Thursday, January 30, 2014

Journey to the Past at the Train Depot Museum in Foley

Our heritage in Baldwin County is one that is deeply rooted in agriculture. There was a time, seemingly not so long ago, that rail service was the primary transportation for the abundant produce grown in our region to reach its intended recipients. Even though train service ended in 1971 you can take a trip back in time to the days of trains in Foley by visiting the L&N Railroad Depot.

This historic building was completed in 1908 to replace the original depot that burned in 1905. This station served as the final stop on the southern end of the railway and today it houses many historic relics from the community’s railroad past.

Mr. John B. Foley of Chicago, one of the founding fathers of Foley, Alabama, reportedly used some of his own money to make sure the rail line was extended from Bay Minette in northern Baldwin County to Foley. The railway ended about one mile south of Foley where there was a wye for the train to use to turn around and head back north loaded with local fare that included potatoes, corn and gladiolas. Yes, the gladiola flower was one of the area’s big crops, which is a story for another day.

Once you make your way to the Foley Railroad Museum, your railroad experience extends beyond the train depot building to the railroad cars alongside the building. I encourage you to step aboard and tour this blast from the past.

My tip: Although the Depot Museum is open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. my tip is to plan your visit on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so you can also visit the Model Train Exhibit in the adjacent building. This free exhibit is maintained by a group of volunteers who do a great job of recreating what life along the rails would have looked like but on a miniature scale.

Finally don’t leave the park like setting without a ride on the mini-train for a quick tour of the picnic grounds surrounding the museum.

I highly recommend spending some of your leisure time sharing this multi-faceted train experience with your loved ones. It’s just a few miles north of the beach but very much like traveling in a time machine to a different world.

See you at the beach.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Fun Launches in Gulf Shores

Despite the recent colder-than-usual temps on our scenic Gulf Coast, our winter visitors are out and about enjoying fishing, golf, beachcombing, shopping, dining and more in the Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key area. This week we added to their fun activities when we launched our traditional Winter Guest activities for guests of Meyer Vacation Rentals.

Each year we roll out our exclusive slate of activities by treating our guests to a complimentary visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. We get a chance to visit with them while serving coffee and donuts and they are able to enjoy the entire animal park as well as an animal show. We had lots of fun yesterday and even though everyone was bundled up at first, the sun came out and the temp reached 60 before our event concluded.

Our signature winter guest event is a golf scramble at Peninsula Golf Club that includes an award ceremony and dinner after play. Prizes are awarded for winners in the all-male team category as well as mixed teams that include one or more female golfers. It’s a great chance for our guests to socialize with new people and find out how much they have in common. Todd Edwards and his team at Peninsula do a fantastic job of presenting a world class experience for our customers and we look forward to a fun time each year.

We are partnering with Private Gallery at San Roc Cay again in February to present a fashion show that was a big hit with attendees last year. Our guests get an up-close view of the fashions that are trending, learn how to accessorize and get many wardrobe suggestions. There are discounts, prizes and even a makeover for a lucky attendee. Life’s a Canvas and All Island Flowers provide coastal decorating tips that our customers love to implement back home for a taste of the coast that brings back precious memories.

For a look at the 2014 Winter Guest schedule of activities click here. We invite you to make your plans to winter with us on our beautiful coast.

See you at the beach!

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