Fairhope is known for its charming, quaint, and small-town feel. From beautiful flowers on every downtown block to stunning sunsets over Mobile Bay, Fairhope offers more than enough to its citizens. We agree with Southern Living when they named Fairhope one of "The South's Best Small Towns" and author Katherine Owen wrote, “Now, what I don’t understand is how anyone can stand to live anywhere else on earth.” People from all over the country come to visit, and often they find themselves unable to leave. With highly rated schools and a stellar safety record, who could blame them? Here are five other things that make Fairhope an ideal community!
1. Shop 'Til You Drop
Fairhope has some of the best shopping along the Gulf Coast. Reasonably priced retail options vary from art galleries, kid’s stores, men’s stores, pet stores, jewelry stores, gift shops, and even golf cart shops - you can find almost everything your heart desires right downtown. Check out The Downtown Fairhope Business Association for a list of shops to browse from.
2. Eat and Drink at Top-Rated Restaurants and Bars
Dragonfly Foodbar, Panini Pete’s, Sunset Pointe, and The Hope Farm are just a few of a long list of amazing places to try in Fairhope. Not to mention the bars are a hit, The Fairhope Brewing Company, Red or White wine bar, Tongue and Groove, McSharry’s, La Martina, and Flybar all have signature cocktails and are great places to go and sit with friends and family to enjoy an evening out. We can’t forget about Mr. Gene’s Beans, home of the famous Fairhope Float, with all the Blue Bell and Old Dutch ice cream you and your kids can imagine.
3. Enjoy the Arts & Crafts Festival
Artists from all over the country apply to be featured in Fairhope’s Arts & Crafts Festival. Thousands apply, but just under 250 are accepted to exhibit their work in the heart of downtown. You’ll find jewelers, painters, photographers, potters, woodworkers, glass blowers, and so much more! There are games for kids, a 2-mile family fun run, food trucks, and the famous fresh-squeezed lemonade. This weekend-long event in March brings people from across the nation to beautiful downtown Fairhope to indulge and splurge a little.
4. Catch a Jubilee
Never heard of a jubilee? Well, you’re not alone; they only occur in two parts of the world - a small stretch of the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and Tokyo bay in Japan. When the conditions are just right flounders, crabs and shrimp will beach themselves and you can walk along the beach gigging enough flounder to fill ice chests and catching enough blue crabs and shrimp to fill your freezer for the whole summer. So what causes a jubilee? “They usually only occur in the summer, usually in the morning before sunrise. The previous day’s weather conditions must include an overcast or cloudy day, a gentle wind from the east, and a calm and slick bay surface. Also, a rising tide is necessary; a change to a falling tide will stop the jubilee. It takes a combination of all these conditions to produce this naturally occurring phenomenon.” If you happen to stumble upon one, call everyone you know and then host a fish fry or shrimp boil for your closest friends and family! Jubilees are certainly hard to find but happen every summer in Fairhope. If you’re lucky enough to experience one, consider it a true blessing!
5. Rent Bikes Downtown
What better way to explore downtown and near Mobile Bay than a scenic bike ride? Many places let you rent bikes for a reasonable price by the hour or by the day. Ride down to the Fairhope pier and explore trails along the duck pond below the bluff, or even ride down to The Grand Hotel.