Looking for the best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama?
You’ve come to the right spot. As a local who lives just a couple of towns away, I frequent Fairhope quite often. I’m excited to share with you the insider scoop on this quaint town’s most charming attractions, hidden gems, and delightful eateries.
Whether you’re after a serene stroll along the bay, a deep dive into some rich local history, or just a taste of Fairhope’s finest Southern cooking, I’ve got all the top recommendations.
Get ready to explore the best of Fairhope through the eyes of someone who’s come to know and love all its treasures! 🌅🍃🎨🍴
19 Best Things to Do in Fairhope Alabama
From its quaint downtown streets to its scenic waterfront, this charming Southern town is brimming with unique experiences.
Whether you’re visiting with the kids, a romantic getaway, or a solo trip, here are the 19 best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama.
1. Explore & Shop Downtown Fairhope
Let’s dive into why a jaunt through Downtown Fairhope is a must-do and sits high on the list of the best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama.
Imagine stepping into a scene straight out of a Hallmark movie – that’s Downtown Fairhope for you! It’s a world of picture-perfect streets, blooming flowers at every corner, and charming buildings that seem to tell their own stories. This downtown area isn’t just pretty to look at; it radiates a vibe that instantly lifts your spirits and embodies the heart of Fairhope.
Now, for the fun part – the shopping! Downtown Fairhope is this eclectic mix of cool boutiques and shops that are so much more than your average storefronts.
Here are some of my favorite spots:
- Boutiques: Wow, there are just so many! I just can’t get enough of the fashion here. Whether you’re chasing the latest trends or something timelessly classy, you’re in for a treat. 👗
- Running Wild: A shoutout to my fellow fitness fans. At Running Wild they sell top-brand fitness apparel including Lululemon and Vuori. This is also the go-to spot in Fairhope to get fitted for that perfect running shoe. 🏃♀️ 👟
- Objects: This is your spot to find the most charming Southern gifts including home decor, jewelry, candles, totes, and more. 🎁
- The Fairhope Store: Want to take a piece of Fairhope home? This is where you’ll find Fairhope branded merchandise including the super popular Fairhope t-shirts. 👚
- Page and Palette: More than just books, this place is the heart of Fairhope’s literary scene. 📚
- Fantasy Island Toys: If you’ve got kids with you, or want to channel your inner child, you’ve got to check this place out. 🧸 🚂
- The Happy Olive: Calling all flavor enthusiasts! This shop is a haven for gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Taste unique infusions and discover culinary delights to elevate your cooking. 🫒
2. Discover the Fairhope French Quarter
Stepping into the Fairhope French Quarter, nestled in the heart of Downtown Fairhope, feels like you’ve been transported to a miniature version of New Orleans’ iconic French Quarter. This quaint area, though small, is bursting with a unique and vibrant charm that’s reminiscent of its famous namesake.
As you wander through, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets. Here in the French Quarter, you’ll find a couple of boutiques, a refreshing juice bar, and even a candy shop.
And here’s a little insider tip: right at the heart of it all is Panini Pete’s. If you haven’t tried their beignets, you’re in for a real treat. It’s like a little taste of the Big Easy right here in Fairhope. The perfect pit stop for a quick snack or a leisurely coffee.
It’s a place that perfectly captures the essence of the French Quarter’s spirit, right here in Alabama.
3. Stroll Around Fairhope Pier
If there’s one thing you can’t miss in Fairhope, it’s a stroll down the iconic Fairhope Pier. It’s like a rite of passage here – a simple yet unforgettable experience that captures the essence of this quaint town.
Picture this: a wooden pier extending gracefully into the calm waters of Mobile Bay, offering a front-row seat to some of the most stunning waterfront views you’ll ever see. The sky here, especially at sunrise or sunset, is an artist’s palette of colors, creating a backdrop that’s nothing short of breathtaking.
But before you even set foot on the pier, you’re greeted by a charming water fountain at its entrance. It’s the perfect spot for a photo or just a moment to appreciate the gentle sounds of falling water.
As you stroll along the pier, you’ll see a vibrant tapestry of life in Fairhope – fishermen patiently waiting for their catch, families sharing picnics, and perhaps even artists trying to capture the scene. Next to the pier are great walking paths and benches where you can sit back, relax, and just take in the serene surroundings.
And for all you photography enthusiasts, bring your cameras! The combination of the water, sky, and picturesque pier, not to mention the charming water fountain, makes for some incredible shots.
A walk down Fairhope Pier isn’t just a stroll; it’s an experience that embodies the laid-back, scenic beauty of Fairhope. Whether a peaceful morning walk or a romantic evening wander, this pier is a slice of coastal bliss. So, when you’re in Fairhope, make sure to take a little time to enjoy this must-visit spot – it’s a walk you’ll remember long after you’ve left.
4. Relax at Fairhope Beach & Park
Right next to the iconic Fairhope Pier, you’ll find the Fairhope Public Beach, a spot that offers a different kind of beach experience compared to the popular white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Here, the sand takes on a golden hue, and instead of the Gulf, you’re greeted by the calm waters of Mobile Bay. The views? Beautiful and incredibly relaxing.
From this charming beach, you can even catch a glimpse of the city of Mobile in the distance, across the bay. It’s a picturesque sight that adds a unique charm to this place. Now, a little local tip from me: while you might see people swimming here, I wouldn’t recommend it. The water isn’t the cleanest for swimming. 🚫 🏊🏻♀️
But don’t let that deter you! Fairhope Public Beach is fantastic for other beach activities. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk along the shore, flying kites in the sea breeze, or having a picnic with friends and family.
For families with little ones, there’s even a bonus – a small playground with equipment like swings and a see-saw. Imagine swinging or see-sawing with the amazing backdrop of Mobile Bay – it’s a unique experience that both kids and adults can enjoy.
Also, hidden towards the end of the paved drive, you’ll find an adorable pond with ducks. It’s such a peaceful spot – just sitting there, watching the ducks do their thing. We along with many other locals take family photos here! It’s like this place was made for creating those picture-perfect memories.
So, when you’re in Fairhope, make sure to spend some time at the Fairhope Public Beach and Park. It might not be your typical beach setting, but it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing day out, enjoying the views and the laid-back vibe of Fairhope.
5. Uncover the History of Fairhope at the Fairhope Museum of History
History buffs and curious minds, if you’re strolling through Fairhope, you’ve got to pop into the Fairhope Museum of History. It’s like stepping into a time machine that takes you right back to the roots of this charming town.
From its beginnings as a single-tax colony to its growth into the beautiful place it is now, this museum has all the cool stories and neat exhibits to bring Fairhope’s past to life.
Whether you’re a full-on history geek or just looking to kill some time, the Fairhope Museum of History is a great spot to dive a little deeper into what makes this town so special. Trust me, you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for Fairhope and some cool stories to share!
6. Take a Class at the Eastern Shore Art Center
If you’re into art or just love a good creative vibe, you’ve got to check out the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope. This place is more than an art gallery; it’s a hub where creativity flows freely, and local talents shine.
They showcase an amazing variety of art – think vibrant paintings, intriguing sculptures, and captivating photographs, mostly by super-talented local artists. 🖼️
But what’s awesome about this place is that it’s not just for admiring art; it’s also about rolling up your sleeves and making some. They’ve got workshops and classes for all ages, so whether you’re a budding artist or just looking to try something new, you’re in for a treat. 🎨
And for the kiddos, the center is a total win. They run these super fun kids’ workshops and summer camps. My kids took a camp here one summer and loved it. One of their creations has been proudly hanging in our kitchen for years – it’s a daily reminder of the fun they had and the skills they learned.
7. Take a Scenic Biking Adventure
If you’re looking to see Fairhope in a fun and leisurely way, then you’ve got to try biking around town. 🚲 It’s such a laid-back and enjoyable way to immerse yourself in the charm of this Southern gem.
Imagine pedaling through the beautiful downtown area, with its lovely boutiques and beautiful flowers.
And, of course, a bike ride along the bay is a must-do. The views are simply stunning, with the gentle waters of Mobile Bay stretching out beside you. It’s the kind of scenic ride that makes you want to stop now and then just to soak it all in.
Don’t have a bike? No worries! You can rent one at The Fairhope Store. They’ll hook you up with everything you need for a great day of biking. It’s an easy and fun way to explore, especially if you’re just dropping by for a visit.
8. Experience Southern Elegance at The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa
Just a stone’s throw from Fairhope, you’ll find the iconic Southern resort – The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Point Clear. It’s more than just a hotel; it’s an experience of luxury, comfort, and timeless charm.
I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Hotel several times, and each visit has been nothing short of wonderful. The hotel beautifully combines historic elegance with modern luxury, set against a backdrop of stunning gardens and grand old oaks. The rooms offer a serene retreat with breathtaking views – whether it’s the calm waters of the bay, the meticulously landscaped gardens, or the hotel’s stately architecture.
One of the highlights of the Grand Hotel is its amazing pool area. It’s an oasis that beckons you to dive into its inviting waters or simply lounge by the side, basking in the Alabama sun. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the resort’s tranquil ambiance.
Even if you’re not staying overnight, a visit to the Grand Hotel is a must. I’ve celebrated many special occasions here, like Easter and Mother’s Day, indulging in the hotel’s exquisite dining. The restaurants serve delectable Southern cuisine with a gourmet flair, and the setting by the bay makes every meal feel like a celebration.
If you come here specifically to dine, I recommend taking time to stroll around the stunning hotel grounds.
9. Enjoy Outdoor Playtime at Fairhoper’s Community Park
Fairhoper’s Community Park is an absolute must-visit if you’ve got young kids. It’s conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Fairhope. I’ve taken my kids here numerous times when they were younger, and it’s always been a hit. This park is like a little wonderland for children, with some of the most fabulous playground equipment around.
It’s packed with all sorts of fun and safe equipment that kids just adore. From slides to swings, there’s so much to keep the little ones engaged and active. It’s one of those places that’s bustling with energy and laughter, making it a lively spot for family fun.
But the highlight, especially during those warm Alabama days, is the splash pad. It’s a water play area that’s perfect for kids to cool off and have a blast. I remember how my kids used to love splashing around here, and honestly, it was hard to get them to leave!
10. Explore Fairhope’s Waters By Paddleboard
Paddleboarding in Fairhope is an adventure you won’t want to miss. It’s the perfect way to experience the serene beauty of this coastal town from the unique perspective of the water.
Gliding on the calm waters of Mobile Bay on a paddleboard is nothing short of magical. You can navigate the gentle waves at your own pace, surrounded by stunning views. It’s a tranquil journey that allows you to soak in the natural beauty of Fairhope, all while getting a fun, full-body workout.
If you don’t own a paddleboard, no problem! You can easily rent one from Fairhope Cart and Paddle. They provide all the necessary equipment and can even offer some helpful tips to get you started. This makes paddleboarding accessible to everyone, whether you’re a beginner or just didn’t bring your gear.
Paddleboarding is more than just a water sport in Fairhope; it’s a way to connect with the environment, enjoy the outdoors, and experience a sense of peace that’s hard to find elsewhere. The bay’s calm waters make it an ideal spot for all skill levels, so don’t hesitate to give it a try.
11. Discover the Magic at Fairhope’s Storybook Castles
Imagine stepping into a world straight from the pages of a fairytale – that’s exactly what you’ll experience with Fairhope’s Storybook Castles. These enchanting homes, while private, offer an opportunity for a whimsical walk. 🏰 ✨
Visiting the Castles
Start your adventure by parking around the intersection of Bancroft and Oak Avenue. The actual physical address of the Storybook Castles is 457 Oak Ave, Fairhope, AL 36532. Remember to respect the residents’ privacy and avoid getting too close to windows or private areas.
Join the Walking School Bus
On Friday mornings during the school year, the Walking School Bus – Castle Walks is a fun activity for all ages. Starting around 7:15 am, the walk includes passing by Boom Castle and Queen Sally and over the beautiful footbridge with a meeting with a fantasy character. Then you’ll pass by Shelton Castle for more surprises. While here look out for the hidden Unicorn, “Peek-A-Boo.”
Tours and Unique Stays
For a more in-depth experience, consider booking a 1.5-hour tour available from Labor Day to Memorial Day. This tour includes fascinating histories of these unique structures and a special visit inside Mosher Castle.
Plus, there’s a chance to stay in a castle too! The Airbnb suite in one of the castles was the most wish-listed Airbnb in Alabama in 2021, offering a one-of-a-kind overnight experience.
12. Savor the Flavors on a Walking Food Tour of Downtown Fairhope
Continuing our journey through the best of Fairhope, the Fairhope Walking Food Tour is a culinary adventure that’s as enriching as it is delicious.
This is your invitation to explore the heart of Fairhope through its unique tastes and intriguing history. For three hours, you’ll be treated to an array of delectable tastings at six different stops, each beloved by locals and visitors alike.
As you wander the picturesque streets of Fairhope, the tour goes beyond just treating your taste buds; it also offers a glimpse into the town’s rich past. You’ll learn about how Fairhope’s culinary scene has evolved, connecting the dots between the local cuisine and the town’s history in a way that adds depth to every bite.
The tour is a perfect blend of great food and social interaction. It’s a chance to join fellow gastronomy enthusiasts in a relaxed and welcoming environment, typical of Fairhope’s charm. And for those interested in enhancing their experience, there’s an option to add a cocktail package. This includes three specially crafted cocktails that pair wonderfully with the food, elevating your culinary stroll.
13. Experience the Creativity at Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival
Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, held every March, is an event that my family and I love going to every year. 🎨 🖼️
It’s a highlight in Fairhope, transforming the downtown area into a vibrant showcase of creativity and craftsmanship. As you wander through the festival, you’re immersed in a world of artistic wonder. The streets come alive with a diverse array of booths displaying everything from intricate handmade jewelry and stunning paintings to unique sculptures and home decor.
It’s not just an opportunity to appreciate and purchase art; it’s a full sensory experience with the buzz of live music and the aroma of delicious local foods.
If you’re planning a trip to Fairhope, consider timing it with the Arts and Crafts Festival in March. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience the best of what Fairhope offers in terms of culture, art, and community spirit.
14. Celebrate the Festivities at Fairhope Mardi Gras
If you’re thinking about when to visit Fairhope, another excellent time is during Mardi Gras season. Growing up in Mobile (the birthplace of Mardi Gras) just a stone’s throw away, I’ve always been around the excitement and color of this festive time. 💜💚💛
Mardi Gras in Fairhope is something special. It’s got all the energy and vibrancy you’d expect, but with a family-friendly vibe that’s just so Fairhope. The parades here are a blast – full of lively music, dazzling floats, and the thrill of catching moonpies and beads. It’s a mix of fun and festivity, with a laid-back atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome.
As the weeks roll up to Fat Tuesday, the town gets swept up in the Mardi Gras spirit. Each parade brings its flair and excitement. And hey, you can’t forget about indulging in some king cake – it’s a sweet part of the tradition that just adds to the joy.
Mardi Gras in Fairhope is a bit more relaxed but no less fun, making it perfect for families or anyone who wants to enjoy the festivities without the full-on intensity of bigger cities.
15. Indulge in Sweet Treats at Mr. Gene’s Beans
If there’s one spot in Fairhope that’s a hit with everyone, especially after a day at the park with the kids, it’s Mr. Gene’s Beans.
Located right in the heart of Downtown, near the Fairhope Community Park, it’s the perfect place to head to for a sweet treat. 🍦 I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve ended a fun day at the park by wandering over to Mr. Gene’s Beans for some ice cream. The kids always look forward to it, and let’s be honest, so do I!
And you might be wondering my go-to at Mr. Gene’s Beans? It’s the Fairhope Float!! It’s a delicious float with a coffee twist!
But Mr. Gene’s Beans, it’s not just about the ice cream, they also serve up some great coffee and baked goods. So, whether you’re craving a scoop of your favorite flavor, a quick coffee break, or a snack, this place has got you covered.
16. Indulge in Italian Classics at Gambino’s Italian Grill
Gambino’s Italian Grill in Fairhope is the kind of place that’s perfect for almost any occasion, whether it’s a family night out or a romantic date.
This restaurant has become our go-to when we’re in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine.🍝 Its cozy and inviting atmosphere makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a little corner of Italy, right here in the South.
Gambino’s Italian Grill isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a staple of Fairhope’s dining scene. It perfectly blends the rich flavors of Italy with the warm hospitality of the South. So, whether you’re planning a family dinner or a date night, make sure to include Gambino’s on your list. It’s a spot that consistently delivers both great food and a wonderful atmosphere.
17. Taste Gourmet Sandwiches at Panini Pete’s
When you’re wandering around Downtown Fairhope and craving something delicious, Panini Pete’s is the place to go.
Owned by the culinary wizard, Chef Pete Blohme, this cozy eatery is a local treasure, famous for its tasty paninis and so much more. 🥪
One thing I love about Panini Pete’s is the seating options. Whether you choose to relax outside on the quaint patio, soak up the French Quarter vibe, or sit inside the beautiful glass dining room, the atmosphere is just perfect.
My go-to at Panini Pete’s is the beignets and a cup of coffee at breakfast. For lunch, I love the House Roasted Turkey panini.
From the signature paninis that have put this place on the map to fresh salads and burgers, there’s something to satisfy every appetite. It’s no wonder the spot has even caught the eye of foodies nationwide, with features on Food Network shows.
18. Relish Local Flavors in a Charming Ambiance at Locals Fairhope
If you’re in Fairhope and looking for a spot that’s perfect for a family meal or a romantic date night, Locals is the place to be.
What I love about this restaurant is the charming setting. I recommend sitting outside in the courtyard. It will give you all those European-style vibes!
Their menu includes seafood, homemade pasta, and some of the most amazing burgers you’ll ever taste. Plus, with live music on the weekends, it’s lively and fun. Whether it’s a casual family dinner or a cozy date, Locals in Fairhope hits all the right notes.
19. Dine With a Waterfront View at Sunset Pointe
One of my absolute favorite things to do in Fairhope, Alabama, especially on a sunny day with just the right weather, is to dine at Sunset Pointe. It’s the perfect blend of scrumptious food and mesmerizing views, especially as the sun sets over the bay. 🌅
The menu here is a celebration of fresh, local flavors, offering everything from seafood delights to a variety of other mouth-watering dishes. There’s something truly magical about enjoying a meal here when the weather is just perfect – it turns dining into a memorable experience. Whether it’s a romantic dinner, a family gathering, or a chill time with friends, the ambiance at Sunset Pointe is unbeatable.
A meal at Sunset Pointe is more than just eating out; it’s a highlight of what makes Fairhope special. It’s about savoring the moment, the flavors, and the stunning views that make this spot a key part of the best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama. So when in town, make sure to treat yourself to this dining experience – it’s an absolute must!
FAQs-Things to Do in Fairhope Alabama
Got questions about Fairhope, Alabama? You’re not alone! This charming Southern town is full of surprises, and I’m here to help you uncover them.
So, let’s dive into some FAQs and get you ready to make the most of your visit to this delightful little slice of Alabama!
Does Fairhope have nice beaches?
If you’re heading to Fairhope and dreaming of those classic white, sandy beaches, you might need to tweak your expectations a bit. Fairhope’s got its own kind of beach charm with some lovely views over Mobile Bay, but it’s not the spot for your typical beach day with swimming and sunbathing.
Now, if it’s the real deal beach experience you’re after – think soft white sands and great swimming – Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are just a 45-minute drive away. They’re the go-to spots for that classic beach vibe we all love, and they’re pretty popular for a reason. So, if you’ve got your heart set on beach time, they’re worth the trip!
What is the best time of the year to visit Fairhope, Alabama?
If you’re planning a trip to Fairhope, Alabama, let me tell you, spring is the time to do it! From March to May, the town is just magical. You’ll see flowers blooming everywhere, and the weather is just perfect – warm enough to enjoy but not too hot.
Plus, if you’re there on the right weekend, you’ll get to experience the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, which is a total treat for anyone who loves artsy stuff.
Fairhope is a great place to visit any time, but I’d say try to skip the summer months – it gets pretty hot and humid then, and it might take some of the fun out of exploring this charming little town.
Why is Fairhope Alabama famous?
Fairhope, Alabama, is a charming gem known for its artistic vibe, beautiful bay views, and quaint downtown filled with unique shops and cafes. The town’s rich history, including the Fairhope Single-Tax Colony, adds to its unique character.
Not only is it a popular retirement spot for its laid-back lifestyle and scenic beauty, but it’s also become a cultural hotspot with a vibrant arts scene and literary heritage.
Additionally, Fairhope has been a picturesque backdrop for several films and TV shows, adding to its allure. Its blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and peaceful living makes Fairhope a standout destination in the Gulf Coast region.
Is the Magnolia Ball in Fairhope real?
If you’ve seen the Hulu Show Love in Fairhope you might be asking yourself, is the Magnolia Ball real? I am here to tell you it is not! That is a made-up fictional event on this Hulu show. In fact, alot of the show is highly fictional. And Fairhope does have more than a couple of traffic lights. 🤣
The Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Fairhope Alabama
And there you have it – a local’s roundup of Fairhope’s best things to do! From serene walks on the pier to bustling festivals, and cozy cafes to the charm of storybook castles, Fairhope is full of surprises.
Whether you’re here for a family outing, a romantic escape, or just a break from the everyday, this town has a way of making every moment memorable. So, when are you visiting? Fairhope is waiting to show you a good time! 🌟