Breaking News Bar
posted: 3/14/2014 5:30 AM

Mobile, Ala.: 5 free things for visitors

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Children play in a park near the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Ala. The church is among the free attractions in Mobile.

      Children play in a park near the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Ala. The church is among the free attractions in Mobile.
    Associated Press

  • Pelicans are perched atop a piling in Mobile Bay at Mobile, Ala. While it doesn't get the attention of New Orleans, Mobile has plenty of Southern charm and many free attractions, like fishing or kayaking in the bay.

      Pelicans are perched atop a piling in Mobile Bay at Mobile, Ala. While it doesn't get the attention of New Orleans, Mobile has plenty of Southern charm and many free attractions, like fishing or kayaking in the bay.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • Fort Conde, Mobile's welcome center, is a redbrick re-creation of the French fort that protected Mobile for a century until 1820, when the original was demolished to clear land. Exhibits at the free attraction explore life in colonial Mobile and include artifacts from Indians and early European settlers.

      Fort Conde, Mobile's welcome center, is a redbrick re-creation of the French fort that protected Mobile for a century until 1820, when the original was demolished to clear land. Exhibits at the free attraction explore life in colonial Mobile and include artifacts from Indians and early European settlers.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/MOBILE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

  • The Oakleigh historic district of Mobile, Ala., features scores of majestic homes dating to the 1800s and early 1900s.

      The Oakleigh historic district of Mobile, Ala., features scores of majestic homes dating to the 1800s and early 1900s.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS/MOBILE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

  • Mobile's downtown streets are lined with homes and businesses decorated with the picturesque lacy-patterned ironwork.

      Mobile's downtown streets are lined with homes and businesses decorated with the picturesque lacy-patterned ironwork.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • A tourist walks in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Ala. The church is among the free attractions in Mobile.

      A tourist walks in the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Ala. The church is among the free attractions in Mobile.
    Associated Press

  • Shrimp boats float beside docks in Bayou La Batre, Ala. The seafood village made famous by the movie "Forrest Gump" is less than 30 miles from Mobile, Ala., and is a scenic free stop for area visitors.

      Shrimp boats float beside docks in Bayou La Batre, Ala. The seafood village made famous by the movie "Forrest Gump" is less than 30 miles from Mobile, Ala., and is a scenic free stop for area visitors.
    Associated Press File Photo

 
By Jay Reeves, Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. -- Mobile is that "other" city on the northern Gulf Coast, the one that sometimes gets lost between the beaches of the Florida Panhandle and the nonstop party of New Orleans. Local promoters call it "secretly awesome."

No, Mobile doesn't draw millions of tourists annually. But the bayside town drips with Old South charm and has plenty of things to do, some of the best of which don't cost a dime.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

With a quaint downtown that's situated on Mobile Bay and framed by huge oak trees with gnarly branches, Mobile and the surrounding area offer visitors a variety of free activities.

Fort Conde

The city's welcome center, Fort Conde is a redbrick re-creation of the French fort that protected Mobile for a century until 1820, when the original was demolished to clear land. Exhibits explore life in colonial Mobile and include artifacts from Indians and early European settlers who shaped the area.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Consecrated in 1850 before the Civil War, the basilica is the home of the oldest Roman Catholic parish on the Gulf Coast. With twin bell towers, stained-glass windows, a vaulted ceiling and columns adorned with gold leaf, the church fronts Cathedral Plaza, a shady spot for an afternoon rest along Dauphin Street, Mobile's low-key answer to Bourbon Street.

Downtown streets are lined with homes and businesses with balconies and fences made of lacy-patterned ironwork.

Mobile Bay

Fish for flounder. Cast a net for mullet. Kayak in the marshes. Watch pelicans glide over the water. Sit on a park bench while a 1,000-foot-long freighter glides past. Stroll past waterfront mansions in nearby Fairhope. Gawk at the USS Alabama, a World War II battleship. Mobile Bay is 32 miles long and empties directly into the Gulf of Mexico.

Oakleigh garden district

One of seven nationally recognized historic areas in Mobile, the Oakleigh district is within walking distance of downtown hotels and features scores of homes dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. Neighbors mingle on shady front porches and stroll along sidewalks cracked by the roots of huge live oaks and magnolia trees.

Bayou La Batre

Less than 30 miles from downtown Mobile, Bayou La Batre is mentioned in the movie "Forrest Gump" as the hometown of character "Bubba" Blue. In real life, the town of 2,600 is a major seafood processing center. It's also a photographer's dream with a drawbridge, small boatyards and a large fleet of colorful shrimping trawlers.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here