Located along the shoreline of Mobile Bay, Fairhope, Alabama is home to many wonderful things to see and do, from having a gorgeous stroll at the Fairhope Municipal Pier to exploring the marsh wetlands at Weeks Bay Reserve. Learn about the area’s rich history at Fairhope Museum or head to Oak Hollow Farms. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Fairhope Municipal Pier, Fairhope, Alabama
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Open throughout the year, the Fairhope Municipal Pier is a wonderful place for visitors to take a stroll, see the many shorebirds, or spend the day pier fishing. Designed to ensure a comfortable visit, the pier has amenities such as benches, shaded areas, restrooms, a marina, and a restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal in. The pier extends out toward a park which houses a duck pond, rose garden, fountain, picnic tables, pavilions, walking trails, and a large sandy beach. The pier can be accessed at no cost while the beach has an entry fee during the summer months; visitors who plan on pier fishing will need a saltwater fishing license.
2.Fairhope Museum, Fairhope, Alabama
© Fairhope Museum
Situated in the heart of the downtown area, the Fairhope Museum is housed in a historic Spanish mission-style building that once served as City Hall. Within the museum you will find many displays and exhibits dedicated to the city’s unique and rich past, from its earliest Native American residents to the area’s extensive history with clay pottery. Some of the permanent exhibits include artifacts on Fairhope’s founders, the Jubilee phenomenon, and the Single Tax theory; you’ll even be able to see the old town jail. There are several events held at the museum, including their popular Thursday afternoon event complete with a lecture on a particular aspect of Fairhope’s history, tea, and cookies.
24 N Section St, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-929-1471
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3.Weeks Bay Reserve, Fairhope, Alabama
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Expanding over 9,317 acres, the Weeks Bay Reserve comprises marsh wetlands, protected forests, unique bog habitats, and several bodies of water which are fun and interesting to explore for visitors of all ages. A lot of research, training, educational, and outreach programs are conducted at the reserve, much of which you can learn a lot about during your visit there. The recreational opportunities are endless, and the reserve offers plenty of activities you can take part in such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, picnicking, hiking, bird watching, and observing wildlife. There are several trails which you can navigate through to get an understanding of the extent of Fairhope’s beauty.
11300 US-98, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-928-9792
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4.Eastern Shore Art Center, Fairhope, Alabama
© Eastern Shore Art Center
The Eastern Shore Art Center has been a part of the Fairhope community for years, giving its residents and visitors a place to understand and appreciate art through exhibitions, education, and outreach activities. There are five galleries, which are free to public to explore, as well as complimentary guided tours held by informed professionals at the center. The works vary from all over the United States, in different mediums and by different artists. There is an annual Outdoor Art Shows which attracts tons of visitors and is a great way to introduce younger patrons to the art. If you’re there for a longer period of time, you may be interested in participating in one of the center’s many workshops and classes, which are conducted for students of all ages and cover a wide range of work from pottery to paintings.
401 Oak Ave, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-928-2228
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5.Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Tolstoy Park
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Tolstoy Park was the home of Henry Stuart, who, in 1923, was then 65 years old and was told he had a few months to live with a tuberculosis diagnosis. He packed up his belongings and trekked from Idaho to the ten-acre wooded land in Fairhope, where he hoped that the warmer weather would give him some additional time in life. He built the home himself, a round igloo of sorts only 14 feet in diameter and fashioned from handmade concrete blocks and bricks. Whether it was the nice atmosphere or not, Henry went on to live at his home, which he named Tolstoy Park, for 22 more years, moving just months before he passed away. The unique homestead attracted visitors long before his death, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places not long after. Even though the surrounding woods have now been replaced with office buildings and parking lots, Tolstoy Place is an integral part of Fairhope history and is worth the visit.
22787 US-98, Fairhope, AL 36532
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6.Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Rock Creek Golf Club
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The Rock Creek Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Southern Alabama. It was designed by renowned architect, Earl Stone, and has a playable layout that golfers of all skill levels will enjoy. The full-service club has tons to offer, even if you choose not to play a round of golf. You can dine in their award-winning restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch in a relaxed and casual dining atmosphere. Their menu includes freshly-prepared sandwiches burgers, specialty salads, and much more. Several events and social activities are hosted by the club throughout the year, so be sure to have a look at their event calendar to see what’s coming up.
140 Clubhouse Dr, Fairhope, AL 36532, 251-928-4223
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7.Oak Hollow Farm, Fairhope, AL
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Oak Hollow Farms is a historic property that comprises over 300 acres of lakes, rolling pastures, and aging oak trees. The family owned and operated farm is a gorgeous destination and they offer many activities for visitors to partake in as they enjoy the grounds and the scenery. You can go on hayrides and horseback riding or try your hand at skeet shooting or archery. The farm also schedules pheasant and dove hunts as well as catch-and-release fishing on their property. There is so much to see and do at Oak Hollow and locals and visitors go back there time and again to have an authentic Alabama experience complete with unrivaled southern hospitality.
14210 S Greeno Rd, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-928-4840
8.Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Gambino's Italian Grill
© Gambino's Italian Grill
Gambino’s Italian Grill was established by Rick and Gari Gambino in 1975. Now, over 40 years later, the Italian restaurant continues to be owned and managed by the Gambino family. It has become an integral part of the Fairhope neighborhood, being the base for many a family lunch or celebratory dinner. You’ll find the very best Italian food here, from the classics like pasta and pizza to seafood and steak. Be sure to pair your meal with a delicious glass of wine to make the perfect combination. There is entertainment scheduled on most nights of the week, many of which feature local artists.
18 Laurel Ave, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-990-0995
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9.Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Fairhope Brewing Company
© Fairhope Brewing Company
The Fairhope Brewing Company have many people behind it, all of whom are so passionate and sure about the crisp flavors of their handcrafted brews that they decided to open up Lower Alabama’s first production craft brewery since Prohibition. They now have two breweries, one housing a 30-barrel, three-vessel system and the other a 10-barrel, two-vessel system. There are five year-round offerings in their taproom which you shouldn’t miss enjoying while there: the Everyday Ale, Judge Roy Bean, Take The Causeway IPA, Fairhope 51, I Drink Therefore I Amber. Several specialty and seasonal brews are also available at any given point.
914 Nichols Ave, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-279-7517
10.Panini Pete's Cafe & Bakeshoppe, Fairhope, Alabama
© Panini Pete's Cafe & Bakeshoppe
Having started with their flagship store in the French Quarter of downtown Fairhope, Panini Pete’s Cafe & Bakeshoppe now has three locations scattered across the nation. You’ll be able to try out some of their popular cuisine choices such as their pressed sandwiches, hot dogs, beef burgers, fries, and chips. Believing that all of their food should be fresh and delicious, many of the items are made with house made ingredients such as their handmade mozzarella. Be sure to trying their freshly baked sweets and treats for an additional touch of deliciousness to end your meal.
42 S Section St, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-929-0122
11.Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina, Fairhope, Alabama
© Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina
Located in Fairhope’s Fly Creek Marina, Sunset Pointe is a lovely restaurant that combines delicious foods with unforgettable sunsets and friendly staff. You can choose to enjoy your meal outdoors on their expansive deck which has a fire pit and is surrounded by gorgeous views, or head indoors to their family-friendly dining area surrounded by locally-crafted decor. Owned by Panini Pete, who is also the owner of Panini Pete’s Cafe & Bakeshoppe, the restaurant has a varied menu with some of their popular items being the Gulf Coast BBQ shrimp with crusty bread, Leo’s seafood lettuce wraps, crab mac’n cheese, and their skirt steak served with chimichurri sauce.
831 N Section St, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-990-7766
15 Best Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama
- Fairhope Municipal Pier, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Courtesy of Angel - Fotolia.com
- Fairhope Museum, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Fairhope Museum
- Weeks Bay Reserve, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Courtesy of MEISTERFOTO - Fotolia.com
- Eastern Shore Art Center, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Eastern Shore Art Center
- Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Tolstoy Park, Photo: Courtesy of Arthur - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Rock Creek Golf Club, Photo: Courtesy of bigal04uk - Fotolia.com
- Oak Hollow Farm, Fairhope, AL, Photo: Courtesy of lapis2380 - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Gambino's Italian Grill, Photo: Gambino's Italian Grill
- Things to Do in Fairhope, Alabama: Fairhope Brewing Company, Photo: Fairhope Brewing Company
- Panini Pete's Cafe & Bakeshoppe, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Panini Pete's Cafe & Bakeshoppe
- Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina, Fairhope, Alabama, Photo: Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of forestpath - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Eastern Shore Art Center
Alabama’s Eastern Shore Art Center is located in Fairhope, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, just south of Spanish Fort. The non-profit organization offers classes and workshops for students of all ages, and displays art in five galleries with a focus on local art and artists from Fairhope and Alabama.
Education is the focus of the Art Center’s mission, and the Center primarily serves the community through classes, workshops and events. The center does not keep a permanent collection, but displays the work of local artists and Eastern Shore Art Association members on a rotating basis.
History: The Eastern Shore Art Association is the non-profit organization behind the Art Center. It was founded in 1954 by a group of Fairhope citizens who recognized the importance of art in creating a meaningful quality of life. The Art Center began as a one room gallery in 1955 at the back of the Pinewood Pottery Studio, a local studio where artists made functional ceramics from local clay. The one-room art gallery was officially dedicated as the Eastern Shore Art Center in 1965, and continues to grow in the same space, now occupying the full building that was once the pottery studio’s home.
A committee on public art, known as COPA, was established by the association in 2001 for the purpose on placing works of art in the Fairhope community. COPA is currently working on developing a sculpture trail that will permanently display outdoor sculptures throughout Fairbank’s historic downtown.
Private donations and grants are the sole source of funding for the Arts Center, whose mission is centered on community education. Private funds are raised through capital campaigns for special projects as well as several levels of membership. A recently successful capital campaign raised funds to refurbish the Art Center’s façade and main entrance, and addressed accessibility issues in the galleries and classrooms.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Primarily an educational facility, the Art Center offers classes and workshops for community members of all ages. Classes for adults include ceramics workshops, painting and sculpture. Some programs run for eight weeks, while bootcamp programs run for one weekend only, and are frequently hosted by a visiting artist.
Children’s programs are divided by age and include offerings from pottery to digital art making, embroidery, illustration, painting and animation.
Fairhope First Friday is a citywide art walk that takes place on the first Friday evening of each month. Several local galleries and shops open their doors to participants. The museum features a local artist along with live music and serves wine and small snacks.
The Eastern Shore Art Center sponsors an annual Outdoor Art Show each spring in March. The juried show has been ongoing for over 45 years, and attracts over 350,000 visitors annually in what has become a premier cultural event for the Gulf Coast. The Art Center’s annual White Linen Night is a summer fundraising event that offers live music, wine and food. Guests are encouraged to wear their best white linen attire.
Past family events have included the fall of 2018’s “Art of the Butterfly” which used art to raise awareness of threats to monarch butterfly migration. Butterfly art projects for kids, two screenings of “The Mystical Migration of the Monarch” and sales of milkweed were all part of the weekend festivities.
Past and Future Exhibits: 2018 exhibits included several group shows by local arts organizations. A show of photographs by members of the local Eastern Shore Camera Club was exhibited in September of 2018. Exhibits in the winter of 2018 included works by members of Gulf ArtSpace, a non-profit organization funded by The Alabama State Arts Council. Spring group shows included an exhibit of paintings by members of The South Mississippi Art League.
Solo exhibits in 2018 included paintings by paintings by Jean-Marie McDonnell and Kellie Newsom, wood carvings by Tom Myers, traditional New Mexican weavings by Don Sandoval and Bruce Larsen’s found object assemblages.
What’s Nearby: The Eastern Shore Art Center is located in historic downtown Fairhope. Fairhope Avenue is the main street shopping hub of the picturesque small town. Additional artist’s and art galleries in Fairhope include the Fairhope Artist's Gallery, Gallery by the Bay, The Kiln Studio and Gallery, the Fairhope Connection and the Lyons Share Gallery. The Fairhope Museum is a small museum of local history based out of a historical building.
401 Oak Ave, Fairhope, AL 36532, Phone: 251-928-2228
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