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Dusk in Paradise
Guest Testimonial Spotlight

When you think of Gulf Shores hotels and accommodations, be sure to remember Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast Inn in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. Business is great and we owe credit to our faithful guests who continue to support us. This blog goes out to all our wonderful guests here at the B&B. However we would like to spotlight one individual who has gone the extra mile to support our efforts.

Elizabeth Dorney is a blogger from Milford, CT who visited the Gulf Coast in Oct 2010.
We so much enjoyed having her. She took lots of pictures and blogged about her stay in the Fall, “I am obsessed with front porches and in the South they are always spacious and generously-appointed places to take in nature, without sacrificing creature comforts.” Elizabeth has a wonderful blog so be sure to check it out.

Read Her Blog & View Pics

Thank you so much Elizabeth for your most gracious testimonial. Please visit again soon. Snickers misses you.

Many of you have submitted your reviews on various directories and we would like to thank you for your time and creating such great reviews.¬† Stay tuned because spring is here and the area is hopping again. Lots of fun things to come…possibly some “freebies” just to show how thankful we are for you. Thanks again to everyone for your support. We welcome any comments & link suggestions.

Magnolia Springs Seafood Celebration 2011
What a great Alabama Weekend Getaway we have planned.  This will be one of the best events to attend in 2011.  Jesse’s Restaurant in beautiful Magnolia Springs, Alabama will be hosting a spring festival to celebrate and promote our most abundant natural resource, local seafood.
Sponsored By: Baldwin County Sewer, IED, Budweiser, Coca Cola, Household Pest, United Bank, O’Sullivan Creel
There will also be a VIP tent with higher end beers and wine and food prepared by Executive Chef Gannon Leary.  These tickets are $75.
I hope you all will be able to join us and spread the word.  A percent of the proceeds will be donated to Magnolia Springs Kiwanis Club and  St Pauls Episcopal Chapel Magnolia Springs in Magnolia Springs for Community Outreach.
 
The celebration¬†is ¬†invitational for 10 select ¬†area restaurants¬†who will “show us what they¬†got”¬† using only local seafood. There will be 3 categories for these restaurants to show off their skills. Fish and shrimp can be prepared any way using their own recipes and oysters baked on the half shell.
 
The festival’s goal ¬†is to promote and raise public awareness that ¬†local seafood is safe, the best in the nation,¬†fresh and abundant. There couldn’t be a better time to ¬†Eat Alabama Wild Shrimp¬†
 
The B&B is booked for this event. For nearby accommodations try:
 Bay Breeze Guest House, Fairhope
 The Hotel Magnolia, Foley
Please leave a comment below, we welcome any suggestions.
Sample prepared seafood, great wine, crafted micro-brews and arts and crafts, as well as 1st class entertainment.
 

 April 2, 2011     Ticket Info  Jesses Restaurant   The tickets are $25

Gulf Coast Mardi Gras 2011

This Alabama Bed and Breakfast Inn near the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay is gearing up for the Mardi Gras season. It’s time again to get out the masks and beads and doubloons. Daily parades through “Fat Tuesday”

Alabama Bed & Breakfast Accommodations

In 1703 the tiny French colony of Mobile observed North America’s first Mardi Gras, 15 years before New Orleans was founded. The stress of the Civil War brought an end to the annual festivities in Mobile.
On Fat Tuesday in 1866, Joseph Stillwell Cain set out to raise the spirits of the locals. He climbed aboard a decorated coal wagon pulled by a mule and held a one-float parade through the streets of Mobile.¬†He¬†is remembered each year on Joe Cain Day, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday also known as “the people’s day”.

Several common images or phrases appear during the Mardi Gras season:

  • The faces of Comedy and Tragedy: the smiling and frowning theater faces;
  • Feathered masks: with fluffy feathers attached at the edges;
  • Fleur de Lis: the French symbol from the time Mobile was the capital of the French colony
  • “Let the good times roll!” (French: Laissez les bons temps rouler! )
  • “Throw me something, Mister!”: shouted by a parade viewer.
  • The Moon Pie chant, heard along the parade routes as crowds chant “Moon Pie! Moon Pie!”

Mobile had the largest Mardi Gras in its history following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mardi Gras in Mobile continues to be a popular local and tourist tradition with strong turn outs. The 2007 Mardi Gras season in Mobile was attended by nearly 0.9 million people, with police estimating the overall attendance at 878,000 and a crowd of 105,600 along the streets for the Fat Tuesday finale.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

 Magnolia Springs Bed & Breakfast has teamed up with local Tommy Rachel at Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Co, to bring you a cruise experience of a lifetime.

Hot Air Balloon Ride Package includes the following:

  • A three hour experience including 45 minutes of air time for an incredible ride for two on a Hot Air Balloon over the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast.¬†Part of the ballooning experience is participating in the setup, launch and packing up of the balloon. For example you will be asked to hold certain ropes during the process. ¬†The flight is scheduled by the B&B in conjunction with your room reservations of which you will receive a confirmation on both the room and the date and time of your flight. The experience is ¬†a three hour time period, either in the mornings(6-9am) or evenings(4-7pm) when winds are at their lightest. And a really nice feature of this package is no driving is involved because they will pick you up right here at the B&B!
  • TWO NIGHT accommodations (or more if you wish) mandatory to include the package.
  • Each Day you will be provided a Gourmet Three Course Breakfast, ¬†a well stocked Guest Refrigerator with bottled water, juices and sodas is available in the dining room 24 hours a day, as well as hot tea and coffee. You will have access to Evening Desserts such as free Cookies or Brownies, and a Turn Down Service w/Chocolates when you return from dinner! Your room includes a Private Bath provided with¬†Specialty¬†Soaps, Iron & Ironing Board, Hairdryer, Lighted Magnifying Mirror and Bath Robes. Your bedroom is equipped with luxury high thread count linens, Cable TV, free WIFI,¬†Fans and White Noise machines.
  • Add $650.00 to your TWO NIGHT¬†room rate for Friday PM, Sat AM & PM rides.
  • Add $550.00¬†to your TWO NIGHT¬†room rate for Monday thru Thursday AM and PM rides.
  • Sunday rides are reserved for rescheduling weather related cancellations and cannot be booked in advance.
  • This is a $50.00 savings from booking the room and the ride with each business¬†individually and only offered thru booking both room and ride as a package thru the Magnolia Springs Bed & Breakfast!


This is an incredible opportunity of a lifetime! It is considered by most to be one of those “Bucket List” items you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Gently lift off into an adventure where you’ll experience the scenic vistas of the Alabama Gulf Coast from a whole new vantage point! You will want the camera ready to capture on film all the incredible views offered on this adventure. In years to come it will remind you of all you were able to take in from your private Hot Air Balloon ride. Leave your cares on the ground and marvel at the serenity of being close to the clouds. Float over the countryside with virtually no sense of motion and the only noise is the occasional hiss of the burner.

The Balloon company guarantees a safe and fun filled flight to be had by all. They provide two extra crew members for your trip to ensure that you have a good time. The two crew members are both volunteers. Please show them your appreciation after the flight. A tip of $25 or more for each of the two crew members is not mandatory but is minimal when you consider they are taking 3 hours out of their time to make your ride a special and safe one.

 

Special Requirements for this package:
A deposit of $500.00 is required to secure this package. For this package A two week cancellation policy is mandatory. Canceling after the two weeks will forfeit your deposit. Cancellation due to bad weather or management at any time prior to takeoff will result in a full refund of your deposit.

All of our packages must be booked by telephoning the Magnolia Springs Bed & Breakfast and are subject to availability. Packages CANNOT be booked online.

 

“How To Video” Bronze Frog Sculptures

“The Kiss” Frog Sculpture

Tim Cotterill’s bronze frog sculptures capture the whimsical character, the jewel-like quality and the pure JOY of these beautiful little creatures. “Through the centuries and throughout the world, frogs have symbolized many things – Good Luck, Royalty, Fertility, Magic Potions, Energy, Charm”.

We were in Charleston SC for the National Innkeeping Convention. Of course we took some time to stroll the historic district and mingle with the locals. While strolling along Market St., a store-front display caught our attention. The frog sculptures are displayed beautifully but we realized that we have a special connection with these frogs.

We entered the gallery to investigate further. The artist is from Park City, UT and a former guest at Magnolia Springs Bed & Breakfast. His¬†departing gifts, a”Cupid” frog that is now sold out and¬†a picture book and calendar¬†showcasing his collectors pieces.¬† He obviously has a passion for what he does. His work is most beautiful. We will treasure your gifts!

Purchase a Frogman Gift For Your Sweetheart

Book Your Valentines Stay

Explore Alabama Coastal Waterways by Boat!

Take one of the Guided Tours listed below on a 26’ Caribbean Panga Boat. This is one awesome boat for getting to places a lot of boats can not go allowing you to see things that other charters just can’t get to. That is why the boat is seen everywhere in the Caribbean. This boat has stereo, nice padded chairs and is equipped with a 115hp Yamaha engine. The boat has a bimini top for shade and On-board Drinks will be included. There is an iced cooler available for you to also bring whatever libations/snacks you’d like. Any tour is going to provide some information about native animals and fish. You will see local flora and fauna as well as an opportunity to see Osprey and nesting Eagles(depending on the season of course), Pelicans & Dolphins. All passengers will be picked up on a dock just one block down from the B&B and carried to one of several destinations. Book directly or more information at http://www.gulfviewballooning.com/

The boat will accommodate up to 4 people total on  the 3hr, 4hr, 5hr and 8hr cruises and can accommodate up to 6 people on the sunset and 2hr cruises. Prices are based on two people, additional $50.00 per person over 2 people will apply.

This boat is for cruising only and no skiing or inter-tubing is permitted. Any additional requested time used over the allotted time requires additional $80.00 per hour billed in quarter hour increments.

Tommy Rachel is a licensed boat captain and is a native Baldwin County resident who has been on these waters his entire life and is very knowledgeable in the waterways and it’s inhabitants.

Your package includes:

  • A cruise of your choice below
  • TWO NIGHT accommodations (or more if you wish) mandatory to include the package
  • Each Day you will be provided a Gourmet Three Course Breakfast, a well stocked Guest Refrigerator with bottled water, juices and sodas is available in the dining room 24 hours a day as well as hot tea and coffee. You will have access to Free Evening Desserts such as Cookies or Brownies and a Turn-Down Service with Chocolates when you return from dinner! Your room includes a Private Bath provided with Specialty Soaps, Iron and Ironing Board, Hair Dryer, Lighted Magnifying Mirror and Bath Robes. Your bedroom is equipped with Luxury High Thread Count Linens, Cable TV, free WIFI, Fans and White Noise Machines.
  • For cost just add the cost of the cruise of your choice to the TWO NIGHT room rate.

2-HR TOUR ‚Äď (maximum 6 people)Tour Magnolia River, Fish River, Weeks Bay and part of Mobile Bay. You will see some magnificent homes from the water that you would never get to see otherwise. You will also see the mail boxes on everyone‚Äôs piers. We are one of the last places in America to receive year-round mail by boat. Magnolia River is one of the most beautiful in the state and is only the 5th in the state to be designated an ‚ÄúOutstanding Alabama Water‚ÄĚ, the states highest environmental designation. The town is so proud to have one of our most important natural resources protected. The river is very important to the whole community.

 

 

The guided 2 hour tour on Friday or Saturday is $200.00 and is generally scheduled between 10 am and 4pm. For a two hour tour on Monday thru Thursday it will only be $150.00, a $50.00 savings!

3-HR TOUR Р(MAXIMUM 4 PEOPLE) Tommy will pick you up here in his truck and drive you over to Mobile Bay (12 miles drive from here to the the Eastern Shore. There you will depart the Eastern shore by boat from the (Grand Hotel, Fairhope boat launch) for an incredible trip to Gaillard Island and Middle Bay Lighthouse.  Stop at a restaurant on Dog River for burgers or a shrimp loaf and gumbo. (food not included in the price)   This guided 3 hour tour is $350.00 and is available from 10am to 2pm.

4-HR TOUR ‚Äď(maximum 4 people)Tour Magnolia River,¬†Weeks Bay,¬†Mobile Bay, Oyster Bay and the mouth of Bon Secour Bay to see the fisheries and boats that supply the entire gulf coast region with our¬†delicious fresh seafood!¬†And if time allows a quick stop at Tacky Jacks for some libations on the Intercoastal Waterway.

This guided 4 hr tour is $425.00 and generally departs around 10am

 

***Below is a favorite of all the tours by guest and the host personal favorite.  Everyone agrees that seeing Gaillard Island and the nesting pelicans in an incredible must see. Add to that the Magnolia River/Weeks Bay and Mobile Bay along the Eastern Shore and you have yourself one incredible day!***

4-HR TOUR ‚Äď (maximum 4 people)A ¬†ride down the Magnolia River and Weeks Bay where you will have the opportunity to see Eagles and Osprey and¬†maybe¬†a dolphin as well! You will then drop into Mobile Bay where you will tour the Eastern Shore including the Grand Hotel and many incredible Bay homes. You will see Middle Bay Lighthouse and then onto Gaillard Island. Gaillard Island is a dredge disposal island located in Mobile Bay¬†near Mobile, Alabama. The island is an important site for colonial nesting seabirds and shore birds in coastal Alabama and has been the only nesting site for brown pelicans¬†in Alabama – first discovered in 1983. Today Gaillard Island is an important habitat for thousands of birds representing 15 different species of skimmers, stilts, terns, pelicans, egrets, herons, ducks, and rails. Gaillard Island is also the only Alabama nesting site for caspain terns, sandwich terns, royal terns, and laughing gulls. The first recorded nesting of herring gulls occurred on Gaillard Island in 1986. The Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources¬†has closely monitored the colonial nesting shore and seabirds conducting annual surveys since 1998. During the first survey, they estimated that there were10,000 nests present on the island.

Vegetation is diverse on the island and consists of saltmeadow cordgrass, saltmarsh bulrush, salt marsh cattail, and American threesquare that naturally flourished behind the berms. Originally, smooth cordgrass was the only species that was planted.

This 4 hour guided tour is $425 and departs around 9-10am.

 

8-HR TOUR ‚Äď (maximum 4 people)This tour can be arranged to see anything your hearts desire including a ride down Magnolia River, Weeks Bay and Mobile Bay down to the Intercoastal waterway where many stops at local restaurants and bars can be included. Perhaps you want to go over to Pensacola Bay and hang out in the incredible waters, see the Lighthouse and hang out on one of many private beaches created by the bay. This is an all day excursion and can be whatever you make of it. Your captain will take you wherever you want to go!

 

This all day 8hr tour is $600 and is generally 8am to 4pm, 9am to 5pm or 10am to 6pm.

Sunset Cruise 2 HOURS¬† (Maximum 6 people) Includes ¬†a run down Magnolia River, Weeks Bay and Fish River up to Big Daddys(a locals hangout for drinks and/or food) and then watch the sunset¬† on beautiful Mobile Bay, that in your captians words- ‚Äúit rivals the sunsets on the west coast because of the large expanse of the Mobile Bay‚ÄĚ

For a 2 hr cruise the cost is $250.00 additional to the TWO Night Room Rate

PAII Conference Jan 2011
PAII Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show

Early in January 2011 David & Eric had the privilege of attending the National Innkeeping Show & Conference¬†hosted by Professional Association of Innkeepers International¬† in Charleston SC.¬† We have returned with many new ideas from new breakfast¬†trends¬†to “sprucing up” the guest experience and marketing our¬†business using social media.¬† Changes are already in the works. It was¬†great to be with innkeepers from all over the country with the same goals in mind, to share like experiences with those who go through the same daily routines and learn different ways of managing¬†what we¬†do.

The “nuggets”, as I call them, are the little things you learn when socializing over dinner or between classes. These nuggets can range from a cleaning product they love, to the best place to buy something. or a way to save money or time, or the best thing they have done to get more business.¬† It is just plain gratifying and rewarding to get to know other innkeepers!¬† The high energy level that you¬†get from being around such a supportive group of people enables us¬†to recharge our guest experiences because we have a sense of being recharged ourselves!

Romance Package

A Better Way to Stay Campaign

We learned more about A Better Way To Stay Campaignwhile attending the Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show.  The campaign showcases and highlights why B&Bs  are a preferable choice for travelers.

Soon everyone will be familiar with the term.¬† This site will be take a fresh new approach, pointing travelers toward¬†bed and breakfasts.¬†Watch for this to go “viral” during the upcoming media campaign!

Don’t forget to book your room for Valentines Day.¬† Check out our Romance Packages

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

The Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast was honored with the opportunity to host a group of 19 from the International Food & Wine Travel Writers Association . Brunch was served including fresh fruit, summer vegetable fritatta with bacon, hash browns, grits,  blueberry muffins and pear dumplings. The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Media Trip was lead by Alabama Gulf Coast Conventions & Visitors Bureau.  We had a wonderful morning of fellowship with our new friends. Their support proves to be invaluable to our area.  Many thanks to our leaders  AGCCVB for their hard work.

The coastal communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach showcase a diverse selection of family-orientated attractions and activities, including several eco-tourism opportunities, and most importantly, an appetizing palate of dining options.

Read The Travel Writers Story

Dining & Restaurants

Christmas Shopping & Dining Experience

For all your Christmas shopping needs be sure to visit Tanger Outlet Mall {only 5 miles away} near The Eastern Shore, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. Visit their website to print your own coupons for additional savings and additional info. Nearby Fairhope offers many eclectic shops for that special gift. Book your stay at Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast for an unforgettable weekend. A couple dining suggestions:

 Jesses Restaurant

Wash House Restaurant

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