Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile is a Southern town known for its rich history, its beautiful beaches and its famous Mardi Gras festival. While I wasn’t able to make it to Mobile, Alabama for Mardi Gras this year, I was able to plan a last-minute Alabama getaway in the spring. After my cousin’s wedding, which was in Pensacola, Florida, I decided to extend my Gulf Coast vacation by planning a spur-of-the-moment adventure to Mobile.
In order to make this spontaneous getaway possible, I knew I had to book a last-minute hotel in Mobile. Fortunately, HotelTonight makes it easy to find great last-minute hotels all over the country, and within minutes I had a hotel room waiting for me in Mobile. As soon as my hotel room was booked, I hopped in my car and made the short one-hour drive to Mobile, Alabama.
Mobile is steeped in history, so I knew that my trip to the city would be filled with mini history lessons. The first place I visited in Mobile was the Oakleigh Garden Historic District, which is one of the city’s most historic areas and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. This neighborhood is home to buildings dating all the way back to the 1820s, and walking past its beautiful old homes and pristine streets will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. This beloved district is home to five hundred historical buildings and structures, as well as Washington Square, an idyllic park beloved among locals and visitors alike.
I was so captivated by the beauty and the history of the Oakleigh Garden Historic District that I decided to check out another one of Mobile’s historic districts, Dauphin Street. Like Oakleigh Garden, the Lower Dauphin Street Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the district offers an eclectic mix of attractions, dining options, and even music venues. There’s always something to do on Dauphin Street, which is often compared to New Orleans for its energy and architecture.
After having lunch on Dauphin Street, I made my way to one of Mobile’s top attractions, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. This battleship served in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during World War II, and now it serves as a historic museum ship. Since I consider myself a bit of a history buff, I knew that I couldn’t skip out on the chance to tour the USS Alabama during my Mobile adventure. After touring this massive ship, where I saw parts like the anti-aircraft guns and the main gun turrets, I made my way back to my hotel in downtown Mobile.
Mobile has a long, rich history, as it was originally a French settlement in the early 1700s. Over the past several hundred years, Mobile has played an important role in the country’s history, which is why you can see beautiful old architecture and historical buildings all over the city, even in Mobile’s trendy downtown areas. Even though Mobile is a historic city, downtown Mobile has a vibrant, energetic atmosphere that feels very modern. Downtown offers great shopping, dining and live entertainment, which is why this area is a great place to stay if you’re visiting this city for a short period of time. I spent the evening walking through the lively downtown streets and mingling with locals at hip restaurants and bars.
The next morning, I decided to enjoy one of Mobile locals’ favorite activities – going to the beach. To get to Dauphin Island, one of the most popular beaches in Mobile County, I had to drive nearly 40 miles outside of the city, but the drive took me along the picturesque Mobile Bay. Once I arrived in Dauphin Island, which is located in the Gulf of Mexico, I headed straight to the beach. This island feels remote and peaceful compared to the bustling city of Mobile, and it offers some truly spectacular beaches. I’m glad I allowed myself an entire day on Dauphin Island, as there was just so much to do and see on this small barrier island.
Mobile, Alabama surprised me in more ways than one. Not only is this city full of history and beauty, but it also has a fun, vibrant energy that makes it feel modern and exciting. While I certainly wasn’t able to see all that Mobile has to offer in just two days, I did feel that I got a great sense of the heart and soul of this beloved Gulf city. For someone who likes to plan spur-of-the-moment trips like me, HotelTonight is a lifesaver. Thanks to HotelTonight, I was able to book a great last-minute hotel in Mobile, which made my short stay in this Alabama town stress-free. Since I didn’t have to worry about finding an affordable last-minute hotel, I was able to relax and actually explore the city like a local, rather than a stressed-out traveler.