Fairhope, Alabama is a charming tiny seaside town on Mobile Bay’s east shore. Because of its lovely downtown area, friendly residents, and plethora of activities in the region, it has become an increasingly popular vacation destination.
The Fairhope Municipal Pier is a popular site in this town. This location is even known as the “town square.” A trip to the pier is a necessity no matter how long you stay.
The following are the top pier activities:
- Take in the sunset
- Swimming and beach activities
4. Take a walk along the pier and the nearby footpaths.
Continue reading to learn more about the Fairhope Pier, the activities available on and around it, and what else is available in the surrounding area.
Visiting The Fairhope Municipal Pier
Community parks surround the Fairhope Pier. So, in addition to the pier directly in front of you, there are a couple walking routes with stunning views of the bay area. In fact, the park area at the pier is one of the city’s most popular places to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
The pier’s parking area is a circular loop near the pier’s base. In the centre is a beautifully maintained rose garden and fountain. Although it is a small region, it is worth exploring.
If you have problems locating parking in this area, there is additional parking to the side at North Beach (there may be a parking fee for non-residents during summer hours) and a few spaces up top by the cliff lookouts
Don’t worry if nature calls while you’re on the pier. On the pier, there are public bathrooms. The restrooms are directly across from the marina. The marina boasts a seafood restaurant on-site, but we couldn’t find the hours or determine whether it was still open.
Throughout the year, the city hosts a number of activities on the pier park grounds. From Fourth of July celebrations to local live music, there is something for everyone.
Now let’s get into the top four things to do at the pier.
- Watch The Sunset
Fairhope is well-known for its stunning sunsets. On a regular basis, it appeared that many locals went out to the pier to watch the sun set over Mobile Bay.
When we went to the pier area one night to watch the sunset, we noticed that many people brought their own chairs and blankets to relax on and enjoy nature and the changing evening hues. We didn’t think about bringing chairs, but if you forget (or simply don’t want to carry chairs), there are lots of park benches distributed throughout the area with a clear view of the sunset.
A bluff area above the park is also a popular observation site. You can either park your car on the streets close to the bluffs or climb several wooden steps (if you’re feeling really daring!) to reach the summit. Regardless of where you sit, the stunning Fairhope sunset will take your breath away.
Fishing from the pier is a popular pastime. However, you must have your Alabama saltwater fishing licence in order to do so. You may learn more about Alabama fishing licences here.
Cast nets are one of the most common fishing methods you’ll see on the pier (yes, these require licenses, too). It’s a fascinating process to observe. Whenever we went there were at least 5 groups fishing with cast nets. They also caught a lot of fish.
- Swim And Beach Activities
We go into more depth about this below, but there are plenty of water-related things to enjoy around the pier area. You could easily spend the entire day here, swimming in the bay and lazing on the beach.
- Explore the Pier and its Surrounding Trails
Because the pier is a quarter-mile long, you can see a lot of the nearby countryside and activity. Keep an eye out for fisherman, sea life, and the pelicans that Fairhope is famous for. Across the bay, you can even see the skyline of Mobile.
If you’re feeling energetic, there are various trails that run throughout the Fairhope Pier area. We only explored a short portion of one trail (we were exhausted after walking throughout the downtown area), but they do provide a pleasant outdoor experience for those who are interested.
We spotted a lot of other folks enjoying nature and soaking in the scenery.
Common Questions About Visiting The Pier
What Are The Hours At The Pier?
The pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The pier will only be closed if work or repairs are being done on it, or if it has received damage or is deemed hazardous due to the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm.
We went to Fairhope approximately a week after Hurricane Ida devastated Louisiana. The Fairhope pier and its amenities were reopened by this point, although the sign below had been moved to the side. If you want to visit Fairhope after a hurricane, bear in mind that it may be closed. Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence!
Do You Have To Pay To Walk The Pier?
There are no entrance fees associated with the pier.
How Long Is Fairhope Pier?
Fairhope Pier is a quarter-mile long. We even took the time to measure the distance! It is 1,448 feet long to be exact. Even if you don’t intend to fish, walking the pier and soaking in the scenery is a fun activity.
Can You Swim At Fairhope Pier?
Swimming is allowed on the pier. However, do not jump or dive from the pier. South Beach Park and North Beach Park are located on each side of the pier. Water conditions are displayed on signs; water conditions are tested every week from March 30 to September 30. Red indicates failure, whereas green indicates success. The current status can be found here.
North Beach Park
Non-residents are usually required to pay an entrance fee to North Beach Park during the summer hours. The beach area is well-kept. Public bathrooms, chairs, walking trails, pavilions, and even a duck pond are available.
Remember that because you’re in the bay area, you won’t enjoy white sand beaches and emerald waters like you would on the gulf coast. The water may be a little brown, but if appearances aren’t important to you, it’s nothing to worry about.
Consider visiting Gulf Shores or Orange Beach if you want to experience the azure waves and white beach. The travel from Fairhope takes approximately an hour and is only about 40 miles.
When we went, we spotted a lot of families with children spending the day at the beach.
The photographs below will give you a better idea of the small beach area.
Are Dogs Allowed At Fairhope Pier?
The pier is not dog-friendly. You can, however, walk them around the nearby trails and parks as long as they’re on a leash. As usual, please be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your pet.
What Is There To Do Around The Pier?
Because Fairhope is a tiny town, all of the restaurants and attractions are quite close to one another. The pier is only about a half-mile from the downtown area, which is packed with shops and restaurants.
There are numerous shops to discover. Antique businesses, boutiques, art galleries, speciality food stores, book stores, and a museum are all possibilities.
These are some of the top restaurants in the area:
. Panini Pete’s—this restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
. Section Street Pizza
. Cactus Cantina
. Tamara’s Downtown—a local we met raved about this place
. Gambino’s Italian Grill
. The Bone and Barrel—enjoy live music here on many weekends
. The Fairhope Inn
. Camellia Café
. The Hope Farm–unique, tranquil atmosphere with sustainable food offerings
Desserts & Libations
Fairhope also has a few great dessert options:
. Mr. Gene’s Beans—a local hot-spot
. Fairhope Chocolate—they make yummy treats and baked goods in-store as well as import delectable Neuhaus chocolates, straight from the chocolatiers for Belgian royalty
. Provision—we loved this little spot; it’s a specialty food market, coffee shop, wine bar, and home goods & decor shop all in one
. Refuge Coffee
. Bucky’s Lounge—relax, kick your feet up, and enjoy a drink at this spot in the Grand Hotel; the inside features comfortable leather chairs and couches and the outside offers cozy outdoor seating with firepits
. Fairhope Brewing Company
Where To Stay In Fairhope
Fairhope has a number of charming bed & breakfasts and vacation home rentals. You can even stay in a castle, assuming that the dates you desire are available.
Emma’s Bay House, Fairhope Inn and Restaurant, Little Point Clear, and Bay Breeze Bed & Breakfast are among the most popular bed and breakfast options. Book early to ensure a room or two.
Fairhope, Alabama is a charming little town that has rightly become a tourist attraction. The pier is the core of the Fairhope experience, therefore if you decide to visit this interesting town, you must go to the pier! Best wishes!