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Old 05-11-2021, 12:03 PM
 
48 posts, read 30,118 times
Reputation: 18

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We will be in the East Bay Area scoping out potential retirement towns. We retire in 6 years but we love road trips and love exploring so the process is starting now. Staying in an AirBnb in Summerdale. Budget is >$500k max.

Since we won't be purchasing for a while we don't want to look at individual homes, but we would like to see what kind of neighborhoods are possible in our price range. And we'd love to see what these areas offer, by way of amenities, in the most efficient use of time. Anyone have a suggested itinerary? Like if you were driving friends around for a few days and wanted to convince them to move to the area, where would you drive them?

Your "friends" like the following: The Ocean and all that comes with it...sea food, fishing, beach combing. Nice shopping, landscape architecture, local restaurants (especially outdoor dining), hiking, road biking, pickle-ball, outdoor gatherings (concerts, park stuff with food trucks) and friendly people.

Any suggested itineraries would be much appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:10 PM
 
1,386 posts, read 945,204 times
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Based on you criteria, I recommend checking out Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Foley, and Gulf Shore. Particularly the first 3.

Gulf Shores is one the beach towns (along with Orange Beach), but is a considerable a good distance from a lot of amenities and traffic is a abysmal, so unless you plan on being on the beach every single day, I recommend not trying to live here. Orange Beach is also where you'll find the concerts but again not worth dealing with the traffic on a daily basis

Foley is a city north of Gulf Shores that acts as a divider between the Mobile suburbs (Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Bay Minette, Loxley etc) and the beach town (Gulf Shores and Orange Beach). Has a lot of your needed amenities but traffic is still abysmal.



Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort are the sweet spots for Baldwin County. Close enough to beach but not deal with beach traffic and also close enough for any amenities you may need for the central city of Mobile. You are also half the distance from the major hospitals in the region than if you were in Gulf Shores (particularly USA Hospital that is the region's level 1 trauma center). Fairhope and Daphne is also where Jubilee happens which I think y'all would enjoy. The causeway restaurants between Mobile and Baldwin County has some of the best seafood in South and you would be just minutes away. Downtown Mobile is right across the Bayway Bridge and Tunnel and has become a hot spot for new (chain but mostly non-chain) restaurants. With about 30-40 new restaurants (and breweries if that's what you are into as well) coming to downtown in the past 4-5 years and it is not slowing down. In the Fairhope/Daphne/Spanish Fort you'll be minutes away from it. You are not gonna find much biking paths in Baldwin County. Mobile County however is trying to making them as quick as possible including the current construction of 13 mile bike path that'll pass right through downtown.


I highly recommend visiting Mobile and Downtown to see how you like the vibes, if you like it then I recommend choosing Fairhope, Daphne, or Spanish Fort. If you have enough time I recommend exploring both counties and seeing how you like them
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:12 PM
 
9,698 posts, read 6,820,868 times
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just fairhope
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:04 PM
 
27 posts, read 16,972 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rancho5 View Post
We will be in the East Bay Area scoping out potential retirement towns. We retire in 6 years but we love road trips and love exploring so the process is starting now. Staying in an AirBnb in Summerdale. Budget is >$500k max.

Since we won't be purchasing for a while we don't want to look at individual homes, but we would like to see what kind of neighborhoods are possible in our price range. And we'd love to see what these areas offer, by way of amenities, in the most efficient use of time. Anyone have a suggested itinerary? Like if you were driving friends around for a few days and wanted to convince them to move to the area, where would you drive them?

Your "friends" like the following: The Ocean and all that comes with it...sea food, fishing, beach combing. Nice shopping, landscape architecture, local restaurants (especially outdoor dining), hiking, road biking, pickle-ball, outdoor gatherings (concerts, park stuff with food trucks) and friendly people.

Any suggested itineraries would be much appreciated! Thank you!
We're also hoping to make a trip, in part to look for a second home. Originally from Huntsville Alabama, in Tucson (Oro Valley) for 20 years. A friend of mine who has also been in Tucson for 20 some years just completed a month long trip to his home town of New Smyrna Beach, came back and told me when I make the trip I'll find the coast of Alabama and Florida so crowded I'll be happy to get back home! So please keep us posted and let us know what you find! Hope you have a great trip. Oh yeah....let us know what you think of the humidity too! Not pleasant for us southwesterners but offset by all Alabama has to offer IMO. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 459 times
Reputation: 10
We recently returned from our third exploratory visit, of the year, to the Baldwin County area. Your interests are very similar to what my husband and I enjoy.

We enjoyed the Fairhope, Magnolia Springs area. This last trip, we visited Spanish Fort, which was nice, though traffic was a bit more than we may want. At this point, we would still consider it though. While in Fairhope, we enjoyed Sunsets restaurant at the marina, for seafood. Fairhope hosts many festivals. If you go to their event calender, it will give you some idea of what you can expect. Not too much in the summer, but with the humidity, that doesn't surprise me.

As another poster mentioned, we felt the gulf cities are bit too busy for our everyday life, but we do enjoy our day trips.

I will be anxious to hear your impressions when you return. Enjoy your trip! We did.
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