Away at the Bay

May 26, 2015



Next to, “Where should we eat in Fairhope?” the next most often asked question I get from readers is, “Where should we stay in Fairhope?” That’s a much tougher question for me to answer, because although I do a serious amount of eating in Fairhope, I tend to stay in my own house, so I don’t know much about the local lodging options.

adarondackExcept for one.



Away at the Bay” was the first place my family stayed when we visited Fairhope 15 years ago. The Bed and Breakfast owners, Dr. Joe and Glenda Gravlee became friends of ours and we still marvel at our first trip to Fairhope when we came dragging into town, exhausted from traveling with an active (and talkative) toddler and a newborn baby. Our nerves were frazzled from listening to Barney sing for hours on end, and we were ready for some peace!

frontAway at the Bay was the perfect spot for us to unwind, relax and have close access to beautiful downtown Fairhope as well as one of the best views of Mobile Bay.

Originally built as barracks for the soldiers at Brookley Field, the unassuming front of the building blends right in with the lovely neighborhood setting.


backBut the expansive back of the home reveals seven beautiful guest rooms perched high above the bay.



Turned from barracks into a hotel, then into short term apartments, Joe and Glenda purchased the property 30 years ago when they first came to Fairhope to start Joe’s Ophthalmologist practice.

double Collage

When newlyweds, Glenda would travel to visit Joe while he completed his residency in California, and it was there she became familiar with B&Bs. It was then she decided owning a B&B someday would be fun.


courtyardThe renovations the Gravlee’s have done over the years blend perfectly with the historic portion of the building, and offer guests a casual, beautiful retreat. kitchens CollageAll the units are different, but are equipped with kitchen and laundry facilities.

quad CollageAfter our beautiful stay at Away at the Bay, we checked out and were on our way out of town, when our toddler had an upset stomach and . . . exploded. We were horrified. He had never been sick before and we were in a town where we didn’t know anyone.


branchWe turned around and went back to Away at the Bay, where they took us in like family and allowed us all to go back in to clean up and change (oh yes, it was that bad).  Afterwards, the “sick” toddler announced he was fine and wanted a hot dog!


Joe and Glenda

Such kind and friendly folks, the Gravlees will treat you like family and help you find your way around town . . . with or without an exploding child. This is one place I know without a doubt you will love to stay.


Click HERE to view Away at the Bay’s web site and see their contact information.


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