Dauphin Island Travel Guide

  • Dauphin Island
    by Baxwrtr
  • Dauphin Island
    by Baxwrtr
  • Shell Mound Trail
    Shell Mound Trail
    by Basaic

Dauphin Island Things to Do

  • Indian Shell Mound Park

    For such a tiny place, Dauphin Island has some strikingly different areas. Indian Shell Mound Park is a small park located on the northern part of the island. The park was the home of Native Americans dating back to the 12th century. The area was rich in oysters which were heated under flames to provide food. Today there are mounds of the discarded...

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  • Fort Gaines: Sentry to Mobile Bay

    Conveniently located right across the street from Sea Lab, Fort Gaines is worth a quick look.The Fort was built just before the Civil War to defend Mobile Bay. The fort received relatively little action during the Civil War. It is best known for its place during the Battle of Mobile Bay where Admiral Farragut shouted his now-famous order, “Damn the...

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  • Dauphin Island Sea Lab: A Must See

    Located on the east shore of Dauphin Island, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab or Estuarium is just a great place to visit. With so many interactive exhibits both in and out of doors you can't help but coming away with a better sense of the aquatic and plant life of the area. The museum focus on the four habitats found in and around Mobile Bay. Each...

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  • Birding - Shell Mound Park

    Excellent location for birding; there are a few benches where you can sit and watch. Also, just outside the park area are homes with "bottle brush" plants - there was a lot of activity in those bushes. If you go to look there, please be considerate of the homeowners - don't make a lot of noise, and don't leave behind trash. I hate to even have to...

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  • Birding on Dauphin Island

    My husband and I came to Dauphin Island for the Spring Migration, and apparently Dauphin Island is one of the best places for this purpose. The entire island has been designated a bird sanctuary, and in the three days we were there, my husband saw several dozen birds, many of which were "life birds" for him. You can pick up a map at the local...

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  • Historic Fort Gaines - "Damn the...

    Civil war-era fort on Dauphin Island in Mobile Bay, abandoned now and run as an historical park. There is a nice, although small, museum inside which houses civil war relics and information on the fort itself. Your $6 admission (adult) will get you admission to the fort, museum, and a self-guided tour booklet. I really enjoyed my visit - the...

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  • Fort Gaines

    Did we want to see another fort? You could go across the Sally Port without paying, but to see inside the fort itself, you had to enter through the gift shop and pay - it was much more controlled than at Fort Morgan. We looked at the entrance fee - it was only $5. (I later found a coupon which would have given us $1 off the price but Bob said they...

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  • Dauphin Island Park

    On the western edge of town is a nice park with a beach, picnic areas, a playground and other facilities.

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  • Shellmound Park

    Shell Mound Park is a prehistoric Indian site located on the northern shore of Dauphin Island. Archeologists found prehistoric shell middens consisting of discarded oyster shells here. The site is also a significant bird watching location. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Dauphin Island Hotels

Dauphin Island Restaurants

  • Nice Smells and Yummy Looking Displays

    There really aren't a lot of places to eat in Dauphin Island in the off season. The Lighthouse Bakery looks more like a house than a bakery but don't be fooled. it really fits in on Dauphin Island. A friendly place that serves both breakfast and lunches for carry out or sit down. We came upon this place after having an eat in the room breakfast in...

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  • Bayley's Seafood Restaurant

    We stopped here for dinner after a long day of birding on Dauphin Island. There were many cars in the parking lot, so it seemed like a good bet. This is a family-run restaurant - very "no frills". Meals were served with plastic utensils on paper plates. No big deal though. There is no "ambiance" to speak of. Our server was very friendly, but we...

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  • Wonderful Breakfast, Snacks, and Lunch

    This is a hometown type bakery that has some of the best food we have ever had on vacation. We ate there every morning and twice at lunch. VERY friendly folks and die for coffee. Way too many to answer this one.

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  • Sandwiches to Soups in a nautical...

    The Oar House Restaurant on Alabama's Dauphin Island is where locals go for great food and drinks in a beachside setting. Homemade soups, sandwiches and burgers made by the Oar House's in-house chef are like no other along the upper Gulf Coast. Adult drinks and specialty beers are best enjoyed on the open deck beneath towering palms as the sun sets...

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  • Great breakfasts

    The Lighthouse Bakery on Dauphin Island was a treat. From the gourmet omeletts and homemade breakfast pastries, to deli-style sandwiches and specialty coffees, this little spot is where locals and tourists come together. The lump crab omelett is outstanding.

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  • Fried seafood platter

    The seafood platter at Barnacle Bill's on Dauphin Island, Alabama was terrific. The plate was piled high with golden shrimp, fresh Gulf fish, sweet scollops and incredible hushpuppies. The seafood platter done old school Southern style.

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Dauphin Island Nightlife

  • by StephenTaylor Written Mar 16, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My family spent the weekend on Dauphin Island. I have not been there since Katrina. We needed to get away from everyday distractions. The beach was beautiful. New bar on the island was beautifully built! Spent Saturday night with a live band that was really good. Had a chance to meet Doug the owner of the bar. Very interesting gentleman. hE was done a great job hiring the staff. Our bartender was a young lady named Jessica. We never had to wait for any service even though the place was packed with guests. Joana who runs the kitchen was very nice to us. She certainly knows her food! We went Sunday for brunch. The menu was very interesting and well written. That is my wifes comments. She thought Joana was very intelligent and did a great job to make sure we were taken care of b y the staff.

    Dress Code: Certainly no big dress code. Everyone was well dressed and not like nightclubs kids hang out at today.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Birdwatching

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Dauphin Island Transportation

  • Ferry: Scenic Ride To Dauphin Island

    Taking the ferry to Dauphin Island was an option that we did not consider in our trip. However watching the ferry arriving and considering the likely views of the bay, seal life and birds is definitely something we would consider in our next trip to the island.The Mobile Bay Ferry offers daily ferry services between Fort Morgan at Mobile Point and...

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  • Car Ferry

    The car ferry between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island was reinstated in February 2006. One way trips take about 40 minutes. When we visited Fort Morgan it was not yet up and running, and we missed a chance to get the ferry from Dauphin Island.Sorry No Charge Cards Are Accepted At This TIme* Children under 12 FreeOne Way Ticket PricesAutos, Pickup...

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  • Bike Paths

    Dauphin Island has an island long bike path which parallels the main highway. Bob thought it was interesting, that the bike path had stop signs (slightly smaller versions than the ones on the highway) and double yellow lines painted on the pavement to show where bikes should be in relation to people coming the other direction. I got a picture of...

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Dauphin Island Shopping

  • Baxwrtr's Profile Photo

    by Baxwrtr Written May 28, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Marti's of Dauphin Island is an island-style boutique filled with upscale garments and lowdown duds for any price range. The eclectic mix of apparel, mainly for women, is selected from designers on the way up while still affordable. From dresses and slacks, to jewelry and stylish hats, Marti's of Dauphin Island is the place to shop.

    What to buy: Beachware and handbags.

    What to pay: Merchandise comes in all price ranges from low to semi-outrageous.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Women's Travel
    • Seniors

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Dauphin Island Local Customs

  • Strange Resdiential Structures

    Ok ok I know this is pushing it under. "local customs," but there are some strange residential structures in Dauphin Island.As soon as you come off of the bridge on SR 193 from Mobile on the right hand of the road before the stop sign there are these five tall but incredibly narrow structures on the water. Turns out these are little housing and...

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  • Houses on Stilts

    You will see many of the homes in the area built on stilts due to the frequent flooding caused by hurricanes and other adverse weather.

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  • Dauphin Island Hotels

    5 Hotels in Dauphin Island

    2 Reviews

Dauphin Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Warning Signs

    As always, when you see warning signs, you should obey them they are there for your safety and the protection of the area. At the beach here watch out for Rip Currents which pull you out to sea and Longshore Currents which parallel the shore and frequently link up with Rip Currents. If you are caught in a Rip Current: Do not panic, and swim...

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  • Alot of the people you meet in...

    Alot of the people you meet in the Night time spots will be the locals that work in the Seafood industry. Mine your own business and don't try too impress them. They have been here for generations and don't put up with rude people.

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Dauphin Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Oil and Gas Rigs Off of Dauphin Island

    Driving and walking around Dauphin Island they are immediately apparent particularly on the eastern side of the island. Drilling of oil and gas in Mobile Bay and near Dauphin Island began in 1951. Gulf Oil Company was unsuccessful in finding hyrdocarbon resources with two wells. The next wells were not drilled until 1978. These wells. which were...

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  • The Dauphin Island Shell Mounds

    The Dauphin Island, Alabama Shell Mound Park is a prehistoric Native American monument of oyster shells, centuries-old live oaks and mystery. During the spring and fall migrations, thousands of birds call Dauphin Island home, many species setting down in the Shell Mound Park for easy observation. Legends say that after dark, ghosts walk in the...

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Dauphin Island Favorites

  • On the Beach

    The sign outside said that the fort was established in 1821 for the defense of Mobile and that it was named for General Gaines who, as commandant of Ft. Stoddard, captured Aaron Burr fourteen years previously. (It wasn't actually completed and named until 1853 after the death of General Gaines.)While we had a good view from in front of the fort...

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  • View of Sand Island Lighthouse and...

    The current lighthouse on Sand Island is the fourth at this location. It is on a narrow strip of land that was once 400 acres, and now due to erosion and in spite of tons a riprap, the lighthouse is basically falling into the bay. In 1837, Congress allocated $10,000 and Winslow Lewis began construction on Alabama’s first and only seacoast light- an...

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  • Dauphin Island Hotels

    5 Hotels in Dauphin Island

    2 Reviews

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