The downtown area is an important part of any town. After all, so many of our great cities and towns were born from the Main Streets they started from so many years ago. Most downtown areas feature specialty shops, restaurants, theaters, and so much more. The great downtown and main streets of our Gulf Coast towns are truly the hearts of our communities.
There are many wonderful Main Streets located along the Gulf Coast, and listed below are just five of my favorite. Is your favorite town missing? Leave a comment or email me at [email protected] and let me know so we can include it in a future story.
1. Fairhope, Alabama
Fairhope is a charming town situated on the pristine eastern shore of Mobile Bay. It’s a place where you have just as much chance seeing pelicans as you do the plentiful pigeons along Fairhope Avenue and South Section Street, where dozens of shops and local restaurants are within short walking distance. This historic resort community is filled with a taste of New Orleans — with creole and French-inspired architecture lining the streets and offerings of melt-in-your mouth beignets. If your appetite is looking for something a little more coastal or “deep south,” then pick up some fresh-picked crabmeat or try some of the best barbecue you’ll get your hands on.
Fairhope has a lot of local pride, with its downtown area featuring art galleries, restaurants and more than 80 unique shops. With a plethora of festivals — from antique shows and arts and crafts festivals to the annual L.A. Songwriters’ Festival (here, “L.A.” means Lower Alabama). Come summer — Fairhope’s location on Mobile Bay brings the possibility of jubilees, a natural phenomenon when live flounder, crabs, or shrimp suddenly wash ashore by the thousands.
Enjoying a beautiful Saturday wandering downtown Fairhope.. #fairhopealabama #alabama #gulfcoast #shopping #exploring #antiques #tlpicks #afar #truthintravel A photo posted by Scott (@jeffs2ndshot) on
2. Pensacola, Florida
Downtown Pensacola keeps getting bigger and bigger. Pensacola is by far the oldest city along the Gulf Coast — 456 years and counting! Palafox Street (formerly George Street when the town was under British rule) is the epicenter of the bustling metro of half a million people. While the saloons and brothels of the town’s boomtown beginnings are long gone, you will find many locally-flavored restaurants and places of libation, to include Restaurant IRON and the Old Hickory Whiskey Bar. If you just want to take in the scenery and history, there are plenty of museums, including the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, historic Plaza Ferdinand and Seville Square, along with beautiful Plaza de Luna, overlooking the burgeoning Port of Pensacola and Pensacola Bay.
Adorable Downtown Pensacola. #Pensacola #florida #pensacolabeach A photo posted by Beautiful Pensacola (@beautifulpensacola) on
Jaco’s on Palafox Pier. Not a bad dinner view. #Pensacola #pensacolabeach #jacos #palafoxpier #florida A photo posted by Beautiful Pensacola (@beautifulpensacola) on
The newly renovated Rex Theatre downtown. It’s nice when history has a future. #pensacola #rextheatre #florida #history A photo posted by Beautiful Pensacola (@beautifulpensacola) on
3. Rosemary Beach, Florida
Rosemary Beach is a New Urbanism community located along the Florida panhandle’s scenic Route 30A between Panama City and Destin. The 107-acre, Gulf-front town was designed 20 years ago, just as Seaside was a decade before.
Nothing is more than a five minute walk away from the Town Square along Main Street, where shops, restaurants, the town hall, and post office beckon residents to gather, work and socialize in a stress-free environment.
Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn ? #bluesky #30a #rosemarybeach #thepearl #laborday A photo posted by Jane Boisdore Rinck (@nolajanie) on
Main Street #rosemarybeach A photo posted by Wora Meaw (@wora_meaw) on
4. Seaside, Florida
With its brick-paved, car-free streets, Seaside is a picture-perfect place along the Gulf Coast. This peaceful community on the Florida Panhandle was created only 30 years ago as a master-planned resort community, but it’s quickly gained recognition as a world-famous vacation destination. You may have heard that is was also the filming location for The Truman Show—and when you’re biking alongside pastel-colored houses with white picket fences, you just might feel like you’re still on a movie set.
#art #architecture #architecturephotography #exteriordesign #interiordesign #canon1dx #canon #canon5dmarkiii #canonphoto #canoneos #florida #floridarealestate #realestate #realestatephotography #luxary #30a #30arealestate #30ahomes #30alife #30aliving #hdr #hdr_lovers #hdr_pics #seasidefl #alysbeach #rosemarybeach #watercolorfl #graytonbeach A photo posted by 30avibe (@30avibe) on
5. Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Nestled just across Biloxi Bay from its more famous gambling-mecca neighbor, Ocean Springs is a confluence of Southern charm, thriving new businesses, and a stellar arts scene. The historic streets are lined with live oaks and Washington Avenue is thriving with shops and restaurants. Settled by the French in 1699, Ocean Springs calls itself “The City of Discovery.” The town remains a quirky gem for art lovers with signs and graffiti art sayings of “Keep O.S. Weird” dotted around the town. It’s also a culinary destination with more than 100 restaurants, many of which line the streets in the historic district.
Downtown Ocean Springs, like something from the movies! #lovelacedrugstore #oceansprings #mississippi #RoadTripUSA A photo posted by Allan (@allanmac__) on
Come hang out with us today! #governmentstreetgrocery #keeposweird #iloveoceansprings A photo posted by Government Street Grocery (@govtstgrocery) on
What other great Gulf Coast main streets or wonderful downtowns can you think of? Did we miss any place? Tell us in the comments.