With its historic homes, quaint shopfronts and country-style living, there’s a lot of southern charm in the city of Mobile, Alabama.
Don’t be too quick to judge a book by its cover, however, because there’s a lot more to the city than what meets the eye.
For example, did you know that Mobile is the original birthplace of Mardis Gras?
Did you know that it’s still celebrated locally with fun, festive events that include everything from parades to drag shows?
Other activities include shopping, dining, drinking, sightseeing and more.
You can put on a fancy dress and visit the opera; you can put on your hiking boots and go camping in the wilderness.
This city has it all.
Let’s talk about some of the most epic things to do in Mobile, Alabama.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, it can be a good starting point to help you realize just how dynamic and vibrant life is in Mobile!
1. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is one of the biggest sightseeing destinations in Mobile.
While it’s named after its signature battleship, it also offers many military- and history-related tourist attractions, including a WWII-era submarine.
Other attractions include tanks, bombers, missiles, fighter planes and a wide range of military memorabilia such as the iconic 1950s “skysweeper” guns.
Some of the war machines have exciting stories behind them, including the planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.
To get the fullest experience at the museum, take a tour of the grounds or explore their many interactive exhibits.
The grassy park also plays host to a number of local community events, so if you schedule your trip right, you can catch a concert, blood drive, sports event or holiday festival.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling to Mobile this weekend or next summer.
There’s always something fun to see at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park!
Address: 2703 Battleship Pkwy, Mobile, AL 36603, United States
2. Mobile Museum of Art
If you’re looking for culture, the Mobile Museum of Art is one of the best things to do in Mobile.
It houses more than 6,000 permanent works while also playing host to a number of traveling and rotating exhibits.
Its oldest pieces date back thousands of years!
What can you see at the museum?
The possibilities are endless.
There are paintings, portraits and art prints; there are sculptures and ceramics; there are wood cuts and glass art.
Whether you’re interested in ancient, carefully preserved pottery or gleaming metal art installations with modern chic, you’ll find something that catches the eye.
Another great thing about the museum is its artistic diversity.
While the lion’s share of its collection is focused on American artwork, it also displays everything from African masks to Asian scrolls.
You don’t have to go abroad to take a walk around the world.
With the Mobile Museum of Art, you can enjoy a global experience on a small, convenient scale.
Address: 4850 Museum Dr, Mobile, AL 36608, United States
3. Gator Boardwalk
Have you truly visited the Gulf Coast if you haven’t seen any alligators?
Make sure that you cross this activity off your bucket list with a trip to Gator Boardwalk.
Consisting of wooden boardwalks that descend deeper and deeper into a tall-grassed swamp, Gator Boardwalk is a popular hangout for local critters.
Alligators aren’t the only species that creeps around the water.
You’ll also be able to spot birds, frogs, lizards and other kinds of wetland wildlife.
You might be wondering about safety.
As long as you stay behind the railings, it’s perfectly safe to visit Gator Boardwalk.
Even kids are welcome, and seeing an alligator in the flesh should definitely be a formative memory for them!
Though it’s located about 10 minutes outside of the city, Gator Boardwalk is considered one of the principal points of interest of Mobile, so it’s a must-do for anyone passing through the city.
Address: N Main St, Daphne, AL 36526, United States
4. Meaher State Park
With its iconic wooden boardwalk, Meaher State Park is one of the most recognizable of Mobile’s attractions, which makes it rather funny that it isn’t even located within Mobile’s city limits.
It’s actually a short drive east over the water and into the wetlands.
Once you’ve arrived, however, you’ll quickly realize why the park attracts so many people from Mobile and beyond.
It’s a prime destination for boating, fishing, camping, picnicking and more.
Some spots are designated recreational sites with amenities like ramps and restrooms; others are more rugged, and they’re meant for serious backpackers who are keen to explore the 1,300 acres of natural beauty all around them.
Maybe you want to walk the boardwalk.
Maybe you want to swim under the sun or lay under the stars.
If you’re wondering about the best things to do in Alabama, you should definitely put Meaher State Park on your shortlist.
Address: 5200 Battleship Pkwy E, Spanish Fort, AL 36527, United States
5. Mardi Gras
You can’t visit the birthplace of Mardi Gras without experiencing it live and in color, so if you’ll be in Alabama during the months of March and April, make time for some awesomely festive celebrations!
The party starts in early spring with several parade days leading up to the main event.
There are often smaller celebrations as well, and they can be everything from family-friendly festivals to adults-only nights at bars and clubs.
On Mardi Gras day, you can go pretty much anywhere in the city to enjoy food, drink, music, art, fashion and more.
The floats will snake for miles and can be observed from all major destinations.
In terms of Mobile attractions, a Mardi Gras celebration is a must.
You’ll have to be in town at the right time, of course, but otherwise, it’s something that you just can’t leave without experiencing at least once in your life.
Make plans today and be prepared for the ultimate party in spring!
Address: Mobile, AL, United States
Visiting other parts of Alabama? Why not check out some of the things to do in Huntsville, AL?
6. Mobile Carnival Museum
If you can’t make it to Mobile during Mardi Gras, the next best thing is the Mobile Carnival Museum.
At the Mobile Carnival Museum, you can enjoy all of the splashy wonder of the world’s most famous festivals without ever leaving Alabama.
It’s dedicated to both Mardi Gras and Carnival, and it’s the only museum of its kind in the entire world.
The exhibits cover everything from vintage flapper fashion to the gowns and crowns of past pageant queens.
Informative displays talk about relevant topics such as costume design and float construction.
A wide range of costumes are showcased, including masks, dresses, suits, scepters and jester outfits.
There are videos from past parades; there are photographs dating all of the way back to 1886.
There are even attractions where you can launch doubloons off floats!
All things considered, a trip to the Mobile Carnival Museum is one of the most unique things to do in Mobile, so it’s a definite “yes” for your future travel plans.
Address: 355 Government St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
7. Dauphin Street
When you think about nightlife, a little town in Alabama might not be the first destination that comes to mind.
On Dauphin Street, however, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to the heart of New Orleans rather than Mobile.
Colorful houses line the sidewalks.
Trendy businesses advertise everything from beignets to bubble tea, and crowds bustle around with kids, dogs and shopping bags.
It’s at night, however, that Dauphin Street really starts to embrace the Mardis Gras spirit.
The darkness will come alive with the glittering lights of bars, clubs, pubs, dance halls and more.
You can attend a drag show; you can enjoy live blues music in a cigar bar.
The possibilities are endless.
If you’re wondering what to do in Mobile when the sun goes down, Dauphin Street is the answer.
The best part is that it’s only the beginning of downtown Mobile, too.
Turn the corner for the next street and the next adventure!
Address: Dauphin St, Mobile, AL, United States
8. Mobile Opera
Based out of a local music center, the Mobile Opera isn’t a destination.
It isn’t even a tourist attraction.
Instead, it’s a opportunity: It represents the chance to see real, southern-style “opry” singers doing their thing on their home stage.
Show times vary, and so do venues, so you’ll want to check out their website to see what’s available.
Popular shows might require tickets to be purchased months in advance while others might be a last-minute date night idea for couples this weekend.
The Mobile Opera advertises itself as “more than music,” and that’s definitely true.
It’s an entire cultural experience wrapped up in the form of live entertainment.
If you want to say that you’ve truly lived and breathed the south while in Alabama, make time for the opera.
Address: 257 Dauphin St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
9. Oakleigh Garden Historic District
Have you ever dreamed of sipping sweet tea on a covered porch while watching the azaleas bloom?
If so, you’ve just found the perfect place to live out your fun antebellum fantasies.
The Oakleigh Garden Historic District is one of several historic districts in this area of Alabama, and it’s dedicated to grand, beautiful, southern-style mansions.
The oldest date back to the 1820s while the most “modern” were built around the 1940s.
Each has its own distinct architectural style, but they all have the splendor and grandeur that was expected of hat-topped ladies and suit-wearing gentlemen looking to show off their wealth.
There are no actual activities in this neighborhood; it’s a residential area where families still live today.
However, you’re free to walk around and gawk.
Plenty of visitors do!
Whether you’re into culture, history, high society or just cool-looking homes, the Oakleigh Garden Historic District is one of the best places to see in Mobile for a taste of old southern charm.
Address: 300 Oakleigh Pl, Mobile, AL 36604, United States
10. Alabama Pecan Festival
Held every year in November, the Alabama Pecan Festival celebrates the end of the season for the south’s favorite nut.
Hundreds of people gather in Mobile for the two-day event.
There are rides, games, concerts, competitions and all other kinds of activities, so the whole family can find age-appropriate activities and entertainment.
No one is ever bored.
No one goes hungry, either.
Vendors absolutely line the streets with delicious pecan-based dishes, and only a fraction of them make the traditional pies and pastries that you’d expect.
Some cooks get crazy-creative with how they use pecans!
Did we mention that the Alabama Pecan Festival is completely free?
There’s no admission charge.
You only have to pay for the food that you eat and the games that you play.
If you’re wondering what to do while on a budget, this festival can keep your wallet and your waistline nice and fat!
Address: 5055 Carol Plantation Rd, Mobile, AL 36619, United States
Planning to explore other parts of Alabama? Why not check out some of the fun things to do in Birmingham, AL?
11. Braided River Brewing Company
If you like your beer ice cold, the Braided River Brewing Company is one of the best destinations in Alabama.
Housed in an industrial building a short ways from the waterfront, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a chic, urban brewery, and its clientele reflects that.
You’ll be among like-minded folks if you’re the type to snap a picture of your thick-bottomed beer mug before you take a gulp of the nectar inside.
Other attractive features of the brewery include its nice views and its ever-changing drink menu.
The brewmasters like to shake things up, so while some staples flow from the taproom year-round, others are experimental or seasonal crafts that you can only get then and there.
“There’s no place like the Delta,” says the Braided River Brewing Company, and its team goes the extra mile to make it a one-of-a-kind experience for locals and tourists alike.
Stop by for a swig and a story when you’re looking for fun places to visit in Mobile.
Address: 420 St Louis St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
12. Three Georges Candy
Known to locals as “Three Georges and the Nuthouse,” this sweet destination is considered the best candy house in all of Alabama.
It’s overflowing with truffles, fudges, chocolates, cheesecakes and many other delectable desserts that are reminiscent of Willy Wonka at his finest.
Sweet things aren’t the only things on the menu, however.
You can have a nice, sit-down lunch at the restaurant if you fancy some gumbo.
You can also order red beans and rice if you want a Creole kick!
After you’ve filled your stomach, treat yourself to everything from rum-soaked fruitcake to white chocolate dripped pretzels.
Candy houses are places of indulgence, after all.
If you have a sweet tooth in Mobile and you’re wondering what to do about it, try some snacks from Three Georges Candy.
It’s easily a top 10 destination for chocoholics passing through Mobile.
Address: 226 Dauphin St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
13. Mobile Flea Market
Hailed as the largest flea market on the Gulf Coast, the Mobile Flea Market routinely attracts anywhere from 700 – 800 vendors at a time, and it’s open year-round for locals and tourists alike.
If you’re the type who enjoys traveling off the beaten path, it can be one of those weird things to do that’s equal parts bizarre and unforgettable!
There’s no telling what you might find among the stacks and stacks of flea market goods.
There are toys and tools; there are clothes and candles; there are old rugs and even older records.
You can browse bookcases or go digging for hidden treasures within boxes and trunks.
Each vendor has their own stall, and each stall is a miniature world of its own.
Other places to go in the flea market include restrooms, picnic areas and a half-dozen concession stands, so you could make an entire day trip out of your visit.
Get there early to get the first pick of the litter; then, enjoy some hot dogs or funnel cakes once you’ve worked up an appetite!
If you’re looking for cool things to do while traveling through Alabama, why don’t you stop at the Mobile Flea Market for awhile?
You could walk out with everything from vintage dollhouses to elaborate floral arrangements, so it’ll definitely be an entertaining way to spend your time in the city.
Address: 401 Schillinger Rd N, Mobile, AL 36608, United States
14. Wales West Light Railway
While not technically located in Mobile, the Wales West Light Railway is one of its most popular tourist attractions.
People flock to the railroad every year to experience fun seasonal rides such as the “Pumpkin Patch” or the “Arctic Express.”
It might look like an oversized toy from a distance.
It’s painted in a bright, happy mishmash of colors, and it often delivers cheerful toots from its horn as it chugs along the tracks.
It’s a real railway, however, and it creates happy memories for families every year.
If you’re looking for things to do in Mobile that are suitable for all ages, you and your kids can have a jolly old time aboard the Wales West Light Railway.
Address: 13670 Smiley St, Silverhill, AL 36576, United States
15. Crescent Theater
Located in the entertainment district of downtown Mobile, Crescent Theater is an old-fashioned way to enjoy a good flick.
It has a single screen, so the experience is very intimate, and there are plush reclining seats to keep you comfortable as you snack on beer, wine, popcorn and other treats.
The range of movies is diverse.
Sometimes, there are big-name blockbusters; other times, there are independent or international films.
Local productions are always popular.
On holidays, seasonal films take center stage, so Halloween sees a lot of slashers while Christmas deploys a lot of feel-good family tales.
Crescent Theater also plays host to live theater acts from time to time, so if you’re looking to get a little culture while you’re in Alabama, this could be a place to do it!
There are many things to do in downtown Mobile, but movie buffs should definitely carve out some time for a trip to the Crescent Theater.
It’s a local landmark for a reason.
Address: 208 Dauphin St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
16. Chickasabogue Park
With tall trees rising over the tops of misty lakes, Chickasabogue Park is a gorgeous sightseeing destination in Alabama.
It’s also one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions thanks to its huge roster of outdoor sports and activities.
Active folks can ride a bike, launch a boat or play a round of disc golf.
Those more interested in taking the scenic route can explore the many nature trails around the water or through the woods.
Photographers can snap amazing shots; campers can enjoy stunning night skies; birdwatchers can listen to songs from sunup to sundown.
There’s even something for history buffs: An on-site museum explores everything from the region’s Native American ancestry to its African American community, so it’s one of Mobile’s major points of interest for those interested in the past.
One of the great things about Mobile is that you can enjoy a city and a country atmosphere during your vacation.
You just have to figure out where to go when you’re in the mood for that particular atmosphere.
Put Chickasabogue Park on your itinerary for the “outdoor” column!
Address: 760 Aldock Rd, Eight Mile, AL 36613, United States
17. Colonial Fort Conde
Built in the 1700s, Colonial Fort Conde is one of the oldest of Mobile’s attractions, and it’s changed hands many times over the years with different French, Spanish and British powers.
As such, it’s also gone by a variety of names, so you might see it listed as Fort Charlotte, Fort Louis, Fuerta Carlota or the Fort of Colonial Mobile.
Tours of the fort include a trip through the original, partially-reconstructed sections as well as the fully replicated sections that have been built at a 4/5ths scale.
Visitors can also wander the grounds to visit nearby attractions and amenities, including the History Museum of Mobile, Mardi Gras Park and the old Mobile County Courthouse.
It doesn’t get more authentic than a real, centuries-old fort.
If you’re interested in the military history of Mobile, you won’t want to miss Colonial Fort Conde.
Address: 150 S Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
18. Mobile Botanical Gardens
The most beautiful places in the US are often filled with the sights and sounds of nature, but what do you do when you’re in the middle of a thriving metropolis like Mobile, Alabama?
One solution is to hit up the Mobile Botanical Gardens.
Covering more than 100 acres, it’s a sprawling landscape of flowers, trees, shrubs and succulents, and it will fill your heart with awe as you take in its glorious scenery right in the middle of Mobile.
You can also sign up for fun events within the gardens like picnics, art lessons, yoga sessions, poetry workshops and floral sales.
Another nice thing about the attraction is that it’s open year-round with different seasonal plants.
For example, the wintergarden has pines and holly bushes while the spring “rebloom” garden fills the air with the scents of daffodils, irises, camillas and fig trees.
There’s even a brief period in January and February when Taiwanese cherries bloom!
If you’re looking for places to visit in Mobile that you can enjoy any time of the year, consider a trip to the Mobile Botanical Gardens.
You can literally call them up this weekend and ask what’s currently flowering.
There’s always something!
Address: 5151 Museum Dr, Mobile, AL 36608, United States
19. Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Built in the early 1800s, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is one of the oldest houses of worship for Catholics on the Gulf Coast.
It’s still a great place for religious folk today, but it’s also open to tours and walkthroughs for secular visitors who just want to see what it’s like inside.
As for that question, there’s a reason why the basilica is one of the coolest things to do in Mobile.
Dozens of stained glass windows line the walls, and they depict a series of events in Mary’s life, including “Nativity of Jesus” and “Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven.”
An old-fashioned organ sits in front of the pew for the parish.
On special days, couples use the church for weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies.
It’s okay if you aren’t Catholic.
The glory and majesty of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is something that can be appreciated by all, especially those who appreciate architecture.
Swing by downtown Mobile to see it for yourself!
Address: 2 S Claiborne St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
20. GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico
Housed in a metal-and-glass building on the very edge of the water, the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum could be easily be mistaken for a ship.
However, its spectacular architecture is only the beginning!
Inside, there are almost 100 displays, exhibits, simulators, galleries and theater rooms dedicated to maritime heritage and culture.
You can explore multiple “decks” of attractions that include everything from informative films to treks on container ships with replica engines.
When you need a break from your wandering, you can hit up the on-site restaurant or gift shop to grab a bite to eat or find fun souvenirs.
The GulfQuest National Maritime Museum is one of the only places to go that’s devoted exclusively to the Gulf of Mexico and its unique maritime history.
It’ll be a rare opportunity for you as a traveler and a great bucket list item to cross off.
Address: 155 S Water St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
Have more time? Why not check out some of the things to do in Orange Beach, AL?
21. Spot of Tea
The good news is that you don’t have to travel all of the way to the Big Apple to experience it.
You can enjoy it right in the heart of Mobile, Alabama!
Offering everything from dainty flatbread sandwiches to loaded baked potatoes served with tomato bisque, Spot of Tea has a delectable menu that’ll suit every craving.
As befitting its name, it also offers many wonderful flavors of tea that can be served to you with full tea ceremony.
Other attractive features of the shop include indoor/outdoor dining facilities as well as pet-friendly seating and great views of the local greenery.
If you’re looking for the top places to visit in Mobile, consider Spot of Tea.
It’s cute; it’s charming; it serves delicious cuppas out of a beautifully historic building situated in the heart of Alabama.
What’s not to love?
Address: 310 Dauphin St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
22. History Museum of Mobile
Housed in the old city hall building, the History Museum of Mobile is easily distinguished from the rest of the neighborhood with its stately, ivory-white architecture.
It cuts a truly impressive figure in downtown Mobile.
The interior is just as nice as the exterior, too.
There are a wide range of exhibits that showcase everything from Egyptian mummies to Native American totem poles.
As befitting a city museum, there’s also plenty of information about locals who pioneered the emergence of Mobile as a major player in the state.
Other stuff to do includes tours, classes, workshops and kids’ activities.
“Free Sunday” takes place every weekend and waives admission fees.
“Night at the Museum” takes place in the evening and is fun for the whole family with games, stories and scavenger hunts.
There are even “Living History Days” with costumed actors who partake in everything from laundry demonstrations to live battles with muskets!
If you’re looking for interesting things to do in Mobile, consider taking a trip through the past with the History Museum of Mobile.
Address: 111 S Royal St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
23. The Shoppes at Bel Air
With size, scale and variety, the Shoppes at Bel Air are a premiere shopping destination in the south.
In fact, you could even call them one of the biggest points of interest south of the Mason-Dixie line.
What makes this mall so special?
For starters, it’s an entirely indoor complex, so it can be enjoyed rain or shine.
It’s also staggeringly huge; its square footage tops more than 1.3 million feet, so if you’re looking to shop ’til you drop, this is definitely the place for it.
Other cool things about the mall include its wide variety of shops, including many upscale shops and boutiques that you can’t find in the more rural areas of Alabama.
Between shopping, dining and socializing, the Shoppes at Bel Air can offer a luxurious vacation experience that more than lives up to its namesake.
It might not be the real Bel Air, but it’s certainly the southern version of it!
Address: 3299 Joe Treadwell Dr, Mobile, AL 36606, United States
24. TimberCreek Golf Club
While there’s nothing wrong with the down-home fun of small country festivals, there’s something to be said about luxurious experiences as well.
If you’re looking for upscale places to visit in Mobile, you might like the TimberCreek Golf Club.
Beautifully cultivated fairways were designed by award-winning architects.
Full-service restaurants, practice areas and meeting rooms are available when you’re done on the green.
If you aren’t a master golfer, that’s okay.
Lessons and even private instruction can be arranged.
The TimberCreek Golf Club is one of the best vacation spots for classy travelers in Alabama.
If you’re wondering what to do in the state when money isn’t an object, enjoy a refreshing, all-inclusive afternoon on the green.
Address: 9650 Timbercreek Blvd, Spanish Fort, AL 36527, United States
25. Cooper Riverside Park
If you don’t have time to hit the rugged terrain of Alabama’s wilderness, you can still enjoy a moment of peace and tranquility in a place like Cooper Riverside Park.
Located on the waterfront, Cooper Riverside Park offers three acres of natural scenery that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of an island or a lush botanical garden.
In addition to fantastic views of the bay, there are also picturesque water fountains, experimental outdoor sculptures and a wide variety of trails, benches and other amenities for those passing through.
The park also plays host to different events throughout the year, so if you enjoy fun things like festivals, art sales and outdoor concerts, it can be a venue worth checking out.
Not all Mobile attractions are flashy things.
If you’re just looking for a quiet place to take a breather in the middle of a hectic vacation, Cooper Riverside Park can be your urban oasis.
Address: 101 S Water St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
26. Alabama Contemporary Art Center
Oh no! The clouds are brewing during your tour of the city.
What are some things to do in Mobile that’ll keep you dry and entertained?
The Alabama Contemporary Art Center is one potential solution.
It’s completely indoors, so you won’t get soaked or chilled.
It’s also captivating even if you aren’t usually an art connoisseur, so its exhibitions will keep you wandering from room to room with interest.
You see, the art center isn’t one of those old, traditional museums.
If focuses only on contemporary pieces, so it utilizes things like poetry, music, light, mixed media and even natural earth elements to produce cutting-edge pieces with lots of meaning.
If you’re wondering what to see in Mobile on a rainy day, dash under your umbrella to the Alabama Contemporary Art Center.
Its trendy artwork is sure to make an impression, so it’ll leave you with a fun vacation memory of your time in the south.
Address: 301 Conti St, Mobile, AL 36602, United States
27. Airboat Adventures
Say goodbye to the city with a trip down the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta.
With Airboat Adventures, you can enjoy a fun, unique experience on a motorized airboat even as you cruise down the water and take in all of the sights.
What will you see on the water?
It depends on the season, but since wildlife is aplenty in the delta, it could include gators, bears, hawks, turtles, eagles and more.
Since you’ll be on an airboat, you won’t have windows limiting your view; you’ll see the critters live and in the flesh as the wind whips through your hair and the spray of the water hits your face.
Bow fishing tours are also available with the airboats, so if you want to bag a flounder or two, book an all-inclusive trip.
No experience is necessary; the captain can teach you on the fly.
All vacations must come to an end, but with Airboat Adventures, at least you can say farewell in a lovely way.
Blow a kiss to the shoreline as you gaze out at the distant sight of Mobile one last time.
If you’re lucky, an alligator will swim by to give you an awesome vacation story once you’re back home!
Address: 3775 Battleship Pkwy, Spanish Fort, AL 36527, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Mobile
These are just a few good things to do in Mobile, Alabama.
Whether you’re planning an elaborate vacation or simply passing through during a longer trip, use these destinations to have a great time while you’re in town!