Mobile is a city on the move. This manufacturing hub with a luxury port, three railroads and the intersection of two national interstate highways, is also home to wonderful food, rich history and the great outdoors. In a town that sometimes gets hot but never gets cold, everything here is year-round.
hunting and fishing to golf courses and more, Mobile is more than meets the eye.
Mobile Carnival Museum
With more than 35 parades last year during their annual Mardi Gras celebration and more than 80 mystic societies, Mardi Gras runs deep in Mobile. To learn more about this centuries-old tradition we stopped by the Mobile Carnival Museum. In 1703, the first Mardi Gras parade in the US was held in Mobile. Then, in 1830, the first krewe formed when a group of intoxicated men broke into a hardware store stealing cowbells, rakes and shovels; the krewe dubbed themselves the Cowbellians. This group was so exclusive, however, that not even their own sons were allowed to join. The sons took it upon themselves to create their own krewe and called themselves the Striker Independent Society. This society is now the oldest mystic society in the United States. In the early days, members of these mystic societies kept their identities under wrap; they disguised themselves to let loose and have a good time. Today, Mardi Gras has become so popular that the largest night parade sees 85-90,000 people in one Saturday. To learn more, visit mobilecarnivalmuseum.com.
The Saenger Theatre was built in 1927 as a vaudeville house. Today, it is home to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and hosts events 120-150 days out of the year. After extensive renovations, it is now the jewel of downtown Mobile and helped to revitalize the downtown area. The mayor saw great potential in the Saenger and the city bought it in 1999. Now, three hotels have grown to seven or eight and conventioneers have much more to do. To learn more, visit mobilesaenger.com.
This former church has since been renovated and now serves as a stunning event space. The Steeple boasts 10,000 square feet of event space inside the former St. Francis Methodist Church (dating back more than a century). This concert and rental venue has room for 500 seated and 700 standing. To learn more, visit thesteeplemobile.com.
Make a splash with a duck tour! This half car, half boat will give you an up close and personal guided tour of the city. Enjoy the scenery as you drive down city streets and eventually right into the water! Three splashes and you’re floating. You’ll also get to motor right beside the USS Alabama which is stationed at The Fort of Colonial Mobile where the duck tour departs. To learn more, visit gulfcoastducks.com.
Gulf Quest Museum
This interactive maritime museum can be found right alongside the water and is shaped like a boat! Start your tour with their movie to learn about the cultural melting pot that is Mobile. Most guests spend an average of 1.5 hours here exploring the exhibits which celebrate Alabama and it’s 200 years. To learn more, visit gulfquest.org.
5 Rivers Delta Center
You’ll find the 5 Rivers Delta Center located on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. Take a boat ride with the Wild Native Crew, rent a floating campsite in the upper delta or canoe along the Perdido River Canoe Trail; here the opportunity for outdoor adventure is endless. Alabama ranks 5th highest in biodiversity in the United States and the delta boasts more than 4,500 species and 130,000 acres of public land. They are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel
Located in the heart of downtown Mobile, the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel offers a plethora of amenities and beautiful views of the bay. Let this be your homebase while exploring all that Mobile has to offer. Conventioneers have easy access to the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center or groups can choose to use the venue space at the hotel for their own event. To learn more, visit marriot.com/hotels/travel/mobrv-renaissance-mobile-riverview-plaza-hotel/.
Callaghan’s Irish Social Club
Callaghan’s Irish Social Club has been in Mobile for more than 70 years. The current owner, who grew up in Mobile, has been there for 14 years and could not be happier to be doing what he does. Named the best bar in the South, Callaghan’s has won all sorts of awards. Looking for a burger? USA Today claims they have the best in Alabama! Music? They’ve got that too. Mobile Bay Monthly voted them the best music venue. To learn more, visit callaghansirishsocialclub.com.
Owner and former NFL player, Bob Baumhower, opened Dauphins as a means of showing off Mobile; with a 365-degree view of downtown from the restaurant atop the Trustmark Building, he does just that. For dinner we had the pork belly, Mobile Bay stew, shrimp, crab cakes, oysters and fried green tomatoes! Dauphin’s French-creole cuisine does not disappoint. To learn more, visit godauphins.com.
Spot of Tea in Historic Downtown Mobile—this landmark building 1:30 p.m. was erected in 1836. Ruby and her son Tony opened the Spot of Tea in 1994, and have expanded eight times over their 20 year history. The chicken salad is not to be missed! For more information: www.spotoftea.net.
BLUEGILL—“Have Fun on the Causeway” at the mecca of seafood dining forover sixty years. When you combine fresh local seafood, live music, a casual atmosphere and cold beer you get "the Great Local Dive" that has been an authentic piece of Causeway history since 1958. To learn more about Mobile, visit mobile.org.