Explore Mobile, Alabama like a local

Explore Mobile, Alabama like a local

Explore Mobile, Alabama like a local

Home of Mardi Gras, lover of moon pies, and cultivator of azaleas. Mobile, Alabama is my hometown and city of birth. This is the place that shaped me & raised me into the adolescent girl who challenged the status quo in college. It is difficult to talk about my hometown because of all the memories made here.

If this is your first time visit to Mobile, AL. I will try to view this city, as I do all cities, from a traveler’s perspective but show you how to Explore Mobile, Alabama like a local. I thought I would venture home with a traveler’s heart and capture this city for you! In case you are not from the area, the correct way to pronounce Mobile is “Mo-beel”.

A brief History Lesson: your first time visit to Mobile, AL

Mobile,  Alabama: Mardi Gras

Mobile was named after the Native American Indian tribe from this region. The French discovered the Mobilians living in the area and they named the city after these intriguing people.  The history, both good and bad, is rich. Mobile was settled 117 years BEFORE Alabama became an official state. In 1703, Mobile was home to the first Mardi Gras celebration in the New World. This was long before Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans. (And don’t you forget it!) Before switching to moon pies in the 1970s, paraders would toss cracker jack boxes. After a few eyes were poked they made the sweet switch!

What’s up with the azaleas? Fifise Langois brought the first pink azalea to this city from his father’s personal gardens of Toulouse, France. Springtime here is something to see! Also, for Jimmy Buffett fans, while he was not born here he did grow up in and around Mobile, AL. His sister, LuLu Buffett, has her restaurant in Gulf Shores, AL (about 2 hrs from Mobile, with traffic).

Causeway: Home of Seafood Restaurants

The Causeway is home to fresh seafood restaurants, some pictured below. I have donned myself the “gumbo queen” because I have sampled near about every type of gumbo Mobile has to offer. Most are exquisite!


Other Posts You might enjoy about the South:

American Southerners say the Darnedest Things: 10 phrases to know before your trip down South

Charming college days: Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student

A beginner’s guide to Myrtle Beach, SC in 1 week

Fairhope, Alabama: Art & Antiques Haven

Pensacola, FL: Downtown and the Beach-A place where paradise is unveiled

Downtown Mobile

Being a Port City, there are many accesses to the water. If you are lucky, you will find a hotel downtown during Mardi Gras season! Do you remember the phrase “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!”? This battle happened in Mobile Bay! The city was a colony of France for several years, then ruled by Britain, and then by Spain. Mobile has also been under the flags of the Confederacy, the Republic of Alabama, and the USA-hence another title, City of 6 flags. Here is a walking map of downtown Mobile to help guide your trip! Downtown Mobile showcases our previous heritage:

 

Mobile has more to offer than just Mardi Gras. If this is your first time visit to Mobile, AL, there are numerous plazas or squares to lounge and picnic in. Over the years, it has evolved into a music and bar scene to rival other southern cities.


Now no longer, BayFest was an annual three-day music festival in the heart of downtown. The festival offered a variety of music including pop, jazz, classic rock, alternative, R&B, rap, gospel, and modern rock. The FREE 1065 festival, in its 2nd year, has begun its descent in reviving the music of Mobile.

 

West Mobile

I grew up in West Mobile (AKA:WeMo) which was located in Mobile County. Go Baker Hornets! My friends and I rode 4 wheelers, shopped at flea markets, sipped Starbucks, frequented the bowling alley & movie theaters, and drove the streets of Airport blvd & Schillingers road. Life was simple and carefree, as so many things are on a Southern night!

 

 

If you have the opportunity for a first time visit to Mobile, AL, DO IT!  Mobile will always be my hometown, the warehouse of my childhood memories, my family’s dwelling, my heritage; but my soul is that of a wanderer so I must keep trekking on!


Be well and Travel often!

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About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Comments

  1. Penny says:

    I loved the way you mentioned a bit about the small bit about the cracker boxes that you narrated. My husband has been for the Mardi gras celebrations in New Orleans but I haven’t. Heck I have yet to make my way to America and see everything that people talk about.

    1. maegan89 says:

      Well if you make it here for Mardi Gras, I am happy to show you around

  2. Ivana says:

    So many links you share. And the article is pretty awesome and informative!

  3. Inge says:

    Well, now I’ve learned something new, cool. Sounds like a cute town for a nice visit.

  4. Travelgal Nicole says:

    Look like a lot of fun. I didn’t know that Mobile was named after the Native American Indian tribe from this region. Cool

    1. maegan89 says:

      Thank you! Yes, there are several native american bloodlines that vary all through the Southeast region.

  5. I actually had NO idea that Mobile had such a history with Mardi Gras. I always just think about New Orleans, and I know Carnival is big in the Caribbean, but I under-estimated how important this holiday is. It is so cool to see other places that celebrate.

    1. maegan89 says:

      I am happy to educate. This is something that Mobile is very proud of, beginning the MArdi Gras tradition in the states! Spread the word haha

  6. Asia says:

    I can tell you have such found memories of your childhood there! I’ve never been to Mobile but it sounds like it has a lot of soul (and yummy food.) Well written!

    1. maegan89 says:

      Thank you so much! Very fond memories, I had a lovely childhood. I have outgrown it but it’s nice for a visit.

  7. Karen says:

    I’d love to see the Mardi Gras, but great to learn about the other festivals in the area.

  8. Hope you don’t blame me, but I had never heard of Mobile before reading your post. In my defence: I’m Belgian! 😉 Never experienced Mardi Gras either. Who knows, maybe we’ll make it to your hometown someday. But you won’t be living there when we do? Just wandering the world or do you live somewhere else now?

    1. maegan89 says:

      No offense taken, that’s why I decided to write about my hometown. No, we probably won’t be living here. Next spring we are moving abroad to your side of the world and traveling via RV. cheers!

      1. Cool! Good luck with that! 😉

  9. Carola says:

    Wow! That you so much for this introduction to Mobeeeele 😉
    I didn’t know that you had the first Mardi Gras. Darn those NOLA peeps!

    I will be sure to stop by on my next trip to the US.

    Happy continued travels!
    C

    1. maegan89 says:

      Haha I had to say how you pronounce it bc so many people pronounce it like the mobile phone. Lol

  10. So cool! There is way more history and culture than I would’ve guessed in Mobile. I have been once, when I lived in Hattiesburg, MS for a couple of years when I was 4/5 but obviously don’t remember much from back then. Would be interesting to visit again.

    1. maegan89 says:

      Oh how fun! I have have family from Hattiesburg and petal ms also! If you’re ever back to mobile, I’d love to show you around!

  11. Balin says:

    Brick Pit, The Dew Drop Inn, Wentzel’s, and basically every restaurant on Dolphin Street. Art walk is almost a must do each month and Market on the Square is where you will find some of the best fruits and vegetables around. The Battleship is right by the causeway seafood row. It’s also worth checking out what’s showing at the Saenger and Crescent Theater.
    I’m glad I’ve been able to travel around but Mobile will always be my home. Thanks for sending our home some love (and the pronunciation PSA), most of the internet only knows about us from that leprechaun video.

    1. Maegan says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, there is so much more to Mobile than the leprechaun video haha.

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