Are you looking for a place with jam-packed activities and attractions on your next long weekend getaway?
Or do you simply want a temporary escape from the busy metro?
Fairhope, Alabama, is an ideal getaway destination.
Whether you want to unwind in the laid-back atmosphere of the town or you are looking for an exciting outdoor adventure, Fairhope has so much to offer.
This charming town was once known as a hidden gem in the south, it is now a famous attraction to tourists, and they keep on coming back to this beautiful city.
Despite being one of the rapidly developing cities in Alabama, Fairhope still maintains its welcoming small-town feel that attracts lots of tourists, and it’s also a famous movie spot for filmmakers.
It’s located on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay with a warm temperate climate that’s perfect for a summer vacation and also tons of seasonal events that are worth visiting for an incredible tourist experience.
Read on to have a memorable time in this quaint little town; we’ve rounded up the 18 best things to do on your visit to Fairhope, Alabama:
Stroll by the Famous Fairhope Municipal Pier
Boasting its picture-perfect panoramic views of Mobile Bay, Fairhope Municipal Pier
is the most popular attraction you can visit in the city.
Apart from the scenic view the pier offers, you can do lots of activities on your visit.
You can take a romantic walk in the lovely rose garden, eat out in their sunny picnic areas, try fresh seafood in nearby restaurants, go fishing by the bay, or dip in the warm waters of Mobile Bay.
This place is also great if you are planning to finish the day with a breathtaking sunset by the bay.
Go Shopping at Local Boutiques Downtown
Downtown Fairhope is well-known for its wide selection of boutique shops that are locally owned; you’ll find shops for clothes and accessories, arts, designer items, unique gifts, local souvenirs, and more.
You can head out to these shops and find what you are looking for to commemorate your trip to Fairhope; not only will you enjoy shopping, but you will also have a glimpse of the local hustle and bustle.
Consider planning a day out for shopping, but note that many shops are closed or have limited opening hours on Sundays.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure at Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
If you are looking for an exciting outdoor adventure, a trip to Weeks Bay Reserve should definitely be on your list.
Located along the outskirts of Fairhope, the reserve is in a 9,317-acre area that houses marshes, wetlands, protected forests, bog habitats, several bodies of water, and local wildlife of Alabama just waiting to be explored.
The reserve offers lots of outdoor educational activities for tourists of all ages; you can take a nature walk where you can learn about Alabama’s botany and wildlife.
Welcome the New Year at Fairhope’s Mardi Gras Parade
The seasonal Mardi Gras parade is entertaining in Fairhope; it is a most awaited event once the clock strikes 12 on a New Year’s Eve.
The celebration is filled with beautiful lights and colors found everywhere, especially on Mardi Gras floats designed and constructed by creative locals to welcome a prosperous new year.
If you decide to celebrate the new year with your family at a lively festival, Fairhope’s Mardi Gras is the perfect option for a family-friendly celebration.
Visit the Grand Hotel at Point Clear
The Grand Hotel Resort and Spa is a fascinating historical hotel founded in 1847; it is one of the oldest hotels in the area.
During the Civil War in the 1860s, the hotel served as a confederate hospital to care for injured soldiers.
Despite its age, the hotel is one of the most loved hotels in Fairhope because of its charming and laid-back atmosphere.
If you are staying in a different hotel, you can still tour the property and enjoy a meal in their top-rated restaurant.
Try to also visit in the afternoon, where you can witness the daily cannon firing followed by a tea party in the hotel’s Grand Hall.
Go on a Pub Crawl
Spend a fun night with friends on Fairhope’s exciting nightlife experiences, dance around with live music and taste the best specialty cocktails of every pub.
Apart from the beautiful place of Fairhope, you are also among the friendliest of people that you can meet in pubs downtown.
Each pub offers unique nightlife experiences; whether you prefer laid-back and chill nights or hip and lively pubs, you can experience all of these on a pub crawl.
Sail Around Mobile Bay
If you enjoy being on the water, a charter boat company is available to take you and your companions on a nautical adventure.
The local captains will guide you on your adventure, whether you like to go fishing or simply sail to enjoy the view of the city from afar.
Whatever activity you choose, it is definitely a fantastic experience on your trip to Fairhope.
Discover the city’s rich history at Fairhope Museum
A trip to Fairhope can’t be completed without learning about the city's fascinating history; it is a great indoor activity that celebrates the city and its people.
Fairhope Museum is home to numerous historical photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts that allows visitors to uncover stories of the early life in Fairhope.
You can follow a cultured guide to explore with or take self-guided tours where you can check out exhibits, presentations, and educational events offered by the museum.
Relax on a Sunny Day at North Beach Park
A visit to Fairhope isn't complete if you don’t spend a beach day on North Beach Park, which is famous for its white sandy beach.
Whether you just want to relax under the sun or you want to try water activities like kayaking or parasailing, this place has you covered.
There is also a covered pavilion in the area that is a perfect picnic spot while you enjoy Mobile Bay's relaxing sea breeze and scenic beauty.
Admire Local Arts at Eastern Shore Art Center
Delve into the artistic community of Fairhope by visiting the Eastern Shore Art Center, which houses exhibition galleries and teaching studios.
The art center is a place to learn about local arts and a perfect place to unleash your own artistic skills.
A visit to the Eastern Shore Art Center is a unique experience where you can browse curated art collections in various mediums.
Spend a Relaxing Golf Day at Rock Creek Golf Club
Are you a pro golf player? Or do you just want to try out golfing for the first time?
If you are one of these, you should visit Rock Creek Golf Club because they accommodate all levels of experience on their courses.
The golf club is situated in an amazing landscape of well-maintained greens and tree-lined fairways; it is also recognized as one of Alabama’s top golf courses.
They also cater a scrumptious selection of foods in their restaurant where you can spend a leisurely meal with friends and family.
Explore the Vibrant Fairhope Downtown on a Bike
Pedal your way on the busy downtown, stop by local parks or grab a bag of snacks while you enjoy the picturesque architecture of the town.
Biking around the city is a better way to explore the local attractions in Fairhope’s downtown; you are welcome to bring your own bike, or you can rent a bike for an hour or even a day.
Get a Pint of Handcrafted Beer at Fairhope Brewing Company
If you are looking to spend time to chill and meet new people, consider visiting Fairhope’s only brewing company.
Taste amazing craft beers created by passionate people brewing different flavors of your preference; whether you prefer something light, crisp, bold, or fruity concoction, they have you covered.
Apart from serving beautifully flavored beers, you can dance and hang out with friendly locals since the brewery hosts regular music and trivia nights.
Score antique finds
If you are an antique enthusiast or you simply want to browse antique shops to look for something that might pique your interest, Fairhope is a great place if you are on a treasure hunt.
Fairhope downtown offers an array of selection of antique shops where you can scout for valuable antiques and make connections with other enthusiasts.
Friendly local antique curators can help you if you have a specific item in mind; they might have the connections to find what you are looking for.
Visit the Historical Tolstoy Park
Get a glimpse of the unique homestead built by Henry Stuart in 1923 on the ten-acre wooded land in Fairhope.
He moved to this land, which he named Tolstoy Park, in hopes that the warmer climate of Fairhope would prolong his life after getting diagnosed with life-threatening tuberculosis.
Henry Stuart lived in a 14-feet diameter home with a round roof that resembles an igloo.
The mesmerizing architecture of this place and the life of Henry Stuart attract lots of tourists.
If this also interests you, you can visit this historical park on your trip to Fairhope.
Discover the fascinating works of an educator at Marietta Johnson Museum
If you are looking for another educational tour on Fairhope, check out the Marietta Johnson Museum.
Marietta Johnson is a revolutionary educator that pioneered organic school, which John Dewey then endorsed.
The museum showcases the works of Marietta Johnson and the impact of organic education through a range of photographs, exhibits, historical documents, and presentations from 1907 up to the present day.
If you are looking to be inspired by the works of a great educator, you should definitely check out this museum that continues to serve the community of Fairhope.
Visit the Scenic Oak Hollow Farm
Are you looking for more outdoor activities while in Fairhope?
Check out the 300-acre beautiful countryside venue at Oak Hollow Farm, where you can try horseback riding or hayrides; you can also try skeet shooting or archery.
They also offer scheduled pheasant and dove hunting on their property, as well as catch-and-release fishing on the lake.
Apart from these exciting outdoor activities, Oak Hollow Farm is famous for its rustic scenery filled with wooded trails, rolling pastures, and majestic oak trees.
Try Multicultural Cuisine Around the Town
Foodies will definitely appreciate the numerous selection of international and regional cuisine served by restaurants at Fairhope Avenue.
If you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine, you can try the top-rated Gambino’s Italian Grill, famous for its traditional Italian classics and locally-caught seafood dishes.
But if you are in the mood for some American lunch, you can try out delicious treats from the famous Panini Pete’s Cafe & Bakeshoppe in the French quarter of downtown Fairhope.
Try out local delights like Fairhope Float served by Mr. Gene’s Beans Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, the top-tier milkshakes from the Yard Milkshake Bar.
Of course, you should never forget to have a delightful farm-to-table dining experience from restaurants that serve locally sourced seafood dishes paired with fresh produce from Fairhope’s farmers.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Spot the Gators at Gator Alley Boardwalk
If you want a close-up viewing experience with the gators, visit the Gator Alley Boardwalk.
It is the closest you can get to the nestling place of these majestic creatures.
If you get lucky, you can see them swimming just beneath the boardwalk, lying in the swamps, or wandering by the shoreline.
Remember to follow the information boards along the boardwalk and don’t do anything that might cause harm to you and the alligators.
Fairhope is a charming little town with scenic beachside views, fantastic nature parks, phenomenal outdoor experiences, and a community of welcoming people.
A trip to Fairhope will never be a dull one because of the never-ending activities and attractions you can do during your visit.
Remember this list to add to your itinerary for your long weekend getaway at Fairhope.