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.
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.
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.
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 unravelling the unexplained, and wish to experience some spooky goings-on, visit Oak Grove Plantation during your Alabama visit.
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, 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.
Highlights of the cathedral include 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.
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 artefacts 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.
10. Crescent Theatre
You can step back in time when you visit Crescent Theatre in Downtown Mobile.
This characterful theatre first opened its doors in 1885, and showcased Vaudeville-style entertainment and saucy Burlesque shows.
In the early 1900s, it graduated to silent movies, and in the late 20th century it was home to several restaurants.
Today, it has reverted to a cool movie theatre showing all the latest Hollywood Blockbusters.
Although it has struggled to remain open since home-streaming began, this charming (and resilient) theatre continues to attract die-hard film buffs from all over the state.
11. 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.
12. Serda Brewing
Try some new, exciting craft beers during your stay in Alabama at Serda Brewing.
This cutting-edge microbrewery offers visitors the chance to sample a range of German/American fusion beers which are complex, characterful and innovative.
Try their flagship lager – Hook, Line and Lager Pilsner, a lager with bite and refreshing zest for all occasions, or sample Mobile Bay – IPA, made with several German hop varieties coupled with citrus aromas.
For those eager to learn more about the craft beer making process, you can take a tour of the microbrewery by appointment.
So, if you’re a beer drinker and love to try new flavours, this is a place to put on your itinerary.
13. 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.
14. 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, parlours 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.
15. Catfish Junction
You can’t tour Alabama and not try some of the state’s delicious home-cooked recipes. Fortunately, if you’re staying in or around Saraland, you can head for Catfish Junction Restaurant. It’s a warm, welcoming place with good ole’ fashioned Southern hospitality, and they serve tasty locally-caught seafood, succulent steaks and seafood gumbo at reasonable prices.
You can start with locals’ favourite – Smothered Taters, or Hush Puppies with cheese sauce, then for your main, try Catfish Filets or Big Catch Catfish fried, grilled or blackened.
If you’re not a fish eater, you’re still catered for with scrumptious Saraland Slammer burgers, Smokey Piggy pulled pork dishes and Black Angus beef aged, marinated and cooked over an open flame.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and with a family-friendly atmosphere, laid-back dining and generous portions, you’re sure to return for more.