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Fairhope Park and Pier

Are you planning a road trip to Alabama and want to explore the best things to do in Fairhope, AL? In this guide, you’ll discover why this small southern town captures the hearts of visitors from all over the country. Trust me, it’s worth the stop.

Quick Guide to Visiting Fairhope

  • Explore the Fairhope Pier for fishing and views of Mobile Bay.
  • Stroll through downtown shops with French Quarter vibes.
  • Visit the Fairhope Museum of History to learn about the city’s rich past.
  • Enjoy the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival (usually in March).
  • Rent a bike to check out the plantation homes overlooking the bay.
  • Tour a tea plantation.
Sunset in Fairhope, AL

Why You Should Visit Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope sits on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and is known for beautiful sunsets and stunning views. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxed, slow-paced vibe and want to enjoy laid-back activities. It offers a sense of community and inspires you to make time for walks through the park and take in the quietness that comes with visiting a small town.

What you’ll find upon arrival is a pretty little city that has sidewalks adorned with tulips and wildflowers, a clean, walkable downtown area, and an overall sense of pride from residents who care for the town. However, it’s not a stuck-up city but a casual one where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the hospitality.

flowers planted along the roadside in Fairhope, AL

What Are The Best Things To Do In Fairhope

Fairhope offers visitors a wide range of activities to enjoy, from exploring the city’s rich history to relaxing in one of its many parks. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there’s always something to do in Fairhope.

Walk Down the Fairhope Pier

One of the most popular attractions in Fairhope is the Fairhope Municipal Pier, which is considered the unofficial “town square” and offers spectacular views of Mobile Bay. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the right spot when you see the huge fountain that welcomes you to the Fairhope Pier.

Take a leisurely stroll down the pier, go fishing, or simply relax and take in the breathtaking scenery. After working up an appetite, be sure to grab a bite to eat at the seafood restaurant called The Blind Tiger opening in May 2024.

Travel Tip! Events and live entertainment often take place at the Fairhope Pier, so check their official event calendar for the most current information.

Fishing from the Fairhope Pier

Fairhope Fish Pier

One of the most popular activities on the Fairhope Pier is fishing. The pier is quite long and extends out into Mobile Bay, giving you plenty of space to cast your line out and try your luck at catching various fish, including trout, redfish, and flounder. If you’re new to fishing, don’t worry – plenty of bait and tackle shops in the area can provide you with everything you need to get started.

Sunset Views Over Mobile Bay

Sunset from the Grand Hotel Resort in Fairhope, AL

The Fairhope Pier faces west, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Mobile Bay, creating a picturesque and romantic setting. Bring a blanket and picnic basket to enjoy the view as you relax and unwind.

Travel Tip! Make it a sunset date night by getting dinner and drinks at the restaurant on the pier.

Visit the Fairhope Museum of History

If you’re a history buff and interested in learning about Fairhope’s past, a visit to the Fairhope Museum of History is a must. Located in the heart of downtown Fairhope, the museum is housed in a historic Spanish mission-style building that once served as City Hall. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with free admission.

Local Exhibits

train car in Fairhope, AL

The Fairhope Museum of History has a variety of exhibits that showcase the history of the local area. One of the most popular exhibits is the original jail, which is still intact and open for visitors to see. Visitors can also explore the mayor’s office, town council chamber, and fire station, which is outfitted with an original 1935 firetruck.

Travel Tip! Located just behind the museum is an old train car, which makes for a neat photo-op spot. You can even climb inside of it!

Cultural Events

In addition to its exhibits, the Fairhope Museum of History also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year. These events include lectures, book signings, and art exhibits. One of the most popular events is the annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, which takes place every March and features over 200 artists from around the country.

Enjoy the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival

If you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly event, the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is a must-do for your Fairhope itinerary. Held annually in March, this festival brings together artists and craftspeople from all over the country to showcase their unique creations.

During the festival, the streets of downtown Fairhope are lined with over 230 exhibitors, offering everything from paintings and sculptures to pottery and jewelry. You’ll find something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece for your home or a special gift for a loved one.

In addition to the arts and crafts, the festival also features live music, food vendors, and a kids’ corner with activities for children of all ages. It’s the perfect way to spend a day or a weekend with your family and friends, enjoying Fairhope’s beautiful weather and vibrant atmosphere.

One of the best things about the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is that it’s free to attend. You can stroll through the exhibits and enjoy the music and food without spending a dime. Of course, if you find something you love, you can purchase it directly from the artist.

Provision Coffee Shop in Fairhope

Stroll Through the Fairhope French Quarter

It’s not the typical “French Quarter” you’re thinking of. The Fairhope French Quarter is more like a quaint, charming version of the New Orleans French Quarter scene. It has historic architecture and design but no trash or smell like you’d find on Bourbon Street.

This historic district was built in 1994 to honor the history of the French settlers in Mobile, and it is a must-visit destination when visiting Fairhope, Alabama.

Dining and Shopping

One of the highlights of the Fairhope French Quarter is the variety of dining and shopping options. You’ll find quaint shops and art galleries where you can browse for unique souvenirs or gifts. If you’re feeling hungry, there are plenty of dining options, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants.

Don’t miss stopping by The Spice & Tea Exchange of Fairhope, where they specialize in handcrafted spices, loose-leaf teas, and specialty gifts. They even have occasional tea sampling. My personal favorite is the Mango iced tea. Yummy!

For a unique coffee experience, check out Provision. It’s a cafe, wine bar, and gift shop with a modern gourmet market vibe located in downtown Fairhope.

Travel Tip! Eat in the courtyard at Locals where you’ll feel transported somewhere between New Orleans and Tuscany. The entrance is on the street, but be sure to walk through the courtyard alley to find the bar tucked away on the left side. Locals restaurant and bar is a cozy little hideaway with delicious food & drinks!

Architectural Charm

Donte & Sheri Nagle in Fairhope, Alabama

Another reason to visit the Fairhope French Quarter is the architectural charm. The buildings reflect the town’s French and Spanish influences, adding to the unique ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll through the district and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings, including the Fairhope Museum of History and the Eastern Shore Art Center.

Travel Tip! Rent a bike and ride along the shore of Mobile Bay to check out the stunning architecture of massive plantation-style homes that overlook the bay.

Relax at Fairhope Municipal Park

The Fairhope Municipal Park is the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon picnic, running, or bike riding. The grounds are well-kept and clean, with a beautiful flower garden throughout.

Picnic Areas

One of the best things about Fairhope Municipal Park is its many picnic areas. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a romantic lunch with your significant other or a place to have a family reunion or birthday party, there are plenty of picnic areas to choose from. Some of the picnic areas even have grills, so you can cook up a delicious meal while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Playground Facilities

Fairhope Park and Pier

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll be happy to know that Fairhope Municipal Park has some of the best playground facilities in the area. The playgrounds are well-maintained and have swings, slides, climbing walls, and monkey bars.

bikes parked at the war memorial cemetery in Fairhope, AL

Bike Ride Through Fairhope

Walking through downtown Fairhope is nice, but if you only have one day in Fairhope, why not rent a bike to see even more of this beautiful area? The streets are quiet and safe enough for biking, and you’ll love the mossy oak trees that line the streets.

Travel Tip! The Fairhope Store has bike rentals starting at just $10 an hour.

Cannon Firing at The Grand Hotel Resort & Spa in Fairhope, AL

See the Firing of a Cannon

Every afternoon at 3:45 pm, The Grand Hotel Resort and Spa proudly honors our military with a cannon firing salute. The procession commences in the main lobby inside the hotel, and the ceremony is followed by complimentary coffee, tea, and cookies.

Travel Tip! If you’re visiting Fairhope on a Sunday, make reservations in advance for their Sunday Jazz Brunch at The Grand Hotel. The brunch spread and bottomless mimosas are to die for, not to mention the incredible live jazz musicians and a beautiful view overlooking Mobile Bay.

Visit A Tea Plantation

Tour one of the oldest tea farms in America. The Fairhope Tea Plantation is a working farm secluded in a rural area on a dead-end road. It’s 43 years old and has over 61,000 tea bushes. You must call first to make a reservation and tours are $20 per person (cash only).

Fishing Pier in Fairhope, AL

Final Thoughts: Unique Things To Do In Fairhope, AL

With so many unique things to do in Fairhope, AL, planning a weekend getaway or a romantic couple’s road trip is easy. Get lost in Fairhope’s southern charm and come back from vacation feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What events are happening in Fairhope this weekend?

Check the Fairhope Events Calendar to find out what events are happening this weekend. The calendar is updated regularly and includes a variety of events, such as live music, art exhibits, and festivals.

What romantic activities can couples enjoy in Fairhope?

Fairhope is a charming and romantic destination that offers plenty of activities for couples. One romantic activity is taking a sunset cruise on Mobile Bay. Another option is visiting the Windmill Market, which features local vendors and live music on the weekends. You can also stroll through the Fairhope French Quarter, known for its beautiful architecture and quaint shops.

What can visitors do for free while in Fairhope?

Fairhope offers several free activities for visitors to enjoy. One option is to visit the Fairhope Municipal Pier, which is free to the public and offers stunning views of Mobile Bay. Another option is to take a self-guided walking tour of the Fairhope French Quarter, where you can admire the beautiful architecture and historic homes.

What are the best dining options in Fairhope?

Fairhope is known for its vibrant culinary scene and offers a variety of dining options to suit every taste and budget. Some of the best dining options in Fairhope include Sunset Pointe, which offers stunning views of Mobile Bay and fresh seafood, and Tamara’s Downtown, which features Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Another great option is the Dragonfly Foodbar, which offers a farm-to-table dining experience and craft cocktails.

What seasonal activities are available in Fairhope during December?

December is a festive time in Fairhope, with several seasonal activities to enjoy. One popular event is the Fairhope Christmas Parade, which takes place in downtown Fairhope and features festive floats and live music. Another great option is to visit the Fairhope Museum of History, which features exhibits on the history of Christmas in Fairhope. Additionally, the Fairhope French Quarter is beautifully decorated for the holidays and offers a charming backdrop for holiday shopping and dining.

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