Enjoy A Romantic Beach Getaway With Your Sweetheart

It goes without saying that your sweetheart will be more relaxed away from home without the pressure of daily responsibilities.

A romantic getaway is one of the best ways to de-stress and reconnect. And the beaches of Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and Orange Beach, Ala., and Perdido Key, Fla., are among the most romantic spots in the world for a retreat with your significant other.

Here are 9 ways to enjoy a little one-on-one time during a romantic getaway to the Gulf Coast.

Paddle In The Moonlight

A moonlight paddle is a romantic way to explore the area’s backwaters or the Gulf of Mexico. With the help of a guide and rented equipment, Gulf Coast Paddle Board offers both moonlight and sunset paddles around the islands of Orange Beach. “All the couple has to do is book a tour with us and show up,” said the company’s Zach Rounsaville.

To learn how to navigate the waters via canoe or kayak, another option is to take a class the Wind and Water Learning Center in Orange Beach. Operated by the City of Orange Beach, the learning center’s classes accommodate people of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds. The Wind and Water Learning Center is an active member of US Sailing and an affiliate of the American Canoe Association.

The Wind and Water Center also offers Sail Camp sessions during the summer for children, which is open to visiting kids.

Perdido Key, Fla., also offers numerous places to enjoy the water from a canoe, kayak or paddleboard.

Fly High In A Hot Air Balloon

Hot air ballooning over the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area is certainly a peaceful activity. In fact, it’s often been the site of wedding proposals.

Passengers gently lift off into an adventure to view the area’s most scenic vistas from a whole new vantage point. You will float over the countryside with virtually no sense of motion, and the only noise you’ll hear is the occasional hiss of the burner.

Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company, located just north of the beach, provides scenic balloon excursions or tethered hot air balloon rides.

Or, book a beach stay during the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, typically held in May.

Commune With Nature

There are many opportunities to explore nature during a visit to the Gulf Coast, including a visit to the seven trails that make up the 15-mile Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex through Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and the Gulf State Park.

Along the trails, explore the butterfly garden, freshwater marshes and coastal hardwood swamps. Maybe even catch a glimpse of a bobcat on the twin bridges or a white-tailed deer on Gulf Oak Ridge. You might even see an alligator warming itself in the sun.

In Florida, Perdido Key State Park offers a nature trail that runs along the bay side of the park, offering views of an estuary where dolphins are frequent visitors.

Or, between Pensacola and Perdido Key, Big Lagoon State Park features crisscrossing nature trails that allow you to explore the lakes and the observation tower.

Indulge In Relaxation & Pampering

A great way to enjoy some special time together is to visit a local spa for a little pampering.

Eden Spa & Salon, located in Palm Pointe center in Orange Beach, welcomes couples to enjoy an hour-long massage. Other services in addition to a full menu of massages include facials, body treatments, aromatherapy, salon and more.

Evolve Fitness & Spa, located at The Wharf, is another option for services such as fitness training, sunless tanning and relaxing massages. Massages run the gamut from Swedish to therapeutic deep tissue.

The Spa at The Beach Club, located at the Beach Club Resort, features in-spa or in-room couple massages, soothing whirlpool, steam rooms and a full-service salon. During a couples massage, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or champagne in a candlelit private room.

Serenity at the Beach Salon & Spa at San Roc Cay shopping center in Orange Beach offers a full menu of couples services, including massages, facials, body treatments and combinations of services. “Couples massage is a great way to introduce massage to a partner who has never had a massage before in a way that makes them feel more comfortable the first time,” said Serenity owners.

A full-service Aveda hair salon and day spa, Fusion Spa Salon features services like waxing, massage, and hair and nail care. Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Fusion offers a wide range of services, including hair, makeup, waxing and nails; facials; massage; and body treatments.

Dinner With A View

There are numerous restaurants to enjoy a romantic dinner for two, especially for those who enjoy a glass of wine.

Located at Caribe the Resort in Orange Beach is Cobalt The Restaurant, which is accessible by car or by boat. Nestled under the Perdido Bay Bridge, the restaurant features a spectacular view of the bay from every table. Oysters, pasta, sandwiches and creative fresh fish entrees are always on the menu.

With a view of Wolf Bay, Cayman Grill features a large outdoor deck and an 8,000-gallon stingray tank inside. Wood roasted pizzas are a specialty, but so is the seafood, which ranges from jumbo Gulf shrimp, oysters, yellowfin tuna and more. Steaks and pastas are also popular here.

Featuring fresh Gulf seafood, steaks and sushi, Shipp’s Harbor Grill in Orange Beach offers an extensive menu of fish, steaks and more. The view from this restaurant is outstanding, with windows looking out over a beautiful marina. Three of seven dining areas offer waterside dining, allowing you to relax and watch the harbor lights come alive during the evening.

Breakfast For Two

There are numerous restaurants for enjoying a romantic breakfast or brunch.

A local favorite is Another Broken Egg Café in Orange Beach, where breakfast creations range from Eggs Benedict and Gourmet Omelets to Biscuit Beignets, Cinnamon Roll French Toast and more.

In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, the morning is the perfect time to dine outdoors at Tacky Jack’s to enjoy the hearty Farmer’s Omelet, featuring potatoes, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, sausage, ham, and American and cheddar cheese inside and out. Other tasty options include the Shrimp Omelet, Pork Chop and Egg Platter, Shrimp and Cheese Grits and the Wheelhouse Pancake.

An iconic locals’ favorite for breakfast is Hazel’s Nook in Gulf Shores. Famous for its breakfast buffet and omelet station, Hazel’s has some of the best biscuits and gravy in L.A., Lower Alabama, that is. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the laid-back casual atmosphere, coupled with down-home Southern cooking.

Always a fun place for brunch (and read the clever puns on the marquee sign in front) is the Brick & Spoon in Orange Beach. Menu staples include Shrimp and Grits, Beignets and Cornmeal-dusted Louisiana Oysters. Also popular for breakfast or brunch is the Bloody Mary, where you can select from nearly two dozen vegetable garnishes and even proteins like shrimp, baked bacon strips, seafood deviled eggs and even something called a beef straw. It’s an adventure!

Ride The Ferris Wheel

A landmark on the Gulf Coast is the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf. One of the tallest Ferris Wheels on the Gulf Coast, take a ride with your sweetheart for a treetop view of the Gulf and the surrounding area.

Before or after your Ferris Wheel ride, stop by the Southern Grind Coffee House for a cup of brewed coffee, an espresso, a cup of tea or a frozen drink. Dine indoors or outside on the patio for breakfast or lunch. Or, choose from a selection of fresh Italian Gelato for a cool sweet treat.

Watch The Sunrise

One of the features that truly sets apart a beach vacation to the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is the prevalence of vacation rentals with private balconies.

From your balcony, enjoy the peace and solitude of watching the waves crash onto the shore, see dolphins frolic in the Gulf, and watch the sun rise or set with your special someone.

The sunsets are one of the most spectacular natural features of this region, and when you stay in Fort Morgan beach houses, you have a front row seat to this beautiful phenomenon. Fort Morgan rentals are also conveniently located near Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which offers a serene setting in which to watch the sunset.

Linger On A Lazy Sunday Morning

Coming to the beach on Friday for a romantic weekend getaway but need to get back to your responsibilities on Monday?

Check in Friday afternoon, play all day Saturday and then sleep in late, enjoy brunch at a nearby restaurant and get back on the road Sunday afternoon at your preferred pace. This is easy to do with a three-day stay checking in on Friday and out on Monday.

A perfect way to save up to 25% at select condos and houses is by filling two- or three-day gaps between existing reservations.

Revel in the solitude of Fort Morgan in a one-bedroom condo.

Be in the middle of all the entertainment action in a one-bedroom condo in Gulf Shores.

Orange Beach and Perdido Key also offer many one-bedroom options to choose from.

Celebrate Your Valentine at the Beach

Valentine greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages. The first commercially printed Valentine cards in America appeared in the 1840s. Today, an estimated one billion cards are sent each year, often accompanying the popular gifts of candy and flowers.

Valentine's Day, gulf shores, alabama, orange beach, sweetheart, romance, sunset

Make Valentine's Day even more special when you bring your valentine to the beach.

Those gestures are wonderful, sweet, and certainly appreciated by anyone who receives them. But wouldn’t you like to do something a little different for your sweetheart this year? Say “I love you” by creating a wonderful memory together at the beach.

We can help by offering some love to your budget. When you take advantage of the Valentine Special through Meyer Vacation Rentals, you’ll receive TWO free nights. Rent a romantic 1-bedroom beach or bay property for four nights, but just pay for two. That’s a 50% savings!

If you prefer to celebrate the occasion with spacious, private accommodations for the whole family, rent a house for seven nights and get the sixth and seventh nights free.

Even if you can’t stay the extra nights, you can use them for an early check-in and late check-out, allowing for more leisure time along the coast.

So instead of thinking red or pink this Valentine’s Day, think white sands and blue water—and a little extra green in your pocket. Your sweetheart will love you for it.

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 TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Fantastic Performances along the AL/FL Gulf Coast

Who doesn’t love a great concert? Some of your favorite performers are headed to the Alabama and Florida northern Gulf Coast area. Take a look at what’s coming in just the next few weeks, as well as in the next few months:

So many exciting performances along the AL/FL Gulf Coast over the next few weeks!

So many exciting performances along the AL/FL Gulf Coast over the next few weeks!

The Color Purple – Experience the musical about love, based on the popular Pulitzer prize-winning novel, on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at the Mobile Saenger Theatre.

John Hiatt – Rock, country and blues will be heard when you get your seats at the Pensacola Saenger Theatre for a Thursday, April 29, 2010 concert by this 11-time Grammy-nominated artist.

Straight No Chaser – Find yourself immersed in the upbeat renditions of this 10-men a cappella group when they perform Monday, May 3, 2010, at the Mobile Saenger Theatre.

Carrie Underwood – As part of her 45-city tour promoting her new CD “Play On,” this 4th-season American Idol winner will appear Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at the Pensacola Civic Center.

Norah Jones – As a leading lady of the music world, this jazz-pop artist plans to grace the stage of the Mobile Saenger Theatre to promote her latest CD, “The Fall,” on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

Widespread Panic – For the 4th consecutive year, this hugely popular group will perform a 2-night gig at The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Look for them on Friday & Saturday, May 7 & 8, 2010.

The Hangout Music Festival – Not just a concert, but 60 bands of all types over 3 days! You’ll find them all at The Hangout, located on the beach in Gulf Shores May 14–16, 2010.

Bryan Adams – The Canadian rock/pop virtuoso (also philanthropist and photographer) plays at the Pensacola Saenger Theatre on Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Ron White (“Tater Salad”) – The Behavioral Problems Tour hits the Mobile Saenger Theatre on Friday, May 21, 2010. Laugh at and with this former star of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour as his weaves his slice-of-life stories with a special twist.

Gary Allan, Randy Houser, and The Band Perry – The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach presents this triple-bill evening of country music on Saturday, May 29, 2010.

Billy McLaughlin – This new age/contemporary guitarist with the Narada recording label will be offering mellow ambiance at the Mobile Saenger Theatre on Saturday, June 19, 2010.

Jason Aldean – The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach plays host to this chart-topping country rocker on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

Montgomery Gentry – Celebrate Independence Day with home-grown stars performing America’s true music. July 4, 2010, brings this amazing duo to The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach.

Michael BubleTuesday, July 13, 2010. Pensacola Civic Center. Be there for the Crazy Love tour by this Grammy winner, and be serenaded with old tunes given new life as well as new, soulful songs you are sure to love.

Robert Plant and Band of Joy – Preview some new music planned for Plant’s next album by getting tickets to this Wednesday, July 28, 2010, performance at the Mobile Saenger Theatre.

Steve Miller and Peter Frampton – The Amphitheater at The Wharf hosts two legends of rock on Saturday, July 31, 2010.

John Mayer with Owl City – The Battle Studies World Tour hits The Amphitheater at The Wharf on Monday, September 6, 2010.

Carrie Underwood – Catch this CMA entertainer of the year (twice!) at the Mobile Civic Center on Saturday, October 23, 2010.

Each of these events can be enjoyed even more when you combine them with a beach getaway. With Meyer Real Estate vacation condos and houses from Perdido Key, Florida (just 20 minutes from Pensacola’s Civic Center and Saenger Theatre) to Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores, Alabama (one hour from Mobile’s Saenger Theater and Civic Center), you have plenty of options. Meyer also offers condos at The Wharf for walking distance to The Amphitheater shows, or you could stay directly on the Gulf Shores beach for easy access to The Hangout.

And with a variety of specials and specific-property hot deals to save you 10%, 15%, 25%, and even up to 50%, you can save more than enough money to pay for your favorite concert. Check out all the possibilities with Meyer Real Estate, and join us at the beach for incomparable entertainment!

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