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!
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Being a Port City, there are many accesses to the water. 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. 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.
I grew up in West Mobile (AKA:WeMo) which was located in the 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!
Founded in Mobile, The best damn chicken fingers to ever enter your mouth
Carpe Diem: my personal favorite coffee house
Satori’s coffee: where the college kids hang
Fishing Rodeo on Dauphin Island
If you have the opportunity for a first time visit to Mobile, AL, DO IT! I love Mobile but I have outgrown it. It will always be my home, my childhood, 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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