Gulf State Park; Future Plans and Updates

Recently a community meeting was held to present the final plans for the updates for Gulf State Park.  The community has been meeting for some time about the proposed changes to be made to the park with money received from the 2010 Oil spill that damaged the local wildlife and tourism industry.  Some of the ideas have been very controversial, some are extremely welcome and needed changes.  Overall the final plan appears to be s community enhancing project that will rival larger Nature preserves.

Some of the many changes proposed include rebuilding the Dune system in this area that is so protective to the island. A Convention Center will be added a little further back from the original conference center on the beach side of the refuge land. The hiking trail system will be expanded and part will be paved. Some of the streets in the park will be closed to cars and a tram system will be in place. The Camp ground will be expanded and improved. The golf course will be converted to an educational area, and much much more.

Take a look at the exciting future plans here at Gulf State Park IMG_1245

Golfing along the Gulf Coast

Alabama’s Gulf Coast boasts more than just beautiful sandy beaches and fantastic weather. Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and the surrounding areas are home to several of the state’s best and most beautiful golf courses. In fact, the state’s top rated course – Kiva Dunes – is located between Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores, just down the road from our beautiful beach houses and condo rentals.Golf Gulf Shores

The golf community in and around Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan is comprised of many wonderful golf courses, including four pristine and famous golf courses within the limits of Gulf Shores. Each offers challenging holes, stunning scenery, and a variety of landscapes. These beautiful courses offer unique and memorable golfing experiences, with most just minutes from the landmark of Fort Morgan.

Cotton Creek at Craft Farms

3840 Cotton Creek Circle

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

This course is the original Arnold Palmer signature design, offering challenge and Southern charm. It’s one of only two of Arnold Palmer’s Alabama projects, and it’s sure to impress. It features rolling fairways, rippling greens, dwarf Bermuda grasses, several lakes, and more than 7,000 yards from the tips.

Cypress Bend at Craft Farms

3840 Cotton Creek Circle
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The sister course to Cotton Creek, Cypress Bend is the other Arnold Palmer masterpiece in Alabama. Year-round conditions are lush and green, making it a must-play course no matter when you visit Fort Morgan or Gulf Shores. It holds a 4 ½-star rating from Golf Digest and features “staggered tee boxes, sprawling bunkers, top-quality putting surfaces, and year-round lush conditions.” The lakes accented by cord grass offer a breezy, coastal feel at almost every hole.

 

Kiva Dunes

815 Plantation Drive
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The number one rated golf course in Alabama, Kiva Dunes is truly stunning. It was designed by former U.S. Open Champion Jerry Pate and is Alabama’s only beachfront golf resort. It has been named among Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Best Public Golf Courses,” and showcases the native sand dunes, lakes, and natural wildlife areas. The 7,092-yard course is secluded, seaside, and is convenient to the full-service clubhouse on site.

 

Peninsula Golf & Racquet ClubIMG_1123

20 Peninsula Blvd.
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Created by Earl Stone, this 27-hole course on Mobile Bay features more than 7,000 yards from the tees. It is located on 820 secluded acres, with the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve on two sides of it. It has been consistently ranked 4 stars by Golf Digest, and it is home to an abundance of natural vegetation and lakes.

There are also several wonderful courses nearby, some of which were designed by famous golf pros!

Glenlakes Golf Clubsolider creek

9530 Clubhouse Drive

Foley, AL 36535

Lost Key Golf club

625 Lost Key Drive
Perdido Key, FL 32507

Rock Creek Golf Club

140 Clubhouse Drive
Fairhope, AL 36532

TimberCreek Golf Club

9650 Timbercreek Boulevard
Daphne, AL 36527

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama, offers lots of fun things to do, from geocaching, biking, and days on the beach to golfing, fishing, and exploring the nature center. Open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., you could spend the entire day exploring here! The two miles of gorgeous beaches offer room to kick back in a chair, throw a Frisbee or football, or splash around in the Gulf. Beyond the beach, enjoy recreational activities, the Nature Center, and more.

Nature Center

A nice place to cool off and meet some interesting critters, the Nature Center at Gulf State Park is home to native plants and animals. The “living museum” aims to teach people about caring for the environment and its many living things. It’s open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and entrance is $1 per vehicle into the campground area.IMG_1199

Fishing & Education Pier

The pier at Gulf State Park has 2,448 feet of fishing space along the rails. You’ll find trash cans, lights, and bench seating, as well as some great chances to catch some fish. There is even an indoor seating and concession area, as well as a retail store where you can get tackle and souvenirs. The pier is also wheelchair accessible.fishing pier

Refuge Golf Club

Set in the scenic Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Refuge Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole championship course designed by Earl Stone. It features 6,593 yards of landscaped courses, along with a driving range, putting green, and pro shop. It’s open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week with reasonable daily fees. Play 18 holes for $24.99 ($21.24 for seniors and $12 for children) or nine holes for $14.99 ($12.74 for seniors and $10 for children). Cart fees are $9 and $15 for nine holes and 18 holes, respectively.

Hiking, biking, beach fun

There are 15 miles of trails in Gulf State Park, spanning Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Trails feature a variety of terrains, providing opportunities for people of many skill levels to bike, walk, and run.
IMG_1190
Dog-friendly fun

Gulf State Park is dog friendly in several areas! As long as your well-behaved four-legged friend is leashed, you can bring him or her along on the trails and at the picnic area.IMG_1194 You can even unleash pets at the Dog Pond at Lake Shelby, where they can run, play, and swim. The dog park is on the west end of the parking lot below the Gulf Adventure Center. Just be sure to check the rules before heading over.

 

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Animal fun at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Home to over 500 exotic animals, including wolves, leopards, lions, tigers, primates, bears, birds, and reptiles, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a haven for animals, a petting zoo, an aviary, a fun family-friendly attraction, and an educational experience all

Baze and the Goat
Baze and the Goat

in one. It was opened in 1989 as Zooland Animal Park. In 1991, the Ward family donated the 17 acres that the zoo now sits on and created the Zoo Foundation, Inc. Along with the animal encounters, animal exhibits, aviary, reptile house, and petting zoo, the park is now made up of wide pathways, a shaded picnic area, a gift shop, and concessions (seasonally).

While guests love meeting the animals at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the zoo’s primary mission is to provide an educational experience for guests. Throughout the week, zoo employees and volunteers offer

IMG_0952
The biggest bunny EVER!

free educational programs and presentations that teach about the importance of conserving resources and land for these animals. They believe that when people get the opportunity to meet these animals close up, they can find more appreciation for them. It’s a community outreach program that the people at the zoo are very passionate about.

Kale and the kangaroo
Kale and the kangaroo

The animal encounters are easily the most popular part of the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, offering unique family fun. Animal encounters allow kids and adults to get up close and personal with animals they would likely never come across in real life. Be adventurous and try an encounter with kangaroos, lemurs, reptiles, or tigers! The animal encounters are closed during the winter, but they resume again in early spring. Just be sure to check the rules for each encounter, as different attire is required for the safety of guests.

 

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

1204 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Contact information

251.968.5732 (main line)

251.968.5731 (information line)

info@alabamagulfcoastzoo.org

 

Hours

Open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily (last guests admitted at 3:30 p.m.)

Open every day during the year, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day

 

Admission prices

Adults (12-54) – $11 plus tax

Seniors (55+) – $9 plus tax

Children (3-11) – $8 plus tax

Children (2 and under) – FREE  

*Group rates are also available, and reservations are required at least 48 hours before the visit. Call for more information.

If you’re looking for some family fun in Gulf Shores, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a great option. Spend a few hours meeting the animals and learning more about them!

 

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.

Portabella’s, A Don’t Miss Resturant in Foley!

After a very long day two, stressed out women were on a hunt for some great dinner!  We decided to give a new place a try and it was the perfect decision.  This hole in the wall restaurant holds up to it’s name.  It is not fancy on the inside or overlooking the water or some serene park but it doesn’t matter.  The inviting atmosphere and friendly local staff make you feel at home in the newly renovated restaurant.

Portabella’s is located in the heart of historic Foley on hwy 59 on the east side of the road.  Almost at the end of the historic district it shares a building with the Foley Fish Company.  There is parking in front and just to the South of the building.  As you enter the glass front doors you can enjoy a view out the large plate glass windows in front that have a view of 59 and all of the comings and going in town.

As we came in our friendly waiter welcomed us in and offered us nay table in the place.  He brought us menu’s and some great sweet tea.  After we perused the menu for a while we decided to each get a salad and to share a pizza.  Not just a basic pizza we actually asked for a half meat and half what was most closely called a supreme pizza.  I got the Spinach Salad with the house green onion vinaigrette dressing.  This salad was beautifully fresh spinach, feta cheese, olives, pecans, and a little red onion and the dressing.  I could have had just a giant plate of this salad and been very very happy.  It was a fantastic flavor combination and I will absolutely get it again!  My mom who came to dinner with me got a basic house salad that was mixed greens, cheese, bacon, tomato and croutons.  She loved her salad as much as I did.

Now for the main dish our pizza!  It was a beautiful 14 inch pizza half covered in meat.  It is called The Lion!  Sausage, pepperoni, ham, bacon, and prosciutto on top of this pizza worthy of the carnivore .  It was unique in that the meat was all amazing not the norm that you would get on a chain meat Pizza.  The other half of our pizza was a “Foley.”   The “Foley” includes peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage.  Again with beautifully fresh veggies and uniquely fresh meat the “Foley”only honors this community with it’s goodness.

There is always a soup of the day, great salad menu.  Sandwiches with the same beautiful ingredients that were on our pizza and even healthier lighter choices.  Oh, and pasta!  I am going to try some pasta sometime soon.  So as you are coming in on that shopping day you make to Foley, don’t miss Portabella’s. Instead of sitting in traffic pull over and have a great dinner at this don’t miss yummy Italian jewel to our community.

American Fun, The Perfect Little House For Your Getaway!

This is a quaint two story house, close to the Dunes Community Pool, and NEWLY updated in 2012. There is plenty of room for the family in this 1,600 Sq Ft 3 bedroom, 3 bath duplex.  The beach beckons to you from behind the houses just 150 yards away.  You get sneak peaks of a view from both balconies and a really nice view off to the West of the Sunset.

American Fun 3
American Fun 4

                                                                                             As you enter the house you will notice the spacious living room with ocean colored walls and modern furniture. The couch is a sleeper sofa.

American Fun1

 The adjoined dining area has a table for 6 with additional seating at the kitchen bar. The fully stocked, fully equipped kitchen with full size appliances is perfect for cooking your favorite seafood dishes at meal time. The floors are tiled throughout except for the bedrooms. Right off of the kitchen is the “lavender” room that has a King size bed and access to a shared bathroom.

American Fun 2

Upstairs to the left is the kid’s room with two twin beds and a full private bath. The Gulf facing Master bedroom has a King bed with its own private bath as well as access to a balcony. Each room has its own TV. This house also has underneath parking. As a guest of the Dunes Community, you have access to the Dunes Community pool and hot tub as well as the Dunes Condo pool, hot tub, sauna, and work out facility.

This house rents from Saturday to Saturday during the spring and summer, but is available for shorter stays outside of these times. Give us a call for pricing on less than weekly stays 1-888-877-9270!

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!

HANGOUT FEST 2013

It is almost time for Hangout Fest 2013  grab your towel, sunscreen and some cash and head down to the Public beach in Gulf Shores for a fantastic line-up of artists, ready to entertain you all weekend long.  There are a couple of things you need to know first!

Ticket Prices!!!

SHUTTLESPARKING
There is no parking at the festival, we encourage everyone to use our shuttle system.

Hangout Shuttles are the best option to avoid traffic congestion that occurs around the festival entrance.  We’ve got these shuttles dialed in to offer you the fastest and easiest way to get to site!

And with the Golden Shuttle program you will have a chance to win awesome prizes including VIP upgrades and festival merchandise.  All you have to do is get on the bus!

Shuttle Passes are ON SALE NOW!

How about a line up for the weekend!  Check out who is joining us in Gulf Shores this year.  Oh, and that blurred out one is Stevie Wonder!!!!

This year we are promised many surprises and new things one of them is a Art Contest!

So you have your tickets you have your shuttle passes you have your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses and cash.  Wait a minute you need a place sleep.  Unfortunately as fun as it sounds they police won’t let you sleep on the beach in Gulf Shores.  We have an amazing deal for you though!!!

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

Come for the party and enjoy the beach, don’t forget your camera, swimsuit and sunscreen!  We will see you in MAY!!!