If you ever have the chance to go to Alabama, you need to visit Fairhope. It’s the most charming small town in the South. It’s only 45 minutes to the Alabama beaches and across the bay from Mobile. You definitely need to make this a stop on your next visit through Alabama.
Here’s my itinerary for one weekend in Fairhope, Alabama:
Take a drive through downtown Fairhope on you way out to Fish River for dinner. See the cutest little town in the south. This drive is better in the winter time when they have lights decorating the trees for Christmas. If you’re lucky, it’ll be first Friday and you can tour the city while sipping wine and eating samples.
Make your way to Big Daddy’s Grill on Fish River for dinner. This is place has amazing food, great service and entertainment for both kids and adults. Sit outside to get the full experience where you can listen to live music, see the water, munch on fried crab claws and drink a bushwhacker – trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Not ready to turn in just yet? Drop by The Ravenite Pizzeria for some fun! Sing some karaoke or play a game of pool. Have a drink and then head back for a good night’s sleep.
Get up early to beat the heat and walk along the bay. South Mobile Street has a sidewalk and parking for those who want to take in the beauty of the bay. Park your car and head out for a mile or two walk. You’ll see old trees cascading over the street and beautiful bay houses. Stop at the beach and the different public piers along the way. Once you hit the American Legion, it’s time to turn around and make your way back to the car.
Grab breakfast at Julwin’s, Baldwin County’s oldest restaurant, in downtown Fairhope. It’s a must-do for any person visiting Fairhope as their breakfast ranks supreme.
Since most of the shops in Fairhope don’t open until 10 AM, spend some time down at the Fairhope Municipal Pier and North Beach Park. It’s a nice walk with beaches, ponds and lots of nature. There’s great photo ops when it’s not super crowded.
As 10 AM rolls around, head downtown for shopping. My favorite places to go are:
- Hertha’s Second Edition – This is the best second hand, name-brand consignment store around. I never pay full price for anything as they have different color tags and each color has a different discount. You can get some clothes for 75% off.
- Utopia – I get all of my college team dresses here. They have the cutest tops and dresses for less than $100.
- CK Collection – This place is a little out of my price range as everything is high-end and super expensive. If you’re into that type of clothing, this is the place for you. It’ll be like shopping on Rodeo Drive.
- Page & Palette – I love this bookstore and coffee shop! Sometimes, they hold sales and you can get hardback books for only $1.
- The Fairhope Store – Pick up some local merch to take back home.
Don’t miss the French Quarter for a little taste of New Orleans. It’s somewhat hidden, but there’s a few stores and a restaurant that you don’t want to miss. Walk through “Italy” at the Italian Downtown restaurant where there’s a small path that connects Fairhope Avenue and De La Mare Avenue.
Stop in for lunch at Master Joe’s and get the best sushi of your life. I’ve lived in large cities and so far I haven’t found anything that comes close to being as good as Master Joe’s sushi rolls. Our favorites are the Kamikaze, spicy tuna, crunchy shrimp and Cancun. Don’t forget the ginger salad! This place can get packed so try to get there early or find a seat at the bar where you can see them making sushi.
After lunch, finish up your shopping because stores close at 5 PM. Learn about the town’s history at the Fairhope Welcome Center and The Fairhope Museum of History. While you’re walking around, don’t forget to take in all of the beautiful flowers and artwork throughout the city. Here’s a free guide. Make sure to see Fairhope’s Story Book Castles.
Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up and a chance to rest your feet? These are your best options:
- Grab some local brew from the Fairhope Brewing Company
- Have a glass of wine at Red or White Wine Bar
- Help yourself to an ice cream cone at Mr. Gene’s Beans
Make your way to Bouch’s Premium Cigars before 7 PM (when they close) for an upscale smoking experience. Men (and even some women) love this unique little cigar shop. You’re welcome to light up and smoke after you purchase your cigars. They have a small area out back and inside.
Head over to Shux on the Pier for dinner. Ask to sit outside (if the heat isn’t sweltering) and watch the sunset go down. My favorite thing on the menu is a dozen cajun oysters. You won’t regret ordering them.
After dinner, talk a stroll on the pier and near the bay as the sun continues setting.
Don’t forget about dessert from the newly opened The Yard Milkshake Bar. They have the best (and coolest) milkshakes.
Then, grab a fancy drink at the Tongue and Groove Drinkery. The ambience is pretty neat with cozy booths, low lighting and a patio out back. If you’re not ready to hit the hay, you can walk next door to McSharry’s where all of the locals hang out.
Most of the shops and restaurants are closed in downtown Fairhope on Sundays. This gives you a chance to tour beautiful Baldwin County and the surrounding areas.
Drive out to Point Clear and see the Grand Hotel. If you want to see the grounds and their view of the bay, you can eat breakfast or brunch at the following restaurants: The Grand Hall or the Bayside Grill. After you finish eating, take a stroll near the bay or explore the grounds.
Take a day trip to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. Fairhope is only 45 minutes away from the beaches. You can even visit the famous Florabama or eat at The Hangout, known for the Hangout Music Festival. While the food isn’t anything to write home about, it’s fun to sit outside under the Big Ass Fans and enjoy the warm ocean air.
Or you can go the opposite direction and head over to Mobile, Alabama. While in Mobile, you can visit the USS Alabama Battleship, Gulf Coast Exploreum or Dauphin Island. On your way back, don’t forget to stop at Five Rivers Delta and one of the restaurants on the causeway. Ed’s Seafood Shed and Felix’s Fish Camp Restaurant both have great seafood.
These are just some suggestions. Fairhope is full of great restaurants and unique sights. Enjoy!