Sea Turtle Nesting Time Gulf Shores. Be aware. Save our friends!

Loggerhead sea turtle nest warning on beach

If you are staying in one of our Gulf Shores or Orange Beach vacation homes from May to October, please be mindful to not disturb the turtle nesting sites. These little guys need all the help they can get. Better yet, why not donate or volunteer to help them out!

Watch for Turtle Nests in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Help our sea turtle friends make it to the gulf alive!

Every year, around May, female sea turtles lay hundreds of thousands of eggs in nests along the Gulf Coast. Hundreds of volunteers help stake out these nests to increase the odds these little guys will make it to the gulf.

And from July to October, they hatch, and make their way to the Gulf.

From lights that distract, to careless people stepping on nests, to predators, including the family dog, many things can stop the great little guys from making it to the Gulf.

Last year, according to a recent Alabama Sea Turtle Nesting Summary Report:

A total of 237 nests were located on the beaches of Alabama. Four of these nests were confirmed as Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys kempi( while the rest were Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Carettacaretta). Data gathered indicate that 22,240 eggs were laid on the beach, yielding 15,035 viable hatchlings of which 14,104 hatchlings made it to the Gulf of Mexico. This was a hatchling success rate of 67.91% and a survival rate of 63.71%.” [clip..] “The average incubation time for all viable nests was 56.9 days with an average nest size of 102.3 eggs.

Although there was a large increase in the number of nests laid, there were a total of 66 nests lost to water inundation caused by tidal surge from Hurricane Hermine and other storm events.  An additional 4 nests were lost to predation. That still does not overshadow the tremendous success of this exceptional nesting season.

Be Sea Turtle Friendly–Tips from Share the Beach

  • Don’t dig deep holes in the sand. You risk disturbing unmarked nexts OR trapping a turtle mom!
  • Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night. And, you can get free Turtle Friendly Flashlight Filters!
  • Turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining onto the beach at night.
  • Do not disturb sea turtle nests.
  • Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
  • Do not leave trash on the beach.
  • Volunteer and also participate in the Adopt-A-Nest program. You can even get a “Share the Beach” license plate in Alabama.

Please do your part to help our little friends.

SEC Women’s Soccer Championship back at Orange Beach! Beach house anyone?

Back again for 2017, the SEC Women battle it out in Orange Beach, Alabama for the SEC Soccer Title, Oct 29-Nov 5. Need a place to stay? How about a beach house?

South Carolina currently holds a slim margin over the Florida Gators, with Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt close behind.

The Orange Beach Sportsplex is located at 4389 William Silvers Parkway, just off U.S. Highway 180 (Canal Road) in Orange Beach, about 1 mile from the Foley Beach Express exit on Canal Road.

And our 3 Jewels by the Sea: Diamond, Sapphire, and Emerald, are about as close as you can get to the fields and be on the beach in the lap of luxury. Right there. 10 to 12 bedrooms. Very big, very nice beach houses in the heart of Romar at Orange Beach.

Ready for the 2017 SEC Womens Soccer Tournament in Orange Beach? The perfect beach house for your trip. Extremely close to the Orange Beach Sports Complex, and all the amenities for your whole team!


Tickets are available by contacting the Orange Beach Parks and Recreation Department at (251) 981-6039. All seating is general admission.

2017 SEC Women’s Soccer Championship Schedule
FIRST ROUND: October 29Match 1 – Seed 7 vs Seed 101 pmSEC Network
Match 2 – Seed 8 vs Seed 93:30 pmSEC Network
QUARTERFINALS: October 31Match 3 – Seed 2 vs Winner Match #112 pmSEC Network
Match 4 – Seed 3 vs Seed 62:30 pmSEC Network
Match 5 – Seed 1 vs Winner Match #25 pmSEC Network
Match 6 – Seed 4 vs Seed 57:30 pmSEC Network
SEMIFINALS: November 2Match 7 – Winner Match #5 vs Winner Match #63:30 pmSEC Network
Match 8 – Winner Match #3 vs Winner Match #46 pmSEC Network
FINALS: November 5Championship – Winner Match #8 vs Winner Match #72 pmSEC Network

Come on down and watch the ladies in action. Need a place? Give us a call!

Winter Sale: Big discounts on long-term Gulf Shores vacation home rentals. Snow birds rejoice!

Gulf Shores Vacation Home Sale Sand and StarfishWinter Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Vacation Homes for Less!

Looking for a great place to stay warm for the winter of 2017-2018? Look no further! We own a wonderful collection of homes and are happy to share them with you. And since you are looking for a longer term stay, which means less turnover and wear and tear (usually, right? you’ll treat them nice!), we are offering a discount on stays of 30 days or more. Big time savings over weekly rentals and even over our regular winter monthly pricing. From 5 bedrooms to as many as you could possible want!

Are you a snowbird? Or maybe just a big group looking for an extended stay? Or anyone else needing a great place to call their own home during the winter months? We have the perfect place for you.

We even have options for locking out some of the levels of our larger homes and renting them exclusively to you…for less.

Save thousands of dollars on monthly winter stays! As much as $5K+ on long stays in several homes.

We aren’t talking about bird see here. Real discounts for great homes. We love having people stay in our places for the winter. We have folks who have stayed every year for literally decades, and we’d love to have you try us out too, and to make that happen, we are willing to offer a discount on any remaining homes. 

Great rates. Try us starting at $2750/mo… sometimes less!

Nice homes. All the amenities. Lots of variety. We own them all, and we’d want you to have a great time trying one out because we are sure you will be back, year after year!

Rates are as low as $2,750 for a whole month! For a few options, we may even be able to be lower (see “lockout” above, and a few of our smaller places, but they go fast!).

That’s lower than a normal week in some cases! You can even get lower by staying 2 months. How’s $2-3K/month sound? (Only available on multiple month stays). And yes, you can get the rate even if you can only stay say 3 weeks. Its still a better deal than the weekly rate in most cases!

Some of the homes to which this big discount applies include: Shells, Fort Sun, The Pearl, Our Jewels by the Sea: Emerald, Diamond, and Sapphire, Sea Urchin, and more.

You can only get these deals by contacting us directly, either call, email, or use our form. Mention code: “GoLong”–though everyone knows about the deals so if you can’t remember the winter discount code, no worries!

Subject to availability, of course (we can’t rent what we don’t have!) and cannot be combined with other offers (already too good of a deal!) or applied to existing rental agreements. The guestimated amounts listed above are rental rates only and don’t include taxes and any fees.


These snow birds are escaping winter. Will you catch the winter discount on our great vacation homes in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach?

Gulf Shores is One of the most beautiful collegiate sporting venues. Ever. says NCAA

Gulf Shores Beach Volleyball national championships or your own backyard

Always nice when a national organization calls Gulf Shores, our vacation home away from home, “One of the most beautiful collegiate sporting venues. Ever.”

Beach volleyball is relatively new. In fact, this is the inaugural year for the national championships. And, they are being held right in our own backyard in Gulf Shores on May 6-8th. If you happen to be around, stop by and check them out. Other than catching them on summer olympics coverage, or if you happen to have a daughter (or son) who plays, you likely have never seen competitive beach volleyball in person, so this is a great opportunity.

Plus, they seem to love Gulf Shores. Here’s what the NCAA press release had to say:

An aesthetic benefit of beach volleyball is, well, the beach. The inaugural beach volleyball championship is being played on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala., and this gulf coast destination is one of, if not the most, beautiful place an NCAA sporting event has been held.

“It is beautiful. The wind’s not too bad. It’s sunny; it’s wonderful,” said FSU’s Hailey Luke. “It’s kinda perfect.”

Earning a trip to the “Redneck Rivera” must seem like a second spring break for the student-athletes, with the added bonus of possibly returning to campus with a trophy. But, getting to compete at such a picturesque locale is a victory in itself.

“You can’t beat the venue,” McPeak said. “You’ve got white sand and blue skies.”

Read more about 5 things to watch from Gulf Shores including that its truly history in the making.

Where can I watch the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships?

Well, unless you happen to be nearby and can shoot over and stay in one of our open vacation homes this weekend (because, well, why not!), then you can catch the inaugural championship on tv. It

will be held Friday through Sunday, May 6-8, from Gulf Shores, Ala.  Turner networks will televise the event, with truTV providing live coverage on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, from 3-6 p.m. ET and the championship round airing on TBS on Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m.

Where can I play volleyball during my Gulf Shores vacation?

You can play at the Gulf Shores public beach. If you happen to be at one of our Orange Beach locations, like the Jewels by the Sea (and who wouldn’t want to stay at these very nice, upscale, fully decked out accommodations?), you might try Gulf State Park Romar Beach or Gulf State Park Cotton Bayou.

Gulf Shores Main Public Beach
If you’re looking for volleyball-playing, beach-bar-hanging good times, this spot – where Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf – is for you. For a small fee, you get all-day, up-close parking, making it easy to unload your gear. Beach attendants, three open-air pavilions and a picnic area are available. There are also restrooms and showers on site. This is a popular spot, so you may want to arrive early to get a prime parking spot.

Cotton Bayou Beach
This public beach area is located 5.1 miles east of Alabama Highway 59 and .2 mile west of Ala Highway 161. The Cotton Bayou beach access area has restrooms, outdoor showers and free parking. The beach is a short walk from the parking lot.

Romar Beach
This beach area – with a limited amount of free parking – is easy to get to. It’s perfect for a quick beach stroll or an impromptu picnic. It’s located 6.8 miles east of Highway 59. Future plans call for restrooms and outdoor showers, but currently there aren’t any.

Not in the mood to share the volleyball court? Why not rent your own….

Rent a volleyball setup when staying in a Gulf Shores vacation home?

You bet! There are several local rental companies that specialize in providing everything you might need to complete your already awesome Orange Beach or Orange Beach vacation house stay. You can rent volleyball posts, nets, and balls.

Several of the companies will even come to right to your Gulf Shores vacation home and set the nets up using nice sturdy posts. Add something different this time you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama with a little family playtime on the beach. Set up, tear down, not your problem. Family fun? Definitely! While we don’t recommend a particular vendor, a quick web search should give you plenty of choices.

Gulf Shores Alabama Beach Vacation Home Volleyball Game Players

Want to get in on the beach volleyball action in Gulf Shores? You can catch the championships live or did you know you can rent your own volleyball setup for your Gulf Shores vacation home?


Gulf Shores Bans Alcohol on the Beach during Spring Break

alcoholic beverages prohibited on gulf shores beach during spring break

Alcohol on the beach from March 1-April 17? $500 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail

No Alcohol Gulf Shores Spring BreakOn March 18, 2016, during a special council meeting, the Gulf Shores City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to prohibit the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages along the entire Gulf beaches in the City of Gulf Shores corporate limits. The ban on alcohol is in effect from March 1st through April 17th.

“The city has a responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors and an obligation to protect the reputation of the city as a family-friendly destination,” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said during the meeting. Craft went on to say, “In order to keep spring break in Gulf Shores a safe environment, it is time we take action.”

This new ban prohibits any person to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage on any portion of the beach south of the protected sand dunes within the Gulf Shores city limits from the west end of Gulf State Park Beach to the very end of West Beach.  During the spring break season, college-aged visitors are drawn in large numbers to beach destinations, and the city finds that the prolonged consumption of alcohol this year is directly associated with undesirable behavior and an increased risk to public safety.

“Gulf Shores has long been known as a favorite beach destination for families from across the Southeast and Midwest,” added Mayor Craft. “In recent years, we have seen an increase in students coming here for spring break, and we again want to reiterate that we are a family- friendly destination that welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy our beaches and destination responsibly. We as city leaders have an obligation to do whatever is necessary to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our citizens and our visitors and to protect our beaches.”

Any person in violation of this Ordinance shall be guilty of an offense, punishable by up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in jail.

For more information visit or read pdf of the full ordinance.

Be safe. Be careful. Have a great time!

Leave Only Footprints. Orange Beach & Gulf Shores Beaches. Clean. Safe.

Gulf Shores footprints

Leave Only Footprints: We all love the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach beaches. The Leave Only Footprints initiative seeks to keep them the way we love them!

Leave Only Footprints Initiative LogoThe Leave Only Footprints initiative: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach enact new ordinances and kick off a public relations campaign to keep the beaches clean and safe, not only for us, but for sea turtles and other wildlife as well. What’s Leave Only Footprints all about?

Keeping the Orange Beach & Orange Beach beaches clean

You love vacationing in Lower Alabama, and one of the things you probably love most about it (aside from the food, golf, shopping…) is the very nice beaches, some of the nicest beaches, with the best sand, in the country.

Leave No Trace. Well, Leave Only Footprints!

Personal Items Must Be Removed One Hour After Sunset

You probably have seen old chairs, umbrellas, or other items that seem to have been planted as permanent fixtures on the beach. Maybe someone left them out just for their trip or maybe they’ve been there for what seems like years–destined to get beat up and drawn out to sea, bobbing in the Gulf, and marring the coastline.

Effective in 2016, the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach ask that you please remove all your personal items from the beach one hour after sunset. All abandoned items will be removed for the protection of our beaches, local wildlife, and the many visitors we want to enjoy our clean coast for generations to come.

Avoid walking on any beach vegetation.

Plant roots hold together the fragile dunes. Sea Oats form and stabilize the sand dunes that both protect our beaches from erosion and add to Gulf Shores’ beauty. Looking at the Gulf is pretty awesome, but seeing the Gulf framed by peaks and valleys in the dunes simply gorgeous.

Sea Oats’ roots go an amazingly long way down to do this job, but they can’t stand up to kids and adults running all over them. No strong roots = no dunes. And that’s just not good for any of us.

So while it may be fun to catch a frisbee, throw a football, or dig in the dunes, its very harmful to the ecology. So please help us keep the vegetation strong so that it can help us keep coming back to the same beautiful beaches at our beach vacation homes year after year.

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! While your are it, keep an eye out for bird nesting areas as well as for Sea Turtle nesting areas. They can be hard to spot, and these are definitely places where you don’t want to even leave footprints.

Staying on paths in hiking areas, and on paths between dunes (or better yet, using walkovers when there is one nearby) is the best way to avoid these fragile areas.

And Leave Nature in Its Place

Keep the natural ecosystem intact by avoiding the removal of shells, driftwood or other items you may find during your island explorations. The smallest bit of driftwood may be home to native species.

Plants are a key part of the ecosystem, so we already know not to dig around them or walk or run on them, but we definitely shouldn’t dig them up. Digging up plants is even specifically proscribed by the Orange Beach ordinance–plus you shouldn’t plant anything (unless its on the prescribed list).

Quick Fact: Proscribed = shouldn’t be done. Prescribed = Should be done. 🙂

Leave Only Footprints, but definitely leave lots of footprints!

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.

But not Fido or Fifi’s footprints. Dogs (and other domestic animals) are not allowed on either the Orange Beach or the Gulf Shores beaches, ever. Yes, people do it; no, they shouldn’t be, even on leash; and yes it will merit a fine if your caught doing it. Sure, its fun to run with the big guy, but dogs simply do not belong on the beach. No only do they sometimes leave a little something behind, but they disrupt sea turtle nests (we may have trouble finding these, dogs do not) and other wildlife, plus though we love our dogs (and I have them too, and would love to take them on the beach), not everyone does, and everyone should be able to enjoy their Gulf Shores vacation.

Where to learn more about the Leave Only Footprints initiative

If you like dry original source materials, and come on you know you do, right?, then you can read the full language of the ordinances as they were passed in Gulf Shores and in Orange Beach. The Gulf Shores ordinance is mostly about the removal of your stuff whereas the Orange Beach ordinance covers a much wider range of activities, from no pets, to what you can plant, all of which are great reminders of good practices we should all be doing anyway, right?

Much of the Leave Only Footprints initiative, and the underlying ordinances, follow the 7 basic principles of Leave No Trace, including Leave What You Find, Be Considerate of Other Visitors, and Respect Wildlife, which are things we can all live with.

Plus, come on, sea turtles are awesome!  So let’s all Share the Beach.

You can also follow the Leave Only Footprints, on Facebook.

Happy face on beach in Gulf Shores Alabama

Leave Only Footprints in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Or the occasional smiley face in the sand (two smiley faces if you count the one you can’t see on the young girl vacationing in this image). (c)

NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament: Gulf Shores Houses

beach houses perfect for teams this image shows lots of poolside patio seating direct beach access

Beachfront houses for the 2016 NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Really big, really nice, beachfront homes and duplexes that can house your entire team in one location, in comfort, and style! Why stay in a hotel when the whole volleyball team can stay in a nice beachfront home?

Gulf Shores, Alabama was chosen for the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament, and your college is in the mix! You need housing for the volleyball tournament, right? Why not stay in one of our beachfront vacation rental homes? They are large enough to house everyone in comfort, and, when split across the team, they cost the same or less than many area hotels (and are much nicer!).

College beach volleyball championships: Hosted by UAB, Located on the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama

The host institution for the inaugural beach volleyball championship will be the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sand Volleyball. The university and Gulf Shores have also been chosen as the hosts of the 2017 championship, which will be held May 5-7, 2017. Gulf Shores is located right on the gulf coast, famous for its sugary sand beaches, great shrimp, and laid back attitude. We have own a variety of houses located right on the beach, and except for the one we will be using to bring our volleyball-playing daughter to watch the events, we would love to host some of your teams in our places in Gulf Shores (we also have a few vacation homes in Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan, some as big as 12 bedrooms and sleeping up to 44!).

“We are thrilled to bring the very first NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship to Gulf Shores,” said Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohanohano, chair of the Beach Volleyball Committee and associate athletics director at University of Hawaii Manoa. For the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament, “Gulf Shores provides a location where the sport originated ocean side and will provide a great experience for our student-athletes.”

When are the 2016 NCAA Sand Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores?

The NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament will be held May 5-7, 2016. This is the first year for the tournament, and we think its awesome that Gulf Shores was selected to host the college sand vball championship. In terms of our houses, May is entering our busy season, but definitely touch based with us and we would be happy to see what we can do. We’d truly love to have you–my daughter LOVED the idea of having teams stay with us!

Coming to Watch the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament?

Not a team? That’s okay! We have the places to stay if you are visiting Gulf Shores for the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament. Why not get together with a few friends or families and stay in a vacation home! It’s a much better experience than a hotel, and they are located extremely close to the college sand volleyball tournament event locations.

What’s beach volleyball?

Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport with 47 sponsoring schools. Sand volleyball is also the 90th sport to receive NCAA championship status. The addition of the beach volleyball championship will become the 45th NCAA championship administered for women. The championship will have an eight-team bracket that will be played in a double-elimination format with teams consisting of five pairs of female student-athletes.  After being placed on the list of emerging sports for women in 2009, beach volleyball is the fifth sport to succeed from the emerging sports program.

Our Beach Homes, Perfect for Volleyball Groups!

We personally own over 30 large Gulf Shores beach homes and duplexes. These vacation rentals are perfect for volleyball teams as well as fans traveling to the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament. Our Gulf Shores beach homes all have large kitchens, many with multiple dishwashers, multiple refrigerators, and other amenities that make the perfect for larger groups. Of course, most of our Gulf Shores beach homes are also located directly on the beach, the same sugary white sand that your sand volleyball team will be playing on during matches. Out the back door, past the pool, sand sand sand, and the Gulf! There are even local companies that will rent volleyball nets and posts and set them up for your group. Contact us for more information!

Volleyball matches in Gulf Shores stay right on the sand

6 Thanksgiving Gulf Shores Things to Do

happy thanksgiving on the beach for house special deals mailing

Heading to Gulf Shores Alabama for Thanksgiving? We are too! Here are a few things you can do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama (other than lounge on the beach and eat turkey, both of which are, of course, awesome too).

We love going down to spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. The weather is usually nice (70s, sometimes the 80s). Hang out on the beach. Eat a lot of turkey. Spend time with family and friends. There’s a lot to like about just relaxing and doing very little, but there are times when you may want to break out and do something during the Thanksgiving week, whether you are there for the entire week or just for the long Thanksgiving weekend. So, what do we do when we head down?

Check out the Bodenhamer. Activities for Everyone.

From table tennis to basketball, racquetball to workout, indoor track, outdoor tennis, playground. You name it, the Bodenhamer has it. The perfect place for some physical activity, and if its rainy or cold, check out the large indoor pool with a play area, lap areas, and even a aqua ‘rock’ climbing zone. Very nice way to spend a half day or more!

And, there’s a double’s tournament and a Junior novice tournament during the first weekend and cardio tennis Saturday mornings.

If you happen to be in Orange Beach, staying at Diamond, Emerald, or Sapphire, our Jewels by the Sea, then Orange Beach has a recreation center close to you as well. We haven’t been there yet but since we will be staying at the Sapphire for the first few days of the week (making way for other vacationers come Wednesday!), we will be sure to check it out and report back what we think. Or at least that’s the plan… sometimes, well, you know… the beach.

Or hit both the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach rec centers up during the trip if you are really motivated!

Live Music (and a lot more) at Lulu’s

Lulu’s is a cool restaurant on the intracoastal waterway. They have a lot for kids to do, including beach volleyball, a sand play area, and a “Mountain of Youth” rope and ladder climbing activity (costs extra). Food is pretty good usually, sometimes great, but not really the main draw these days. We try to stop at Lulu’s least once per trip.

They also have live music. Check out the Gulf Shores location’s live music schedule.

One artist we like to try to catch is Brent Burns. This year he will be there Monday, Nov 23, 2015 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Good, family friendly, fun solo guy. My kids love him.

Brent Burns was born in Seminole, Oklahoma, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1958. While attending high school and Community college sports were important, but music was in his blood. Brent soon strapped on an electric guitar and was fronting a rock-n-roll band.
Life soon changed when he volunteered for service in Vietnam. Several months after entering combat, Brent was wounded and received the Purple Heart. After a three year recuperation in and out of military hospitals, he returned to his love of music and hit the road performing all over the United States. Later on he felt compelled to take a year off from music and hit the college lecture circuit. Offering honest, insightful, and a humorous look at life as a combat soldier, Brent was able to help others troubled with the effect of the war on their day to day lives.
Brent Burns is no stranger to notoriety.  In response to the oil shortages of the 1980s, Burns wrote the hit song, “Cheaper Crude or No More Food,” which sold 200,000 copies the first day it was released.   Paul Harvey played the song three times; the first and only song ever played in the program’s 35-year history.  Burns’ fame has continued with guest appearances on all three major networks, interviews on the BBC, and featured articles in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune andBillboard Magazine.
Brent also has the distinction of being the first entertainer to sing for American troops overseas since the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.  Besides his busy performance schedule, he continues to perform at benefits around the world, including for the National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA) of Australia, the Phoenix Suns Night Hoops Program, American Cancer Society, and Habitat for Humanity, where Brent is building a house with proceeds from his latest CD, “Margarita Smile.”

Eat out for Turkey Day

Yes, you can actually find some good food options for Thanksgiving day if you are in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach for the week. Of course, cooking up your own turkey (or turducken!) in one of our fully equipped vacation homes is also an excellent (if more labor intensive) way to go, plus, then, you can cook, and eat, while enjoying the beach! Blowing off the home cooked option, here are a couple alternatives that may satisfy your turkey needs without the prep and cleanup.

Thanksgiving Buffet at Perdido Beach Resort

27200 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, AL 36561-
251-981-9811 x 103
Nov 26, 2015  10:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Join us for a Thanksgiving feast! Whether you are looking for a four course meal with a view of the Gulf or a quiet private family room for your traditional feast, we have exactly what you are looking for. Our chef has added some creative twists to some traditional Turkey Da…

Be Thankful at The Hangout

Nov 26, 2015 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
The Hangout
101 E. Beach Blvd.
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

On Th. Nov. 26 join The Hangout for a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner. $24.99 for adults, $13.99 for children, under 6 eat free. Make your reservations today.

Flora-Bama Annual Thanksgiving Potluck

17401 Perdido Key Drive
Pensacola, FL 32507
(850) 492-0611
Nov 26, 2015  11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
The FloraBama

Bring a covered dish and get all the turkey and ham your belly can stand. The Flora-Bama helps take the stress out of your holiday cooking. Throw those pans out and get to the line for this wonderful feast.

Take a post turkey day run

2015 Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Coastal Half Marathon and 5K Run

Nov 28, 2015   12:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Orange Beach Sportsplex
4389 William Silvers Parkway
Orange Beach, AL, 36561

Shed your turkey with us at the beach on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Bring the whole family to enjoy the weekend on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast. From a 1 mile fun run to a 5k run to a half-marathon run, there is a distance for everyone. Enjoy running on the peaceful, scenic paved trails in the Back Country Trail. You will enjoy scenery encompassing the Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Stick around for awards and the best post-race party around at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

(615) 460-9927

Check out the outlet mall! Because, black friday…

The Tanger Outlet mall. Have to stop here each trip, and why not do so for Thanksgiving because… Black Friday! They have shops for everyone, even the guys, and, hey, Starbucks!

Little Zoo that could…

Catch the Little Zoo that Could, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, before they move to their new location. Nice, friendly, zoo with great staff, intimate settings, right up close to the animals, a fabulous way to spend some chill time off the beach.

What do you like to do?

Let us know what you like to do in Gulf Shores Alabama for Thanksgiving week (or Orange Beach). We’ll be down there for the week and are always game to try some new things. Hey, need a place to stay? Give us a shout!

New Pictures of our Awesome New Orange Beach Gulf Shores Vacation Homes

Orange Beach ‘Jewels’ Vacation Homes Go Live: Check out the latest pictures from our newest Gulf Shores homes

Hot off the presses. It’s hard to get into our latest Gulf Shores vacation homes to take pictures. Why? Because they have been booked solid with families and friends looking for the perfect place for their Gulf Shores vacation! Right on the beach. Big. Beautiful. Everything you could ask for, including a first level pool–that’s right, the decks and pool are right off the main living space!

Here are a few of the new pictures. We haven’t gotten them onto the Diamond, Emerald, and Sapphire pages yet, but wanted to share some pics of these great new Orange Beach, Alabama vacation homes. Oh, and the great Gulf Shores weather and beach scenery too!


Awesome above grade private pool at the Diamond, a Gulf Shores vacation home located in the Cottages at Romar, Orange Beach, Alabama. This is in addition to a zero-entry community pool.


Private pool, from your covered and uncovered private deck areas, at the Emerald and Sapphire. Two brand new (2015) Gulf Shores vacation homes at the Cottages at Romar in Orange Beach, Alabama.


Dune walkover, private to the three Jewels by the Sea, brings you directly to Gulf Shores’ famous sugary sand beaches.


Relax on the white sands right outside your perfect vacation home in Gulf Shores. Left to right, those are Diamond, Emerald, and Sapphire in the background.


Main floor eating area in the Diamond. Everyone can see the Gulf, the beach, and the pool, while eating in luxury.


Most floors of these great vacation homes have their own living spaces, so people can spread out and relax. This secondary floor living room is more spacious and tricked out than many vacation homes’ main living spaces!


Master bedrooms right of the beach? You bet! Some even have their own wet bars and ice makers in the room.


And let’s not forget the extra rooms. Some homes use queen sleeper sofas to get to there sleeping capacities, others use single bunks that really only work for individuals or for kids, but the Jewels have combo full-single bunks in several rooms. 2 people can sleep in the fulls with one above. Sleeping anywhere from a single couple to two couples, and two kids, to a bunch of rugrats in their own space.

More images are available on the Diamond, Emerald, and Sapphire vacation home pages. More will come soon, including walkthrough video and some drone shots!

Thanks again for checking out our great vacation homes. From my family to yours, we wish you the best vacation ever!


Introducing the Pearl on West Beach, a New Upscale 10 Bedroom Vacation Home in Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Pearl on West Beach in Gulf Shores Alabama. New. Big. Upscale. Available Memorial Day 2015!

The Pearl East and West are your gateway to the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Located directly on the beach, the Pearl has all the amenities you could want. Elevators! Pool! Extra fridges and washers and dryers.

Its coming out of the ground now, and what a sight it was for Thanksgiving weekend! The Gulf Shores Pearl duplex is going to be a truly awesome place.

And you could be one of the first to stay at the Pearl in Gulf Shores… It will be ready Memorial Day weekend. Reserve today.

1037 West Beach Blvd. Check it out sometime and watch it emerge!

For more information about the Peal on West Beach, check out the Pearl’s property page.

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Kaiser Thanksgiving Half-Marathon & 5K

turkey run mini-marathon 5k gulf shores alabama

Too much turkey? Run it off in the Kaiser Half Marathon and 5K, Nov 29 at the Wharf

Hey, here’s an excuse to eat even more food while on Thanksgiving vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama: Sign up for a run. Heck, even if you don’t run it, you’ll have an excuse for eating that extra piece of pie!

Learn more and register for the Thanksgiving Weekend Kaiser Half Marathon or 5K runs at Team Magic.

Saturday, November 29th

Where is the Orange Beach / Gulf Shores Kaiser Half Marathon and 5K run?

All Race Day activities take place at the race site at the Orange Beach Sports Complex, by the Wharf, on Canal Road
*There will be registration on race day, however, this does not guarantee there will be a spot or that you will receive a shirt. 

What’s the Schedule for the Thanksgiving Gulf Shores Half Marathon and 5K?

6:30 AM – 7:30 AM:  Packet Pick Up and Late Registration OPEN
8:00 AM:  Half Marathon and 5k Runs Start
8:05 AM:  One Mile Fun Run Starts
9:30 AM:  5k Award Ceremony: begins with prize drawings and ends with prize drawings! Be sure to stick around.
11:00 AM:  Half Marathon Award Ceremony: begins with prize drawings and ends with prize drawings! Be sure to stick around.
12:00 PM:  All Half Marathon entrants must have completed the course. This requires a pace of about 18 minutes per mile for walkers.

Eat even more after the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach Half Marathon or 5K race!

Gulf Shores post half-marathon / 5K food from Cosmos Bar and GrillPost Race Food
Enjoy a great post race party with plenty of food and drinks – Gulf Coast style!

We are so excited to have one of the premier restaurants in the area catering our post-race food. In addition to fruit and Krispy Kreme Donuts, check out Cosmo’s menu for race day: Crab Cake Sliders, Shrimp and Grits, Turkey & Sausage Gumbo, Pasta Salad and Muffaletta Sandwiches

More after race food for the Orange Beach Kaiser mini-marathon and 5K

Post Race Drinks

Of course there will be drinks to knock down the great food!

There will be plenty of water and sodas thanks to the local Publix store plus Gatorade Endurance to quench your thirst. For those of legal drinking age, meet our newest sponsor, Rammer Jammer Beer Company. They will be serving responsibly to those interested and 21 or over.



Two More Gulf Shores Holiday Happenings

Gulf Shores Christmas Things to Do Girl in Santa HatArtist’s Christmas and Santa Breakfast added to Orange Beach & Gulf Shores Holiday Happenings Schedule

Dec 9, Christmas with the Nelsons

Gulf Shores continues its holiday celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9 at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center as multi-platinum recording artists Matthew and Gunnar Nelson present Christmas with the Nelsons. This family affair tells the story of three family Christmases in the lives of America’s Favorite Family – The Nelsons. Matthew and Gunnar deliver Christmas classics the Nelson Family way by interweaving quick humor, soaring vocals, and state of the art big screen video to take you on a sleigh ride through time.

Definitely consider adding this one to your Gulf Shores Holiday Happenings. Free tickets for the show are available at the Activity Center box office on a first come, first serve basis. The box office is located at 260 Clubhouse Drive and office hours are Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Dec 20, Breakfast with Santa

Youngsters will have one last minute chance to visit with Santa on Saturday, December 20 as Gulf Shores hosts Breakfast with Santa at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center. Beginning at 8 a.m., families can dive into a wholesome breakfast complete with sausage, bacon, eggs and pancakes before having pictures taken with Santa. Admission for Breakfast with Santa is $5.00, while children 3 and under are free.

For more information about any of the City of Gulf Shores holiday events, contact the Special
Events Division at 251-968-1172.

Looking for More Gulf Shores Holiday Happenings? And if you need a place to stay during the holidays, you don’t want to miss our great family-friendly, relaxing houses, right on the beach in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!

Christmas Things to Do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Gulf Shores Christmas Snowman

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Holiday Things to Do

What to do over the holidays? Go to the beach of course! And what are some Christmas things to do in Gulf Shores? Quite a lot.

Christmas with Aaron Neville, December 3

How about starting with a little mood music from Aaron Neville? You can do that at the Wharl on December 3, 2014. Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf, 4671 Wharf Parkway, Orange Beach, AL 36561 The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber on Tuesday announced a December concert by R&B and soul singer Aaron Neville that will be part of this year’s Coastal Christmas holiday events schedule. Todd Edwards, who is heading up the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber’s holiday programs, said the event, “Christmas with Aaron Neville — A Coastal Christmas Concert,” will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. “We’re excited,” Edwards said at the Orange Beach City Council’s meeting on Tuesday. “Coastal Christmas is special to us. It’s an entire season from Thanksgiving till after New Years, so we’re fired up for what it means to the city of Orange Beach and to our cities here. We’re excited about the kick off to it and a lot of special events.” Tickets for the Neville concert go on sale Thursday and will be available at Premium seating is $100 and general admission is $50.

Christmas Parade & Lighting of the Beach, December 5

Or maybe a traditional parade is more your style?! The Gulf Shores parade and lighting of the beach is great one of the Christmas things to do in Gulf Shores & Orange BeachThe 5th Annual City of Gulf Shores Christmas Parade will be held on the First Friday of December. The parade will start at Club House Dr. on Hwy. 59, head south, and end at the Gulf Shores Public Beach. At the end of the parade, they have the lighting of the beach ceremony.

The parade will start at 6:30pm.

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, December 13

Another one of the fun Christmas things to do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach is the Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade (in its 29th year!). The boat parade will be held on Saturday, December 13th at 5:30 pm beginning at LuLu’s at Homeport Marina. So have some shrimp, fried crab claws, or mani tacos, then watch them set sail!

The parade will travel east down the Intracoastal Waterway Canal, pass The Wharf (public viewing area), around Bear Point, along the south end of Ono Island, west to Perdido Pass, north into Terry Cove Harbor, south to bridge, and end in Orange Beach. The estimated time of completion is 8:00 p.m.

Another Jingle Jangle Christmas Things to Do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach? Stay with us of course!

If you need a place to stay for any of these great events, we have some great deals on many of our awesome beach vacation houses. Check them out and let us know what you need.

Hope to see you out and about and on the beaches soon!

Orange Beach Christmas on the Beach Santa

Shrimpfest traffic closures/changes, no ferry service

The National Gulf Coast Shrimp Festival is this weekend in Gulf Shores: Shrimpfest traffic closures and other key information for those of you in our vacation homes

Hey folks. So its that time of year again… Shrimpfest!

Road Closings for the Shrimp Festival!

Already closed for Shrimpfest traffic:

Hwy 182 between W. 2nd Street and E. 1st Street.

Hwy 59 south of 1st Avenue.

East Gulf Place.

Closing Thursday for Shrimpfest traffic

Hwy 182 will be closed from E. 2nd Street the rest of the way to W. 3rd Street.

Other Changes for Shrimpfest traffic

Traffic flow east of Hwy 59 will convert to one-way-only on Thursday.

For more information regarding detours or closures, contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce at 251-968-6904 or visit the Shrimp Festival website at

Ferry news. Currently no ferry service for Shrimpfest:

Also of note, Shrimpfest traffic will have to find other routes than the Mobile Bay Ferry, which remains closed through at least Friday. Check the Mobile Bay Ferry site for updates.

Have fun, eat shrimp, rock on!

Gulf Shores to get new Lagoon overlook on Highway 59 sidewalk

Sidewalks, sidewalks, everywhere! Lots over sidewalk upgrades in Gulf Shores, even an awesome overlook!

So, if you’ve been to Gulf Shores lately (and why haven’t you, if not?), you no doubt saw some of the many sidewalk upgrades and additions going on. We have pathways going all sorts of places. Oh the places you’ll go, on foot! Gulf Shores was never very pedestrian friendly, but its been in the throws of the national trend toward walking and multipurpose pathways.

And its gotten a lot of matching dollars to do it. $100K here, and $100K there, soon we are talking real money!

One of the most recent additions to the sidewalk plans is an overlook off Highway 59, near 12th Street. It’ll look over Little Lagoon. And, it sounds like it will have seating and a water fountain. How awesome is that!

If you are in the area soon and see any progress on this or any other part of the Gulf Shores pathways, snap and pic and send us a note. We’d love to hear what you think!