Mobile, Alabama is situated along the Gulf of Mexico. While your thoughts might drift to the white sand beaches that line the Alabama beaches, you won’t find a beach in Mobile.
Mobile is right at 55 miles from Gulf Shores Alabama, so it is perfect distance to be a day trip from the beach to explore a new city or a stand alone vacation.
Did you know that Mobile is the original home of Mardi Gras? It’s true! The city of Mobile, which was founded in 1702 by French settlers, lays claim to being the city that first observed the event. We learned while we were in town that the Mobile Mardi Gras celebration is much more family friendly and very little crime happens during Mardi Gras.
Did you know that Mobile is the rainiest city in America? It’s true. While Seattle might have more days of rain, Mobile has the most precipitation each year.
Mobile is a very ‘walkable city’ meaning if you choose a hotel with a good location (like the one we stayed in) you can walk to most of the restaurants and things to do in the city.
It is important to note, that for whatever reason a lot of the attractions are closed on Mondays which is important to know for planning purposes.
Places to Eat in Mobile:
Don’t skip this place, seriously. Our family found ourselves here 2 times while we were in town, and we tried for a 3rd time. The name for sure represents what they serve. They are beignets all the time. We loved that they had a mini beignet order rather than the larger sized ones. Also, if you are in town when they have their seasonal sauces, specifically the raspberry, make sure you get it!
The food hall movement is coming back in a very big way around the country and Mobile is no exception. This set up worked incredibly well for my family, because as you know with kids, it is hard to make everyone happy at one restaurant. Everyone had their choice of a wide variety of things. I ended up with a life changing sushi burrito, my husband and son, had Mexican, and my oldest had chicken tenders. My oldest son remarked after we left that if we lived in Mobile, he thought we’d end up there for meals often, because it is very easy to make everyone happy.
Bob’s Diner is the quintessential greasy spoon diner and I loved every second of it. It was clear who were the regulars, because as soon as they came in the door, their usual order was started and
Squid Ink was the type of restaurant that worked well for our family for dinner but it would work equally as well for a date night spot.
We went during the week, but it is the type of spot that because of the eclectic vibe and cool atmosphere that if you don’t go early or grab reservations, you might just find yourself waiting for a while. And even if you do have to wait, it would be totally worth it!
Where to Stay:
The Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel was absolutely perfect for my family. Our room overlooked port, and my kids (and I!) loved looking out the window to checkout all the various happenings on the port. There were huge military ships being worked on, the port is also the home port for a Carnival Cruise Ship. So often when we travel and are in hotels my kids (especially when they were younger) found themselves in trouble bouncing off the walls while mom and dad were just needing a moment or two of downtime. So, the location (and the views!) made it fantastic for our family!
The hotel has 2 onsite food options, a casual coffee shop type place and a restaurant right off the lobby that serves breakfast lunch and dinner.
There is a pool that is on the roof, which was a highlight for my kids, and the workout room overlooked the pool area so if you felt comfortable letting your kids swim while getting some work done on the elliptical or the treadmill, it is entirely possible.
What to do:
Plan to spend at least half of the day here! The USS Alabama is so much more than just a restored battleship. There is an aircraft hanger to explore, tanks and artillery scattered around the property and the USS Drum (a restored submarine)
As a momma, I was looking around thinking about how I would feel if I had little kids with me. Real talk, there were a lot of tight spaces and super steep staircases. That being said I saw a lot of smaller kids with their families. I would take that piece of information and tuck it away for decision making purposes.
The Mobile Carnival Museum is filled to the brim with the elaborate costumes that are used during the various Mardi Gras celebrations that have happened through the years. The museum is self guided and there is a phone guide that you can call in and listen to the information about each exhibit as you approach it.
This museum can take as much time as you’d like for it to. With a teenage boy and a preteen boy we breezed through it pretty quickly. I, on the other hand could have stayed and looked at all the intricate details of the costumes for hours and hours.
Due to the status of Mobile being the rainiest city in America, we didn’t get a chance to experience this tour, but I’d be remiss to leave out that there are other options for fun in Mobile.
They have a wide variety of airboat tours and if you haven’t had the chance to take an airboat ride, you are missing out!
Again, because of our timing on the trip and the days of operation, we weren’t able to visit, which was a real bummer because the place looks to be amazing.
In addition to Flight Works being the Airbus manufacturing facility in the US, there is a drone fly zone, VR area, cockpit simulator just to name a few of the 40 exhibits that they have there.
Just make sure you are in town on a day that they are open!
Have to visited Mobile, Alabama before? What was your favorite experience?