Good Times Roll On in Mobile
You’re never far from the water when in Mobile, Ala., nor do you want to be.
As a sinking red-orange fireball sunset streaks across the coastline, I snake along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta on the “Osprey,” Wild Native Five River Safaris’ pontoon boat, enjoying an aerial show of brown pelicans, while nearby alligators soak up the last of the afternoon on the banks of the cypress marsh and tupelo gum swamp.
An hour later, I tear through a bucket of crab claws washed down with Haint Blue, Mobile’s local suds, at Bluegill, the dockside eatery and Mobile seafood mecca for more than 60 years.
Only a quick 75-minute non-stop flight from Charlotte, Mobile is a family-oriented escape where the good times are always rolling. Bring your appetite for fun, adventure, and plenty of seafood.
Discover the magnitude of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, the second largest delta system in the U.S. where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Appalachee, and Blakely rivers converge into Mobile Bay. Part education center, part hands-on-living nature museum, the center is all fun and a great way to learn about this natural wonder.
These 65 acres of lush southern gardens were developed in the ‘30s by one of the South’s largest distributors of Coca Cola and his wife, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. A vast collection of azaleas, delphinium, lilies, fuchsia, hyacinths, hydrangeas, tulips, and dozens of other varieties ensure something is blooming year-round on these magnificent grounds. The landmark English-Renaissance home, listed in the National Historic Register, reveals a stunning glimpse into the opulent life once led here.
Mobile’s newest tourist gem is dedicated to the rich maritime traditions of the region. As one of only a handful of interactive maritime museums in the world, it’s a must-visit. Shaped like an ocean-going vessel, this 120,000-square-foot building is the centerpiece of Mobile Landing. Kids are fascinated by narrative exploration of sea-faring commercial transport, navigation techniques, the facts behind container ships, and life on the water through the centuries.
Many are surprised to learn Mobile—not New Orleans—was home to the very first Mardi Gras, held in 1703. This fascinating museum shares all the secrets and history, taking visitors from the earliest days through the present surrounded by floats, costumes, and ephemera from past Mardi Gras.
Stride aboard the decks of one the most storied battleships in U.S. military history and explore countless tales of heroism and courage found amongst WW II tanks and combat aircraft—including those flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. The fabled submarine USS Drum is on display here in one of the finest military parks in the country.
Gulf Coast favorites inspired by Creole and Southern-soul highlight the menu here at this fine dining stalwart atop the RSA Trustmark Building overlooking Mobile Bay. Superb local oysters, classic shrimp and grits, Gumbo Z’herb, crawfish, and crab cakes all encourage lingering at this flagship restaurant of NFL legend, Bob Baumhower.
Don’t ask why—simply go to this Oakleigh neighborhood joint and order the L.A. Burger (that’s Lower Alabama). This tasty burger combines local, spicy Conecuh sausage, slaw, and jack cheese into a work of art.
Situated on Dauphin Street, downtown Mobile’s main retail, arts, and entertainment drag, Nobel South offers patrons a kicked-up twist on New South cuisine. Cracklin’s baked right into your corn bread provide a clue as to the chef’s Southern roots and all that follows—from pickled shrimp to rabbit and dumplings—are homey, comforting, and spot-on delicious.
A true historic landmark, the walls simply ooze with history and folklore. Built in 1908, the hotel replaced the original construction from Antebellum days lost in a turn of the century fire. The glorious domed lobby dates back more than a century and is flanked by Tuscan marble columns. A Tiffany glass skylight highlights the Trellis dining room—once host to guests such as Jefferson Davis, Oscar Wilde, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.