Museum of MobileThe Museum of Mobile is located in the Southern Market/Old City Hall complex on Royal Street. The museum now has much more space to display its collection and interpret the city’s 300-year history. Visitors can discover the story of Mobile through fascinating exhibits of Colonial and Civil War artifacts, as well as exhibits on Mardi Gras, African-American contributions to the city’s growth and other facets of the city’s past from as far back as the first Native American settlements.
In addition to more exhibit space, the museum includes classrooms, a 150-seat auditorium and a Discovery Room for children to interact with artifacts.
The Mobile Carnival Museum, located on Government Street, opened in 2005. This museum contains exhibits dedicated to Mobile’s oldest and most famous celebration, Mardi Gras. The city also operates the Phoenix Fire Museum, one of the area’s first firehouses which features many antique fire trucks, and the Carlen House, a restored mid-1800s Creole Cottage.
The Mobile Museum of ArtThe Mobile Museum of Art reopened after a $15 million expansion at its Langan Park facility. The museum has 95,000 square feet of gallery space, an educational wing and a state-of-the-art hands-on gallery for adults and children. The Mobile Museum of Art features a permanent collection of more than 6,000 pieces, traveling and temporary exhibits, educational programs and a lecture series. In addition to the Langan Park facility, the museum operates a downtown gallery on Cathedral Square.
Gulf Coast ExploreumThe Gulf Coast Exploreum, Mobile’s state-of-the-art science center, brings the mysteries of science alive through hands-on exhibits and large-format IMAX films. Since opening in downtown Mobile in 1998, the Exploreum has established itself as an important regional educational resource, family entertainment center and tourist attraction.
Mobile Public LibraryThe Mobile Public Library has also begun its capital improvement campaign to expand the historic main library, built a new Toulminville Branch and constructed a major new West Regional Library to keep up with the population explosion in West Mobile.
Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea LabAnother favorite museum is the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This fascinating educational facility highlights the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico - the four key fish and wildlife habitats of coastal Alabama. The Estuarium provides an interesting way to broaden one’s understanding of Mobile Bay, the fourth largest estuary system in the United States.
Eichold-Heustis Medical MuseumThe Eichold-Heustis Medical Museum includes the largest collection of medical artifacts in the Southeast, reflecting 200 years of medical history.
Historic PlacesMobile’s old homes and buildings make it one of the most beautiful historic cities in America. From Italianate town-houses and Creole cottages to sprawling antebellum mansions, restoration and preservation are seen everywhere. Several historic sites and antebellum homes are open to the public.
Here are a few of the area’s historic places of interest:
Oakleigh, built in 1833, is known for its Greek Revival architecture, period furnishings, and landscaped grounds. The complex also includes an early Creole cottage and a new Mardi Gras museum.
The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, a blend of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, is open for tours and available for private parties.
The Richards-DAR House, which features a fine iron lace balcony, is an Italianate townhouse located in one of the city’s oldest residential areas.
The Condé-Charlotte House, built in the early 1820s, is one of the city’s oldest existing houses, with rooms furnished to represent the five periods of Mobile’s 300-year history.
Fort Condé is a replica of the French colonial fort which dates back to the early 1700s. The fort overlooks the waterfront and offers visitors guided or self-led tours reflecting the history of the area. Its also Mobile’s official visitor welcome center.
At the mouth of Mobile Bay on Dauphin Island, Fort Gaines is representative of the fortifications which defended America’s shores during the mid-1800s.
On the opposite shore from Fort Gaines, sits Fort Morgan, a beautifully maintained historic site and one of the most photographed places in the area.
Bellingrath Gardens & HomeBellingrath Gardens & Home, located just south of Mobile, is a 75-acre estate featuring flowering plants and a canopy of live oaks the entire year. The garden is considered one of America’s most beautiful display gardens. The lavishly-furnished rooms and art collections of the house are also open to visitors. Walter D. Bellingrath opened his elaborate private garden to the public in 1932.
Mobile Bontanical GardensLocated in the heart of Mobile, the Mobile Botanical Gardens offers a rare blend of cultivated areas and nature trails. Within its 100 acres are a Rhododendron Garden, a Camellia Winter Garden, Fern Glade, Japanese Maple Garden, an Herb Garden, and collections of hollies, magnolias, roses, and perennials, as well as a 40-acre longleaf pine habitat. The Gardens are open year-round from dawn to dusk.
USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial ParkBattleship Memorial Park is home to the USS Alabama, a World War II-era battleship. Also located there are the submarine USS Drum, a B-52 bomber, SR71 Blackbird and other military hardware, both antique and modern. The park features an aircraft pavilion housing a varied collection of historic planes, including a plane flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.