Scenic Byway Takes Travelers off the Beaten Track

Young girl explores Fort Morgan

Go off the beaten track and travel one of the scenic byways that takes you through coastal Alabama. The Alabama Coastal Connection’s Scenic Byway invites you to experience the Gulf Coast and its treasures as you journey through the four unique itineraries.

Begin your two-day travels connecting with nature at the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea. Then, head over to the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary to watch and listen for our feathered friends. Next up is the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge that is home to the endangered Alabama Beach Mouse, as well as several hundred varieties of migratory birds and other flora and fauna. The beaches of the Refuge harken back to a time when Baldwin County’s piece of paradise remained virtually undiscovered.

Brilliant white-sand beaches framed by the turquoise-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer views on the drive along the beach. You’ll want to continue your journey up U.S. Highway 98 to the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. An Interpretive Center and pitcher plant bog boardwalk are part of the 6,000 acres in and around Mobile Bay and Weeks Bay.

World-famous Bellingrath Gardens is just one of the fun stops along the Connecting with the Land and the Sea byway. Get a taste of life in the recent past when agriculture played a larger role in the lives of locals who lived where the soil meets the sea. Love trains? Make sure to stop at the City of Foley Museum Archives and Model Train Exhibit. Love boats? The Bayou La Batre Harbor and Bayfront Park in Coden are two stops sure to make your day and tweak your interest.

Old Town Daphne, historic Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines invite the historically minded traveler to venture off the beaten path, take a moment and absorb the history that put the Alabama Gulf Coast in the books. Standing at Fort Morgan gives you the same view soldiers had when Admiral David Farragut uttered his famous words, “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead,” during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Tour Shell Mound Park and Dauphin Island to get the full flavor of the area’s rich military history. For more information, check the Connecting with the Past byway.

What better way to enjoy your time on the Alabama Gulf Coast than to Connect with Each Other? There’s no set path to travel, just suggestions for activities including charter boat fishing, geo-caching and getting lost in your discoveries. Don’t forget to try one of the best parts of our coast by going out for a Taste of the Town.

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