by D. Fran Morley
On the Eastern Shore, we love spending time outdoors, and that usually means being on the water: creeks, back bays, marshes, and the wide waters of Mobile Bay are all just waiting to be explored. But there’s another outdoor activity that’s equally enjoyed by all along the Eastern Shore — Shopping and the Outdoors are both available on the Eastern Shore!
From charming downtown Fairhope, to quaint shops in Olde Towne Daphne, to major brand name stores at Jubilee Square, Eastern Shore Center, and Spanish Fort Town Center, you will fill your shopping bag with great finds on the Eastern Shore.
Fairhope features 16 flower-bedecked blocks of shops, many that have a long history in this little city. Stowe’s Jewelers has been family owned for more than 50 years. Fantasy Island Toys is another long time business, selling toys since 1976. Of course there are newer businesses as well: B Southern offers up home decor and fun accessories, and Fairhope Soap Company sells handmade, and hand trimmed soaps that are made with organic ingredients. Fairhope’s downtown is also home to a dozen or more restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops, and several great art galleries including the Eastern Shore Art Center, the Before and After Gallery and http://artistnall.com just to name a few. Most are open on the town’s monthly First Friday Art Walk, which draws hundreds of people for an evening of looking at art, listening to music, strolling, chatting, and wine sipping.
Olde Towne Daphne is growing with new shops opening all the time along tree-shaded Main Street. Market on Main (antiques, furnishings, gifts, and garden items), Objects (gifts and accessories), and B Darlin Boutique are three do-not-miss shops. And when you want a bite to eat, you’ll want to check out Manci’s Antique Club. Take a tour of Olde Towne Daphne and see all it offers!
Take your shopping “up town” to the three Lifestyle Centers on the Eastern Shore. Jubilee Square in Daphne has shops, restaurants, and a 12-screen movie theater. Just north of I-10 on U.S. 98, Spanish Fort Town Center offers shopping and a fun splash pad for the kids. A little further east on I-10, the Eastern Shore Center is home to restaurants, a movie theater, and dozens of national brands including Belk.
Oh, and let’s not forget the idea of being outdoors on the water. You can’t shop all day every day . . . can you? Delta Safaris, located at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway in Spanish Fort, has canoes and kayaks and comfortable excursion boats for trips in the Delta. You can also get out in the Delta with a boat ride from Historic Blakeley State Park, and in Fairhope, you can rent kayaks or a standup boards from 17 Turtles. And if you just want to take a lovely stroll or bike ride, there’s always the Eastern Shore Trail, which runs all the way from USS ALABAMA Battleship Park on the Causeway to Weeks Bay National Estuary Reserve.
Now, what are you waiting for? Come visit on the Eastern Shore for shopping, dining, and outdoor fun!