Daphne emerged in the early 18th century simply as a gathering point for fur traders from Europe. It was claimed first by the French, later by the Spanish, then by the British, but it was settled finally by the new Americans. It soon became a resort destination for the burgeoning affluence of Mobile and New Orleans and its economy today is heavily dependent upon its recreational facilities.
Students are under the jurisdiction of the highly rated Baldwin County Public School system. One high school, middle school, and three elementary schools are all within Daphne and there are a number of private and parochial schools located throughout the area. The United States Sports Academy and Huntingdon College are two of Daphne's higher learning institutions while many more exist in the surrounding Eastern Shores area. These include the University of South Alabama-Fairhope, Bishop State Community College, and James H. Faulkner State Community College.
Thirteen public parks and sports fields are located in Daphne for residents to take advantage of. A few of these include: Trione Park which is a large sports complex that has space for four softball and baseball fields and two soccer fields; May Day Park is a bay access park that includes a boat launch and a pier; Bayfront Park includes a small pier and the Richard Scardimalia Pavilion, a popular place for weddings; Centennial Park includes a small kiddie park; and Village Point Park Preserve is the largest park in Daphne.
The other parks and sports complexes are Belrose Park, the Boys and Girls Club, D'Olive Boardwalk Park, Dryer Bay, Joe Louis Patrick Park, Jubilee Courtyard, McMillan Bluff, Park City Park, S.B. Williams Park, and W.O. Lott Park.
Residents looking to take some time out on the links can head out to the Lake Forest Yacht and Country Club located just minutes north of Daphne. A semi-private course, Lakewood Golf Club is located at Marriott's Grand Hotel in Point Clear, has 36 holes open to members and guests and includes the highly reputed John Jacobs Golf School. Other golf courses in the Eastern Shores area include Timber Creek Golf Club, Quail Creek Municipal Golf Course, and Rock Creek Golf Club.
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