Enjoy Thanksgiving at the Beach!

The Beach is not the first place you think of to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Let me tell you the Top 10 Reasons to Have Thanksgiving At The Beach!

10. You can bring your traditions with you or leave them home.  Turkey at the Beach is great but seafood is our speciality here.  You can pick up your seafood Thanksgiving to go and enjoy the afternoon at the beach.
9.  No fancy china!  If you come to the beach for Thanksgiving your vacation rental is the fully equipped with all you need for the simplest to the fanciest dinner.
8.  No Decorating!  You don’t have to worry with holiday decorations when you have the beautiful beach scenery just out your door.
7.  No Snow!  Escape the cold weather for warm sunny days and cool evenings.
6.  Swimming on Thanksgiving Day!  Some of my favorite memories are swimming on Thanksgiving with all of my cousins before and after dinner.
 5.  Sales, Sales, Sales at the Tanger Outlets only 40 minutes away. 
4.  No cleaning prior to company coming and no big cleaning after they leave.  Do your dishes take the trash out and put the dirty linens by the washer.  Your Done!     
3.  Invite the family.  There are houses available if you want to stay together or everyone can have their own condo and go their separate ways. 
2.  Cooking or not when all is done you are still at the beach!  Warm days, beautiful sunsets, sandy toes, and salty air.
1.  Great memories are guaranteed any time of year at The Beach!

 

The Blue Angels Are Coming Home

Our favorite High Fliers are heading home this week!  The Homecoming Air Show is held at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, 2012. Gate admission is free. Gates open at 8 am each day.The show begins at 9 am, with the Blue Angel Flight Demonstration Team scheduled to fly around 2 pm. The Blue Angel pilots do sign autographs after the show. Over 100,000 people are expected to view the show daily. Visitors are directed to the air field parking from both gates, but are encouraged to use the shuttle parking lot to avoid very long walks. Buses will make the rounds, taking patrons to and from the air show site. The show includes static displays of aircraft of all types, food, beverage and vendor booths, virtual reality experiences and other attractions that make this show a favorite excursion for folks from all over the country. There will be a Kids’ Zone, virtual games and bungee jump to entertain children of all ages. For those who have never attended an air show, be advised the aircraft can be VERY noisy and young children need protection for their ears. It can also be windy on the tarmac and layers of clothes are recommended. Patrons may bring blankets and chairs, however, no coolers, backpacks, food, drinks or pets are allowed. (Baby and infant needs are allowed – but no glass bottles) Small camera and diaper bags are allowed but subject to search. A handicap area is set aside for wheelchairs and an accompaniest only.
Admission: Gate admission is free. Bleacher seating is available for pricing and to buy tickets visit Blue Angels Website .  https://www.naspairshow.com/

Fort Morgan Ship Wreck

A must see while you are here was recently unearthed during Hurricane Isaac.  Hal Scheurich recently wrote the article below for Fox10tv.com.  Be sure to visit the ship while you are here.  It will be covered up again soon! 

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – Only a shell of what she once was, the 150 foot sailing vessel thought to be the Rachael, is attracting attention again on Fort Morgan.  Word had spread that the storm surge from Hurricane Isaac had uncovered her once again and plenty of folks came with their cameras.

The Rachael was an early 20 th century schooner that ran aground.  Buried for decades, hurricanes expose what’s left of the vessel every few years.

“It’s just something that you really have to go see,” said Adriana Mutan as she walked around the burnt wreckage taking pictures.  “I mean, I’ve seen so many pictures…heard so many stories and now I’ve seen it.”

According to the Alabama Historical Commission, the three mast schooner met her fate in 1930 while carrying a load of timber.  Commission archeologists Amanda Hill said the belief is the vessel ran into a storm and had too few crew aboard to maintain control.  According to interviews with witnesses that were alive at the time of the wreck, the ship was looted of its cargo and set on fire.

The ship has been exposed several times over the decades from beach erosion during hurricanes.  The last time was during hurricane Ike several years ago.  There was always speculation as to its origin.  Many even thought it may have been a blockade runner during the Civil War.  Assistant Professor, Greg Cook of the University of West Florida helped put those rumors to bed after doing a study of the vessel in 2008.

He noted that many of the riggings were post Civil War and dated to the early 20 th century.  After some more digging, it’s believed that the Rachael was designed and built in Moss Point, MS in 1919.

Billy Berrey grew up in Gulf Shores and remembers seeing the ship as a child.  It’s now closer in than ever and he’s worried about the amount of attention it gets.

“I’ve always thought it would be kind of cool for them to excavate this thing and move it…preserve what they can and take it to the museum,” said Berrey.  “The last time it was uncovered, people were pulling things off of it.”

There is a problem.  The ship now rests on private property and the folks that own the homes are concerned about liability in the event someone gets hurt by the wreckage.  They would like to see, at very least, the ship covered up.

The Alabama Historical Commission looked into that after hurricane Ike but found that it would cost too much to do anything with it and since it’s on private property, the owners would have to foot the bill.  They did say they would assist if someone else funded the effort. 

For now, the ship will sit until Mother Nature decides to cover her back up once again.  Owners just ask that sightseers like Dusty Bones and his family respect their property while they visit.

“We really like history.  We like going to see things like the Battleship and stuff like that, so to see a piece of this is really interesting.”

Although much is now known about the ship than just a few years ago, there is still much mystery and intrigue.  Who was on board and where were they going?  Was it a hurricane or just a bad storm that caused her to run aground?  They’re all questions that keep visitors coming to the little stretch of beach with they’re cameras ready to capture a little piece of

Bird Banding in Fort Morgan

I have said it so many time but I’ll say it again.  The fall is the absolutely the best time to be at the beach.  Warm day cool evenings and so much to see and hear.  At the Sunset Properties office we leave the doors open most days.  This of course invites all sorts of flying friends in.  We are regularly shewing out dragon flies and bugs of all sorts sometimes even a bird on occasion.   The birds are loving the weather as well.  You can hear them singing constantly.

This great weather and the plentiful food and shelter makes the Ft. Morgan area the perfect place for a lay over for our feathered friends.  They are heading south but they are enjoying the beauty of the Fort Morgan area before they keep going south.  Our tiny piece of land is a major landing strip for migrating birds twice a year.  When they land a dedicated group of volunteers take time to weigh measure and count each of these creatures.  This valuable information is shared with researchers all of the world studying birds.  We feel truly blessed to play host to the birds traveling through the area.

If you are here right now you can witness all the excitement in Ft. Morgan.  Just head toward Fort Morgan, and head off to the right when you start seeing vehicles.  The friendly volunteers will give information about what they are doing and information about each bird you see.  If you are very lucky you may even have a chance to let this gorgeous creature fly again, right out of your palm.  Try to come down in the next couple of weeks and join the bird banding team.

41st Annual National Shrimp Festival

There are so many awesome things to love about fall in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. The days are still warm but not hot. The evenings are just right for a light jacket when you take that walk on the beach. The summer crowds are gone, and you can cruise right in to your favorite restaurant for fresh, local seafood.
Speaking of seafood, October also means it is time for the 41st Annual National Shrimp Festival. The shrimp festival starts Thursday, October 11th and will continue on until Monday the 14th.  For four glorious days, the fun will be at the main public beach in Gulf Shores with mouth-watering shrimp and other seafood treats as well as traditional festival favorites, fine art, crafts, live music on two stages, children’s activities and so much more.

There is also a 5 k you can participate in!  The history of the Annual National Shrimp Festival Run dates back to 1977. Having its start as a 5 mile race that started and ended at Bayou Village in Gulf Shores, AL. Over the years the race has made many transitions, even taking a temporary leave of absence in 2010.

The race is an officially sanctioned event of the Annual National Shrimp Festival, produced by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce. Working with a strong group of dedicated volunteers, the 2012 Annual National Shrimp Festival 10K Run is planning the best event to date!

All net proceeds of the Run will be donated to Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment, benefiting the local Gulf Shores & Orange Beach public schools. 

There is so much to do and see!  Be sure to book your condo soon.  See ya there!

Hurricane Isaac update Aug.27 1P.M.

Hi everyone!  This is the first of our updates for Hurricane Issac.  For those of you who are owners.  We have picked up, locked up and boarded up as needed.  We will be finishing these processes and sending our staff home to take care of their personal property tomorrow.  Below is the most current update from the city.  There are a few road closures pending at this time.

Gulf Shores, Ala – August 27, 2012 – City of Gulf Shores officials have announced no anticipated road closures or access restrictions to the island throughout the day today. 
Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27 the City anticipates closures at Highway 59 and Zoo Road and Highway 135 and Highway 182 at Beach Boulevard. Residents and others with proper credentials will still be given access to these areas until further notice. 
City officials do not anticipate any interruption in utilities; however, the potential still remains for disruption as conditions can deteriorate rapidly.

    Sunset Properties Beach Update Aug. 27

Best Beaches In The U.S.A.

Recently an owner sent an email to us with a report on the cleanest beaches in the United States.  We are so thankful that Gulf Shores is considered one of the cleanest places to visit!  Take a look below!

Editor’s note: On the list of 5-star beaches, Maryland’s beach was originally incorrectly listed here. It is Ocean City.

Bacterial contamination from stormwater runoff and sewage helped make 2011 one of the worst years in more than two decades for health-related closings and warnings at U.S. beaches, a major environmental group says.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s annual assessment, released Wednesday, analyzes government data from more than 3,000 testing locations nationwide. It found that water quality at America’s beaches remained largely stable last year, with 8 % of water samples violating public health standards, the same as the previous year.

 But there were 23,481 closing and advisory days in 2011, the third-highest level since NRDC began compiling their reports in 1990. That represented a 3% drop from 2010, which marked the second-highest number of closings and advisories since the group started its surveys. (The worst year, according to the NRDC, was 2006 with 25,643 closing or warning days.)

The Great Lakes region had the highest violation rate of beachwater standards – 11% of samples in 2011 – while the Mid-Atlantic’s Delmarva region had the lowest, with 4%. Individual states with the highest violation rates of reported samples were Louisiana (29%), Ohio (22%), and Illinois (12 %). States with the lowest rates of contamination last year – just 1% – were Delaware and New Hampshire.

For the first time this year, the NRDC has mapped more than 6,000 beaches nationwide, providing monitoring, closing and advisory information for more than half of them.

The searchable map includes a dozen beaches that earned the group’s five-star rating for violating health standards less than 5% of the time and for following such best practices as testing more than once a week and posting advisories online as well as at the beach. They include:

  • California’s Newport, Huntington State and Bolsa Chica
  • Alabama’s Gulf Shores Public Beach and Gulf State Park Pavilion
  • Delaware’s Dewey Beach
  • Maryland’s Ocean City Beach
  • Minnesota’s Park Point Franklin Park and Lafayette Community Club Beach>
  • New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach State Park and Wallis Sands
  • Texas’ South Padre Island

On the flip side, 15 “repeat offenders” stood out for persistent contamination problems over the past five years. They include portions of:

  • California’s Avalon and Doheny State Beach
  • Illinois’ Winnetka Elder Park Beach, North Point Marina and North Beach
  • Louisiana’s Constance, Gulf Breeze, Little Florida, Long and Rutherford
  • New Jersey’s Beachwood Beach West
  • New York’s Woodlawn and Ontario
  • Ohio’s Euclid State Park and Villa Angela State Park
  • Wisconsin’s South Shore Beach

Beachwater pollution nationwide causes a range of waterborne illnesses in swimmers including stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, ear, nose and throat problems, dysentery, hepatitis, respiratory ailments, neurological disorders and other health problems. For senior citizens, small children and people with weak immune systems, the results can be fatal.

According to the NRDC, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed updates to federal water quality standards – due to be finalized this fall – “miss a critical opportunity to better protect beachgoers from the dangers of swimming in polluted waters,” and would put 1 in 28 swimmers at risk of getting a gastrointestinal illness.

“Dogs Are the Best” Photo Contest 2011

Win a $100.00 gift certificate!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for Official Rules!

Surf Beagle

As most of you know we have a dog friendly beach in Ft. Morgan and a dog in our office most days!  Skyler, is our office Beagle / greeter / boss.  We all tend to work our schedules around what the dog needs during the day, and he is spoiled to say the least!  We really think that he is of the opinion, that people come to the office just to visit with him.  Skyler is not just a lazy lump looking for the next snack or belly rub though.  He loves the beach and trying to catch the birds is one of his favorite past times and he is a great surfer.  All we have to say is “lets surf” and Skyler is ready to go!   Check out our Surf Beagle in action!