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For today’s post we’re traveling back to the southeast to cover Mobile, Alabama! I crossed over the Alabama border through Louisiana on a southeast weekend road trip from New Orleans. The Yellowhammer State is known for its Southern hospitality, Civil Rights movement, SEC football, & is called the “Heart of Dixie”. Major cities include Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville. I only visited Mobile since it was about 2 hours from New Orleans, and was the easiest way to check a visit to Alabama off the list for my 50 states challenge. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw here during my day trip and am excited to recap the itinerary for you today. Without further ado, let’s hop into a list of the best things to do in Mobile, Alabama.
How To Get To Mobile, Alabama
As I mentioned in my intro paragraph, I visited Mobile on a road trip. It’s super easy to access via car from nearby New Orleans, Louisiana, the Gulf Shores of Mississippi, Birmingham, Atlanta, Highway 30A in Florida, and other southern cities. The Port City is conveniently located at the intersections of I-10 and I-65 if you’re driving in.
If you’re hoping to fly into Mobile from far away, you can’t really… yet. In 2025, the Mobile International Airport will open as the Gulf Shores’ newest airport terminal. For now, visitors can take advantage of the Mobile Regional Airport.
Once you’re in the city, you can use Ubers, Lyfts, and the Wave Transit bus system to navigate Mobile.
Where To Stay In Mobile, Alabama
I actually visited Mobile, Alabama during a day trip from New Orleans, but the Port City would make a fantastic weekend trip! The city offers numerous options for accommodation, ranging from boutique inns to luxury hotels, vacation rentals, and even campgrounds. This city is much more affordable to visit than most in the US.
Mid-range to Luxury ($$-$$$)
Tucked away on 550 scenic acres along Mobile Bay, this Autograph Collection hotel has over 165 years of fascinating history. This year-round hotel is known locally as the “The Queen of Southern Resorts.” Room rates here can be > $400 / night.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown
This hotel is one of the pricier options in the city (about $200 / night), but is located right on S. Royal Street in the heart of the city. Where southern hospitality blends with all the amenities of one inclusive rate. Enjoy a complimentary “On The House” breakfast buffet, WiFi, fitness center, and an outdoor saltwater pool.
Budget to Mid-range ($-$$)
Quality Inn Downtown
For a more affordable option, look at the nearby Red Roof Inns and Quality Inns. One of the most affordable options for still being near the city center is the Quality Inn Downtown Historic District. The newly renovated hotel is located between the Mobile Civic Center and the Mobile Convention Center. Room rates here are about $80 / night.
10 can’t-miss things to do in Mobile, Alabama
1. Visit the Mobile Carnival Museum
Did you know that the first Mardi Gras celebration EVER was hosted in Mobile in 1703? NOT New Orleans? Now you know! And there’s even a museum to celebrate this history. The Mobile Carnival Museum chronicles over 300 years of Carnival / Mardi Gras history in Mobile. It’s housed in the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion on Government Street in downtown Mobile.
Tickets to the museum costs $8 for adults and $3 for children. The museum is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9-4 pm, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.
Pro-tip: Most visitors will do a self-guided walking tour through the museum, but there are Docent Talks offered at 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm.
2. Stroll down Dauphin Street
Dauphin Street is Mobile’s most lively street. Similarly to how Nashville has Broadway, Mobile has Dauphin Street — which is full of restaurants, dive bars, and shops. The entertainment district in the city is Lower Dauphin Street, or LoDa.
If you’re a seafood lover, be sure to stop into Wintzell’s Oyster House. This restaurant has been around for 85 years and started as a six-stool oyster bar.
3. See the Mobile Community Oyster Trail
Speaking of oysters, be sure to add the Mobile Community Oyster Trail to your list of things to do in Mobile, Alabama. Most port cities are known for their seafood and oysters, and Mobile is certainly one of them. In 2013, the city decided to add 12 hand-painted, 4 foot oyster sculptures around the city. Enjoy the scavenger hunt around the city!
Pro-tip: Interested in seeing more art? Mobile has quite a few murals around the city, including the one at 17 Dauphin Street. Be sure to add seeing the street art to your list of things to do in Mobile, Alabama.
4. Try at Beignet at Mo’Bay
Beignets are a southeastern pastry sample. They aren’t just famous in New Orleans! Head over to Mo’Bay on Dauphin Street for a homemade beignet. Mo’Bay started as a family recipe, and tradition of using a special syrups to “add a little love to them.” There’s also coffee served here!
5. Tour the History Museum of Mobile
The History Museum really needs to be added to the top of your list of things to do in Mobile, Alabama. As the oldest city in Alabama and one of the most important port cities in the US, Mobile has a fascinating history. Three different countries—France, Britain, and Spain—ruled Mobile during its early colonization and influenced much of the city’s architecture and cuisine, making the Port City a true melting pot today.
The museum building itself possesses a unique history. It was built between 1855 and 1857 and has served as the City Council’s meeting place, the HQ for military units, and a public market throughout the years.
The museum costs $14 for adults to visit and is open Monday – Saturday from 9-5 pm, and on Sundays from 1-5 pm. The History Museum of Mobile is conveniently located in historic downtown Mobile at 111 South Royals Street.
6. Visit the Avenue of the Oaks
Spring Hill College is a private, Jesuit college in Mobile, Alabama. It was founded in 1830 by the Bishop of Mobile, Michael Portier. This campus is stunning and is worth the visit. The Avenue of the Oaks is only 0.5 miles long but is worth driving through. Giant, ancient oak trees are so iconic throughout the southeast. This road is known for being one of the most beautiful in the state, so add a visit here to your list of cool things to do in Mobile, Alabama.
7. Check out the Homes in the Oakleigh Garden Historic District
The Oakleigh Garden Historic District is rich in history and culture. The neighborhood is named after the Oakleigh House, a Greek-Revivial style home built in the 1830s by James Roper. The city of Mobile purchased this property in the 1950s and converted it into a museum, which is run by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society. The Oakleigh area is extremely walkable and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1972. Seeing the restored homes here is a must to do in Mobile, Alabama.
8. Enjoy the sweeping views of Mobile Bay from Dauphin’s
Located on the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building in downtown Mobile, Dauphin’s restaurant is a must on the list of can’t-miss things to do in Mobile, Alabama. Overlooking well-known Mobile Bay and port below, this French-Creole restaurant deserves a visit. The restaurant brands itself as “casual fine dining”, meaning there’s no strict dress code and the delicious menu is affordable. We came here for a late lunch so reservations weren’t necessary, but I can imagine this place gets quite busy on holidays.
Pro-tip: Just want to enjoy the view with a cocktail? There’s a piano bar in Dauphin’s too.
9. Explore Mobile’s Bienville Square
Located in the heart of Mobile, Bienville Square is the city’s most famous park. The square takes up an entire block bordered by the streets: Dauphin, Saint Joseph, Saint Francis, and North Conception. Bienville Square was named for Mobile’s founder, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville. The park is notable for its large cast iron foundation in the center. Additionally, the park hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year such as jazz music festivals.
10. Get on the water to sightsee the Port City
Mobile is one of the most important port cities in the US and has a famous bay. I was surprised to learn that Mobile is not on the Atlantic Ocean. Gulf Shores is, but Mobile is more in-land, located within Mobile Bay. There’s still a lot to explore within the bay, including the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. For the nature lovers, consider a boat excursion or Delta Wildlife kayak tour with WildNative Tours.
That brings us to the end of this blog post all about cool things to do in Mobile, Alabama! I really enjoyed my day in Mobile and hope to go back. Plus, I would love to visit more cities in Alabama and across the southeast in my future. I hope this post inspires you to do the same.
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