Mobile Alabama

Mobile, pronounced Mobeel, (not like being mobile or living in a mobile home) is a marvelous little city in ‘Bama – that’s Alabama for you proper people.  Loaded with fun facts, fascinating history, and a friendly downtown area. We loved our two-day visit to Mobile, a perfect add in to our New Orleans visit or a Florida’s Panhandle getaway!

Here’s our Top Things to Do in Mobile in 48 hours!

#1 Stay at The Battle House Renaissance Hotel on Royal Street – part of the 2nd tallest of the iconic crowning twin towers in Mobile. The original luxurious Battle House Hotel opened in 1852. Today’s Marriott hotel still features a grand gracious lobby, a Spa and outdoor pool, and it’s perfectly poised for you to explore Mobile downtown on foot. Tip: Ask the concierge about the Lobby’s whisper arches.

#2 Stop by the Welcome Center a block away, inside the History Museum to learn about Alabama’s oldest city – tales of struggle and triumph, cotton and battleship building. Tip: Pick up a Dauphin Historic District Walking Tour Guide and a Mobile Tree Trail map here.

#3 Explore the Colonial Fort Conde – an impressive replica of the 1735 French defense camp to protect Mobile’s important port from British and Spanish attacks. The port of Mobile was “Cotton City” from the 1700s – plantations up the 5 Rivers (nicknamed America’s Amazon) would deliver cotton here by steamboat to trade for goods, slaves, Paris fashions and furniture for the well-to-do plantation wives. Mobile fun fact: The brick fort reproduction is built right over one of the two tunnels shuttling vehicles under the Mobile River.

#4 See where Mardi Gras began – at Mobile Carnival Museum! While New Orleans claims Mardi Gras  – this fabulous museum proves Mobile was home to the first – in 1703! Visit this tremendous collection of costumes and view displays of original parades and parties, of fancy balls and weeks of festivals that continue in Mobile to this day. I’ve never seen so many lavish parade costumes, tiaras, crowns and bejeweled ballgowns. Carnival Museum is a Mobile must! Mardi Gras in Mobile attracts a million people each spring, billed as more family-friendly than NOLA’s bash of debauchery according to Mobile locals.

#5 Lunch at Dauphin’s for an amazing 34th floor view of Mobile and Mobile Bay. The scenery at this sophisticated “top shelf” restaurant is extraordinary and the cuisine is good too, without being overly spendy. Or come for a happy hour beverage. We could see the USS Alabama warship from our bird’s eye table where we’d visit the next day.

#6 USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is an amazing opportunity to board the “Mighty A” – one of the most revered American World War II-era battleships. This Park and museum has so much history of Mobile’s shipbuilding boom – called Wartown in the 1940’s. At the Park you can also board a Submarine and see vintage military aircraft, so plan to spend a few hours here. So impressive and patriotic…

#7 Visit Mobile’s historic homes – they’re much fancier that mobile homes- lol… it’s a local joke!  The 1822 Conde Charlotte House, The 1860 Richard DAR home, and the 1855 Bragg-Mitchell Mansion are all open for tours, with passionate local docents eager to share the extensive and fascinating history of these beautiful generational homes. The 1934 Bellingrath Home outside of town has 65-acres of magnificent gardens, home to Coca Cola’s early founders.

#8 Stroll Dauphin Streetdauphin is French is for dolphin but also refers to France’s heir and son of Louis XIV. With your Dauphin Walking Tour Guide in hand, notice all the architectural facades throughout this 1702 cotton boom city – Venetian to Victorian, Rococo to Neoclassic and Contemporary. Over 50 impressive buildings are detailed in the Guide, emanating from beautiful Bienville Square and fountain. Mobile’s “Tree Trail” denotes “Azalea City’s” most iconic arbors – oaks, magnolia, palms, cedar and Crepe Myrtles. Tip: Don’t miss the 1824 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the surrounding Square and Arts District.

#9 Do the Bienville Bites Foodie Tour! Mobile has many great restaurants, and the Old Mobile Evening Food Tour is a perfect way to experience 5 of the best with a local Guide. You make fun new foodie friends and learn about the City’s history in a culinary-centric stroll, from a Speakeasy to Mobile’s most famed seafood spots – like Wintzell’s (where oysters are “fried, nude or stewed”). A sweetly poetic ending to the cuisine tour is a legendary Mo’Bay beignet, arguably better beignet than New Orleans’ Cafe du Monde (the secret is in the sauce – literally).

#10 Finally, find some Mobile Music! Dauphin Street, and neighboring downtown streets, liven up in the eve with local music. LasFloriditas features island music and dancing in a chic speakeasy setting – a very Cuban chic vibe. Note: there’s a password (available on their Facebook page) and a dress code so dial it up.  The Garage is an open-air casual concert spot for live bands. Royal Street Tavern in the Battle House Hotel has piano and an inviting bar with popular engaging bartenders, frequented by locals.

Mobile is easily combined with a visit to New Orleans (just over 2 hours) or a tour of Florida’s Panhandle. Check out Fairhope across the bay and Dauphin Island when your mobile in Mobile.

“Born in romance, cradled in chivalry, baptized by fire, educated in commerce, Mobile was made for greatness.”

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