A rich, storied history (of having fun). Don’t be fooled by the beautiful skyline reflecting off the bay; Mobile is more than just incredibly beautiful. Get ready for an overflowing bowl of culture, tradition and – of course – gumbo. Mobile has unique museums, beautiful French architecture, fresh seafood and knows how to throw a party. The country’s first Mardi Gras was celebrated here and the festivities continue every year with parades throughout the month.
9 Attractions in Mobile, Alabama that you can’t miss
According to Deluxesurveillance, Mobile is recognized not only as having the first known American Mardi Gras celebration in 1703 (yes, even before New Orleans), but also as the home of “America’s Family Mardi Gras.” This beautiful celebration, which delights young and old from across the city and across the country, lasts over two and a half weeks and culminates on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. For weeks, the streets of downtown of Mobile filled with the sights and sounds of live marching bands, brilliantly colored floats and, of course, crowds of parade goers. The floats are glowing spectacles manned by masked riders adorned in satin and sequins, and armed with crowd-pleasing “throws” like beads, mooncakes, doubloons, and candy.
2.USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park
Visit Battleship Memorial Park and you’ll take a step back in time and embark on an incredible journey into America’s military past. Each step brings you closer to how the veterans lived and worked. It is a unique experience you will never forget. Download the FREE app for trip planning tips, park map, guided tours and more!
3.Mobile Carnival Museum
The Mobile Carnival Museum highlights the history of Mardi Gras in its true birthplace – Mobile, Alabama. The museum features 14 galleries, video presentations, a pictorial corridor, and an interactive float room – all in a restored historic mansion. Experience Mobile’s Mardi Gras – the Mother of Mystics, the oldest Carnival celebration in the United States at the Mobile Carnival Museum! A visit to Mobile is not complete until you have visited this magical museum. Rental space available for special events. Visit our boutique, Toomey’s Gift Shoppe, for great Mardi Gras treasures!
4.Colonial Fort Conde
Visit this partially reconstructed 1724 French fort in downtown Mobile. In the immersive, interactive exhibit in the heart of historic Fort Conde, visitors can learn about the people who colonized early Mobile. See historic artifacts from Native Americans and Europeans who played a major role in the port city’s evolution during a time shaped by innovation, conquest, plunder, piracy, and war.
5.Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Spanning 4 acres just outside of Mobile, the Bellingrath Estate is known for its pretty gardens and historic mansion. In January and February, visitors can enjoy more than 400 varieties of camellia, the state flower, and March is an especially popular time when the garden’s 250,000 azaleas are in bloom. Another special sight is the Cascading Chrysanthemums, which bloom in November. The 15-room museum house was built in 1935, designed by local architect George B. Rogers. The home’s historic significance is in its repurposed elements, many building materials salvaged from other important structures.
6.Mobile Historic Districts
Visitors can get a sense of Mobile’s history by walking through the city’s romantic historic districts. There are seven designated historic districts in Mobile, each with its own unique character and architectural heritage. Self-guided car or walking tours are available to explore these areas of interest.
7. Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay, on the Gulf of Mexico, has a number of beautiful beaches, small towns, and historic sites to explore. At the southwestern entrance to Mobile Bay is the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary, which includes Fort Gaines, which played a role in the Civil War. From here, visitors can take a ferry to the western tip of Pleasure Island, home to Fort Morgan. In the southeast corner of the bay are the fine bathing beaches of the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
8.History Museum of Mobile
The History Museum of Mobile is home to artifacts and exhibits that explore Mobile’s fascinating past. Looking back to the Native Americans who first inhabited the area, the main exhibits take a journey through time. Through educational displays and artifacts, visitors learn about the colonial period, slavery and the Civil War, Mobile’s important role in supporting the war effort in World War II, and key events in the civil rights movement. A centerpiece of this exhibit is the 5,000-pound Civil War gun that once stood on the decks of the Confederate ship CSS Alabama.
9.Mobile Museum of Art
The Mobile Museum of Art is located in Mobile’s Langan Park. This large facility is home to more than ten thousand works of art, spanning a period of 2,000 years. The permanent collection, which is displayed on a rotating basis due to its sheer number, includes decorative arts, African arts, contemporary crafts, and American art. There is also a large Native American collection of both art and artifacts, including baskets, beadwork, textiles, and several early photographs and hand-colored lithographs. Temporary exhibitions complement the permanent collection with an ever-changing programme.