car and headed to Sunset Properties! Everyone was so excited!

Sunset Properties has several properties to choose from. They have two condominiums that overlook the Gulf of Mexico…The Dunes and The Indies. What’s really awesome about these condos is they have a gulf view from your room…and the front part of the building has a view of Mobile Bay. Sunset Properties also has a property located on a marina…Navy Cove…so you can park your boat and stay in luxury! They also have beach houses available that can sleep from 9 to 19 people. So you can find any type of beach front accommodations that you are looking for at Sunset Properties!

The Dunes building looks very “beachy!” It is a pinkish or coral color.
We were staying in a one bedroom condo that sleeps 6. It had two bathrooms. It had a fully equipped kitchen. There was even a washer and dryer! Perfect for my two boys and me and my hubby!

The condo was decorated soooo nice! It had a touch of home with a beachy feel. LOVE!!! As soon as we opened the door we were greeted by this cute display in the foyer. The boys loved the chair with the fish on top of each corner!

I absolutely LOVED the red couch in the living room area! I told Andy we needed a red couch!

The boys were so excited about getting to sleep in bunk beds. Of course we had a fight over who would sleep in the top bunk. A quick game of pick a number from 1-10 solved it…and Hayden won. The best part…each bunk had it’s own TV equipped with DVD players and game jacks! The boys stayed in bed the entire time we were inside the condo!!!

The master bedroom was gorgeous! And I LOVED the king size bed! Andy and I have a queen size bed at home so it was a luxury to us! And we enjoyed watching a movie in bed on the large TV.

Another favorite of the boys was the private balcony! It was a little cold to stay out there for long but the boys loved going out there and being able to see the gorgeous view of the beach and the pool below.

Most importantly the condo was super clean. The sheets and towels looked brand new. The floors didn’t leave dirty marks on my socks when I walked around (hey that’s important to me lol). Even the balcony door was spotless…no fingerprints or smudges anywhere! The kitchen counters, sink, stove, and refrigerator were spotless. I truly felt at home!
So what did we do on our beach vacation? That night we headed into Gulf Shores for some dinner. The boys wanted pizza so we ate at Papa’s Pizza. It was really good and we had a blast playing “I Spy” with the boys while we enjoyed our dinner. After dinner we headed back to the condo and the boys watched a movie in bed and so did me and Andy! Perfect relaxation!
After a wonderful night of rest (that bed was so comfy) I got dressed for a quick recovery run! I was a little sore from Saturday’s 12 miles but I couldn’t resist running along the beach! The scenery was breathtaking along the road! And the road was perfect for running! There isn’t a whole lot of traffic and there is a wide enough space on the side of the road for runners or cyclists.
You can see our condo behind me!
The condo is set back about 300 yards from the Gulf of Mexico so there is a nice little road to walk (or in the peak season you can ride their golf cart limousine) to get to the private beach. Well forget walking…I ran it! You can see The Indies condo building behind me and all the beach houses all around me. The Dunes community is so gorgeous!
Then of course I took my route out onto the actual sand. I’ve never run on the sand before…it is really hard lol! If it had been warmer I would have definitely run barefoot! It was awesome hearing the waves as I ran!
I ended up only running a mile…but it was the perfect recovery run. And I couldn’t have asked for a better place to run!!!
There are also several trails I saw along Fort Morgan Road. Next time I would like to check those out!
After my run we headed to explore Fort Morgan. Yes there is an actual Fort about 1.5 miles down the road from the condo! The boys had a blast exploring the fort and learning some history of our area!
Overall, our stay at Sunset Properties was amazing! We will definitely stay here again! And as a runner this is the perfect place to stay! You can run on the road, on trails, and on the beach!
I would love to bring some of my Sole2Soul Sisters here for a “run retreat!” It would be so much fun to relax and run in a different place!
If you are ever looking for somewhere to visit and stay on the Alabama Gulf Coast then definitely check out Sunset Properties! I know they will have what you are looking for! I highly recommend them!
In addition to their website, be sure to check out Sunset Properties on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+!
Disclaimer: I received a free night’s stay through Sunset Properties. I received no other compensation. All opinions in the above post are mine and mine alone!
 
Mindy

Top 5 Beaches or Cruise for your vacation???

Thanks to AL.com for the information on our beautiful area being rated as one of the Top 5 Gulf Coast Beaches.  While we were celebrating this wonderful accolade the disabled cruise ship the Carnival Triumph was being towed past us at the end of the island carrying 4000 vacationers!  Our hearts couldn’t help but be sad for them and what they have experienced during a time when they were supposed to be relaxing and making wonderful family memories.

Our hope is no matter where you choose to cavation that your trip is worry free and full of fun memories!  When doing your considering consider our beautiful beaches in Ft. Morgan!!!  Check out this great article below on why our beaches are not to be missed.  Then give us a call and book your worry free vacation.
GULF SHORES, Alabama — Together, Baldwin County’s beach cities were named one of the top 5 “Best Gulf Coast Beaches” by the Travel Channel.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were joined by Galveston Island State Park in Texas, West Ship Island in Mississippi, and two Florida cities, Destin and St. George Island.

On the Travel Channel’s website, it mentions how the Gulf Coast region has rebounded from the 2010 BP oil spill. “Today, the charming seaside towns and sugary white sands are again beckoning travelers with promises of emerald waters, brilliant white beaches, picturesque sand dunes with waving sea oats, excellent nature hikes and ample bird-watching,”

For Pleasure Island, the article says that for some Alabama may seem to play second fiddle to the Florida Panhandle. “Oh, but they should reconsider.”  It highlights attractions such as Gulf State Park, and the popular public beach in Gulf Shores and mentions kid-friendly beach entertainment such as Adventure Island and Waterville USA.

Fun Things Going On In Gulf Shores

We are so proud of Gulf Shores and hope it is your favorite place just like it is ours!  Gulf Shores is fortunate to have nabbed one of fifteen finalist slots in Budget Travel’s America’s Coolest Small Town Contest! We’d love to win, of course, and that means we’ll need people to vote so the whole country knows about our cool destination. Your role couldn’t be more simple – vote daily and include this link (https://bit.ly/VxUcfd) in your communications via social media channels, and help push us to #1. Contest ends Feb. 15.

Part of why Gulf Shores is our favorite place is because our environment is important to everyone who lives and works here.  One of our newest adventures in this area is An Artificial Reef!   As you may have seen or heard via The Weather Channel’s video clips and promotions, the sinking of the Lulu by our local Reef Wranglers is set to air Feb 12th at 8 pm. Lulu’s is planning a viewing party that evening – please call them if you would like more details.  I know we are planning to watch and can’t wait to see our new reef grow.

Other fun nature lover adventures this winter include Guided Nature Walks at the Bon Secour Refuge.  Come join us and learn about the plants, wildlife, ecology, and history found on the refuge.Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge will be offering free guided Nature Walk tours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week starting on January 15th 2013 and continuing until February 28th 2013. The tours are free to the public however a reservation is required. The tours are limited to 12 people per tour and will consist of a 1-2 hour walk. The tours will start at 9:00am on Tuesday and Wednesday and 8:00am on Thursday.We request at least 24 hours notice for cancellations. We encourage you to bring binoculars but they are not necessary to enjoy the tours. Restroom facilities are available at the refuge office and on the Pine Beach Trail.
Admission: Free to the Public

 Of course there are these and so many more adventures to have in Gulf Shores this time of year.  You just have to look for something that fits your interests.  Weather its painting , hiking or enjoying a parade there is something for you to enjoy in Gulf Shores.
See you soon!!!

What Not To Bring To Fort Morgan

One of the most common questions we receive is what should I bring to my beach vacation?  We put a list of what we provide in your confirmation letter but for those of you planning ahead let me give you a more detailed list of what NOT to bring.

LINENS –  We provide linens!  Professionally laundered sheets and towels are provided for each property we rent.  We also provide a kitchen towel and cloth for your kitchen use.  What you will need is BEACH TOWELS.  While we typically have several sitting around that were left by guests. We cannot provide them for everyone!

COOKWARE, POTS, PANS, SILVERWARE!  All of these are provided!  You should have everything you need to make wonderful meals for you and your families.  If you need something special like a crock pot, you definitely need to bring that along.

HAIR DYE  –  For some reason coming to the beach brings out a need for change in our guests!  We see this change most often in hair color.  I’m not sure why but dying your hair on a beach vacation is an extremely common thing!  Not only does this often ruin linens that you have to pay for, it also is basically a waste at the beach.  Between the sun, chlorine, and salt water that’s enough to ruin the best hair do.

INSTANT TAN – Ok Guys, you are coming to the beach to play in the sun!  I completely get protecting your skin with sunscreen!  This is a good thing and we totally support it!  There is no need to bring instant tan and apply it while you are at the beach.  Almost everyone is here to get a tan, so you are all in the same boat together.  So pale people on the beach is the norm. Please don’t bring your instant tan and ruin our linens with it!!!!

YOUR TOOLS – We have a full maintenance staff fully equipped to handle everything from a major leak to a battery change.  All you have to do is call us and let us know.  We will have someone there as soon as possible to fix it.

YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS – If you check in and you find a cleaning issue of some sort all you have to do is again is call us.  We will have a housekeeper in to solve any problem you may run across.  We pride ourselves in our housekeeping and never want a guest to feel that they came into a dirty condo.  So always call us!

WORK – In this day and age with all of the technology we have it easy for someone to bring their work to the beach with them.  We suggest that you never take work on vacation with you.  Vacation is for getting away and leaving work behind, relax, get some sun, and have fun.  Really take a break even for a few days for the office.  Everything can wait or can be assigned to someone else.

PROBLEMS / DRAMA – It is hard to relax if you bring your problems with you.  It is good to deal with drama and problems before you come to the beach or leave them behind for a little bit.  Being at the beach with the calmness of the water and warm breezes it tends to give people a new perspective on all things in their life so leave those problems and drama behind for a while.  Come back with a new view on life.

I am of the opinion that you should leave your phone and laptop behind as well!  This is a little extreme for most people but keep in mind service is limited in this area and technology only lets people find you on vacation!

We hope you can make it down to to the beach with packing a little as possible and have as much fun as possible while you are here.  If you have any questions on what to bring or what not to bring.  We are happy to help!  Let us know what you think.  What do you have to bring and what should be left behind????

It is Time for a Girl’s Getaway!!!!

I don’t know about you but I am ready for a break.  Thankfully, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I can’t wait.  Between the election , the looming fiscal cliff, the hurricane in the North East and one national scandal after another good new doesn’t come along nearly often enough.  My personal plan is to spend at least some of my little bit of time off helping the economy!  We don’t have much to spend but I will be looking for  few special things for those I love.  My Plan is to not only hits the Black Friday Sales, but do A little unconventional shopping as well let me give you and your girlfriends a few great ideas!

If you and your girlfriends are heading this way to do some shopping this is the best time and one of the best places areas to shop.  We have your traditional stores that are all over the country but we also have Tanger Outlets where you can find almost anything you want if you are shopping for fashion or for your home.

Tanger offers great coupons and they are having a Midnight Madness Sale starting Thanksging night.  I may spend a little time at the outlets but my shopping tends to be a little less traditional.

I like to give and get gifts of experiences, maybe a romantic dinner, or a glass blowing, or painting class.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is a treasure trove of experience gifts to give.  My Dad is history buff, and my Mom loves genealogy.  I know some great places to send both of them.  There are museums where I can find the perfect book for dad or maybe even get him involved with volunteering for an archeology dig in the area.  I think a day trip for my mom to the Creek Indian Reservation in Atmore will help her to add some much needed information to our family tree.

My sister in law is starting a new career now that her boys are all in school and she is in need of a little wardrobe update.  I think I am going to get her the biggest bang for her buck.  There are tons of resale shops across the area.  A gift certificate or two or a preloaded debit card, maybe even cash would be great for her and of course a baby sitter for her and a shopping buddy.

For my little nephews, I think either movie tickets or zoo tickets, although they are big fans of toys like every other little boy.

Maybe a little online shopping for that.  For my brother well he is a little more tricky.  A planned guys night for him and buddies, or brother in law or a trip golfing with some friends.  My husband is the most tricky of all.  He is kind of techie but loves new experiences too!  So I think I will be getting him something for his current technology and maybe a great new sweater or scarf and well I don’t know but I’ll figure it out.

In this area there are tons of unique stores, outlets, thrift stores, antique stores and specialty shops.  Basically you can find anything you are looking for in this area for everyone on your list!  So pack up your shopping shoes, your girl friends and your beach towel.  Knock out your shopping and then relax and enjoy the rest of your girls getaway in the sun!