The city of Saraland lies 11 miles north of Mobile, Alabama.
It’s a great place to base yourself to explore verdant parks, plantations, bird-watching trails, and abundant Mobile city and bay attractions.
Whether you wish to spend time exploring World War II battleships, taking an Airboat tour along the Mobile Delta, or exploring world-class museums, you can do it all from Saraland.
I’m an Alabama local and have visited many places in this beautiful state, because of its proximity to Mobile, I think Saraland is a great city to visit, and explore the area. Here is my list of the best things to do in and around Saraland:
1. Battleship USS Alabama
Climb aboard the USS Alabama and discover a wealth of military history.
This 45,000-ton battleship began its career in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1940, then set sail into the North Atlantic with 2,500 crew members to participate in the Second World War.
The ship was awarded nine Battle Stars during her service, and when it led the American fleet into Tokyo Bay in 1945, it became known as “Heroine of the Pacific”. Today, you can explore the engine room, crew quarters, kitchens and more, as you step back in time on this impressive vessel.
I spent about 2.5 hours here and thought it was totally worth it.
2. Chickasabogue Park
You can immerse yourself in nature at Chickasabogue Park near Saraland.
The 1,100-acre outdoor wildlife refuge and park allows you to hike, camp and explore indigenous flora and fauna in a tranquil setting.
You can glide along the same routes as Native Indians in a rented canoe, and cycle or hike winding forest and swamp trails.
If you enjoy fishing, you can snag yourself some bass, catfish and pickerel from the shore, or if you wish to simply take a cooling dip there’s a swimming area on Chickasaw Creek with its own sandy beach and picnic areas.
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3. Oak Grove Plantation
If you enjoy delving deep into paranormal activity, one of the region’s most haunted locations is close by.
Oak Grove Plantation in Saraland has a reputation for elaborate ghost stories, strange energy readings and haunted buildings.
These vacant plantation houses are popular places to shoot horror-style movies and to scare “out-of-towners”. So, if you enjoy unraveling the unexplained like I do, and wish to experience some spooky goings-on, visit Oak Grove Plantation during your Alabama visit.
Also see: 30 Amazing Hidden Gems in Alabama
4. Bird Watching at William Brooks Park
Get your binoculars and hiking boots ready, and spend time exploring picturesque William Brooks Park near Saraland.
The park trail passes along boardwalks and natural pathways through a variety of habitats where it’s possible to spot Summer Tanagers, Red-winged Blackbirds and Ospreys.
Whatever time of year you wish to travel, there’s always changing landscapes and new birdlife to see at this picturesque park.
5. Mobile County River Delta Marina
If you wish to spend time in the great outdoors, fishing, hiking and picnicking under the stars, then why not camp out or rent an RV and bring it to Mobile County River Delta Marina! It has two ponds which are well-stocked with bass and bluegill for anglers, an in-ground swimming pool area, several nature walks and a children’s playground.
You can launch your boat, or even sunbathe or fish from the pier.
If you enjoy bird-watching, the Delta is also a haven for bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers and ospreys, so don’t forget your camera.
6. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Built a year after the city of Mobile was founded, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is an iconic landmark of Alabama state.
Designed in Greek-Revival style with columns, domes and towers, it’s a striking building located on South Claiborne Street in Downtown Mobile.
I think the absolute highlight of the cathedral are the 12 spectacular stained-glass windows, which were made and transported from Munich, Germany.
Each of the windows depicts religious events pertaining to the life of Mary and Jesus.
If you are religious and wish to attend mass, you can do so at specific times, plus events are held in the cathedral for the local congregation and visitors throughout the year.
7. Wintzell’s Oyster House
Wintzell’s Oyster House in Saraland serves more on its menu than just oysters. You can enjoy huge crab claw baskets, fried green tomatoes, and even jerk chicken chilli nachos! However, is safe to say that the oysters are the star of the show.
Whether you like your shellfish chargrilled, Bienville style with shrimp, crabmeat and Parmesan, or want to sample the 75-year-old signature entrée – fried oyster dinner, you can do it all in this charming restaurant.
8. Mobile Carnival Museum
The original home of Mardi Gras, Mobile Carnival Museum will inspire, engage and delight visitors.
Discover the art behind float making, see how flamboyant carnival costumes are made, and browse intricate robe and crown designs of Mardi Gras kings and queens.
You can look at historical photographs and even climb aboard a rocking float and experience Mardi Gras for yourself.
I think it’s a fun experience for all the family, and it’s just 15 minutes’ drive from Saraland.
9. The Fort of Colonial Mobile
The Fort of Colonial Mobile was built by the French to prevent attacks from Spanish and British forces.
Its strategic location was a sought-after strong-hold for many, and today you can learn about its significance to Mobile Bay through a range of artifacts and exhibits.
Be sure to check out the Colonial photo booth where you can dress in period clothing and pose for pictures, the Trading Post, and discover live action characters representing citizens of Mobile during that time period.
If you are interested in visiting this attraction, then I highly recommend the Mobile Area Multi-Attraction Pass. It includes admission to the Fort of Colonial Mobile, as well as other top attractions on this list of things to do.
10. Dauphin Street Historic District
If you enjoy admiring local architecture, Dauphin Street Historic District has plenty of buildings to inspire.
Structures on this street date from the 1820s to the 20th century, showcasing architectural styles such as Italianate, Victorian, Federal and Greek Revival.
Some superb example on your walking tour of the district include the Pincus Building, Scottish Rite Temple, Merchant’s National Bank Building and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
11. Take an Airboat Tour
Experience an unforgettable Airboat ride along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and view wildlife and marine life in its natural habitat.
While you zip along the shoreline in the Airboat you can easily spot turtles, alligators, hawks, owls, eagles and snakes, so don’t forget your camera! A friendly, and knowledgeable guide/driver will make sure you don’t miss anything along the way.
Whether you want to take an educational eco-tour, a night tour, or a 30-minute speedy fun tour, you can do it all on an Airboat along Mobile Bay.
12. Richards DAR House Museum
If you’re drawn to Italianate architecture and properties from the Antebellum period, then a visit to Richards DAR House Museum should be on your list of things to do in Alabama.
The stunning house located in Mobile’s Historic District encompasses around 10,000 square feet and was built by Captain Charles Richards and wife Carolyn, in or around the 1860s.
You can pop in for a look around the museum, with its grand reception hall, parlors and ornamental chandeliers, and admire period furnishings, French mirrors and Bohemian glass frames adoring the doorway.
All visitors are invited for tea and cookies, giving you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and uncover further secrets about this magnificent property.
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