The fact that Mobile has the distinction of being Alabama’s oldest city means that there is plenty of history within its boundaries. Several products of that history include historical sites, structures and museums that preserve the city's heritage. They also happen to be on the list of some of the most essential attractions in Mobile, worth visiting not only for their significance but also because your visit will give you an even deeper appreciation for this charming southern city.
Get a sharp glimpse of what it was like to live in Richards DAR House Museum
. The structure is an eye-catching example of Mobile architecture in the 1800s. The house features an awe-inspiring cast-iron facade that portrays all four seasons with an incredible amount of detail. See the meticulously decorated rooms in this house on a guided tour that includes a cup of tea, as well.
Address: 256 North Joachim Street, Mobile, AL 36603 - MAP
Phone: (334) 208-7320
The fact that Mobile is located on the Mobile River means that the city has an inextricable link to the water. Nowhere is that more apparent than when you visit the marvelous attraction that is the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
. The Battleship USS Alabama and Submarine USS DRUM are two National Historic Landmarks that will capture your imagination the minute you step on board. You will also see 20 rare historic aircraft on display that you will definitely want to snap plenty of photos of. Don't forget to stop in to the ship's gift shop that features a generous selection of items such as t-shirts, models, and other souvenirs.
Address: 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, AL 36601 - MAP
Phone: (334) 433-2703
The Mobile Museum of Art
is the largest art museum along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Tampa, and that distinction is something that the staff at this impressive facility does not take lightly. They work hard to secure exhibits that not only represent the work of the talented artists from this part of the world, they also seamlessly present those works among the museum's 9,000 eye-catching pieces.
The artwork that is housed in this venue spans nearly two centuries of the area's culture and dramatically preserves its expression with each and every exhibit and art attraction.
Address: 4850 Museum Drive, Mobile, AL 36608 - MAP
Phone: (334) 343-2667
Visitors and nature lovers alike will marvel at the natural attractions that can be found in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
in nearby Gulf Shores. This sprawling 6,000-plus-acre wildlife refuge preserves the coastline's native flora and fauna as well as coyotes, foxes, American alligators and countless species of migratory birds. And in addition to those visually stunning inhabitants, you will also encounter some creatures that are a little out of the ordinary. These include the Alabama beach mouse which is on the endangered species list. You can also get even closer to all this natural beauty by hitting one of the many trails that allow you to explore the park at your own pace.
Address: 12295 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 - MAP
Phone: (251) 540-7720
Breathing in the salt air and feeling your toes in the sand as the sun warms your face are just part of the sensory experiences you'll enjoy when you visit Gulf Shores
. This is one of South Alabama's more popular attractions. The public beach features such amenities as a boardwalk, open-air pavilions and picnic areas. Gulf Shores Beach stretches out to include several access points along Highway 182 to include 13th, 6th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd Streets. An additional point of interest is Lagoon Park which is located at Lee Callaway Bridge that offers calm, shallow waters as well as restroom facilities and plenty of parking.
Address: AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 - MAP
Phone: (800) 745-7263
If you find yourself wandering around downtown Mobile, make sure to make your way to Spanish Plaza
. This scenic, oak-shaded plaza is one of downtown's most photographed attractions, and once you get closer to it, it is easy to see why. One end of the plaza features a classically-styled European inn with iron-faced railings called Malaga. The impressive artwork displayed here won't escape your eye either, as you will be amazed at the Arches of Friendship sculpture, the “Fish Monger” statue and fountain and a plaque that remembers Bernardo de Galvez, the first governor of the Louisiana Territory.
Address: Government Street and Hamilton Street, Mobile, AL 36604 - MAP
It doesn't matter if you are driving by or strolling past, you will definitely be struck by the incredible beauty of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
. This incredible church and architectural attraction was built in the first half of the 19th century. The structure's architectural style is Greek Revival, and this basilica is noteworthy for several reasons, not the least of which are the glorious stained glass windows, hand-carved stations of the cross, as well as the smooth-polished marble designs. And don't miss a chance to snap several photos of the cathedral's front facade as it offers an excellent photo opportunity for every visitor.
Address: 2 S Claiborne Street, Mobile, AL 36602 - MAP
Phone: (251) 434-1565
Step onto the historic ground that sits under Fort Gaines
. This storied point on Dauphin Island was built after the War of 1812 to better defend Alabama's port cities. Originally, construction on this fort began in 1821 but was beset with various problems that included the tides rushing into the work area that made progress on the structure highly challenging. Construction began again in earnest in 1850 after the location and building strategy was changed just in time to serve its purpose in the Civil War as it was a vital part of the Battle of Mobile Bay. When you visit this attraction, don't forget to stop in to the museum and gift shop.
Address: 51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528 - MAP
Phone: (251) 861-6992