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Fall Drives along the Gulf Coast: Fairhope makes for the perfect holiday season drive (photos)
From boutiques to dining to art galleries, quaint downtown Fairhope offers plenty to do on foot, so park the car for the afternoon. (Brian Kelly/bkelly@al.com)

FAIRHOPE, Alabama Our fabulous fall drives series continues along Scenic 98 in the Eastern Shore where the quaint city of Fairhope rests against the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay.

Most folks visit the city for its bustling downtown district, but others make the drive to enjoy the vista from Fairhope Municipal Park and Pier where dolphins can be seen. Also along Beach Park Tree Trail more than 500 species of trees provide plenty of shade.

Once you've taken the walk along the pier, just back in the car for short jaunt up Fairhope Avenue which will lead to downtown Fairhope, one of the Eastern Shore's most popular fall destinations, especially as workers begin to decorate it for the holidays.

Other things to do in Fairhope:

Courtyard@ 311-- If you're looking for simple food to keep you on the go, then check out Courtyard@311, a recent addition to downtown overlooking Fairhope Avenue. Menu includes bar menu items like Blackened Fish Tacos (.99), Fish Po Boy (.99). Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 251928-2032.Dragonfly Food Bar -- For food with a little more flair, Dragonfly Food Bar offers a large menu with some local flavors and a bit of the exotic. The menu features Tacos (a la carte). Build a taco with pork, shrimp, seared tuna and crispy oysters ( to ). Hours: 11 a.m. until, 251-990-5722.Eastern Shore Walking and Bike Trail.

Upcoming events:

Downtown Fairhope Holiday Stroll,Friday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.Downtown Fairhope celebrates the holidays with food and drink as the city introduces new artwork to fulfill your holiday wish list.Downtown Fairhope Business Association 4thannual Holiday Movie in the Streets,Saturday, Nov. 23,, 6:30 p.m. The Downtown Business Association will host an Outdoor Movie at the intersection of Section Street and Fairhope Avenue. Those who plan to attend can bring lawn chairs and blankets from home.Fairhope s 54thannual Christmas Open House:Sunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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