USS Alabama Battleship

Spend a Day Off the Beach in Historic Downtown Mobile

Take a two-hour road trip for a day filled with history, science and exquisite cuisine.

While our sugar-white sand beaches can be hard to tear yourself away from, it’s nice to get a break from the sun every now and again. We suggest taking a short drive to nearby Mobile to explore their museums, award-winning restaurants and other offerings. 

Scroll down to read about our favorite things to do in historic downtown Mobile.

Mobile Carnival Museum in Mobile, AL

Museums and Attractions

Mobile Carnival Museum

Did you know that Mobile is the original home of Mardi Gras? Discover the unique history of the Gulf Coast’s favorite holiday at the Mobile Carnival Museum. Here you’ll discover photographs that date back to 1866, majestic crowns and dresses of past queens of Carnival. And, for the kids, they have a Mardi Gras float and costumes so they can experience what it’s like to be ‘behind the mask.’  

History Museum of Mobile

The city of Mobile is home to a vibrant history that’s on full display at the History Museum of Mobile. Located in the 1857 Old City Hall National Historic Landmark, the museum houses more than 90,000 artifacts, including a baseball signed by the legendary Hank Aaron and a cannon from the CSS Alabama. The museum offers several permanent exhibits as well as special exhibits that rotate throughout the year.

GulfQuest Maritime Museum

GulfQuest Maritime Museum

GulfQuest is the world’s first museum dedicated to the rich maritime traditions found on the Gulf Coast. The interactive museum has nearly 100 exhibits, simulators, theaters and displays. With plenty of hands-on experiences, this is a fantastic place to bring the kids to help them understand and appreciate the national treasure that is the Gulf of Mexico.

Exploreum Science Center

Voted one of Alabama’s top attractions, the Exploreum Science Center offers something for visitors of all ages. The center boasts more than 150 interactive exhibits, educational IMAX films and hands-on programming for school groups and families. If your family is all about science, this is the spot for you!

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

There is much to experience at Battleship Memorial Park. Located on the Causeway, the roadway leading to downtown Mobile, the park is a testament of honor and respect for all of those who have served in the United States military. Visitors can explore the USS Alabama (a WWII battleship), the USS Drum submarine, more than 25 military aircraft and several war memorials. 

Local Eateries

Just like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Mobile is home to a fantastic array of restaurants. Below are our top three eateries in the downtown area.

Squid Ink Eclectic Eats & Drinks

Squid Ink is a gastropub in downtown Mobile that serves up a variety of unique eats. From fried calamari and seafood pasta to bahn mi and Mobile’s take on hot chicken, their menu truly offers something for everyone. Fun fact: the folks at Squid Ink are the same folks behind Peace, Love & Taco, a new and already widely-popular taco stand in Gulf Shores.

Callaghan’s Irish Social Club

What do the Alabama Shakes, BLTs, St. Paul & the Broken Bones and burgers all have in common? They have all been brought to the Mobile area by Callaghan’s Irish Social Club. This pub is located in one of the most historic neighborhoods in Mobile. Their menu includes burgers, reubens, shrimp po’boys and more. And their stage has been graced by some of the country’s most renowned bands before they became famous. If you’re a lover of all things music…this is the restaurant for you.

Dauphin’s

If you want dinner or lunch with a view, look no further than Dauphin’s. Sitting on the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building in downtown Mobile, the restaurant offers panoramic views of Mobile Bay and the downtown area. French Creole flavors influence their menu, meaning you’ll find everything from gumbo and shrimp and grits to pecan-crusted trout.

Bellingrath Gardens & Home

Other Things to Do

Bellingrath Gardens and Home

In nearby Theodore, Ala., a 65-acre garden offers a variety of blooms and an immense amount of beauty no matter what day or season you choose to visit. The gardens and grounds include the 1935 home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. Visitors can tour the home to learn more about the gardens and the family that created them. Bellingrath Gardens & Home is a perfect stop for floral fanatics, nature lovers and history buffs alike.

Dauphin Island

If you’d prefer a shorter day trip to Mobile, consider hopping aboard the Mobile Bay Ferry to spend the day on Dauphin Island. Departing Fort Morgan at varying times throughout the day, your family can drive onto the ferry to enjoy one of the destination’s most scenic commutes. Then, once you’re on the island, there is much to be explored including Fort Gaines, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and The Estuarium at The Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

For more day trip ideas, check out this blog on the Alabama Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, your gateway to the Gulf Coast.

START PLANNING YOUR GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH VACATION

Share This