5 must-visit spots in Fairhope’s French Quarter

Fairhope French Quarter
Fairhope French Quarter (The Bama Buzz)

One of the most magical hidden gems on the Alabama coast is Fairhope’s French Quarter. Age-old buildings, sprawling oaks and local businesses dot the little area nestled in downtown Fairhope, and here are five spots that you’ll fall in love with.

1. Panini Pete’s

Panini Pete’s is a must-try in the French Quarter. Featured on Food Network, in Southern Living and on the Alabama Department of Tourism’s “100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die,” this one-of-a-kind sandwich shop has a lot going for it.

On Panini Pete’s menu, you’ll find classic sandwiches done right. They don’t just take the easy route, though. Instead, they use real ingredients like house-made mozzarella, meats roasted in-house and homemade spreads and dressings. Make sure to leave room for their incredible fresh-baked pastries and sweets.

The owner, Chef Pete Blohme (bet you didn’t see that coming), has appeared on multiple Food Network shows and even hosts his own podcast, “The Raw Ingredients.”

2. Page & Palette

After filling up at Panini Pete’s, leisurely perusing through the shelves at Page & Palette is the perfect next stop. This family-owned bookstore has been drawing Fairhope visitors and locals alike for over 50 years.

Inside Page & Palette, you’ll find shelves lined with books (that the staff is happy to help you find your way through) as well as a coffee shop called Latte Da. Keep going, and you’ll find the Book Cellar, an event venue and bar where live music, book events and more bring the community together.

One of my favorite parts about Page & Palette is their commitment to the community. Not only do they sell stories, they tell stories—of their patrons. On their “Your Story” page, you’ll find the stories of their local patrons that make Page & Palette so unique.

3. Fairhope Sweet Shop

Now, time for something sweet—literally and figuratively. Fairhope Sweet Shop is a charming shop nestled in the French Quarter, filled with nostalgic candies and sweets. If you’re not a fan of the colorful, sugary stuff, they have other options too. Gourmet popcorn, French macarons and Frios Gourmet Pops make this spot a must-visit for everyone.

4. Boutiques + Gift Shops

Strolling along the French Quarter’s historic streets, you’ll notice several cute, quaint boutiques and gift shops. Each offers their own unique items, so you’ll want to pop in each of them to see what you can find.

  • Biwa-Bay: This teal-painted shop carries stone and crystal jewelry, gifts and silks.
  • 4Bags Boutique: Filled with color (and inspirational quotes on the walls), you can’t help but be happy in 4Bags Boutique.
  • The Happy Olive: If you’re looking to take a taste of Fairhope with you (and maybe even make some killer paninis of your own), stop by this shop filled with gourmet olive oils, vinegars, mustards, seasonings and more.

5. The last of the Alabama Champion Crepe Myrtle Tree

Alabama Champion Crepe Myrtle Tree Fairhope
This is all that’s left of the Alabama Champion Crepe Myrtle tree in Fairhope’s French Quarter. (The Bama Buzz)

Upon entering the Fairhope French Quarter off Section Street, you’ll find a stump of a crepe myrtle tree (that’s oddly tall). The Alabama Forest Commission named this tree the Alabama Champion Crepe Myrtle Tree in 1997.

Even though the tree was “dethroned” in 2014, Fairhope still loves what’s left of their famous crepe myrtle in the French Quarter.

What is your favorite thing to do or see in Fairhope’s French Quarter? Tag us @thebamabuzz to let us know!

Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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