Play Out Your Resolutions on the Gulf Coast

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on December 19th, 2013

The holidays can be very hectic, and when we add the pressure of New Year’s resolutions, sometimes our good intentions can spiral out of control. Don’t let the stress get you down! Without pressure, we wouldn’t have diamonds or pearls. All of us are yearning to be okay and to be better than we were last year. I’m going to get outdoors more and enjoy nature. I’m going to learn a new hobby or skill. I’m going to get healthy. I’m going to travel more. I’m going to spend more time with my family. I’m going to give more and take less! As we reach to live bigger and better, remember to take it slow, and build your new habits up one at a time. There are plenty of ways to play out your New Year’s resolutions on the Gulf Coast, so start 2014 as the best you that you can be.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Why? When we learn new skills, we add new pathways and connections in our neural system. These connections help our brain age healthily. By growing the capacity of our brain function, we continue to increase our imagination and deepen our perspective. This can lead to better relationships and even better functioning on the job.

How: If you want to learn a new skill, we’ve got plenty of places to flex your muscle memory along the Gulf Coast. Try your hand on a chartered fishing boat. Your captain and crew will help you reel in a big catch and will educate you on the various Gulf ecosystems. Explore your creative side at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. Get hands on with a pottery wheel at The Clay Studio and feel the heat at Alabama’s only public access glass studio, the Hot Shop where you can make your own glass creation. Blow a glass ornament, garden flower, twisted desk flower or paperweight.

hot glass

Get Fit

Why? The benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise extend far beyond that beach body. From keeping your mind healthy into old age to elevating your happiness and inner peace, there are plenty of reasons to honor your temple. Remember, it’s your body, and it’s the only one you’ll ever have! Treat it with respect.

How: One of the best ways to keep your body engaged is to quiet that mind chatter! A yoga studio is a great place to exercise this skill, and we happen to have a fantastic yoga studio in Gulf Shores. Glow Yoga hosts beginner workshops to integrate you into the practice and heated power yoga classes to help you get long and limber. Hot yoga is a great way to detox your body through your skin (this gives your kidneys and liver a break!), so go ahead and kill two birds with one stone. Whatever you do, keep it fun and watch out for their specialty workshops like paddleboard yoga. Speaking of paddleboards, the Gulf State Adventure Center rents out paddleboards by the hour or day, and as long as it’s not windy, even beginners will experience smooth sailing across Lake Shelby.

glow sign

Enjoy More Family Time

Why? By spending time with your family, you relationships and learn more about yourself and others. Our families are a foundation for our lives. Reinforce valuable life skills in your children and loved ones by giving them a little bit of your time every day.

How: There are plenty of ways to enjoy more family time together, and simple things can make the most impact. Go jogging along the shoreline with your spouse. Explore the national seashore or our lovely state park system. Take the kids on a beach trip and team up to see who can make the best sandcastle, or enjoy a board game on a night in. Looking for something a little more special? Take a ride on a hot air balloon! The neighboring town of Foley has a hot air balloon festival in late spring, but there are also rides available for purchase all year long. If your family isn’t complete without your canine companions, bring them too! Fort Morgan is a dog-friendly beach, and Meyer has plenty of dog-friendly houses and condos that would make the perfect home away from home.


Travel More

Why? Travel makes us happy, which is why we stand by giving experiences instead of things. Your dad is more likely to enjoy a round of golf over a new pair of golf shoes. Things break and get lost, but memories can last forever. Give the gift of happiness! Get out and explore the world.

How: Consider travelling in the off-season. Everyone wants to come to the beach in the summer, but the beach is beautiful all year long. Travelling in the off-season allows for cheaper fares, and as a bonus, it’s usually much less crowded. Another perk of beaching it in the south is our sub-tropical climate. We often have sunny winter days well in the 70’s. Even short trips are good enough to break up the monotony of your routine, so come for a weekend or take a few days off during the week. For those of you who are able to travel during the weekdays, we run great specials for the midweek. We also run discounts on certain properties based on owner preference, so check out our Hot Deals section, or check out our specials section for time and event based discounts. Meyer makes it easy to travel on a budget.

bch beauty


Beachy Pinspiration: the Fashion Edition

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on December 2nd, 2013

It’s not even winter yet, and we’ve got beach on the brain. The cold season never lasts long around here, but even if you aren’t feeling the heat quite yet, it’s always good to keep a little beachy inspiration with you on a cold day. Our staff mermaid has some stylish picks to kick start your Pinterest and maybe even your holiday wish list!

Goldfish Kiss Flash Tattoos
Goldfish Kiss Flash Tattoos

Goldfish Kiss blogger Rebekah Stein keeps the beach babes ooh-ing and ahh-ing every day. Her vision is fresh, rad and ultimately beach chic. She partnered with Flash Tattoos to create these adorable metallic, temporary tattoos, for the beach bum in all of us.

Sassafras Maui Cinch Short
Sassafras Maui Cinch Short

These wet-to-dry cinch shorts are perfect for the beach, surfing, hot yoga and even a day on the stand-up paddleboard. Sassafras Maui is a brand with a conscious. These hand-made shorts look great and come with their own good karma.

Purusha People Mermaid II Leggings
Purusha People Mermaid II Leggings

Purusha People is another brand dedicated to women feeling good in their bodies and committed to using ethically-sourced fabrics and materials. These leggings are perfect for the mermaid in your life.

Black Pearls from Pearl Love!

Black pearls are so beautiful and won’t get washed out against our white sand! Adorn yourself with nature’s finest. They were also featured on the latest Hunger Games movie. I predict they’ll be everywhere for 2014.

Elven Forest Hooded Swimsuit Bikini Top
Elven Forest Hooded Bikini

I love the hood on this bikini top. You can use it to shield your face or shoulders from an abundance of sun or remove it when you just want a standard bikini top. I can also see this being a great addition to your Hangout Fest wardrobe!

Hope you liked these beachy pinspirations! Find more like these on our Pinterest account at Meyer Vacations.


2013 Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-off

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on September 26th, 2013

IMG_7027_bBring your appetite to The Hangout’s 6th annual Oyster Cook-off, an all-day event, November 9th. Innovative chefs from around the region will showcase their favorite Cajun, Rockefeller and raw oyster dishes. A panel of celebrities will judge the submissions based on flavor, creativity and presentation. The winning teams will take home cash prizes and tickets to the 2014 Hangout Music Festival. Tasting tickets are only $2, and admission to the festival is free. You can also get a book of 20 tasting tickets for $30. Cast your votes for the People’s Choice award, and enjoy the raw talent at the shucking competition.

There are plenty of other things to do at the cook-off beyond eating oysters. Dance to live music, watch the annual Alabama-LSU rivalry game on the big screen or just enjoy the variety of craft-brewed beers. And remember, the beach is only a few steps away.

IMG_8348_bNeed a place to stay for the festival? Meyer Vacation Rentals, a preferred lodging partner for the 2013 Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-off, is giving away a free night’s stay. There are also limited number of free tickets to the exclusive preview party, November 8th, available to Meyer guests. The Oyster Cook-off is located on the grounds of The Hangout Restaurant, at the end of Hwy. 59, at the public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Did You Know?

IMG_8142_bThe history of Oysters Rockefeller is quite interesting. It all began in New Orleans, circa 1899, at Antoine’s Restaurant. Founder Antoine Alciatore had developed a recipe for snails Bourgigno. After a shortage of French snails, Antoine’s son, Jules Alciator, adopted the dish into what we now know as Oysters Rockefeller. Oysters were rarely cooked prior to this, and Jules is known as a culinary pioneer. Antoine’s is the oldest running family business, and the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe is a closely-guarded secret. It was said that on his death bed, Jules vowed that it would stay that way forever.

Oysters R (always) In Season

IMG_7009_bHave you ever been told not to eat oysters in the months without an R in the spelling? It doesn’t really apply anymore. Refrigeration and our advanced shipping industry ensure that oysters are safe to eat year-round. The warm waters consistent with the R-less months of May, June, July and August do not make oysters any less safe to eat. They do reproduce during these months, and that can have an effect on their flavor, but interestingly, oysters can reproduce at any time during the year in our warm Gulf waters.

Kids and Oysters

All oyster lovers have to develop a taste for them at some point. If your kid wants to try oysters, start them off easy. Even picky eaters and compromised immune systems can handle oysters baked, broiled and chargrilled. Eating raw oysters can be a fun adventure for the little ones. You might want to dress it for them the first time with their favorite spices. I prefer my raw oysters served on a Saltine cracker and topped with cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon and a dash of hot sauce! How do you like your oysters?

Hungry for more? Take a look our highlight’s from 2012’s Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-off.


Perdido Key Kayak, Barbeque & Blues Festival

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on August 26th, 2013

Perdido Key’s first annual Kayak, Barbeque & Blues festival is being held Saturday, August 31st over Labor Day weekend. The two and four mile race course starts and ends at Galvez Landing. There will be solo and tandem kayak races, as well as a paddleboard competition. Following the races, you can head to Hub Stacey’s for live music and BBQ. The BBQ cook-off will be judged by a blind tasting, and all the entries will be available for purchase.

Regional blues artists Larry T. Wilson & Big Muddy play from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. followed by Johnny Barbato and The Lucky Doggs from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Johnny Barbato and the Lucky Doggs won the duo award in both 2011 and 2012 for the regional roundup of the International Blues Competition, representing the Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast Blues Society.

From 5:30 to 8 p.m., South Florida’s Blues Brothers Soul Band will be rocking the stage with their musical talent and entertaining antics. The Blues Brothers Soul Band is a tribute to the original Blues Brothers with the stage presence to prove it. If you need a break from dancing, browse the booths of the arts and crafts vendors on site. Who doesn’t love festival goodies?

When the music’s over, they’re not turning out the lights. Don’t miss the stunning fireworks show, planned and produced by Pyrotecnico, a fireworks company with more than 100 years of business behind them. And to give the whole event a little extra local flavor, they’re ending it with more water sports. They had to get permission from the Coast Guard to make this happen, so make sure you stay for the flyboarding demonstration! The flyboarder will be wearing an LED suit, so that it’s visible to the crowd.

Want to Participate?
Prizes will be awarded to the top athletes in each class (solo, tandem, & paddleboard). First place for the two mile course will receive $200, followed by $100 for second and $50 for third. First place for the four mile course will receive $400, followed by $200 for the second and $100 for the third. If you register in advance, it’s only $25 for the two mile course and $45 for the four mile course, and they’re giving military personnel a 25% discount. You can also get half-price kayak and paddleboard rentals (that would be $25 a half-day) if you rent from Perdido Paddleboard Company and Pensacola Kayak and Sail at the race location.

Where to Stay
Meyer Vacation Rentals has you covered. The BBQ and Blues Festival special is running through September 2nd, and it include a free nights at all non-gulf-front condos. Search available properties to find out where you’d like to kick back and relax. Mark your calendars!


The Gulf State Park Beaches

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on June 4th, 2013

Even if you’ve chosen a non-gulf-front condo or house, you can take advantage of the beach at a number of public access areas. In fact, Gulf State Park has four separate beach areas where you can bring your family to enjoy even more fun in the sun. Since just about every beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Perdido Key is more stunning than the next, you can rest assured that a trip to any of the beaches in Gulf State Park allow you to dig your toes into the squeaky, white sand.

Gulf Shores pavilion area

The main beach area in Gulf Shores offers not just the beautiful shoreline, but a pavilion that can be reserved for weddings, groups and special events. The $5 parking fee allows you to park all day and maintain easy access if you don’t want to take all of the toys, chairs and picnic supplies to the water’s edge at the same time.

Alabama/Florida Point

The water at Alabama/Florida Point in Orange Beach might make you think you’re in the middle of the Caribbean because of its dazzling turquoise hue.
This beach is located at the Perdido Pass Bridge and stretches for more than 6,000 feet. Once you arrive at the beach, you can relax on the sand and watch as charter boats make their way in and out of the bay.

Your kids can roam around sand dunes and boardwalks as you prepare the day’s lunch at the picnic area. Plus, if you want to rinse off before going back to town for dinner, you can use the park’s outdoor showers and get ready without having to go back to your rental. Parking is free here and at the other Orange Beach locations.

Romar Beach and Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach

If you’re looking for a quick stop, head to Romar Beach, which is small and charming. Located just about seven miles east of Highway 59, it’s incredibly easy to reach and perfect for those who want to take an easy walk outside or enjoy a picnic. In fact, there are a number of Orange Beach condo rentals right on Romar Beach, so if you’re staying in one of these fine accommodations, this will be your most convenient area of the park.

Similar to Romar Beach, Cotton Bayou is a small shoreline where you can jump into the warm Gulf of Mexico waters. Thankfully, because the beach along Alabama’s Gulf Coast is so long, you won’t have to worry about it getting too crowded – even during the busy season!

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Hangout Kick-Off Party Schedule

Written by Meyer Vacation Rentals on May 8th, 2013

Jump start your Hangout Music Festival experience at the rockin’ kick-off party on Thursday (May 16) at The Hangout in Gulf Shores. Starting at 2:15 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m. 14 amazing bands will hit two stages – yes you will have to pick – to crank up the live music a day before the festival. Check out the schedule announced today.

Make your plans to arrive a day early so you won’t miss the fun. Tickets for the kick-off are only $20 if you have a 3-day festival pass or $45 if you don’t. Meyer Vacation Rentals is your one-stop destination for tickets and accommodations.

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