Spring, and Easter, are just around the corner. If you’re looking to take a break with friends or family this year, Alabama and its many beach towns offers a breath of fresh Gulf air and a unique locale. This includes the beach towns of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan, just to name a few. You’ll find plenty of fun and exciting Easter and year-round Easter activities to create a one-of-a-kind Easter trip for you and your loved ones!
You’ve planned plenty of beach time just by coming to a beach destination. Fill your days with activities like laying out and sunbathing, plant a beach umbrella and spread out a blanket and read or have a picnic, swim in the Gulf, or take a run or walk on the beach for a change in your exercise routine. Pump up the adrenaline with activities like parasailing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and more!
Take a vacation from preparing the elaborate holiday meal and let a professional chef at one of the many delicious area restaurants make the feast. There are various restaurants in the area that will be serving up the traditional Easter meal in addition to their normal fare. Contact your restaurant of choice to find out the details like date, time, reservations, and whether they allow pick up or delivery of the special meal.
Vacation doesn’t mean taking a vacation from the celebration of the most important day of your trip. The churches of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and the surrounding area are hosting services in observance of the day. Contact your preferred place of worship and inquire about dates, times, and locations of services, as some may hold beachfront services and services at other locations.
Fort Morgan Road Trail
Lace up your hiking shoes, grab a bottle of water and your sun gear, and head out. The 5.6-mile Fort Morgan Road Trail is asphalt and starts just outside the western border of Gulf State Park and stretches west through Gulf Shores. The path runs parallel to Fort Morgan Road/Highway 180, through tree-lined areas and neighborhoods, ending at the Peninsula Golf Club. The trail is an easy hike or bike, as it’s mostly a flat asphalt surface, but the eastern end of the trail has only a few gentle climbs – making it easy for groups of all skill levels to enjoy. Add some difficulty when you continue on through Gulf State Park’s Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trails.
Head to the official Entertainment District of Orange Beach this Easter. There are hundreds of family-friendly events throughout the year, including Easter. Cure your hunger or score some souvenirs in the many shops and restaurants or take a ride on one of the Southeast’s largest Ferris wheels!
Gulf Shores Museum
If you didn’t know much about Gulf Shores and the surrounding area before you arrived, make a stop at the museum. The Gulf Shores Museum is located in a house that dates back to before World War II and stood as the beach house of Valerie Cole’s family from Mobile. The house was originally built in West Beach, but the family donated the structure, and it was moved from that original location to its current home after Hurricane Frederic in 1979. The museum’s many permanent and temporary exhibits tell the story of Gulf Shores’ history and offers various programs and activities for all ages and many interests throughout the year.
Get some well-deserved and much-needed R&R during your Easter respite to the area. There are several spas throughout Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, and Fort Morgan that are ready to help you make that total relaxation a reality this Easter. Choose from an array of services like mani/pedis, body wraps or scrubs, scalp treatments, and much more. Some spas even offer special just-for-men services that pamper them in the ways they need most.
Plan an Easter Getaway
When you and book an Easter getaway with Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals, you won’t be short on amazing activities to fill your time this Easter. Enjoy the water, lounge around your rental, or experience the myriad of Easter and other activities available to help build a vacation that is uniquely yours with memories to last a lifetime. For an intimate stay, choose a one-bedroom unit, or bring a larger group and spoil everyone this Easter when you book a four-bedroom unit. Savor the taste of home when you prepare a home-cooked meal, from daily meals to the elaborate Easter dinner, in the unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Spread out in spacious living areas and private outdoor spaces like patios and balconies. Unwind in your own private bedroom or gather some snacks and enjoy your favorite movie or TV show together on a flat screen TV.
Contact us today to book an Easter trip to remember for a lifetime!
After several years of postponing trips and rescheduling family outings, beach trips have finally been on the rise giving everyone in the family a chance to bond over good food and some coastal fun in the sun. If you’re planning a family beach trip soon, why not schedule some time to get a few family portraits taken together? It’s the perfect way to capture a moment in time while everyone’s on the same schedule enjoying each other’s company on a much-needed vacation. Alabama Gulf Shores has some of the most vibrant ocean water you’ll come across. We also have beautiful pearly white sand that’s perfect for creating the perfect family beach backdrop for your next photo session.
A few of our recommendations for your next beach family photoshoot are to first, stay away from going onto the sandy dunes. While it might be tempting to find the perfect photoshoot spot among the dunes, having people walk all over them tends to damage the beach grass and plants inside the dunes which protect the inland and everyone living on the coast from large swells and tides. We also recommend finding matching or coordinated outfits for everyone in the family that way you can get a beautifully cohesive and visually striking photo of everyone by the water. We love the look of an all-white family portrait where everyone wears a crisp white outfit that contrasts beautifully against the dunes and the ocean water. For your next trip to the Alabama Gulf Shores we have a couple of wonderful photographer recommendations, Shore Shooters Beach Photography, and Sun Shots Photography.
Joy & Laughter Photography –
My name is Rebecca Smith and I have always had a love for photography and started Joy & Laughter Photography in 2009. The name came from my daughter’s name, Abigail, which means joy of the father, and my son’s name is Isaac, whom laughs. Images will outlive us. I love capturing families and creating lifetime moments we will never get back. Thank you for trusting me with these memories that will last a lifetime.
Shore Shooters Beach Photography – Expanding in 2010 and now thriving in over 16 beach towns across the coast, the skilled and visionary team of photographers from Shore Shooters calls themselves a network of creatives passionate about beach photography. They are consistent with ongoing training and know exactly what to do to get the best lighting and grab that perfect shot. They are very transparent about costs on their website and create a fun environment where they take many candid’s and posed shots that you’ll get to see in as little as 2-3 days. Check out their blog page where you can learn more about the families they’ve worked with and the photos that were taken for their sessions. Shore Shooters takes photos for couples, families, and weddings.
Sun Shots Photography – Sun Shots Photography is a full-service photography company that specializes in family beach portraits. Since 2001, the husband-and-wife team (Maggie and Ryan Caver) have worked hard to build their brand from the ground up. As active members of Professional Photographers of America and the local Chamber of Commerce, Maggie and Ryan consistently strive to be better in their industry and what they offer to their clients. Not only are they sought-after photographers, but they are also certified print masters and work hard to give you a perfectly edited and retouched collection to look through. Sun Shots Photography offers family beach, seniors, couples, engagements, and wedding photography.
There are a few key questions you need to consider when choosing the right vacation rental management company. We’ll go over what you should ask rental management companies and which qualities are crucial when deciding on a specific company for your vacation property.
You want to make sure that you pick rental managers that know what they are doing. This way you get the most value out of your property in the long run!
1. Ask About The Size of the Company and Their Rental Portfolio
Larger vacation rental management companies have experience with a range of vacation homes and understand how to make rental properties truly successful. Still, just because a company is larger, and has a good reputation, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right fit for you.
These larger rental management companies do have their advantages. But they have to manage a lot of other properties. So, while they might be able to rent out your home with ease, they won’t be able to give you the dedicated support of a smaller rental management company.
In particular, if you are looking for 24/7 guest support during the busier booking seasons, it might be better to go with a company with a smaller rental portfolio. This way your property gets the attention it requires.
2. Is The Company Knowledgeable About Your Local Rental Market
No matter which rental management company you end up choosing, make sure they are knowledgeable about the local rental market. A high-quality vacation rental manager will be able to answer all your questions and tell you about rental trends in your local area.
This will include rental rates, trends during different seasons, the most popular properties, rental regulations, and other important information about renting in your location. They should also tell you what the earning potential is for your rental property.
Rental managers that have a solid grasp on local market trends will be able to increase the value of your property and drive more renters to your vacation home. In short, you should choose a company that is confident enough to answer your questions and tell you exactly how to maximize your rental profits!
3. Ask About Rental Management Fees and Contract Terms
Rental management companies do charge a fee. You can expect this fee to range from 10 percent to even 50 percent of the income you make from your rental property each month.
While this might seem like a large portion of your profits, remember that rental managers help take the work out of property management. They will list your vacation home, make sure it stays clean, upkeep and maintain your property, deal with guests, and handle booking fully.
Talk with the rental management company about their specific fees. Then discuss the terms of the contract. You want to ensure that the fee is fair and that your contract includes all the necessary responsibilities of rental management.
In addition, there should be clauses that allow you to leave the contract if the company doesn’t meet your standards. If a rental management company performs poorly and causes your property to get bad reviews you should be able to get out of your contract. Also, discuss the contract length as you might not want to enter a long-term contract right away without seeing results.
4. What Services Do The Rental Management Company Provide
Rental management fees will cover a range of services. You want to ask your chosen company what those services are upfront. While it’s natural to assume that you will get high-quality services from a professional rental management company, you need to know exactly what you will get out of signing your contract. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions and get the answers you need.
Rental managers should let you know how they:
● Communicate with guests
● List and promote your property online
● Manage revenue
● Clean and manage properties
● Deal with problems with your home or guests
● Gather and display reviews
There are other services that might not be explicitly listed in your contract. Ask your rental manager if they charge extra fees for services not listed, and if the fees don’t seem to be worth the cost, consider looking for another rental management company. You want excellent service that will cover everything needed to maintain your rental property.
5. How Will Your Property Be Marketed and Listed
Talk to your rental management company about their marketing strategy, as well. If you want to successfully rent out your property, you need to have a solid advertising plan. This includes digital advertising and a strong online presence.
Most guests will search for vacation rentals online. So, your listing needs to be search engine optimized with the best keywords. Your chosen company should also have eye-catching photos, detailed descriptions of your property, and other necessary information renters are interested in on their website and other booking sites.
6. Will You Get Regular Updates About Your Rental Property
This might seem like overkill to some people, but your rental management company should give you regular updates about your property. They need to let you know when guests enter and leave and whether there are any problems with your home.
This includes damage, missing items, and maintenance updates. If a rental management company can’t keep you in the loop, then they might not be worth your money.
7. Ask About The Booking Process
Don’t forget to ask your rental management company questions about the booking process. They should tell you when they are available to help with booking and what methods they use for rental bookings.
These days, most people want to rent properties online with a credit card. Make sure this option is available. In addition, your rental managers should be available throughout the day to help guests with booking. This way you get better reviews and maximize the number of bookings you receive.
8. Talk With Current Clients or Look at Online Reviews
Finally, you want to talk to current clients under your management company. Try to get contact information from current clients. If you can’t do that, ask for case studies. This way you know your property can be properly managed. You can also look for reviews online to see how guests rate vacation homes being rented out by the company.
Contact Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals Today
Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals is a small rental management company that is dedicated to supporting each of our customer’s needs. As rental property owners ourselves, we understand just how important it is to find a trustworthy company to partner with.
At ABVR, we personalize our rental management services to your rental goals and help create a plan that will help you get the most value out of your vacation property.
If you’re interested in learning more about ABVR or have any questions, please give us a call or fill out our contact form here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Fishing Trip? Try These 3 Fishing Sites in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Nothing’s better than coastal catches in the Gulf: you could be casting off the side of a boat, braving the vast waters, witnessing a variety of aquatic life underneath you that you can’t find inland. Or surf fishing on white sandy beaches, enjoying a panoramic view of the sea, surf, and sunset.
With miles of shoreline for marine activities, both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach draw in such a large crowd of experienced fishermen from all year round, you’re bound to return with the perfect catch to brag about back home. The question is where to cast your line.
The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach
The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama is Gulf Shore’s largest nautical site facility for fishermen and boaters. Packed with restaurants, bars, shopping, and event spaces, the Wharf is built for the sojourner’s convenience. And since it’s a marina, you can get services like fishing tours, long and short-term slip rentals for deep-water excursions, fishing supplies, and boating essentials from nearby shops.
The Wharf is also home to the most prominent sportfishing tournaments in the Gulf, the most popular sportfishing tournament of them all being the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship Series. It’s a multi-tournament group competition that takes place along the Gulf Coast annually between May and July.
This is appealing for those familiar with handling billfish like spearfish, swordfish, and marlin. And for those wanting a relaxing fishing experience, they’ll be glad to know that the tournament is overall lighthearted and designed for fun; All fish are released immediately after.
Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier
You can find both freshwater and saltwater fishing at Gulf State Park Pier. The lakes there – Lake Shelby, Middle Lake, and Little Lake – offer freshwater fish like catfish, bream, and bass. But before you go, you’ll need a freshwater or saltwater license, which you can purchase online. If deep water fishing is what you want, Lake Shelby and Lake Middle have ramps that you can use for a small fee.
The park is home to more than just fishing, though, as the name suggests. The ‘education’ part of the name refers to the informational signs regarding the native birds and aquatic life, including warning signs about alligator sightings. Please remember to review Gulf State Park’s Wildlife Safety Recommendations for how to stay safe while there.
The pier itself is grand, with comfort stations at the midway point, wheelchair-accessible rail fishing, rod/reel rentals, and daily fishing permits attached to daily parking pass purchases. It’s home to the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, after all: an impressive 1,540 feet, which stands over large king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, ladyfish, and bluefish populations.
Moreover, it makes room for over 2,000 feet of fishing space, which means there are quite a few kinds of fish to find in several areas. Local anglers advise bringing more than a single change of tackle. Luckily there are bait and tackle shops nearby. Just be careful if you’re new to saltwater fishing: some saltwater fish there are known to bite!
Fort Morgan Fishing Adventures
Fort Morgan sits at the westmost tip of Gulf Shores. It’s an ancient piece of history that’s surrounded by shores, which makes way for plenty of marine activities. If considering a beach rental, not only can you experience fishing at Fort Morgan in several ways, it’ll be more convenient to travel to and from and thus open up additional space in your vacation schedule.
You should know Dixie Bar and Navy Cove are hot spots for Redfish, though if you’re looking for a quieter place away from Mobile Bay’s ship channel, Navy Cove is recommended. The Cove is east facing South Bank and is serviceable for kayak and canoe fishing. For spotted seatrout, the shore at Fort Morgan’s fishing beach provides a scenic view of the Gulf as well as some traditional surf fishing. Look to your east and you’ll see Fort Morgan, where additional boat and kayak ramps are. But don’t forget about Fort Morgan Fishing Marina along South Bank. Charter fishing services are available for those looking for deep-sea catches.