Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Fairhope, AL

  • Published 2022/09/01

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 22 best things to do on your visit to Fairhope, Alabama:

Stroll by the Famous Fairhope Municipal Pier

Aerial view of Fairhope Municipal Pier

George Dodd III /

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.

Far view of the Fairhope Municipal Pier

George Dodd III /

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.

A pelican perched on Fairhope Municipal Pier's railing

Michael Rolands /

Go Shopping at Local Boutiques Downtown

A shop at Downtown Fairhope

sasha pepper /

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

Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Malachi Jacobs /

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.

Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Michael Rolands /

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

Aerial view of Grand Hotel at Point Clear

George Dodd II /

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.

Exterior of the Grand Hotel at Point Clear

JEE1776, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

The waters of Mobile Bay

Captainess_travels /

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.

Boats at Mobile Bay's shore

Bob Pool /

Discover the city’s rich history at Fairhope Museum

Exterior of the Fairhope Museum

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Exterior of Eastern Shore Art Center

User: (WT-shared) Mistoffeles at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Sculpture on the grounds of Eastern Shore Art Center

User: (WT-shared) Mistoffeles at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Street clock in Fairhope Downtown

0Collins /

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.

Pink flowers in Fairhope Downtown

Vermon Byrd /

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

Hermit hut at Tolstoy Park

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Interior of Tolstoy park

Ddiggs721, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Exterior of the Marietta Johnson Museum

User: (WT-shared) Mistoffeles at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

A quote on the table in Tolstoy Park's hermit hut

Ddiggs721, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Shops in Fairhope Avenue

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Get Cozy and Watch a Show at Theatre 98

Baldwin County’s top local theater, Theatre 98, is committed to giving top-notch community entertainment.

They consist of members—season ticket holders who appreciate and support live theater—as well as the hundreds of performers, designers, backstage crew members, attendants, and other volunteers who give their time.

The Eastern Shore’s pre-existing theater organizations became Theatre 98 in 1960.

Theatre 98’s first president is Betty Jo Wolff, who founded the bookstore Page and Palette and stayed involved with the organization for a long time.

They renovated the lobby of Theatre 98; they built a terrace and modern landscaping.

They added wheelchair seating to the theater, and in 2018 they replaced all the theater seating with padded, upholstered seats.

Admire the Sunset while Enjoying a Meal at Sunset Pointe

Sunset Pointe, situated in Fairhope’s Fly Creek Marina, is a delightful restaurant that mixes delectable cuisine with breathtaking sunsets and a welcoming staff.

Since he started working in restaurants at 14, owner “Panini” Pete Blohme has been captivated by the magic of cuisine.

A few of the restaurant’s most well-liked dishes are the Gulf Coast BBQ shrimp, seafood lettuce wraps, crab mac and cheese, and steak topped with chimichurri sauce.

Come inside to their kid-friendly dining area surrounded by locally made furnishings.

Relish your dinner outside on their sizable deck, which features a fire pit and is surrounded by stunning views.

Buy Organic Berries at Weeks Bay Plantation

The objective of Weeks Bay Plantation is to provide excellent food using healthy and organic agricultural techniques.

Berries are offered to individual consumers by Weeks Bay Plantation in a pick-your-own service.

They don’t use chemicals, insecticides, or herbicides when growing any of their fifteen varieties of blueberries or other products; therefore, everything is entirely organic.

The berries of Weeks Bay Plantation all have incredible flavors, sweetness, and aromas.

Blueberries are grown using special, nutrient-dense techniques and are jam-packed with antioxidants.

Unwind at Fairhoper’s Community Park

A favorite gathering place for families and tourists of all ages is Fairhoper’s Community Park in the center of Fairhope.

The friendly and gigantic dinosaur statue that welcomes visitors to the park is a fantastic photo backdrop.

Youngsters can enjoy and explore the area thanks to two sets of expansive and colorful play areas.

There are several shaded places to sit quietly and unwind in this fenced-in park, thanks to the tall trees, sheltered wood swings, and two pavilions.

On a hot day, head toward the splash pad with a pirate motif to cool off.

Check Out and Buy Unique Items at Southern Antiques and Accents

Discovering extraordinary, one-of-a-kind vintage gems is a wonderful getaway from daily life.

A former bowling alley that was renovated became the house of the Antique Mall.

Visitors will find a wide range of goods thanks to the store’s extensive assortment of sellers and booths.

They offer lots of variety, and their helpful and cheerful team is available to help collectors, treasure seekers, designers, dealers, and global travelers!

Visit them today to experience their warm Southern hospitality and browse their collection of antiques, trinkets, vintage items, accessories, crystals, souvenirs, yard art, and paintings.

Furthermore, they offer hand-built housewares, antique toys, Civil War relics, and other intriguing items.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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