Fairhope is a charming little city on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay that is located less than one hour from Gulf Shores. In 2016, it was named the "South's Best Small Town" by Southern Living magazine. Fairhope was founded as a model colony by a group of radical economists in 1894. It has been a town that attracts artists and intellectuals practically since its inception, and there are several art events throughout the year. The Annual Arts & Crafts Festival has been an important event in Fairhope since the early 1950s and now attracts over 200,000 visitors during the third weekend of March.
The festival kicks off on a Friday morning and lasts until Sunday around 5 p.m. It has grown to be the second most attended event in the state of Alabama after the National Shrimp Festival, as well as one of the top art events in the nation. The festival now attracts over 230 talented artists from around the country. Arts & crafts that are exhibited at the festival include both contemporary and traditional art, photography, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork, painting, drawing and more. The festival committee also selects members of a jury each year to judge the art by category. Winners get cash prizes.
Throughout the weekend there are musical performances by singers, guitarists and bands from around the region. There are also dance performances and musical performances by schools in the area. On the Saturday morning of the Annual Arts & Crafts Festival, there is a popular 10K race in Fairhope called the Spring Fever Chase. There?s also a kids? corner where children are entertained with several art projects throughout the day.
Food & Drinks
There is a variety of delicious food and snacks for sale in the festival?s food court as well as some concession stands located throughout the grounds. Festival food includes BBQ, funnel cakes and homemade ice cream. There are also several great restaurants in the area where the festival is held such as Panini Pete?s, R Bistro & Pastry and Gambino?s Italian Grill. After a day of browsing and shopping for great artwork, you may prefer to have an upscale dinner and enjoy the sunset over the bay at Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina or Thyme by the Bay where the menu is always changing. Common menu items include mussels, pork belly, gnocchi, truffle fries, duck confit as well as twists on Southern classics like shrimp and grits. You may also want to add a trip to the Fairhope Brewing Company to your itinerary!
Plan Your March Getaway
Combine all of this art, food and fun with the beach to create the perfect March getaway. Book your beach condo in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach for the perfect family trip or a romantic weekend full of culture and lounging on the beach.