Sea Turtle Nesting Season on the Gulf Coast: Here’s What You Need to Know

Between the months of May and October, we share the beach with our nesting neighbors, the endangered sea turtles. Several types of sea turtles make the treacherous journey to our sandy shores in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach where females will lay up to 100 eggs per nest.

In 55 to 75 days, hatchlings will emerge from their shells to make the journey to water. It’s estimated that more than 40,000 hatchlings safely entered into Alabama Gulf Coast waters from 2003 to 2013. Nests of sea turtles have safely hatched in front of both The Beach Club and Turquoise Place.

These interesting creatures are protected by the Endangered Species Act, making it unlawful to disturb
nesting sea turtles. If you come across a nest in the hatching process, stay back and observe the process. It’s quite a site to see!

Share the beach and help ensure these tiny creatures safely make their journey to the Gulf with these sea turtle-friendly tips:

  • Avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach at night.
  • Turn off outside balcony lights and shield indoor lights from shining onto the beach at night. Hatchling sea turtles find their way to the Gulf waters by moonlight or starlight. Building lights along the shore may confuse the hatchlings, drawing them away from the water.
  • Do not disturb sea turtle nests.
  • Leave sea turtle tracks undisturbed.
  • Do not leave trash or tents on the beach.
  • Adopt a nest!

If you see a new nest or a large “crawl line” to and from the water, please call 866-SEA TURTLE. For additional information or to volunteer on Share the Beach, please visit

Thank you to our guest blogger Eva Faircloth for this post!  Be sure to follow the link below for more Gulf Shores and Orange Beach traveler tips!


Too Much Fun in the Sun? Use These Tips to Protect and Treat Your Skin

“Fun in the sun” is a saying used regularly on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It is why Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are so popular with visitors looking for relaxation on the beach.  Sunbathers bask in the sun for days hoping for that glow that comes with a great tan while kids play their hearts out for hours and hours not knowing the effects.  If you’re planning on soaking up some rays at the beach, continue reading for sunburn prevention and treatment tips to protect your skin while on vacation.

More often than not, the evenings after a day on the beach are painful. The burn sneaks up on you and the next thing you know, you are searching for anything that will relieve the pain. It normally takes about 5 hours for the sunburn symptoms to develop so if your skin is pink in the sun, it probably will be much worse later.

Sunburns are especially bad for children and can increase their risk for melanoma cancer with even one blistering burn. Sunburns inflict long-lasting damage and even induce wrinkles. Many of us still overexpose our skin to harmful UV rays that can cause swelling, sunburn blisters, fever, chills, nausea and headaches.

So why would people overexpose their skin to the sun’s harmful rays despite health warnings? According to the Center for Disease Control, 70% of children and one-third of adults have admitted to getting sunburned in the past year. It is impossible to reverse skin damage so preventing it is the only way to avoid it.

Before we list the ways to treat overexposure to the sun, here are a few tips to avoid getting sunburn:

  • Seek shade, especially between 11 am and 2 pm.
  • Use an SPF sunscreen of 15 or higher and reapply every two hours if sunbathing and every hour if swimming.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat.
  • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Wear clothing to cover exposed skin.  Swim shirts are great for children and provide outstanding protection from the sun.

Accidents happen and even the most cautious people sometimes get burned. If you adhere to the sunburn warnings but you still come home with a burn, taking these certain steps can take help relieve the discomfort.

  • Drink plenty of water to hydrate and replace body fluids.
  • Soak in a tub with cool water, and do not wash your skin with soap as this can dry out your skin and irritate the sunburn.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and swelling.
  • Rub down with refrigerated Aloe gel to reduce swelling and cool the damaged skin.  Don’t rub the aloe in all the way though, leaving the skin moist with the gel will help prevent peeling.

Beach goers are not the only ones that overexpose their skin to the sun. Fishing, golfing, landscaping and attending sporting events often end with skin exposure to UV rays. Sunburns can occur all year if you are outside for any length of time but the UV index is higher form May to August.

Time and patience are the only real cure for sunburns. Have fun this summer and make sure the sun doesn’t get the best of you by avoiding overexposure, and be sure to check out our post on beach safety tips to keep everyone safe and happy on your next beach trip.


Vacationing with Teenagers: It’s Their Time Too

Graduating from high school is the only milestone a teenager looks forward to for four years. Before your teenager says “War Eagle,” “Roll Tide,” “Hotty Toddy” or “Go Jags,” make special memories they’ll remember.

As a parent, seeing your teenager walk across the stage to receive their diploma brings a mix of emotions rushing through you – amazement, excitement, love, happiness and a little melancholy. It is the only thing they look forward to for four years and the biggest milestone of their lives. It’s an occasion we don’t want to end and it doesn’t have to by planning a weekend on the Gulf Coast and making it a vacation.

Decide on the factors important in planning for the celebration/vacation, such as time, activities, budget
and individuals involved. You may enjoy relaxing on the beach or next to the pool, but for your teen they usually want a little adventure. Whether it is riding go-carts, shopping or seeing a movie, they want to get out and about exploring the area after spending the day by the pool.

It is important for teenagers to have their own independent experiences as they develop into adults as it gives them a chance to discover things on their own and they can’t wait to share them.

Also, look into the amenities of the destination. They may have planned activities such as corn hole, chess, karaoke or a luau night. But the most important thing to do is to ensure everyone has access to Wi-Fi. Even bringing your teenagers friends, they still want to be connected to everyone on their social media sites.

When checking in, bring the luggage to the condo and then take time for the entire family to tour the property together. Scope out where the pools, gym, tennis courts, restaurants, beach access points are and get an idea of what everyone wants to do and when.

Then, take a family trip to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need. Having food can make a trip enjoyable or miserable for everyone involved. Teenagers love to eat and having their favorite foods on hand for a midnight snack definitely puts a smile on their face.

On our visit to Turquoise Place the amenities offered were more than one could ask for and the staff was over the top. Anything we needed, the staff was there within minutes, with a smile on their face. Turquoise Place is in a spectacular location surrounded by wonderful restaurants and souvenirs shops. As a family we enjoyed having the hot tub on the private balcony to reminisce and talk about the future.

My daughter and her friends began discussing graduation plans on the first day of their senior year. So we had the whole family involved in deciding what to do, where to stay and what we type of memories we wanted together. Their attitudes are much more likely to be positive and everyone’s experience enjoyable when including them in the conversation.

When traveling with teens, keep one thing in mind: they want this trip as much as you do and want to be included.

A special thank you to Nadia Bush for this guest blog submission.  We’re so glad that you had a great time!

Are you planning a summer vacation right now?  If so, check out our previous guest blog post on 7 tips for planning a summer vacation.