The population of Fairhope, Alabama, USA may be small (only 16,000), but the pride of its citizens is large. They have many reasons to feel this pride. The location is exceptional as it hugs and overlooks Mobile Bay. Many homes and daily activities are oriented with the Bay in mind. A beautiful, revitalized downtown attracts many visitors from all over South Alabama, plus those who make the short drive to Fairhope when they are vacationing on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Fairhope’s citizens are recognized in the literary world, as well as the artist community. And, there is a high rate of volunteerism and participation in the yearly festivals. Among its many attributes, Fairhope has been named one of America’s Best Beach Towns, one of America’s Most Romantic Towns, one of the 10 Best Towns for Families, and one of the Top 25 Places to Retire. The rest of the world deserves to know more about this great place.
Sublime location on Mobile Bay
Fairhope, AL quickly rises above the status of neighboring towns because of its perfect position along Mobile Bay. The prominent city pier, that was rebuilt after being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, is 1448 feet long, and the city skyline of Mobile can be seen from it in the distance. On the pier itself, you will find benches, restrooms, room for fishing (once you acquire a saltwater fishing license), and even a restaurant. The park adjacent to the pier contains a well-maintained rose garden, a fountain, picnic tables, a pavilion, a tree-lined walking trail, a duck pond, and a stretch of beach. Many citywide events take place in this beautiful area.
Downtown mecca for shopping and eating
Twenty-seven restaurants and delis are listed in the Downtown Walking Guide, and that doesn’t count other eateries found near the bay. Seafood takes center stage, but this section of Fairhope also houses various cuisines from Irish to Lebanese with Italian, Cajun, and all kinds of barbecue, burgers and sandwiches in between.
Most visitors come to enjoy strolling and browsing in the dozens of shops lining Fairhope Avenue, South Church Street, and North Section Street. Antiques, apparel, books, gifts, collectibles, home decor and jewelry can be found there that aren’t offered in malls and big box stores. With names like Aubergine, Cat’s Meow, Deja Vu, The Picture Show, Funky Monkey Market, Green Gates and Page & Palette, you will be drawn in to find something that will beg you to take it home. Additionally, five art galleries display works by local and regional artists.
Civic pride is evident in the landscaping and in the list of famous residents
Mayor Tim Kant was first hired as the City Horticulturalist in 1983. Two years later he also assumed the role of Public Works Superintendent. His commitment to making downtown Fairhope beautiful has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions. A big portion of the city budget is dedicated to keeping colorful blooms in the many planters through every season of the year.
With so much beauty to enjoy from the bay, from the rose garden at the pier, and from the kaleidoscope on display downtown, it is no wonder that authors and artists are inspired to come to Fairhope and make it their home. Fairhope author Sonny Brewer has been quoted as saying, “Fairhope has more authors per capita than anyplace else in the country.” Another author remarked that Fairhope needs to erect a billboard on the edge of town with these humorous words, “Fairhope, Alabama, the home of more writers than readers!”
Perhaps you will want to time your visit for one or more of Fairhope’s annual celebrations or events – Earth Day Celebration, Baldwin Pops Sunset Concerts, Fourth of July Fireworks, 34th Annual Grand Festival of Art, Fairhope Film Festival or the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration to name a few. And the Eastern Shore Art Center has exhibitions that change monthly.
A normal day or a JUBILEE!
A phenomenon known as “Jubilee” is believed to occur in only two places in the world, Tokyo Bay, Japan and on Mobile Bay. When the cry of “Jubilee” rings out along the bay, the residents know that they have a few hours to gig hundreds of flounder or catch large tubs of crabs. A couple of times each summer, water that is low in oxygen is pushed upward from the bottom of the bay forcing fish and crustaceans ashore. The lack of oxygen makes the fish and shellfish unable to carry out normal activities like swimming. No one knows when or exactly where along the shoreline this will occur. Maybe you will be lucky enough to arrive just in the nick of time.
But Jubilee or no Jubilee, you will find many wonderful surprises whenever you make a visit to Fairhope, AL. For eating, shopping, strolling or fishing, the residents of Fairhope will be happy to welcome you.
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