7 ways to enjoy Alabama’s stunning waterways, from Mobile Bay to the Gulf

Photo Of Mobile Skyline From Battleship Park
View of Mobile skyline from USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz

Here in the Port City, we’ve got water everywhere! There’s the Mobile Bay–and its entire Mobile Bay River System, the Gulf of Mexico, and even man-made lakes and rivers to prevent flooding.

If you want fun in the sun near the water, Mobile’s your place. Here’s a few ideas to get your next trip started.

1. The Beach

What would a guide to Mobile’s water be without a mention of the gorgeous beaches? If it’s your first time in Mobile, you need to check out Dauphin Island.

Sand &Amp; Shore At Dauphin Island.
Photo of sand and sea at Dauphin Island. Photo courtesy of DauphinIsland.org

Located about 30 miles outside of Mobile, Dauphin Island is a quaint little island full of history. Glittering white sands and a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico make Dauphin Island a must-see on any Mobile vacation.

Part of the reason this beach is so beautiful is due to the Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board. Founded in 1954, the board manages maintenance and recreation on the island–keeping it a clean and enjoyable place for all who visit.

For you history buffs out there, Dauphin Island has something for you too. On the island is Fort Gaines, a confederate fort built before the Civil War. You can take a guided tour of the fort, led by a guide in a Confederate uniform. Highlights of the tour include a real cannon-firing and a blacksmithing demonstration.

Whether for history or for beach-front relaxation, Dauphin Island is your one-stop-vacation-spot.

2. Waterfront Dining

Don’t have time for a full beach stay? Looking for somewhere to eat while on a beach stay? Mobile has tons of options for waterfront dining experience.

View From Dauphins
View from Dauphin’s restaurant. Photo via Mobile.org.

On the top floor of the Trustmark Bank Building in downtown Mobile, Dauphin’s is truly a luxury eating experience. Floor-to-ceiling windows give a spectacular view of the Mobile Bay during your meal. Dauphin’s serves local favorites, namely fresh seafood with a creole twist. Dauphin’s is a rather opulent setting with its white table cloths and dim lighting to let the view speak for itself.

Bluegill Restaurant

A more casual dining experience, Bluegill Restaurant is located on Battleship Parkway in Spanish Fort along the Causeway. The restaurant was founded in 1958 and has remained a local and tourist favorite since. Bluegill prides themselves on the somewhat dive-y atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home. Enjoy all kinds of beach-trip favorites like fried fish po-boys, oysters, and crab legs.

3. On-the-Water Dining

If you find that waterfront dining isn’t enough water for you, check out the Perdido Queen Cruises downtown.

Perdido Queen Cruise Boat
Perdido Queen dining cruise boat. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz.

You can take your pick of experience with these cruises. They offer dinner packages, jazz brunches, and even murder mystery dinners. Enjoy cruising the Mobile Bay and watching other boats and sea life pass you by, all while enjoying a wonderful meal.

4. Camping

Now I know what you’re thinking, who goes to the beach to go camping? Mobilians do! There are camp sites at Dauphin Island, but the best camping spot is at Gulf State Park.

Camping Chairs In Front Of Bonfire Near Pickup Truck
Photo via Unsplash by The Digital Marketing Collaboration.

Gulf State Park is over two miles of white sands and glittering Gulf with tons more to offer. For those who aren’t experienced in camping (or those who don’t want to be at the mercy of Mobile’s weather), there are cabins available for rental on the property. For those who like more primitive camping, check out the traditional camping spots. There’s also an RV lot and bathrooms available. The park is pet-friendly too, even having a designated water area for dogs to splash around in.

Be sure to check out Gulf State Park for your next relaxing outdoor adventure.

5. USS Alabama Memorial Park

Uss Alabama With Tank In Foreground.
USS Alabama. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz.

Mobile is rich in military history and the hub of that is the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. The USS Alabama is, obviously, the crown jewel of the park. Used during WWII, the USS Alabama was retired in the Mobile Bay and set up as a museum. The museum honors all branches of the US military and has a very unique setup, with some portions of the museum being in the ship itself.

Wwii Memorial At Battleship Memorial Park.
WWII Memorial at Battleship Memorial Park. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz.

On the grounds around the ship, you’ll find remnants from wars-won. Tanks and other artillery equipment remain permanently parked on the grounds as historic installations. Grounded, vintage planes dot the landscape when you pull into the park.

6. GulfQuest: National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico

Gulfquest From S. Water Street.
GulfQuest museum view from S Water Street. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz

Mobile is known for her rain, so here’s an all-weather idea for enjoying the waterways. GulfQuest is a huge maritime museum featuring over 90 interactive exhibits. This isn’t your average museum, either. Multiple immersive theaters, a ship simulation, and observation decks over the Bay make this a fun stop for everyone of any age.

7. Cooper Riverside Park

Mobile Civic Center Downtown.
View of Mobile Civic Center from the entrance to Cooper Riverside Park. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Cooper Riverside Park. This is a completely waterfront park with spectacular views of shipping vessels entering and exiting the ports in the Port City. Located relatively central to the rest of downtown (and directly next to the Mobile Civic Center), Cooper Riverside Park makes for a perfect picnic-spot or break in the shade from a day of exploring the city. Be sure to check out art installations and fountains around the park.

Entrance Gate At Cooper Riverside Park.
Cooper Riverside Park entrance. Photo by Liv George for The Bama Buzz.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy the water? Tag us @thebamabuzz to let us know!

Liv George
Liv George
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