Fairhope is a city in Alabama that lies on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay, which is part of Alabama's Gulf Coast. It is known for its coastal views, pretty parks, art galleries, shops, and seafood restaurants. If you are visiting this location, you will find plenty of recreational activities to enjoy during your stay. It may help to plan your trip in advance to make the most out of your time at this destination. Here are the 20 best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama.
20. Enjoy Outdoors Activities at Bohemian Park
There are plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy in Bohemian Park, which is one of Fairhope's nicest green spaces. Around the park, there are trails that are suitable for both hiking and biking, and there is a lake where you can paddle in the water or hire a paddleboat. There are also several picnic areas where you can sit and eat your lunch.
19. See a Show at Theater 98
If you want to watch a performance in Fairhope, the best option is Theater 98 Inc. It is a small community theater company that includes actors, ushers, designers, singers, dancers, and members with many other roles. Their shows are popular, so it is best to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
18. Watch the Sunset at Mullet Point Park
One of the many amazing parks you should visit in Fairhope is Mullet Point Park. The park's proximity to Mobile Bay means that it is a fantastic spot to watch the sun setting over the bay. It is also an excellent park for taking photographs of either the sunset or the beautiful surroundings. The park has a small fishing pier where people can fish with a permit and some trails for hiking, biking, and jogging that people can use to explore the park.
17. Go Fruit Picking at Weeks Bay Plantation
An unusual activity to enjoy during your Fairhope vacation is going fruit picking at Weeks Bay Plantation. The plantation is famous for its blueberries, and visitors can go fruit picking or buy their own blueberry plant. Visitors can also stroll around the open fields, explore the farm, and enjoy the wildlife. There are also opportunities to learn about agriculture in the area surrounding Fairhope.
16. Peruse the Wares at Southern Antiques and Accents
Fairhope isn't the place for shopping in large malls or buying brand names from chain stores. However, there is an abundance of small specialist shops and boutiques. An unusual shop to visit to fulfill your retail therapy needs is Southern Antiques and Accents. The shop is full of hidden gems, including vintage toys, handcrafted furniture, antique signs, glassware, pottery, and various other antiques and collectibles. There are also gifts, unique homewares, and decorations. You will find Southern Antiques and Accents on South Greeno Road.
15. Go Swimming at Mary Ann Nelson Beach
On warmer days, you might wish to cool off. If you fancy taking a dip, then head to Mary Ann Nelson Beach, as this is one of the best sections of beach along the bay for swimming. You can also relax on the beach or have some family fun. Along the beach, there are onsite picnic tables, so you can enjoy a picnic after your swim. Free parking is available nearby. All-in-all, this is one of the best activities for people on a budget to enjoy during their Fairhope break.
14. Go to the Unique House of Hermit of Monrose
Of all the landmarks in Fairhope and the surrounding area, the most unusual is the unique house of Hermit of Monroe. It is the former home of Henry Stuart, who built the house himself from concrete blocks and bricks, despite suffering from tuberculosis. The tiny house is circular, and it features an unusual domed roof. During the later years of his life, Stuart became an inspirational part of the community. The house is in the parking lot of Tolstoy Park, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
13. Take a Stroll on North Beach Park
The coast that runs along Fairhope offers beautiful landscape on one side and stunning coastal views on the other. If you want to appreciate the views and scenery, then you should take a stroll along North Beach Park. You can see Fairhope Municipal Pier from the beach, and one section of the beach is lined with trees. North Park Beach is a popular spot for picnics and for watching the sunset.
12. Unwind at Tongue & Groove Drinkery
Many people enjoy unwinding with a couple of drinks at some point in their vacation. While there are many bars and pubs to visit during your stay, one venue that you should include on your list of places to visit is Tongue & Groove Drinkery. This venue opened in 2015, and it is one of the best cocktail bars in downtown Fairhope. They also serve craft beers, spirits, and Edmund Oast. It is a fantastic place to go after a day of sightseeing in the city to either unwind or have some fun.
11. Explore Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Those who enjoy spending time exploring the outdoors and getting close to nature should visit Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The reserve was founded in 1986, and its aim is to promote education and research on the Alabama coast. They conduct regular research to monitor and preserve the estuary. A visit to the preserve is an opportunity to learn about the different habitats and the coastal ecosystem, and learning is done through a combination of exhibits and self-guided tours. Visitors can walk along the nature trails and visit the nursery for crab, shrimp, and various fish species.
10. Visit the Museum of Bell Building
An unusual museum to visit in Fairhope is the Museum of Bell Building. The Bell Building was built in 1904, and it is one of Alabama's historic sites. When it was first built, it was used as Fairhope's first school, and it was called the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education. In addition to teaching academic studies, the school also taught art, handicrafts, and the performing arts. Marietta Johnson was considered a visionary educator, as she believed that children should learn a wide variety of subjects to equip them for their adult life. The school is now a museum, and there is also a nearby museum devoted to Marietta Johnson.
9. Take the Kids to Fairhope Community Park
According to Trip 101, one of the best activities for those visiting Fairhope with their children is Fairhope Community Park. It boasts a wide, fully-equipped playground for children to enjoy, including monkey bars, traditional swings, a sidewalk lined with musical instruments, a rope-climbing sphere, and two large slides. You can take along a picnic as there is a community pavilion with benches. It is a cheap way of keeping the kids entertained for a morning or afternoon during your visit.
8. Have a Drink at Fairhope Brewing Company
If you are a fan of beer and fancy relaxing with a pint or two, then the Fairhope Brewing Company is the best place to go in the city. The Fairhope Brewing Company was founded in 2012. At first, they only produced Everyday Ale and Section Street Wheat. Now, the brewing company produces 14 different flavors of beer and ale. Visitors are welcome at the premises, as there are both indoor and outdoor seating areas where guests can sample the beers.
7. Dine at Gambino’s Italian Grill
Rick and Gari Gambino opened Gambino’s Italian Grill in 1975. The same family still runs it, and it is now one of the best and most established restaurants in Fairhope. The restaurant is popular amongst the locals, as it is one of their favorite places for celebratory meals. It has a menu consisting of classic Italian dishes, including pasta, pizzas, steaks, and seafood. There is also an excellent wine list, and entertainment is scheduled throughout the week. This restaurant has received praise for its welcoming atmosphere and excellent customer service.
6. Enjoy the Outdoor Activities at Oak Hollow Farm
An attraction that offers various activities is Oak Hollow Farm, which is a historic property that spans more than 300 acres. The landscape consists of aging oak trees, rolling pastures, and several lakes. It is owned and operated by a family, and they have opened their farm to visitors. There are various activities for visitors to enjoy, including hayrides, horseback riding, archery, skeet shooting, and exploring the farmland. The farm also has catch-and-release fishing, and they host dove and pheasant hunts throughout the year.
5. Play a Round of Golf at Rock Creek Golf Club
Golf enthusiasts can fulfill their passion while in Fairhope by playing a round of golf at Rock Creek Golf Club. It is one of the best golf courses in Southern Alabama, and renowned architect Earl Stone designed it. The design means that it is a playable course that is suitable for all skill levels, and there are some challenges along the way. Even if you do not play golf, it is worth visiting the golf course to dine at its award-winning restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch. There are social activities and events hosted at the golf club throughout the year.
4. See the Art Exhibitions at Eastern Shore Art Center
Those who are interested in art might consider including a visit to the Eastern Shore Art Center in their vacation itinerary. Its aim is to provide visitors with opportunities to understand and appreciate art through exhibitions and education. The center is divided into five galleries that display work by artists working with different mediums from all over the United States, including some local and up-and-coming artists. Each year, there is an outdoor art exhibition, and there are workshops and classes held throughout the year. You will find Eastern Shore Art Center on Oak Avenue.
3. Explore Weeks Bay Reserve
Nature-lovers should spend a day exploring Weeks Bay Reserve. The reserve spans 9,317 acres of wetlands, bog habitats, bodies of water, and protected forests. It is also a research, training, and educational facility that offers various outreach programs. There are hiking trails around the park for you to explore the different habitats and see the wildlife. The diversity of the landscape means there are also other activities for visitors. Other activities to enjoy at the reserve include birdwatching, canoeing, kayaking, and picnicking.
2. Visit Fairhope Museum
One of the top tourist attractions in Fairhope is Fairhope Museum, which is in the building that was once the City Hall. It is the best place to learn more about different aspects of the area's history. Inside the museum, there is an extensive collection of artifacts and displays that outline the city's rich history and the surrounding area. Some artifacts date back to the earliest Native American residents, and many items showcase Fairhope's clay pottery history. Some other topics and periods of history covered include the Single Tax theory, the Jubilee phenomenon, and Fairhope's founders.
1. Take a Stroll Along Fairhope's Municipal Pier
Vacation Idea recommends taking a stroll along Municipal Pier as one of the best things to do in Fairhope, Alabama. It is one of the best spots to enjoy views across Mobile Bay and the Gulf Coast. The pier is also a wonderful place to sit watching the sea birds. Furthermore, the pier is a popular place for pier fishing. On the pier, there are benches, restrooms, a restaurant, and shaded areas, and there is a marina next to the pier. The pier extends to a park that has a rose garden, a fountain, walking trails, a sandy beach, a duck pond, and picnic tables.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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