Thursday, December 27, 2012

Good Golf on the Gulf Coast this Winter

Make room to pack your clubs so you can hit the links when you coast awhile this winter. If you are coming from a colder climate, winter golf will be a special treat - and even if you are not, the uncrowded courses and bargains are a delight.

Just getting outside in the warm sunshine for a round of golf in winter is refreshing. On top of that, your rental rate and golf fees are reduced, so why not stay longer and play more. There are nine championship courses at your favorite course and each one has a distinct personality – much like your golf buddies.

The two northernmost courses, Timbercreek and Rock Creek, have a unique topography for our flat coastal area. The elevation that’s higher than the beach makes for quite a view from tee box to green. A few miles south of these beauties and just south of Tanger Outlets (where you can buy some cool golf duds, by the way) is Glenlakes that is built to emulate the Scottish dunes. Just before you cross the Intracoastal Waterway bridge you’ll have two award-winning choices designed by the golf legend Arnold Palmer: Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend at Craft Farms. These signature courses are described as two of the best public courses in the South.

Crossing the bridge and just to the west down Clubhouse Drive, you’ll find the original area golf course – Gulf Shores Golf Club – where you will experience magnificent mature landscaping as well as an upgraded, remodeled course. From there, go a little south and then west again, turning down the picturesque Fort Morgan Parkway (Hwy. 180). Follow the road and you’ll encounter Peninsula on the right, which lies along the bay and features some tricky sand traps. Down the same parkway and to the left, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is the award-winning Kiva Dunes that some might say is the most challenging course in the region but is still friendly enough to be playable by those who aren’t scratch golfers.

Leaving Gulf Shores and heading to the east along the beach highway on the scenic island of Perdido Key, Florida you’ll find Lost Key, which is another Arnold Palmer designed course. Don’t let the reputation of being called “lost ball golf course” intimidate you - just take along your least favorite balls for the drop offs into the marshy areas that have critters you might not encounter on your home course.

So now that you know a little about the courses, let’s talk bargains. By combining the lower vacation rental rate in winter with the lower golf course fees, you can enjoy the savings while you enjoy this addictive sport.

Here's an example of a great golf package this winter - the rate for four players staying four nights (taking advantage of the Winter Special free night) in a three-bedroom condo directly on the gulf and playing a round of golf at Glenlakes, Cotton Creek and Peninsula between now and February 28, 2013 would be a grand total of $1550. That’s less than $97 per person per night – what a deal! Of course there are numerous combinations of condos or houses and golf courses that we can coordinate, and fortunately we have golf package coordinators ready to assist you. Simply call Jimmy or Elizabeth at 800-964-4653.

We'd love to hear the names of your favorite gulf coast golf courses - so take a moment and let us know.

Related articles
Gulf Shores Golf Vacation Packages

Friday, December 21, 2012

Create Your Own Jewelry from Endless Possibilities

Creating your own jewelry masterpiece is a superior way to take home a coastal treasure and learn a new skill at the same time. Make Blue Girl Beading your headquarters for all things bling, and you will walk away with a memorable souvenir.  

The postcard advertisement for Blue Girl Beading promises “endless possibilities” and “millions of beads to choose from.” Frankly, that didn’t seem possible. However, once you visit this charming business you will soon realize every word is true. But don’t let the choices overwhelm you - the team will help design and create your memorable piece of jewelry for you.

This boutique offers one-of-a-kind stones, beads and pearls as well as unique stamped jewelry and blown-glass jewelry. The business, which has been open 8 years, outgrew its original small shop and is now conveniently located at 2200 E. 2nd Street in Gulf Shores by Dog House Grille and Amelia’s Deli. Plan to take a class or schedule a one-on-one consultation and become part of the creative process. They even host bridal and birthday parties – wouldn’t that be fun to do as a group?

What is your favorite coastal look for a unique souvenir necklace?

Related articles

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Start 2013 with a Big Bang at the Beach

From fireworks to family fun, your favorite coast is filled with festivities to help you, your family and your friends celebrate the end of 2012 and the beginning of a new year.

Before you count down to midnight, start by counting to noon at the Noon Year’s celebration at LuLu’s. This event, designed for all ages, happens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 featuring the cutest animals from the Alabama Gulf Coat Zoo plus clowns, face painters, castle contests, bubble wrap and musical entertainment by L’Angelus.

For a literal big bang, The Wharf is hosting a free New Year’s Eve Bash at the Beach celebration with the largest fireworks display on the coast. This family-friendly event includes live bands at the Main Street Stage, a kid zone with ice skating, and even dinner specials at many of the restaurants.

Or head to The Hangout for the biggest dance party on the beach, with DJ Jermaine Quiz rocking the night away for the 21+ age group. Stick around for the balloon drop for a chance to win 2013 Hangout Music Festival tickets.

Return to the same spot on New Year’s Day for the 2nd annual Kiwanis Club of Gulf Shores Slip and Slide Polar Bear Dip at The Hangout. The fun starts at 11 a.m., with the dip at noon and a free, all-ages concert featuring Grayson Capps and the Lost Cause Minstrels. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes, and prizes will be awarded at this fun celebration.

Another Polar Bear Dip also starts at noon at Flora-Bama, where individuals join hands to dip into the Gulf of Mexico and celebrate with traditional black beans when they emerge from the waters at the Alabama-Florida state line.

Meyer Vacation Rentals has prepared a big bang for your buck with 50% savings! Select your favorite condo or beach house, save 50% on your 4-night rental, and join in the fun as you celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day on the coast.

50% off 4 nights in a condo or beach house
Valid for stays thru 1/2/13.
Promo code 12NY50.866-202-0962

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Winning National Shrimp Festival Recipes

Want to get your hands on the top three shrimp recipes from award-winning Alabama Gulf Coast chefs? Sure you do and we’re happy to share them with you because the Alabama Gulf Coast Area of Commerce shared the winning recipes from the Fifth Annual Zatarain's National Shrimp Festival Restaurant Challenge with us.

The restaurant challenge, which is held each October, gives local restaurants the opportunity to compete for the bragging rites for preparing the best shrimp dish. The honor holds true for an entire year until the contest rolls around again. To compete, the dishes had to feature Alabama Wild Shrimp and at least one of the 200+ products produced by Zatarain. Beyond that the imaginations of the chefs were unleashed and their creativity definitely showed through in the contest entries.

So here are the winning recipes (at least the shrimp portion of the delicious dishes):

1st Place Winner
Chef Ashley Cabana at Shaggy's Waterfront Bar and Grill in Orange Beach
Zatarain's Blackened Garlic Crusted Shrimp
served with Smoked Gouda Grits and Green Tomato Marmalade

Alabama Wild Shrimp (12) large
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zatarain’s blackened seasoning

Peel the body of the shrimp leaving the head on and generously season with Zatarain’s blackened seasoning.
In a cast iron skillet bring the olive oil almost to the point of smoking.
Add large shrimp, turning on each side just until they begin to turn pink.
Add garlic and immediately add the juice of the lemon.

Smoked Gouda Grits
1c of grits
2c of chicken stock
1/2c heavy cream
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 lb. Smoked Gouda cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan add chicken stock and butter and bring to a rolling boil.
Add grits and cook until al dente but not gritty approximately 20 min.
Add heavy cream and let reduce and simmer 5 min or until thickened.
Turn off the heat and fold in smoked Gouda cheese and season with salt and pepper.

2nd Place Winner
Chef Michael Pophin at Nolan's Restaurant and Lounge in Gulf Shores
 Pecan Crusted Grouper served on a bed of Zatarain's Rice Pilaf
topped with Pineapple Beurre Blanc
 with Caribbean Jerk Shrimp and Lemon Hollandaise.

Caribbean Jerk Shrimp
Fresh Alabama large shrimp peeled, deveined and butterflied.

Jerk seasoning:
2oz garlic powder
2oz ground black pepper
2 oz onion powder
1 tbl of Zatarain’s cayenne powder
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
1oz ground cinnamon
1oz of kosher salt
3oz of Jamaican auspice
1oz red pepper flakes
1oz salted butter
1 cup heavy cream

Coat shrimp with Jerk seasoning; add to skillet over medium heat, with butter.
Cook shrimp until done, remove from pan and hold.
Add cream and Jerk seasoning to taste and reduce until thick.
Return shrimp to pan and hold until plating entrée.

3rd Place Winner
Chef Mike Myers at Flippers Restaurant in Orange Beach
Creole Shrimp Moutarde En Boule
2 tbl butter
1 tbl diced shallots
Season salt
10 ea peeled/deveined Alabama Wild Shrimp
2 oz Pinot Grigio white wine
3 oz heavy cream season to taste
2 tbl Zatarain’s Creole mustard
2 oz diced fresh tomato
1 tbl diced fresh chives
1 ea sourdough boule
6 oz Elberta sausage

Sauté shallots in butter, add Alabama Wild Shrimp, and season salt (Cavender’s creek)
Cook 2 minutes each side, deglaze with wine
Add cream and reduce to desire thickness (1-2 minutes)
Add Creole mustard and blend in well, add tomato and chives
Spoon into toasted sourdough bread bowl which has a top and partial interior removed
Cut grilled Elberta sausage a long rim of bread bowl garnish as desired

Of course if you can’t get fresh shrimp or choose not to attempt these recipes yourself, you can always go to Shaggy’s, Nolan’s and Flippers on your next beach getaway and sample these and other seafood creations.

See you at the beach!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gulf Coast Coastal Christmas Happenings on December 8

Saturday (December 8th) is a BIG day for COASTAL CHRISTMAS happenings in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. It's probably impossible to experience all of the festivities but if you could here's what your Saturday would look like:

First thing in the morning - beginning at 9 a.m. - run in the 5 K Jingle Bell Run at Flora-Bama but be sure to stretch first. Stick around to see Santa fall from the sky (don't worry he will be wearing a parachute) at the annual Santa Drop at Flora-Bama where the music, fun and games begin at 10 a.m.

Then swing by and buy your special cookies & candies for Christmas gifts at the Orange Beach United Methodist Church during their Cookie Extravaganza from 9 til noon. Don't stay too long because the Merry Market at The Wharf Event Center in Orange Beach also has lots of holiday arts and crafts for you to purchase beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting til 4 p.m. By the way admission is free to this exciting marketplace.

Once you have your special gifts tucked away, head over to LuLu’s at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores where Billy Claus & the LuLuBelles arrive at noon and promise an afternoon of family fun, free arts and crafts. Billy Claus is a little known brother of Santa and is sure to entertain the whole family.

Here's where the schedule gets tricky because you can't be in two places at once. The annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade begins at LuLu's at Homeport Marina at 5:30 p.m. so it's a great place to see the launch of these beautifully decorated holiday themed vessels. The boat parade will proceed along the Intracoastal Waterway past The Wharf and will end at Zeke’s Landing in Orange Beach at around 8:30 p.m., so anywhere along the waterway is a great spot to view the spectacle of nautical lights.

The tricky part is the fact that in addition to the fun at LuLu's there's a Wharf Christmas Open House from 4-7 p.m. and stores will be offering specials and serving finger foods and beverages. So you might have to decide whether to stay at LuLu's or go to The Wharf. Or you could see the boats launch at LuLu's at 5:30 p.m. and head to The Wharf because the boat parade is expected to pass by that location around 7 pm.

I hesitate to even tell you there's an opportunity to Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts that same day where you can get photos with Santa plus cookies & eggnog. But there are two more chances to experience this treat on December 15th and 22nd.

Are you exhausted just reading the list of possibilities? Don't be. Just pick and choose your events this Saturday and have a jolly good time on your favorite coast.

Check out the Meyer Vacation Rentals calendar of events and Music Calendar for more details on Coastal Christmas and other area happenings.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Gulf Shores Vacation Savings

So many sales are happening online today for a wide variety of products and services and we are excited to add to the list of bargains with a sale on a week's vacation at your favorite beach. Today only during our Cyber Monday sale you can get two free nights for each week you reserve for any season (including summer).

Whether you like a cozy one-bedroom condo with an awesome balcony view to share a breathtaking sunset or you plan to bring the whole family for fun in the sun and need a 2-, 3- or even 4-bedroom coastal condo, we have properties in over 180 buildings. Just pick your favorite beach - Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Perdido Key - pick your amenities and pick your week.

Maybe your family of 4 or 5 or 6 or more likes the privacy of a beach house or a house on the lagoon, bay or river. Perhaps a larger group of friends or extended family wants to gather together and share one big space where you can share meals, games and lots of laughter. If so our larger rental houses and duplexes are just the perfect fit ranging from a 4-bedroom house all the way up to a brand new 10-bedroom beauty - The Veranda - that will sleep up to 31.

So what are you waiting for. Get online now and reserve your preferred spot for your preferred week and get two free nights, but remember the Cyber Monday sale ends at midnight tonight.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dreaming of a White (Sandy Beach) Christmas?

Treat yourself and your loved ones to snow-white sand this holiday. Spend a festive Coastal Christmas where Christmas parades expand beyond the streets to the water, with a lighted boat parade and Santa parachuting onto the beach at Flora-Bama. (Details)

The island will light up for a Coastal Christmas! A number of festivities are planned for the entire family, so take your pick and start a new holiday beach tradition:
  • Nov. 23 to Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. -- Holiday Ice Skating at The Wharf in Orange Beach – Ice rink located on the ground floor of west parking lot near Ginny Lane’s. Skate rentals and refreshments available.
  • Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon -- Tea with Santa at Villagio Grille at The Wharf
  • Nov. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. -- Santa by the Fire – Gulf State Park Pavilion.
  • Nov. 27 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. -- Orange Beach Tree Lighting & Visit with Santa at The Wharf – Holiday stories, free cookies and hot chocolate.
  • Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. -- City of Gulf Shores Christmas Open House
  • Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. -- City of Gulf Shores Christmas Parade and Beach Celebration – Begins at Clubhouse Drive and proceeds along Hwy. 59 to The Hangout at the Public Beach.
  • Dec. 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. -- Pictures with Santa – Orange Beach Cotton Bayou Beach Access. 
  • Dec. 2 from 2:30 to 3:30 -- “Messiah” with the Pensacola Symphony – Gulf Shores United Methodist Sanctuary.
  • Dec. 7 -- "Light Up the Arts" on the Coast - Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach
  • Dec. 8 at 9 a.m. -- 5 K Jingle Bell Run - Flora-Bama
  • Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. -- Santa Drop at Flora-Bama – Music, fun and games.
  • Dec. 8 at noon -- Billy Claus & the LuLuBelles – LuLu’s at Homeport Marina
  • Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Merry Market at The Wharf Event Center Orange Beach. Free admission.
  • Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. -- Christmas Lighted Boat Parade – Begins at LuLu’s at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores, proceeds along the Intracoastal Waterway past The Wharf, and ends at Zeke’s Landing in Orange Beach.
  • Dec. 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. -- Christmas Concert – Gulf Shores United Methodist Church. Free admission.
  • Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Open House – Refreshments served.
  • Dec. 15 from 8 a.m. -- Breakfast with Santa - Erie Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores
  • Dec. 15 & 22 - Santa at Life's a Canvas - SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach
  • Dec. 25 from 1 - 3 p.m.- Christmas Potluck at Flora-Bama
  • Dec. 29 8 a.m. - Make it to the Line Run/Walk at Flora-Bama
  • Dec. 31 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Noon Year's Eve Celebration at LuLu's at Homeport Marina
  • Dec. 31 - New Years Eve Bash at Flora-Bama
  • Jan. 1 at noon -- Slip and Slide Polar Bear Dip – Gulf Shores Public Beach at The Hangout.
  • Jan. 1 at noon -- Polar Bear Dip at Flora-Bama
Plan your fun coastal times around these events and find more details at our Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Calendar of Events and Gulf Shores Music Calendar. Meyer is your beach vacation and concert connection.

Warm up to our winter savings and enjoy a free night when you spend your Coastal Christmas on the island.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Expect Full Flavor on the Half Shell at this weekend's Oyster Cook-off in Gulf Shores

Are you game to taste all the team entries of Rockefeller, Gulf Coast Cajun or chef’s choice raw oysters on the half shell? This Saturday (November 3rd) is your golden opportunity to try these delicious creations at the 5th Annual Oyster Cook-off at The Hangout presented by Alabama Gulf Seafood. Add to the mix live music, big-screen TV viewing of SEC college football (Alabama vs. LSU), a beer garden, games and prizes, PLUS free nights, and you have the ingredients for full-on fun at the beach. We will even kick in a free $20 gift card to The Hangout. 

Condos: Rent 2 nights, get the 3rd night free
Houses: Rent 3 nights, get the 4th night free
PLUS a free $20 gift card to The Hangout!
Promo code 12OY-T

Take a mouth watering look at last year's fantastic food and fun!

More Oyster Cook-off details:

  • The Oyster Cook-off fun and food begins at 10 a.m. with live music throughout the event by The Banditos, LF Knighton, and The Soul Rebels Brass Band.
  • The celebrity judges for the cook-off are David Holloway from the Press-Register, Birmingham News & Huntsville Times; Erin Street from Southern Living; and Devon Walsh from WKRG TV.
  • Celebrities are even competing against regional chefs. Martie Duncan, a finalist in the Food Network Star competition, and her four team mates will square off in all oyster categories.
  • Regional chefs include Chef Jim Smith, the governor’s executive chef; Chef Wesley True from True in Montgomery, Chef James Boyce from Cotton Row Restaurant, Pane e Vino and Commerce Kitchen in Huntsville; Chef Bill Stellwagen from Westin Huntsville; Chef Stafford Decambra from Windcreek Casino in Atmore; Chef Rob McDaniel from Springhouse Restaurant at Lake Martin; Chef Leonardo Maurelli from Railyard Brewing Co in Montgomery; Chef Landon Thompson from Iberian Pig in Atlanta; Chef Alec Naman from Naman’s Catering in Mobile and Chef Chris Sherrill from Eat & Staycations in Orange Beach.
  • Teams will also represent the following Gulf Coast restaurants: After Ours, Big Fish Restaurant, Bubba’s Seafood House, City Grill, Gulf Island Grill, Happy Harbor, Jellyfish Restaurant, Live Bait, Little House Bistro, LL’s Seafood, Louisiana Lagniappe, Nolan’s Restaurant & Lounge, Old 27 Grill, Original Oyster House, Paradise Island Daiquiri, Rotolo’s Pizza, Seaside Package, Shaggy’s Bar & Grill, Shrimp Basket/Steamer, Steve’s Place, Tacky Jack’s, The Gulf, The Hangout, Voyagers @ Perdido Beach Resort, West Beach Grille, Wintzell’s Oyster House and Wolf Bay Lodge.
Make your plans (and your reservations) without delay for this seafood celebration on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores where you can expect full flavor and a free night.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Food, Music or Art Fest? What is the National Shrimp Festival?

Is the National Shrimp Festival, held in Gulf Shores Oct. 11-14, a food, music or arts event? YES. It’s actually a combination of all three with a beach backdrop and a free night (condos 3rd night/houses 4th night). Family festival fun just doesn’t get any better.

This 41st annual fun, family-friendly festival focuses on our favorite crustacean and features music, fine arts, arts and crafts, and a children's village on the beachfront directly in front of The Hangout at the end of Hwy. 59 in Gulf Shores.

Our top ten tips for attending Shrimp Fest:

1. Transportation – Ride the BRATS “Park-N-Ride” shuttle for $2, since parking is extremely limited. Click here for the schedule and locations.

2. Children – The little ones in your group will love the Children’s Activity Village, open 10-5 each day and featuring free arts and crafts, inflatables and entertainment throughout the day.

3. Sand Sculpture Contest – Dive in individually or as a family to make your artistic mark on the beach at the Sand Sculpture Contest on Saturday, Oct. 13. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the contest runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Age categories are 5-10, 11-15, & 16+, and you can assist your child with his or her creation in the “Family” category, which has a cash prize of $100 for the winner.

4. Music – Bring your portable lawn chair and set up early for your favorite entertainers at either the East or West Stage. Here’s the schedule for four days of music featuring country star Phil Vassar on Friday evening and Eddie Money on Saturday night, along with a wide array of music acts.

5. Run – Register online for the 10K/5K Shrimp Festival Run/Walk benefiting Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment. You’ll find it at the Orange Beach Sportsplex on Saturday, Oct. 13 beginning at 8 a.m.

6. Arts & Crafts – The area for Arts and Crafts has expanded to allow for even more variety. Give yourself two days, not just one, to browse and shop the 250+ vendors at the Shrimp Festival. Keep in mind that most vendors close shop around 6 p.m. even though the festival continues into the night.

7. Fine Art – Don’t miss this juried section of art that is located at the end of Hwy. 59 (between The Hangout and the Public Beach restrooms) and you’ll find photography, oil & watercolor paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more from some of the best artists originating from throughout the U.S.

8. Food – There are two sections of food vendors along the beach boardwalk to the east and west of the center of the public beach, so plan to view your selections in both areas. Local restaurants participate in the festival alongside food vendors from other areas serving shrimp, of course, plus other fresh seafood delicacies. There are even a handful of places where you can fill up on the typical festival foods like corn dogs, roasted corn, funnel cakes and even fried Oreos. Be sure to find Rockin’ Roger’s Cajun Cuisine and try their famous Cajun pistols.

9. Dress – We are always casual at the beach. The weather should be warm during the day, with a historical average of 80 degrees, and a little cooler at night with temps averaging 59 degrees.

10. Beach – One of the best reasons to attend the National Shrimp Festival is the beautiful beach venue. So relax, take off your shoes and feel that soft white sand between your toes, or just sit on the boardwalk benches and take in the sights and sounds of the surf.

In addition to this feast for your eyes, ears, and certainly your palate at the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, you can feast on a FREE night at select properties during the festival.

Shrimp Festival Deals - 3rd night FREE in condos & 4th night FREE in houses Promo code 12SF
NOTE: Offer includes Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key properties only; Gulf Shores properties excluded. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bulls on the Beach This Weekend in Orange Beach

Cowboy boots and bikinis will come together in Orange Beach this weekend. Surprising? A little until you hear the whole story.

We have a local celebrity named Cody Harris, from Robertsdale, AL, who was a participant in the Country Music Television Sweet Home Alabama show and then later on the Southern Nights TV shows. Cody is producing a never-before-attempted professional bull riding event at Live Bait in Orange Beach beginning today through Saturday.

The venue will be an 1,800-seat arena set up for bull-riding on Saturday followed by an outdoor concert by country music artist Pat Green. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for children 10 years or younger. More info is available on the Live Bait Restaurant website.

So now you know where the cowboy boots fit in - the bull riders and audience - but what about the bikinis? Well tonight at Live Bait Too nightclub there will be an adults-only, over 21 "Babes on the Bull" mechanical bull-riding contest for bikini-clad participants.

During the three days of activities there will also be a "meet and greet" opportunity with some of the other cast members of Sweet Home Alabama and Southern Nights, plus children's activities and fireworks.

My tip to you is take the shuttles that will run from the Gulf State Park Pavilion because on-site parking will be very limited.

Hurry to the beach, you don't want to miss the fun.

Need a place to stay? Check out our Hot Deals in Orange Beach and surrounding beach communities.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gulf Shores BOGO - Buy One Get One FREE December week Sale Ends July 31

I love a bargain and I love sharing the news when I find one. One of the best deals you will find on our beautiful Gulf Coast is the Meyer Vacation Rentals Christmas in July 7-day sale that is happening right now but ending in just a few days (7/31/12). During this sale you can buy one December week and get one FREE, valid for vacations December 1st through the 29th.

The island is gearing up to make this December a special one for visitors and residents with holiday activities throughout the area. The lighted boat parade is a favorite and this year it will be held on December 8 along the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (Alabama). During the day on December 8th bring the family to witness the Santa Drop at Flora-Bama where the jolly guy jumps from a plane and parachutes to the beach or shop for last-minute gifts at the Merry Market at The Wharf. The evening before (Dec. 7) bring the gang to Orange Beach for a sleigh ride through the Backcountry Trail.

I will keep you informed as more events get added to the list of special activities for December. In the meantime don't miss this opportunity to capture a great deal. For example during this limited-time Christmas in July sale you can rent a three-bedroom condo for two weeks in December (12/1/12-12/29/12) directly on the gulf that sleeps eight for a total price of $1,237 including rent, taxes and fees. That's a savings of $1,059 and only around $88 per day for accommodations up to eight people. See what I mean about being a bargain?

There are so many things to do in December that you might not do in summer such as hiking, biking, golf, exploring historic sites, nature trails, birding sites and museums. You will love December at the beach. So hurry and call or click to get your two-week vacation set before the BOGO deal expires and I'll see you at the beach.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Going for the Gold at the London 2012 Olympics

Have you been following the U.S. Women's Soccer team? It's so exciting to watch their bid for Olympic Gold as they head into the London 2012 Olympics ranked #1 in the world.

Since CENTURY 21 is the official real estate company of U.S. Soccer, our team of sales professionals at CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate are on the edge of our seats as the U.S. Women's soccer team travels to Glasgow on Wednesday, July 25, two days prior to the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics, to face the team from France. The broadcast should air at 12 p.m. EST on either MSNBC or NBC Sports Network. Following that match they will face Columbia on Saturday (July 28) and North Korea the following Tuesday (July 31). We certainly hope to see them advance to the gold medal game on Thursday, August 9.

Our CENTURY 21 Smarter.Bolder.Faster television commercials will air during a variety of Olympic events on both MSNBC and NBC Sports Network. Join us in cheering on both the U.S. Women's Soccer team as they go for the gold and the U.S. Men's Soccer team in the Olympic matches that begin soon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Relax at Six Lazy Rivers in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Last May my extended family from Birmingham joined me at the beach for a long weekend of fun together. I can tell you that we made amazing memories that I will always treasure. We rented a great condo at Phoenix West and loved all of the amenities, especially the lazy river. It was just what I needed to slow down my pace, take a long deep breath and feel the stress leave my life as I peacefully floated along the lazy river with my family.

There was even a really cool slide at one end of the lazy river. And after the kids asked a few times I tried it out - to their delight and mine. Of course all three kids and their mom and dad had a blast at the slide too.

There are actually six resorts featuring lazy rivers, so I compiled a list for you to consider on your next trip to Alabama's Gulf Coast:

Caribe Resort
Anticipate a resort experience designed to deliver fun for all and you’ll find what you seek at Caribe resort. Located on the upper-deck, in addition to other pools and waterpark-type slides, is an 18-inch deep lazy river that is 980-feet long and situated perfectly for great views of the Gulf of Mexico. Grab an inner tube and relax as you float along amid lush landscaping or gather with friends and family on the large sundeck surrounding this popular water feature.

Crystal Tower
Stroll across the area’s only air conditioned pedestrian bridge to discover the largest gulf side pool and lazy river anywhere on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Fabulous views of the sugar-white beach and inspiring Gulf waters will be yours from your relaxing vantage point at Crystal Tower while you drift freely on the lazy river.

Phoenix on the Bay I and Phoenix on the Bay II
Find both excitement and relaxation at Phoenix on the Bay I and Phoenix on the Bay II, where you can slide into a water-filled adventure. Treat the kids or feel like a kid again yourself when everyone takes a turn or two on the exciting waterslide. Then just relax and let the lazy river take you round and round the picturesque route overlooking the peaceful bay at Terry Cove.

Phoenix West
Escape to a beachside paradise at Phoenix West where the abundant amenities include a soothing lazy river equipped with a waterslide to add a little action to your world of water treats. You will feel the tension melt away as you gracefully glide along with the sights and sounds of the surf in the background.

Turquoise Place
Discover luxury when you arrive at your upscale Turquoise Place destination, a true resort complete with activities for the enjoyment of the entire family. Pause to savor these delightful experiences as you indulge yourself in the luxurious 450-foot lazy river overlooking the brilliant white sands and emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Wharf
Stimulate your senses at The Oasis at The Wharf, a water facility in a lush tropical setting that features three pools including a zero-entry pool, lagoon pool and lazy river complete with the excitement of a waterslide. Surround yourself with the soothing sounds of waterfalls, relax on the sandy beaches, and take relaxation to a new level on Hammock Island.

So now that you have the list, take your pick and I'll see you on a lazy river at the beach.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

BeachFest 2012 - Kick-off Fall Football in (Beach) Style in Gulf Shores

I LOVE football, especially SEC football, which is a curiosity to some of my co-workers, but hey I was raised in the south where football reigns supreme in the fall. Events (even weddings) are planned around dates and times that our favorite SEC teams are playing. So I couldn't be happier about the first annual SEC BeachFest 2012 in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach August 23-26.

So here's the deal...not only will some of the most famous current coaches attend the event but some of the legends will be here too. Just look at the list:

Current SEC coaches featured at BeachFest 2012:
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik
LSU Head Coach Les Miles

The SEC coach legends:
Pat Dye of Auburn
Gene Stallings of Alabama
Vince Dooley of Georgia
Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee

You can be sure that alumni will be present at all the headquarter restaurants to celebrate a football-focused Fanfare weekend at the shore.

There will be music at the beach (another favorite activity for me) featuring the B-52s and Dr. John, plus an additional concert at the Wharf. FanZone fueled by BP will include family and kids’ activities like a sand castle building competition, sports clinics with Legendary SEC Coaches, beach games, beach volleyball, touch football with SEC legends, a 5k run and one-mile fun run, alumni golf scramble and waffle breakfast.

How can you "get in the game" for this championship celebration? Event tickets, valued at $25, are complimentary for Meyer Vacation Rental guests. In addition to rental prices being lower than summer rates there is also a FREE NIGHT SPECIAL valid for stays 8/21/12-8/29/12. Get a 3rd night free in condos or 4th night free in houses allowing promotional rates(with promo code 12SECC).

My best advice is even though it's summer and you might not be in football mode yet, book now to position yourself strategically at your favorite condo or house for a winning BeachFest weekend.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Top 10 Beach and Beyond Vacation Tips for Gulf Shores

You plan for months to enjoy the sand and surf at your favorite beach in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. What do you do if red (warning) flags are flying one or more days and actual swimming in the gulf is prohibited? Here are my top 10 tips for the beach and beyond.

1. Go to the beach.
Even when swimming in the gulf waters is off limits, the relaxed feeling of being at the shore continues. Take a stroll or gather interesting shells. Feel like a kid again by building a sandcastle. Read the book(s) you can’t get to at home. Simply smell the salt air and feel the soft sands under your feet.

2. Go swimming.
A few alternatives to gulf swimming include Lake Shelby at the Gulf State Park, a day-pass at Bodenhamer Center in Gulf Shores, or Waterville USA waterpark.

3. Go to the zoo.
Experience our quaint Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo—“The Little Zoo That Could” as featured on the Animal Planet series—where you can see 290+ animals including lions, tigers, monkeys and exotic birds. For an extra fee, book an up-close encounter with lion cubs, lemurs, kangaroos and various baby animals.

4. Go antiquing.
Step back in time when you visit the Foley antique stores that include Old Armory Antique Mall, Gift Horse Center and Antique Stalls and Hollis Ole Crush Antique Mall. There is even an antique rose trail that follows the old railroad line and is lined with antique heritage roses and an old-fashioned soda fountain at Stacey’s Drug Store.

5. Go play golf.
Nine signature courses are located a short drive (pun intended) from the beach, where resort golf means vistas and terrain challenges not experienced on your home turf. Play a round or two of mini-golf with friends or family at Waterville USA, Adventure Island, The Track, Shrimpy’s, Zooland (yes, next to the zoo) or Pirate’s Island.

6. Go kayaking.
The back bays, lagoons and rivers are excellent for watersports such as kayaking, and a wide variety of rental companies provide all the equipment you need for a fun water adventure just beyond the beach.

7. Go fishing.
Orange Beach is home to the largest charter fishing fleet on the Gulf of Mexico, plus you’ll enjoy inshore charters, surf fishing, and pier fishing at the Gulf State Park on the 1,540-foot pier.

8. Go for the thrill.
Choose your level of thrill at local attractions: Mountain of Youth (ropes course) at LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, the roller coaster at Waterville USA, Skycoaster at The Track, Ferris wheel at The Wharf, or go-carts at Waterville USA, The Track and Adventure Island.

9. Go birding.
Birding by land and by water is very popular on our coast, and signage will guide you to the best birding opportunities. Follow the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail to 22 local spots—and be sure to bring your camera.

10. Go dolphin watching.
A coastal retreat is not complete without a boating adventure to watch dolphins frolic in their natural habitat. You’ll find dolphin cruise opportunities at most marinas.

Monday, July 02, 2012

HRH (Her Royal Highness) - a New Accessory in Gulf Shores

Want to find an unusual gift item, unique décor accessory, bathing suit or jewelry to complement your resort attire? Take a look at HRH (Her Royal Highness) in Gulf Shores for a different approach to accessorizing yourself and your home.

Is the new HRH store, located across from Cobb Theater in Gulf Shores, a furniture store, a gift shop or a clothing boutique? You decide for yourself next time you visit. One thing for sure is you will like this new accessory to our area, especially if you are an Alabama or LSU fan.

Stop by on your next visit to the coast for a real treat for the eyes and a relaxed atmosphere complete with complimentary strawberry- and lemon-infused water and Southern hospitality from the friendly and knowledgeable staff. This new addition to our resort community is located at 3769 Gulf Shores Parkway (Hwy. 59) in the beautifully remodeled building formerly occupied by Island Interiors.