Perched on a high bluff overlooking Mobile Bay, Fairhope is a town in bloom. A thirty-foot floral clock on Highway 98 welcomes visitors, and flowerbeds lining bustling Main Street are replanted quarterly with flowers such as Jingle Bell poinsettias, tulips, petunias, and marigolds. Down by the Fairhope Municipal Pier, a meticulously maintained rose garden contains more than 1,000 bushes representing forty-one varieties. And thanks to a 1981 tree-planting initiative, the community is now lined with thousands of longleaf pines, magnolias, birches, and live oaks. Shop for books and art at Page & Palette, a third-generation family business, and delight the kids with a visit to Fantasy Island Toys, open forty years. When it’s time to eat, opt for seafood; local favorites include Market by the Bay and Shux on the Pier. If you’re in town for one of the seasonal jubilees, you might even catch your own crab, shrimp, or flounder.
Where to Stay
Fairhope Inn / Situated in the heart of downtown Fairhope, this elegant small inn offers three antique-filled guest rooms anchored by four-poster beds. thefairhopeinn.com
Where to Eat
Shux on the Pier / It’s a year-round jubilee at this seafood joint with outdoor seating on the pier. Order fresh flame-grilled oysters and watch boats cruise the bay. shuxonthepier.com
What to See
Fairhope French Quarter / Twelve petite shops selling a range of goods, from bracelets to beignets, surround one of the South’s largest crepe myrtle trees. fairhopefrenchquarter.com
Fairhope Municipal Pier
Many small towns have city squares and community greenspaces, and Fairhope is no exception. But perhaps its most popular gathering spot is a 1,448-foot stretch of wood planks extending over the bay: Fairhope Municipal Pier. Located on the west end of town, the pier is where locals and visitors congregate for jubilee celebrations, as well as fishing and picnicking. It features a popular marina and restaurant. There’s also an adjacent park with a pavilion, pond, tree trail, and rose garden, plus access to the expansive beach.