Live Music, Fresh Brews & A Good Cause

Live music and a good cause seem to go hand-in-hand. So kicking off a month of fund-raising and awareness with two regionally popular musical acts is a great idea—especially when the party is located at a favorite local eatery and sponsored in part by a Southeastern craft brewery!

The fundraising fun begins at "SweetWater 4:20 p.m." on Sunday, August 1 at The Hangout in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Support the Save the Gulf program!

Save the Gulf is a program of the Mobile Baykeepers organization, whose mission is to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed. By attending any of their fund-raising events, your donation will assist with their hands-on activities and their awareness campaigns.

August 1, 2010, is the first day of the Save the Gulf campaign. Through Labor Day, you are encouraged to participate as often as possible in their efforts and to help spread the word about the work they do to keep our waterways clean and ecologically sound.

The first event will be held at The Hangout in Gulf Shores, so plan to have dinner there while enjoying the performances.

For a donation of only $10, you will be treated to the music of Wes Loper, who combines country, rock, folk, beach and blues styles to make his mark on the music world. His appearance alone would be more than worth the small donation, but with a start time of “SweetWater 4:20 p.m.,” that’s just the first part of the event. Following him is Wet Willie with Jimmy Hall and the Hurricane Horns, cranking up their Southern rock sounds with high energy.

Between songs, be sure to tell the folks from SweetWater Brewing Company how much you appreciate their involvement in this and other environmental programs they support.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Music in the Courtyard at SanRoc Cay

Like so many folks, you are drawn to local bands and solo acts. But you might hit a snag this time of year as you try to convince yourself or your friends to spend a warm, beautiful summer evening indoors. It can result in a tug of war, but SanRoc Cay has solved the problem for you.

The courtyard at SanRoc Cay will be humming with free live music through Saturday night.

SanRoc Cay’s courtyard, with its interesting architecture that includes an elegant staircase, offers a wonderful place to relax— and, on these wonderful evenings, it creates an ideal atmosphere to soak up the sounds of a variety of musicians.

The popular duo of Rick & Leanne will be turning out the tunes on Wednesday, July 28. Thursday night brings the Most Wanted Band, John Joiner takes over the entertainment on Friday evening, and Cowboy Johnson and Friends brings this week’s schedule to a close on Saturday, July 31. Bands will play from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m.

Come early. In fact, spend the day at SanRoc Cay. Admire the boats at the marina, schedule a trip with one of the charter businesses based there, get a little pampering at the day spa, shop in a number of upscale boutiques, and choose from 4 terrific restaurants to delight your tastebuds.

You’ll find SanRoc Cay on Perdido Beach Blvd. (the beach highway) in Orange Beach, west of the Perdido Pass Bridge, approximately 8 miles east of Hwy. 59.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Sports and Art Pair Well in Lower Alabama

Alabama’s largest outdoor mural (two stories high) is in Daphne, Alabama, at the American Sport Art Museum & Archives.

Find out how competition and collaboration go hand-in-hand at the American Sport Art Museum & Archives in Daphne, Alabama.

An independent university, the United States Sports Academy, offers degrees to those studying the business of sports. It is the only such school in the U.S., and the largest in the world. And you’ll find it in Daphne, Alabama.

It is no coincidence that these two organizations share space. Athletic competition is really a form of artistic expression, and the artworks and literature you’ll find here capture the moments that create sports memories. It’s well worth the short drive to see what may be the world’s largest collection of sport art. Even the building has been given architectural acclaim.

Sculptures, paintings, photographs and more depict specific highlights of athletes and teams as well as overall impressions of sports. Once you have been moved by this combination of competition and interpretation, you may wish to feel a larger part of the experience by purchasing representations of the art. And for a tax-deductible donation, you may place your name on a brick on the “Walk of Fame” to help assure the future of the museum.

There’s much to appreciate about the American Sport Art Museum & Archives, so head that direction next time you’re in town. You’ll find it about 45 minutes from Gulf Shores, and just a few miles east of the USS Alabama Battleship. The hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m., but be sure to leave time to choose some art, memorabilia or clothing from the gift shop. Since admission is free, you’ll be able to take something home for all your friends, too!

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Cheer Up With the Art of “Just Us Folks”

Scott Thomas and Bonnie Gravette share their joyful artworks at Orange Beach Art Center through Aug. 19, 2010.

They have created a stir. In fact, enough buzz that the folks at the Orange Beach Art Center have asked them to hang around an extra couple of weeks.

What is even more interesting is that it’s their first time to show on the Alabama Gulf Coast. (We’ll guess that it won’t be their last.)

Since June 5, Bonnie Gravette of Memphis, Tennessee and Scott Thomas of Cloudland, Georgia have shared their brightly colored, whimsical artwork with our part of the world. And the timing of it—purely by fate—couldn’t be better to lift our spirits. Passing through the exhibit, you’ll feel lighter and you’ll find yourself smiling, magically touched by the fun combinations of hues and subjects.

Need a little stress relief? You’ll find it Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., in the Visiting Artist Gallery through August 20. While you are there, take pleasure in viewing all the wonderful local art on display and for sale, and watch artists at work in Alabama’s only public-use glass studio, The Hot Shop.

Exchange your routine—and the heat!—for some cheery art gazing. And if you find you just can’t leave that happy feeling behind, the artists have made their works available for very reasonable prices.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Mithril: Free Concert Thursday in Gulf Shores

Mist glitter.

High-energy Celtic music by the renowned quartet Mithril can be heard for free in Gulf Shores on July 22.

That term evokes a beautiful scene of peacefulness, sometimes stirred by lively winds, but unbroken by human voices. In the fictional Elvish language of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, it would be pronounced “mithril”—and a local group named Mithril succeeds at creating such a scenario through their music.

Lift your spirits with Mithril’s unique style of “Celtic Pops” on Thursday, July 22, as part of the free Gulf Shores Out & In concert series. You’ll hear Celtic/world music with influences of classical, Middle Eastern and American folk styles. The four talented members are fun to watch as they play a diverse range of instruments, and their classical training is evident in the group’s effortless precision.

Mithril’s upbeat show will begin at 7:00 p.m. indoors at the Erie Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores, corner of W. 19th Ave. and W. 2nd St.

Grab your family and some friends, and start the fun in the afternoon with a trip to the Gulf Shores Museum (free admission, open until 5:00 p.m.) to learn of the area’s history, including shrimping and hurricanes. Chat over a delicious dinner at any of the island’s restaurants or enjoy a picnic dinner in the park. Then spend the evening tappin’ your toes to live music.

“Free” is always a good thing, and so is the music of Mithril.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

No Guessing for Visiting Nature Lovers

Today’s blog is a little different, as I’m going to focus on a website. Not that visiting the actual location isn’t HIGHLY recommended! But if you’re not physically at Weeks Bay Reserve to ask your question or read about something that has piqued your curiosity, you may appreciate knowing of a resource to help you identify a local creature you are observing.

Weeks Bay Foundation helps visitors to identify and appreciate the local nature and wildlife in Southern Alabama.

Once you reach the Weeks Bay Foundation website, it will be easy to lose yourself in the many links describing their history, their wonderful programs and more. But at some point, you’ll want to steer yourself to the Photo Album link on the left side.

The Weeks Bay Photo Album is divided into well-defined categories, including 18 albums of various types of feathered friends, two albums of insects, five albums of water-related neighbors, and one that includes plants and creatures you will find on their Wintermeyer Boardwalk. The photos are captioned with common names and species, plus varied information on their size, habitats, coloring and more. As you’ll see, these pages are much more than just a simple collection of pictures. What a wealth of information!

I’ll admit that I’m pretty ignorant about what creatures or plants are what around here (don’t tell anyone!). But since stumbling upon this resource, I’m starting to be able to name some of what I see—and soon you will be able to do the same.

To find out more, visit the Weeks Bay Foundation website and start poking around. But don’t pass up your earliest opportunity to visit the Weeks Bay Reserve in person. From Gulf Shores, take Hwy. 59 north, then Hwy. 98 west; you’ll find the Reserve near Hwy. 181, just beyond the bridge over Fish River.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

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