A few weekends ago, Jeff and I headed south for a few days at the historic Grand Hotel in Fairhope, Alabama. Jeff had been before, but it was a new experience for me. The Grand Hotel is a unique and special place. It’s been around since 1847, and it has a nostalgic, family-oriented feeling to it. Being on the property almost felt like stepping into a movie (similar to the place where Baby and her family spent their summer in Dirty Dancing). We were there for one reason – to REST. This has been a busy and stressful season for us and we needed a few days to get away from everything and just enjoy each other’s company.
Our reservations at The Grand were for Saturday and Sunday nights, but we decided to drive down to Mobile on Friday night so that we wouldn’t waste our day driving all day on Saturday. Before we checked in, we found a fun little brunch spot called Warehouse Bakery and Donuts. I fell in love with this place, y’all. It was welcoming, had a rustic charm, and the food was amazing. If I ever get to open a little bakery (which would be a dream come true!), I would want it to be like this one.
After we had brunch, we headed over to the hotel and checked in. The Grand might be the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. We were in the Spa Building and had a pretty view of the duck pond and the pool area.
The thing that Jeff loves about The Grand is that all activities are included in your stay. You can use the hotel’s bikes to explore Fairhope, borrow a kayak for an afternoon, and they have activities like “swim in” movies at the pool for families. It’s really a neat place and we are already planning to bring Jack back with us the next time we get to come so that he can enjoy some of the activities they have for kids. We went for a bike ride (which is a feat for this clumsy girl). and then headed back to the hotel to watch the Alabama game (Roll Tide!).
After a relaxing afternoon, we headed out to find dinner. We went to a little hole-in-the-wall place called Big Daddy’s Grill. They had live music on the back deck, and we enjoyed as much fresh gulf shrimp (fried, of course) as we could eat. If you are ever in Fairhope, you should definitely check this place out.
On Sunday, we were planning to go kayaking, but the water was pretty rough, so we decided to go for a walk around the grounds of the hotel instead. It is such a beautiful place, and we enjoyed learning about the history of the hotel. We watched them fire the cannon that afternoon and then went to lounge by the pool. It was the perfect, peaceful day that we needed to escape our busy schedules.
Sunday night, we found a little place downtown called The Bone and Barrel. We went there because they had great reviews on Yelp! and everyone said they had a great soft shell crab sandwich (Jeff’s favorite). They were actually out of soft shell crab the night we went, so Jeff and I ended up doing something we NEVER do and ordered the same entree. It was called the J. Burrell sandwich and was an interesting take on a surf and turf dish made up of slow roasted pulled pork topped with crispy fried shrimp on a hoagie bun. They served it with au jus for dipping, and it was so good. I’m going to have to work on recreating that recipe for y’all soon!
This trip was so relaxing and it was nice to have time to reconnect. You can read a little more about my thoughts on the importance of rest here.
I feel like we just barely got a taste of all that Fairhope has to offer and we are already talking about going back again. Have you ever been to Fairhope? What are your MUSTs for activities and food? Let me know in the comments!