FEATURE | March 2015
Explore The South
The Micropolitan Jewel of the Eastern Shore
Fairhope’s iconic pier serves as the city’s “town square,” and includes an expansive park with covered areas, a marina, restaurant, walking trails and a duck pond. The Marietta Johnson Tree Trail on the campus of Faulkner State Community College and Beach Park Tree Trail are a pair of self-guided trails that identify hundreds of trees, including more than 25 different species. Vibrant native plants and birds dot the beachfront and surrounding areas, with a perfect convergence of blue herons, dragonflies and dogwood flowers to set the mood.
Fairhope’s flourishing art community is tough to escape, with numerous public displays that include the work of Ameri’ca Jones-Gallaspy, an artist who incorporates regional themes into her bronze-based work. The city is also home to renowned artist and historian Dean Mosher, whose paintings of land, sea and air in America’s earlier days have been featured in the Smithsonian Museum. There’s also the Fairhope Museum of History, a Spanish Mission Revival structure that conveys the colorful history of the city.
Apparel, antiques and art galleries galore are Fairhope’s forte, with dozens of shops fit for all styles. Abigail’s Closet Designer Consignment is the go-to for trendy designer and upscale consignment clothing, as well as a wide selection of accessories from designers like Tory Burch, Milly, Yellow Box, Seven for All Mankind and Diane Von Furstenburg. The Cat’s Meow Boutique also stocks similar fare, with elegant and casual women’s wear that includes brands like Two Wishes, Yellow Box Shoes, Corky’s and Privo alongside a collection of kitschy, “purr-fect” cat-themed goods. Other noteworthy stores include Deja vu, a bohemian-themed clothing boutique and Gigi’s and Jay’s, a children’s boutique that features clothing from the infant to teenager range.
The annual Mardi Gras celebration in Fairhope is among the largest in the region, with a weeklong cavalcade of events in February that include “The Mystic Mutts of Revelry,” a dogwalking parade with plenty of canine style and showmanship. Fairhope’s annual events also include the city’s Arts & Crafts Festival in March. For the 63rd year in a row, Fairhope will welcome more than 230 regional artists to take place in a prestigious juried show over a three-day period. The city also offers a tour of historic homes in April, featuring some of the oldest architecture in the state updated for use in modern times. September brings the L.A Songwriters’ Festival, which calls for 36 original songwriters on the intimate but spacious Hall Stage during the three days with a jam session at the end of each evening’s performances.
Fairhope Tourist Information: cofairhope.com
Fairhope Merchants: fairhopemerchants.com
Outdoor Spaces: beautifulfairhope.com
L.A Songwriters’ Festival: americanlegion199.com
Dean Mosher Art: deanmosher.com
The Cat’s Meow: catsmeownet.com