Fairhope : Alabama


What It Is Like to Retire in Fairhope

Fairhope, Alabama is one of the most unusual (and nicest) retirement communities anywhere. It was founded by 28 settlers from Iowa in November, 1894 as a utopian single tax colony by the "Fairhope Industrial Association". Their purpose in founding a new colony was to establish and conduct a cooperative model community, free from all forms of private monopoly.

The Fairhope Single-Tax Corporation still operates, with 1800 leaseholds covering more than 4000 acres in and around the current city of Fairhope. The community owns the land and leaseholders pay a tax of between $500 to $1000 in lieu of property taxes. Fairhope has made some movement from utopian experiment to retirement community... artist's/intellectual's colony… boutique resort… and affluent suburb of Mobile. In fact, some local residents refer to Fairhope as "Carmel-by-the-Bay" alluding to California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Peninsula.

This beautiful community, very popular with active adults of 55+, has Spanish moss hanging from the trees. Many homes have a view of the beautiful Mobile Bay. A 1,450-foot town pier serves as a local gathering spot. One of the first communities in Alabama to put a horticulturist on the city payroll, Fairhope is lush with trees, plantings, and flowers.  For a wonderful glimpse you should read this 2011 article in the Washington Post, "In Alabama, Utopia Found".

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by alcoastalconnection:

Where to Retire in Fairhope and Home Prices

Fairhope is a desirable retirement community with many different kinds of housing available.
The Zillow Home Value Index in Fairhope in early 2022, was $418,562 See some sample Fairhope Listings.


What Is Special about Fairhope

Flowers and plantings; Charming ambience and cooperative heritage; Arts & Crafts Festival (named as Event of the Year by the State of AL);  University of South Alabama branch campus; Mild climate. Named one of the 10 Prettiest Retirement Towns in 2016 by MarketWatch.com. 


What Is Not Special about Fairhope

The town could be too cute for some;  hot, humid summers.


Who Will Like Retirement in Fairhope

Fairhope is a growing, vital community, having expanded 35% during the 1990's. Most people tend to be retirees, but since it is a suburb of Mobile, there are also plenty of people of all ages. There are many artists who live here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, Banking, Retail, Healthcare, Services.

Climate and Physical Environment

Fairhope is on a coastal plain separated by a bay from Mobile. Many homes have a view of the bay. With a horticulturalist on staff, the community and its flowers and Spanish moss could not be more beautiful.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Fairhope is blessed with many significant events throughout the year. There is the popular Alabama Coastal BirdFest, the Arts & Crafts Festival, the Fairhope Music Festival, just to name a few. The Eastern Shore Art Center is a vital resource with changing monthly exhibits. The Adult Recreation Center has 1200 members and a daily roster of activities that range from exercise classes to bridge. The center's Big Band dances attract folks from far away.



According to citydata.com, the crime index in Fairhope is 175.5, which is way below the national average of 319.5, making it one of the safest places to live in after retirement.

Medical Facilities

Thomas Hospital is here in Fair Hope, others are nearby in Mobile. Thomas Hospital is a local source of pride with 56 staff doctors, including specialists in all major disciplines.


There are 2 airports in Mobile, Trent Lott International is 44 miles away in Pascagoula. Fairhope is above average for walkability when compared to other towns. For more information about how to retire in Alabama .


Valuable Links

Fairhope on Wikipedia



What people are saying about Fairhope

Fairhope, AL
I loved Fairhope and the surrounding area. Problem is that it takes more money to live there than this very middle class retiree has. Oddly enough, if I were a drunk I could afford to live here as the only cheap housing I saw advertised was for a sober house LOL!
Posted by drifter55806 on June 18, 2015
Posted by admin on October 25, 2011

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