Mobile (Alabama) is a city rich with history and culture. Mobile features a wide variety of activities and sights that is sure to delight people of all ages and interests. Take a step back in history by visiting the many plantations, forts, museums, and battleships, and heritage buildings around the city. Exciting shopping, dining options, live theater, live music, art galleries, and the Gulf Coast area are sure to delight. Here’s the best things to do in Mobile!
1. Fort Conde
For a unique, historical experience, Fort Conde is a must see. Conveniently located right in the middle of the city, the Fort will intrigue and amaze. Large cannons face soaring skyscrapers. The interstate goes right under the fort. Walk through the fort and take in the rooms, all set up to period correct. Spend some time trying to find the many hideaway holes around the fort. The best part, it’s free!
2. Richards- DAR House
Take in the beautiful and unique architecture of the DAR house. Considered to be one of the best preserved houses turned museum in the state, the DAR house was built in 1860 for Charles and Caroline Richards. Opened in 1973 as a museum, it is operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The house attracts visitors with a taste for the paranormal, as there has been speculation as to whether children’s voices can be heard in the house or not.
3. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Established in 1977, the Park is home to the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. Visitors flock to Mobile Bay to see the majestic USS Alabama, which saw action in WW2. Tours of the Battleship are self-guided. Other attractions include a submarine, fighter planes, and other military equipment.
4. Mobile Museum of Art
Founded in 1964, the Mobile Art Museum is now the only accredited art museum in Southern Alabama. Browse the Museum’s beautiful and varied art collection, containing approximately ten thousand works of fine arts from Europe, Asia, and America. Learn about art from the classical period to the present. The museum will truly be an enriching experience for people of all ages.
5. Mobile Bay
Take in the cultural center of the Gulf Coast for an experience as varied and vibrant as the Bay’s three hundred year history. Mobile Bay is home to Mardi Gras, Bayfest, music festivals, art shows, and culinary experiences. Also located conveniently close to historic neighborhoods and beautiful scenery.
6. Bellingrath Museum Home
This impressive fifteen room, 10,500 square foot home was built in 1935 by Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. The home features a beautiful, salvaged brick exterior and the ironwork was obtained from a demolished Mobile hotel. Beautiful terraces, combine with covered balconies, galleries, and a courtyard to give the home an authentic Gulf Coast feel. The home is now open for tours, and all of the Bellingrath’s original furnishings are on display. The kitchen still contains its original appliances, silver, and crystal.
7. Mobile Opera
Founded in 1945, visit one of the oldest performing arts organizations in the country. After relocating in 2002 to the downtown arts district, the Opera has been instrumental in the revitalization of the downtown area. Providing more than just music, the Mobile Opera continues to encourage young talent and provide productions key to education. In addition to the main stage, programs are also presented at schools and community venues throughout the region.
8. Mobile Mardi Gras
If you happen to be in Mobile at the right time of the year, usually January, you can’t miss the Mardi Gras events that transform the streets of downtown. Be sure to catch the parade filled with colorful floats, and live marching bands. Check out the City of Mobile’s website for parade information, times, and routes.
9. The Gulf Coast Explorium Science Center
If you’re looking for hands on fun for the whole family, the Science Center offers a Hands on Hall with over fifty different activities to spark your interest and make learning exciting. If your child is under five years old, the Wharf of Wonder is a must see. Your child will be able to climb aboard a ship and even do a bit of fishing.
10. History Museum of Mobile
Explore three hundred years of Mobile’s history at this exciting museum. Located in the beautiful 1857 National Landmark building. The building has long been the pride of Mobile. Once the mayor’s office and meeting place for city council, as well as the headquarters for the local militia, the building also served the function as the Southern Market of Mobile. The historic building itself is worth a see and the museum full of artifacts offers an unparalleled experience.
11. Saenger Theatre
If you enjoy the arts, be sure not to miss the historic Saenger Theatre. Home of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Lyric Theatre, the Sanger and Summer Movie Series, and other concerts, lectures, and special events, there is a wide variety of arts for all different tastes.
12. De Tonti Square
Located in downtown Mobile, the historic square features many historical buildings in a variety of different architectural styles. See the many brick houses which have a history extending back to the 1850’s. Original brick sidewalks and original gas lanterns still remain. Also be sure not to miss the Oakley Garden District, covering sixty blocks and home to mansions and cottages alike.
13. LoDA ArtWalk
Every second Friday of the month (except in February), downtown art galleries and studios welcome visitors inside to experience beautiful artwork, sample the culinary delights, and take in the sights and sounds of the LoDA Artwalk. Inspiring artists often have their work featured at participating galleries and other unique shopping is close by.
14. Spot of Tea
Located in the beautiful Lower Dauphin Street Commercial Historic District, the Spot of Tea has been a downtown fixture for over twenty years. Featuring a New Orleans Style Carriageway, a quaint sidewalk Café, and a beautiful crosswalk, the Landmark building Spot of Tea calls home was erected in 1836.
15. Space 301
If you’re looking for a unique art experience, don’t miss Space 301. Located in Cathedral Square, the gallery was converted from a warehouse into an 8000 sq. foot showcase for contemporary art.
16. Mobile Carnivale Park
Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Alabama, and other areas, for hundreds of years. Visit the Carnivale Park to see the museum that is dedicated to preserving the history of Mardi Gras. Learn how the celebration has grown through the years. Take in the fabulous displays of jewellery and awe inspiring gowns that were worn by the Queens of the carnival. Original Mardi Gras posters and other art are also on display.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Mobile during BayFest, it’s a must see! Alabama’s largest music festival, BayFest offers music for all tastes including: country, rock, alternative, classic rock, pop, jazz, rap, gospel, reggae and more. On average, over 50,000 people per day will flock to the streets of downtown Mobile to celebrate.
18. Eastern Shore Shopping Centre
A unique gathering space located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, the center features great shopping and a variety of dining options. Take in live music, relax in the community courtyard, or enjoy the beautiful dancing water fountain and splash park.
19. Mobile Medical Museum
Founded in 1962 by Patricia Paterson as a memorial to her father for his outstanding medical career, the museum started out as a collection of approximately 100 artifacts documents. In 2003 the historic Vincent/Doan house was renovated and the collection is now prominent displayed in the beautiful, historic building.
20. Mobile Convention Centre
Located hear the heart of downtown, the premier Convention Centre boasts a spectacular view of the water. Winner of numerous architectural awards, the center incorporates river walks and outdoor terraces to take full advantage of its beautiful location. If you end up at the Centre for a conference, take in the busy seaport.
21. Mobile Flea Market
A bargain hunter’s dream, the Mobile Flea Market is the largest flea market on the Gulf Coast. Shop for unique items and antique treasures from all over the world. From furniture to fresh produce, the market has something for everyone. The market is clean and well organized and features free parking and admission.
22. Mobile Civic Centre
Be sure to check the schedule for the Civic Centre. The impressive 400,000 square foot buildings boasts a varied and exciting lineup up of events. Anything from operas, ballet, musicals, performing arts, to sporting events, to conventions and trade shows, there is sure to be something for everyone.
23. University of South Alabama
Founded in 1963, this beautiful University offers a wide variety of educational program. Extending across 1200 acres, the campus features beautiful tress and green spaces as well as a 116,000 square foot recreational center, scenic trails, indoor and outdoor pools, and even a disc golf course. The University is also in close proximity to beaches along the Gulf Shore, making it a great place to attend, or visit.
24. Dauphin Street Beer Festival
If supporting and sampling the local brewer’s finest is an exciting concept for you, be sure to check out the Dauphin Street Beer Festival. Usually held in August, the sampling menu offers a wide variety of craft beers. Be sure to check ahead for times and tickets.
25. The Conde-Charlotte Museum House
Built in the 1840’s as Mobile’s first official jail, each room of the home is now decorated to reflect a time period. Be sure to take a walk through the boatful walled Spanish garden, laid out to reflect a period correct 18th century garden.