My hunt for the ideal, drive-able get-away began in 2020. I probably wouldn’t have been looking for a get-away if it wasn’t for the situation. It was prime pandemic time, many places still closed down and many people still staying home while another wave of Covid-19 ravaged local hospitals. But to put it frankly, I never needed to leave as desperately as I did in that moment.
My daughter was adorable at her ripe age of 1 year but 24/7 toddler care with no reprieve, especially no grandparents to step in, was enough to break even the strongest mother. My husband and I celebrate close birthdays in July and it was decided that we could use a few days to sneak away somewhere, dropping off our child at the in-laws, preferable with a private pool, and just enjoy the amenities of a trendy Airbnb.
It was then I discovered Lucia Bleu.
As much as I drooled at this incredible haven of bliss, with the bonus of only being a mere 4 hours away, my husband asked me to choose something closer to home for our short get-away. And it was a wise choice – our daughter ended up having an incredibly high fever while we were gone (104° to be exact) and we needed quicker access to her than we first thought.
Come 2022 and my husband and I started talking about a short trip again. I immediately thought of Lucia Bleu. Keep in mind I had barely heard of Fairhope and had no idea what the location had to offer, but I desperately wanted a place where we could relax and just be. The spa pool was especially enticing. Not really understanding the location or researching the area, once I had my husband’s buy-in, I clicked book.
It was even more heavenly than I could have anticipated.
The cottage offered a 1 bedroom, 1 loft, 2 bath experience, complete with large showers, clawfoot tub, scenic on-the-bay sunsets – and yes, a private spa pool. I have never vacationed at a spa, but I quickly decided this must be what it’s like. Our hosts outdid themselves by also providing a nice gift card to the local coffee bar / wine bar / market and a chilled bottle of wine.
Once we managed to get out of this perfect haven to discover Fairhope, my expectation for the town was far exceeded. If you are unfamiliar with its location, Fairhope rests on Mobile Bay, the body of water many out-of-towners travel over on the way to Gulf Shores / Orange Beach. The town is quaint and adorable, with trendy restaurants, shops, and coffee shops available to peruse. (Pro Tip: We had some of the best pizza of our lives, located at The Ravenite Pizzeria.)
We also quickly learned about the historic and well-visited, The Grand. When most people talk about Fairhope, The Grand is almost always mentioned. While it is a hotel, golf resort, and spa, I knew nothing could beat Lucia Bleu cottages, but I was grateful we made reservations at the exquisite four-star / five-star restaurant, Southern Roots, as it was a dining experience unlike any other. You cannot top the exquisite ambiance with their creative, culinary menu. The only complaint I have about The Grand is there was way too much wood paneling for my liking, but it is still worth a visit nonetheless. Also, there is no better Bay view than at The Grand.
And speaking of the Bay – if you can’t stand the sand, but love water landscapes, Fairhope may be the perfect destination for you.
Beaches are still close within driving distance if you do prefer sandy lounging, but it is not necessary to take one step onto them to enjoy the beautiful Bay scenery.
Another bonus of staying so close to the Bay is the many walking and biking trails. Of course, Lucia Bleu had you covered! They provided two wonderful cruising books so my husband and I were able to take air-in-your-face, relaxing bike rides throughout Fairhope. There is way more to do in this little town than I first thought. (Pro Tip #2: It can be hard to find coffee on Sundays, as it seems every business is closed. Go to Warehouse Bakery and Donuts – pictured below – for an outstanding cup of Joe.)
By the end of our stay, my husband and I were relaxed, rejuvenated, centered, and connected. We needed the opportunity to take a pause to reconnect and take a moment to enjoy nature and quiet moments again. I even read a book for the first time in years – which by the way, I recommend The One You’re With for a fun vacation read. I randomly plucked it off the shelves at the bookstore back in Lafayette and it just so happens to take place in Mobile and Fairhope. It was a fun coincidence.
If you are looking for a pause too and would love to make a short getaway only four hours away with your person, go to Lucia Bleu in Fairhope! It’s the relaxing vacation you didn’t know you needed.