Mobile, Alabama is dripping with Southern history, culture, food, and natural beauty. It is a perfect spot to plan a long weekend, and to get the low down on the best places to spend your time I went to an expert—my friend and Mobile native Lara Walker. When I experience a new town I love to get the local take on the place because they know all of the hot spots with local flair.
When visiting Mobile you’ll want to enjoy the Southern History that adds so much character to the town. And what better way to do that than by making your home base one of the historic hotels in town. Two suggestions are the Battle House Hotel and the Malaga Inn.
The current Battle House Hotel was built in 1908 following a fire that destroyed the original 1852 hotel on the site. The original was on the site of Andrew Jackson’s military headquarters during the War of 1812. The 1852 Hotel played host to Stephen Douglas the night he lost the Presidency to Abraham Lincoln, and many other notable guests. The current hotel is part of Marriott’s Renaissance collection, so you will have luxury and history during your stay.
The Malaga Inn is a boutique hotel in downtown Mobile where today’s guests receive individual attention. The Inn dates back to 1862 as two Townhomes built side by side by brothers. 100 years later in the 1960s, the property began its transformation into the Inn it is today. The Malaga Inn has all of the character and charm you would expect for Mobile, Alabama.
While you are downtown there are plenty of sightseeing activities for you to take part in. These will introduce you to Alabama history and culture, and add in some fun as well.
The USS Alabama battleship is anchored in Mobile Bay. Alongside it is the USS Drum, a WWII submarine. The park also includes an Aircraft Pavilion with historic aircraft, and tanks and artillery.
The History Museum of Mobile features permanent exhibits on the history of Mobile from Native Americans to present day with galleries focusing on certain topics. Changing exhibits also rotate through the museum.
Conde-Charlotte Museum is a stately house museum that features various eras of Mobile history in its rooms. The Museum also offers Children’s activities.
The Fort of Mobile: Fort Conde guarded Mobile from 1723-1820. It was originally built by the French to guard the town against British and Spanish attackers because of Mobile’s strategic location on the Bay. The current fort was rebuilt on the site in 1976 for the US Bicentennial to 4/5 scale. Exploring the Fort is a fun activity.
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is a great place if you have kids with you for the weekend. The interactive exhibits combine learning with fun for an experience the whole family will enjoy.
Mobile Carnival Museum boasts the tagline “Discover the Birthplace of Mardi Gras Mobile, Alabama.” This museum displays the artistry of Mardi Gras with the elaborate costumes, scepters, floats, and crowns, along with presenting the interesting cultural history behind the Carnival celebrations. And of course, if you find yourself in Mobile during Mardi Gras all the better!
Five Rivers Delta Resource Center stand where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee, and Blakeley Rivers flow into Mobile Bay. There is an exhibit hall to learn about the rich natural resources here, a learning center, along with boat tours and canoe/kayak rentals. To get a taste of natural Mobile this is the place to visit.
After all of that touring, you’ve probably worked up a hunger. If you want to go where the locals go you will want to find Bob’s Downtown Restaurant or The Dew Drop Inn. Bob’s Downtown is scratch made “Good Old Americana Cooking,” but with very creative ingredients. You have to stop here for Breakfast or Lunch though, no dinner. The Dew Drop Inn is a nostalgic place for hot dogs with lots of options, Po Boys, and seafood.
If you prefer dinner with a view, Mobile Bay is pretty spectacular. Dauphin’s offers upscale dining with panoramic views form the 34th floor. The Original Oyster House offers Southern Seafood on the Causeway overlooking Mobile Bay for a more casual option. Felix’s Fish Camp is another great option for fresh Gulf Seafood and steaks.
If you’re just looking for a quick snack 3 George’s Candy Shop and Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream make fun stops during your touring.
To get outside the city of Mobile check out Dauphin Island, known as the Sunset Capital of Alabama. West End Beach is a great location during the summer months and shows movies on the beach, and it is one of the public beach options on the Island. Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan offer exploration for history buffs. For Nature enthusiasts, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and The Estuarium are great options. The Estuarium features exhibits on the Coastal habitats of Alabama, and has some hands-on experiences. The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is a protected area where you can explore and find many species of birds native to Coastal Alabama. You’ll find a maritime forest, dunes, and marshes.
You can find great food on Dauphin Island too, Pirates Bar and Grill has a water view with a fun environment. Great eats feature local Gulf Seafood, Burgers, and other scratch-made Southern Favorites.
These are just a few ideas of fun ways to spend a weekend in Mobile, Alabama. What are your favorite local places?