Spotlight on Mobile County: Culture & Recreation

Fort of Colonial Mobile. Photo courtesy of Visit Mobile.

Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail

History comes alive with tours that highlight the city’s culturally diverse heritage by linking historic contributions and events with significant locations. It includes information on the early Creoles de Color; African survivors from the Clotilda, the last slave ship to enter the U.S. in 1860; the Civil Rights Movement and much more. 

Africatown Museum

The first major tourism attraction connected to the 2019 discovery of the Clotilda is under construction in Mobile. The Africatown Heritage House will feature exhibit space honoring the Africatown community inhabited by African slaves who survived the voyage. The building should be finished in July.  


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GulfQuest, the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico, is the first museum dedicated to the Gulf Coast’s rich maritime traditions. Several floors offer lots of interactive exhibits, and the entire museum is built like a full-size container ship. It’s located on the city’s popular downtown waterfront.

Mardi Gras

Mobile hosts the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras, with weeks of parades featuring marching bands, floats and much more. Visitors can catch beads, Moon Pies or doubloons from the passing floats. The city also celebrates Joe Cain Day, which honors the man who reinitiated the celebrations after the Civil War.

 Mobile Carnival Museum

This amazing museum, housed in a historic home, is loaded with tiaras, scepters, floats, jeweled robes and much more. Learn all about Mardi Gras in this historic city, its krewes and why it is so popular.

History Museum of Mobile

Mobile has a storied history, and this museum answers the question of how the city became one of the most influential cities along the Gulf Coast over the last several hundred years. The museum is housed in a building that once was the city’s town hall and market. 

Mobile Museum of Art

This museum in Langan Park is the largest art museum along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Tampa. It houses a permanent collection with more than 10,000 works of art spanning more than 2,000 years of culture, and also has traveling and regional art exhibits.

Mobile Botanical Gardens

The gardens, founded in 1974, are located on Museum Drive in the Spring Hill community in Mobile. They feature more than 100 acres of cultivated plant collections and woodland trails.

Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Fort of Colonial Mobile

Fort Conde was built to protect French citizens against attack from the Spanish or British. Now the fort, with a history that dates back to 1723, welcomes visitors to the city and offers modern adventures, such as an escape room.

Alabama Contemporary Art Center

This non-profit art center, founded in 1999, is located on Cathedral Square in the heart of the city’s historic downtown district.

Five Rivers Delta Center

Five Rivers is located where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers join to create Mobile Bay. The center offers recreation, conservation, education programs and land stewardship.

 Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Mobile’s estuary system is highlighted with exciting visual displays and fun interactive exhibits.

Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Bellingrath, in south Mobile County, is a 65-acre Southern estate garden that attracts 125,000 visitors each year. Designed by famed architect George Rogers more than 80 years ago, the home has 15 rooms and is 10,500 square-feet. The gardens and home feature seasonal special events, too. 

Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center & IMAX Theater

This hands-on science and family fun museum, offering exhibits, interactive labs, virtual theater and an IMAX Dome Theater, is located near the waterfront downtown.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

This historical park includes the Battleship USS Alabama and Submarine USS Drum, historic aircraft and more.

FlightWorks Alabama

Interactive displays let visitors experience the adventure of flight — virtually flying an Airbus jet around Mobile, taking a spacewalk, designing an aircraft and more.

Historic Oakleigh Complex

Belles in gloves and gowns lead visitors through this 1833 home in the Oakleigh Garden District. This site also includes a working-class cottage and archives.

Richards DAR House Museum

This Italianate-style 1860 home is furnished in styles that represent a cross-section of Mobile history. 

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

This Greek Revival home was built in 1855 and is 13,000 square feet. It was built by Judge John Bragg’s family and later owned by the A.S. Mitchell family. The home was donated to the Explore Center by the Mitchell Foundation in the late 1970s. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, offers tours and is an event venue.

 Conde-Charlotte Museum

This museum began as Mobile’s first courthouse and jail. It eventually became the home of the Kirkbride family and is now a historic house museum with period furnishings and antiques which reflect Mobile’s history under five flags — French, English, Spanish, Confederate and American.

 Fort Gaines

The historic fort on Dauphin Island has stood guard at the mouth of Mobile Bay since 1821.

Chickasabogue Park

This 1,100-acre park offers a place to enjoy the wetland area, see native plants and wildlife and go for a swim.

Dauphin Island West End Park

This stretch of barrier island offers just enough development to make access pleasant. It was heavily damaged by 2020 storms but city officials are working to get it repaired and reopened.  

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Magnolia Grove

Part of the statewide RTJ Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove has consistently ranked high among golfers from all over. This public course includes creeks, marshland and lakes, with a hardwood and pine forest.

Senior Bowl

This exciting game features the country’s best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams that represent the north and south, led by NFL coaches.

LendingTree Bowl

This bowl is held each year at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and features teams from the Sun Belt Conference and the Mid-American Conference and is televised nationally.

WildNative Tours

WildNative Tours offer outdoor adventures from kayaking to boat tours to help enjoy the coastal wilderness.

Secret History Tours

Learn even more about Mobile’s history with one of these tours that go behind the scenes. There’s even a tour in a haunted historic neighborhood.

Bienville Bites Food Tour

Enjoy the city’s best food and drink in one experience with one of several guided, walking food tours through the city’s historic streets. Learn some unique history, too

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