Friday, June 19, 2009

Foley Beach Express Travel Tip for Gulf Shores Island

During the summer traffic increases on Saturday afternoon as you reach your beach resort destination, in particular on Gulf Shores Parkway (Hwy. 59) from Foley south. I'm excited to see our visitors arrive to check-in at Meyer Real Estate but I also see their frustration with Saturday traffic. To ease your anxiety and speed up the process I'd like to offer a travel tip from a local perspective. Consider an alternate route, the Foley Beach Express, which exists east of and runs parallel to Gulf Shores Parkway (Hwy.59). The Foley Beach Express can be accessed from Hwy. 59 by making one left turn south of Summerdale (north of Foley). Basically this route speeds your entry to our coastal area because it eliminates most of the traffic lights.

You may know about the Foley Beach Express and the toll bridge ($3 toll) over the Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to The Wharf and think of it as quicker access to Orange Beach, and that is true. My travel tip to you today is to ALSO consider the Foley Beach Express when you are traveling to GULF SHORES. What you will do is simply exit the express highway just north of the toll bridge and take Co. Rd. 4 back to Hwy. 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) and then turn left to travel south on Hwy. 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) and over the Intracoastal Waterway bridge to Gulf Shores. This alternate route on Co. Rd. 4 returns you to Hwy. 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) at a traffic light adjacent to the new Pelican Place shopping center.

My suggestion is to use the faster route to the beach on Saturday afternoon and then take some time during your visit to go back to Foley for shopping at Tanger Outlet or dining at one of the many enjoyable restaurants. And my best advice is to relax and enjoy your time on the coast. I also invite you to visit our website to choose accommodations if you have not yet made your summer vacation plans.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day weekend in Gulf Shores includes Concerts + Hot Air Balloon Festival

There so many exciting events happening on our coast this upcoming Father's Day weekend. It's impossible to go to everything but thrilling to have so much variety.

One of my favorite activities is the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival in Foley (June 19-21) not only because of the amazing balloons but the music as well. I usually plan to arrive around 4 p.m. to shop for arts and crafts. My favorite is the pottery but last year I also bought an awesome cowboy hat. This year I'm hoping the craftman who displayed custom-designed porch swings will return because I really want to add that to my patio. I love the festival food so I begin with the Cajun food and roasted corn. Before the weekend is over I'll also enjoy the best corn dog ever and wonderful homemade ice cream.

Both Friday and Saturday evenings half of the hot air balloons will fire up for the glow and tether rides. If you've never seen this beautiful sight you are truly missing a real treat. The other half of the balloons begin to arrive on the horizon and gently float to a landing at the festival. And then the bands begin their musical entertainment (Tip Tops on Friday night and Cheyenne on Saturday night) and I'm happy.

As a kick-off to the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival on Thursday evening (June 18,beginning at 6 p.m.) there will be a hot air balloon glowing at Tanger Outlet along with games and prizes. The entire 3-day weekend shoppers at Tanger Outlet will enjoy special Sidewalk Sales for extra savings to celebrate the Hot Air Balloon Festival. I love to shop so I'll find a way to take advantage of these bargains.

Also on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. a local band that I enjoy very much named "Cool Change" will perform a FREE concert at the Erie Meyer Civic Center courtesy of the City of Gulf Shores.

On Friday at The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach music will fill the air when three bands take the stage - "REO Speedwagon", "Styx" and "38 Special." Then on Saturday at the same venue "Steely Dan" will perform to the delight of fans.

More details can be found at Discover Alabama Beaches.

Enjoy special Father's Day savings at Meyer Real Estate when you choose Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan (Alabama) or Perdido Key (Florida) for your coastal retreat. I hope you can join us for an entertaining vacation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hot Air Balloon Festival Near Gulf Shores Island Begins Soon

We are excited to tell you that this year's Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival will once again feature quality family entertainment - it just gets better every year. You will love this FREE festival so near Gulf Shores, located in Foley on Hwy. 98 West, starting June 19 and running through Father's Day weekend.

Here are my insider tips as a festival committee member:

1. Ride the FREE shuttle provided from downtown Foley that runs every 15 minutes on Friday beginning at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until after 10 p.m. Parking on the grounds is also FREE but the shuttle is easier.

2. Shop for fine art and arts & crafts items during the day to leave evenings open for music and balloon viewing.

3. Dress cool since June is a hot month on the coast. There will be a tent provided to rest and cool off during the day and of course ice cream and other cool refreshments to purchase.

4. Attend the Disc-Connected K9's - World Famous Frisbee Dogs show - it is amazing.

5. Let the little ones unwind at the Children's Village activities.

6. Kick back with a glass of wine or beer and listen to the Tip Tops on Friday evening - I love this band.

7. Enjoy the sounds of Cheyenne on Saturday evening topped off by Fireworks at 10 p.m.

8. Be near the front of the line on Friday or Saturday evening around 7 p.m. for a tethered hot air balloon ride. This is a special FREE treat for the kids but only 50 ride tickets are issued due to fuel constraints

9. Bring a lawn chair to sit back and enjoy the beautiful glow by 20 balloons as you watch the other 25 drift slowly into the festival grounds for a landing on both Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 - 9 p.m.

10. Rent a condo or house with Meyer Real Estate and receive a 20% discount on near-beach accommodations during the Hot Air Balloon Festival

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Orleans Jazz Vipers to Perform in Orange Beach

Jazz at the beach - it doesn't get any better than this. I recently found out that a seven-piece jazz swing band from New Orleans will perform at Tipsea's Steam Shack, which is a fairly new venue in Orange Beach. Since a large crowd is expected to hear the New Orleans Jazz Vipers on Sunday, June 7th beginning at 3:00 p.m., the performance will be held in a large tent onsite. Johnny Barbato & the Lucky Doggs will start off the afternoon of music at 12 p.m.

According to the website for New Orleans Jazz Vipers, their repertoire includes songs from legends such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong; therefore, I know I will enjoy their music and hopefully you will too.

Alabama's coast is excited to add the flavor of New Orleans to its growing list of entertainment activities. There is still time to make your plans for this weekend and you'll find that Meyer Real Estate provides the largest selection of accommodation choices for you. In my opinion a gulf-front condo at one of the Phoenix complexes would be an excellent choice for a weekend getaway located near Tipsea's. Right now is the best time to book your beach vacation during Meyer's 25% discount sale (3-night minimum). For example, during this sale you can book three nights in a one-bedroom Phoenix condo for a total of only $672 (promo code 9SOS-C).

New Orleans-style jazz is certainly not the only reason to head to our coastal paradise but it definitely is a great one. See you at Tipsea's!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Chicago + Earth, Wind & Fire Begins Summer Tour in Orange Beach FRIDAY

Just a few more days until two major musical legends grace the stage at The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach (near Gulf Shores, Alabama). Friday, June 5th, is the day I finally get to use my ticket to hear these amazing artists in my own backyard so to speak.

I just read online at that the two groups have teamed up to create a special set of songs for download with proceeds benefiting World Hunger Year. Also the bands ask all attendees at their shows to bring three cans of non-perishable food or $3 to be donated to local food banks and in exchange for the donation receive a download card for these special songs that include "I Can't Let You Go", "Wishing You Were Here" and a new song entitled "You."

So the countdown begins to an evening of fun. If you are attending this special musical treat and still need accommodations at The Wharf or at a nearby condo or beach house Meyer Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals and HOT DEALS for the best bargains.