Once known as “The Paris of the South,” Mobile
was (surprise!) the original birthplace of Mardi Gras. Its splendid downtown effortlessly melds 300-year old history with modern energy, a melting pot that embraces all visitors. Bellingrath Gardens and Home
is a beloved 65-acre ode to South floral pageantry, and is especially showy in the spring. Collectively known as “America’s Amazon,” the five rivers that flow into Mobile Bay afford unsurpassed opportunities for recreation. The Alabama Delta Resources Center
will orient you to the marvels of this area. Alabama’s Coastal Connection
links the quaint and quirky towns characterized by a generations-deep lifestyle of beaches, bayous, lagoons, and the “Big Water” of the Gulf of Mexico. Historic Fort Morgan
, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, has protected these shores since the early 1800s; the Milky Way is often visible at the end of the peninsula near the ferry.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
(French for “safe harbor”) has multiple ecosystems: sand dunes, salt and freshwater marshes, scrub forests, fresh water swamps and uplands. Dubbed the “Sunset Capital of Alabama,” Dauphin Island
hosts the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and the Sea Lab. Straddling the line with Florida, the Flora-Bama
is the most sung about beach bar in the world and home of the boozy Bushwacker “milkshake.” The powder fine, white-sand beaches of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores literally squeak beneath your feet here in the “Redneck Riviera.” The picturesque Uutopian-founded colony of Fairhope is the place to stroll the pier, shop local, dine and browse books at Page & Palette
. Perched right on the bay, The American League Post
199 doubles as the town’s living room, hosting many family-friendly events. Every day just before 4 p.m., the Grand Hotel
—established in 1847—in Point Clear, salutes its military with a patriotic procession and Civil War Cannon firing.
Where to Stay:
Popular year-round, RVers must book in advance. Historic Blakley State Park
offers secluded pull-thru sites, and a launch from which to traverse “America’s Amazon,” the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. Other excellent options are Gulf Shores’ Island Retreat RV Park
, and Gulf State Park
with nearly 500 full hookup, paved pads.