Shopping on the Alabama Gulf Coast
If you need a break from the beach and are in search of some "retail therapy," you can find everything from brand-name retailers to local boutiques and even an outlet mall in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, and more.
SanRoc Cay offers something for everyone - restaurants, shops, a day spa, and a florist shop along with private, walk-on fishing charters, parasail, dolphin and snorkel cruises, guided jet ski tours, and kayak, jet ski, paddelboard and pontoon boat rentals. Kids will love watching the fishing charters return with their catch from a day out at sea. Be sure to check out the link for more details.
The Wharf has become one of the Gulf Coast's most popular destinations providing a wide variety of dining, entertainment and shopping. The list of boutiques is extensive and too long to list, and it seems that more are being added on a regular basis. The Wharf is great for kids suffering with a case of the "rainy beach day blues." There is a Carmike theater with 15 screens, an amphitheater with world class live entertainment, and the South's Largest Ferris Wheel.
While not officially in Orange Beach, the Tanger Outlet Center is only 15 miles from any of our condos and is located in Foley, Alabama. There are over 120 brand name and designer outlet stores, and by comparison, it is one of the larger Tanger Outlets in the chain. While you may not have come to the beach to shop, if you are staying long enough to set aside a day, this place has it all. Check out this link for a list of stores at the outlet mall.
Pelican Place is a well-designed open shopping mall with big box stores, smaller boutiques, a Cobb 14 multiplex theater and one of our favorate dining establishments. It is located no more than 10 miles from any of our condos up Hwy. 59 (Gulf Shores Pkwy). Well-known national chains housed at the shopping center include Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Books-A-Million. The directory of stores is long and has something for everyone.
For those guests staying for a week or more, a visit to downtown Fairhope should be on your Orange Beach bucket list. You may have passed it on your way to the beach, and there's a reason why Fairhope routinely finds itself on someone's top ten list of places in the south to visit, shop or retire to. Coastal Living describes Fairhope as one of the countries best kept secrets, while The Smithsonian takes time to describe Fairhope, Alabama's "Southern Comfort."
It will take about 45 minutes to drive back up the road, but it will be well worth it. We enjoy Panini Pete's for lunch and Camellia Cafe for dinner. Before driving back to the beach, stop by Frenchman's Corner Confectionery (near Panini Pete's) for Neuhaus chocolates flown in from Brussels. If you are vacationing between Thanksgiving and and early January, be sure to stay until dark to enjoy the downtown Christmas Lights. There is also great shopping in the Fairhope area - designer boutiques, antiques and treasures, hand-made souveniers, a local independent bookstore, and so much more to discover.
There are plenty of stories of those who have visited the beach, traveled to Fairhope for the day and moved Fairhope to the top of the list for retirement. There's a reason it has been referred to as "Carmel-by-the-Bay."
The Happy Olive opened in Fairhope in 2012 and recently opened a shop in Orange Beach. This is a boutique gift shop offering unique tastes from around the world. While the shop does feature premium olive oils and balsamic vinegars, they also offer other gourmet food and gift items. Check the website out for gift ideas for friends and family that did not make the trip.