Potential Magazine August 2014 - Page 36

travel fairhope & mobile You could spend a month exploring everything South Alabama’s “Eastern Shore” area has to offer — bay breezes, fab food, shopping, history and more — but for a weekend escape, here are a few can’t-miss highlights for you and your family. A Grand Time The Marriott Grand Hotel in Point Clear is a bayside bastion of calm that far surpasses “grand.” Laid out along the shores of Mobile Bay, the hotel is a AAA Four Diamond resort. Its historical charm, family friendly atmosphere and serene natural setting make up only a part of the allure. Once you’ve unpacked, you’ll find yourself beckoned outdoors again. Take a stroll around the grounds under the wide blue sky and canopies of ancient, sprawling oaks, and you’ll see that the entire property is buzzing with activity, families playing croquet and riding bikes along shaded paths, kids frolicking on the beach or trying their hand at a sunfish sailboat, couples lounging in the 50,000-gallon pool. You can also take in a round of golf on the two 18-hole golf courses at Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. The Fight for Freedom At the USS Alabama Battleship Park, you can go back in time and tour the mighty battleship that bears our state’s name as well as the USS Drum submarine. Walking along the massive vessel’s decks and squeezing into the submarine’s tiny spaces gives a sense of what our veterans felt and faced as they served our country in World War II. Additional park attractions include other military boats and aircraft, including one of the planes flown by the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Stop by these three colleges while you’re in the area.You can take a quick look around campus or schedule a tour with the admissions offices. 36 Outdoor Adventure The 5 Rivers Delta Center offers the opportunity to discover the area’s natural heritage. The Center makes it simple to begin an adventure into over 250,000 scenic acres of waterways, woods and wetlands. Take a guided pontoon boat “safari” for a look at alligators, blue herons, turtles and other wildlife or rent canoes or kayaks to paddle the Bartram Canoe Trail. There are also walking trails and exhibit halls with everything from art to ecology exhibits. Yum! There’s no shortage of good eats in the area, but favorites include Punta Clara Candy Kithchen in Point Clear (the divinity is truly divine!), The Wash House also in Point Clear (relaxed fine dining) and Panini Pete’s in Fairhope (fresh, fluffy beignets and sumptuous soups and sandwiches). Charm & Grace The city of Fairhope sits right on the bay, and its lovely little downtown is the place for strolling and shopping. Peruse the works of local talent and hit the Fairhope Pier at sunset for one of the most awe-inspiring views around. • University of South Alabama in Mobile is a public university. southalabama.edu • SpringHill College in Mobile is a private institution and is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast. shc.edu • University of Mobile is a private Christian college on a beautiful campus. www.umobile.edu www.potentialmagazine.com