Alabama has a couple of other beach towns that are more famous, but they’re not like Fairhope. In fact, it’s safe to say there’s no other place like it anywhere.
It takes some effort to find this hidden gem because it’s not on a major highway or busy waterfront. However, once you discover Fairhope Beach, you may find it difficult to pull yourself away.
What are all the great things about this tucked-away treasure near the Gulf of Mexico?
Let’s find out!
Where Is the Fairhope Beach?
The beach is in the charming, one-of-a-kind, slow-paced town of Fairhope on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in southwestern Alabama. It’s just across the water from the bustling city of Mobile and about 30 miles inland from the gulf.
To get there, take Interstate 10 to Exit 35 (Daphne/Spanish Fort) and then go seven miles south on U.S. 98.
Get To Know The Fairhope Beach in Alabama
No one would describe Fairhope as being a classic beach town. Yes, there’s a sand beach there, but there’s so much more. The beach experience certainly doesn’t define the community. For more traditional sand-and-surf outings, visitors flock from all over to nearby Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
By comparison, the waters of Mobile Bay are much calmer, and so is the lifestyle. Many describe the town as artsy because of a proliferation of galleries and public art and a creative mindset.
The growing city of around 24,000 has a quaint downtown area that stands as an attractive and vibrant centerpiece. It’s just a few blocks up the hill from the beach.
Pro Tip: Want to camp along the beach in Alabama? Check out these 5 Amazing Gulf Shores Campgrounds.
5 Reasons You’ll Love the Fairhope Beach
This part of the country has mild weather most of the year, so it’s always nice to spend time outdoors. We’ll head out to see what the city has to offer, too, and it’s a lot. Here are five great things to do, indoors and out, at Fairhope Beach.
#1. Sunsets at the Fairhope Municipal Pier
Right next to Fairhope Beach, the city’s public pier is one of the most popular spots in town throughout the day. It’s over 1,400 feet long, so there are lots of room to stroll without getting in the way of people fishing or crabbing.
The crowds get even bigger in the evenings as folks gather for a perfect view of a stunning sunset over the bay. Seeing the colors bloom against a darkening sky is a magical way to cap off a wonderful day in Fairhope.
#2. Shopping and Dining on Fairhope Avenue
You’ll love walking the sidewalks that are accented with fresh, floral arrangements and carefully tended trees. During the holiday season, they are illuminated with graceful white lights, giving this inviting district even more character.
But the best thing is that you can duck into all manner of thriving businesses that reveal Fairhope’s rich, varied character. Many of the community’s best restaurants are close to each other downtown, among dozens of independently owned shops. For many, the locally owned bookstore, with its adjacent café, is the heart of the community.
#3. Visiting North Beach Park
On the far end of Fairhope Beach, away from the pier, is a beautiful small park with a picturesque lagoon. There’s a white wooden footbridge over it that’s perfect for capturing photos of the resident ducks, geese, and herons.
On the far north end is a small bayou surrounded by sea oats. You might not want to get too close because rumor says a rather large alligator calls it home.
#4. Touring the Fairhope Museum of History
The city itself dates to 1894 when a small group of families from the Midwest established a colony there. The Fairhope Museum of History, housed in the former city hall, has pictures and artifacts from every decade since.
Be sure to pay attention to the vital role that the native clay has played in the local pottery scene. The museum is inside the two-story Spanish Mission-style building on Section Street downtown. Look for the old fire truck out front.
#5. Biking Along the Eastern Shore Trail
The weather is quite conducive to an active outdoor lifestyle, and the community promotes it. The 23-mile Eastern Shore Trail is just one example. It’s a paved path on the shoulder of the roadways set aside for cyclists and pedestrians.
The trail covers the ground in and around Fairhope Beach, including its surrounding communities. As you can imagine, the most popular stretch is the flat, level stretch that skirts the scenic Mobile Bay.
Pro Tip: Love music? We think Fairhope Music Festival is the Ideal Fall Road Trip to Alabama!
Is a Visit to Fairhope Beach, Alabama, Worth It?
Fairhope Beach is the kind of place that leaves a strong impression immediately, and many people return for more. Visitors to this enchanting little city on the bay almost always remark on how beautifully landscaped it is. It turns out that one of the former mayors had a background in horticulture.
Such beautification efforts exemplify community pride that keeps attracting new residents. In fact, Fairhope is part of an area that’s one of the fastest-growing in the nation. There’s no doubt that it’s a gorgeous and unique little town on the water that’s definitely worth checking out.
Will you be visiting Fairhope Beach?
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