By the Mobile Museum of Art, it's an excellent idea to continue onto the Botanical Gardens after you check out the museum (or just do it on its own) They are excellent (in my opinion) with over 100 acres that you can just walk around on your own and enjoy. What I like about this particular one is that they have rare species of locally known plants like magnolias, azaleas and camellias and roses as well as a japanese garden and herbs. VERY well laid out, relaxing and of course, pretty.
They are open the WHOLE year and best of all...they are FREE!! Why would you NOT go?
Not enough people visit Fort Conde...and I don't understand it. Perhaps because it's downtown and a lot of people don't visit Mobile for recreation or historical reasons. (WHY NOT?!?!) I do understand that if you're thinking of a Fort in the deep south, you probably will first think of the civil war. Fort Conde has NOTHING to do with the civil war. Mobile's history is so interesting--first it was owned by the French, then the British and then the Spanish (then Americans, Republic of Alabama, the Confederacy and again, the Americans) But I'll talk more about that in a general tip. Anyway, Fort Conde, the one that is there now, is a replica of an 18th century fort right in downtown. You can take tours of it--people are dressed in period costumes and will certainly learn a lot about the area through the different occupations.
They are open every day from 8-5 with the exception of major holidays and of course, Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) If you want a specific tour time, call the number below.
Around here you can get carriage and trolley tours of the city as well.
This picture makes me laugh. We were down at Fort Conde on Dec 12, 2004 and apparently it wasn't busy b/c this soldier was talking on his cell phone. "Okay, the traffic is light on Interstate 10 right now, might want to get the troops in place and move them on in before Monday rush hour" It's just so funny to see an 18th century soldier on a cell phone!
Located in downtown Mobile, the square is bordered on one side by the prominent Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Dauphin Street. From this area, you can either relax in the square, sit near the fountains (perfect on one of the MANY hot days), enjoy a romantic stroll through the square and wonderful weather or take a walk through the city. Walking tours include Cathedral Square and it certainly highlights the beauty of downtown Mobile.
We went in December and coming from cold Pennsylvania, the square was really a breathtaking site. It was warm, sunny, there were leaves on the trees, it was decorated for Christmas--poinsettas lined the walkways, the trees were decorated. We loved it:))
Look at this place, it's incredible. Also, it's NOTHING like the other buildings in Mobile making it even more striking. I'm all about the older, Oakleigh period, french and spanish influenced historical structures, but this always sticks out as being THE building I associate with Mobile. It's really called the Arthur Outlaw Mobile Convention Center and has (understandably and deservingly) won numerous archtitectural awards. Located downtown, on the Mobile River, it's one of the structures that defines Mobiles small but unique skyline. If you're one of the people who gets to attention a special function, meeting or convention here, I'm jealous. It's probably the best convention center in the country (that's my personal opinion) If you don't have to be there for those reasons, just check it out--they also maintain the visitors bureau
I'm not the best person to write this tip because ever since I was little, my family has dragged me from place to place to see battleships. I have no interest in this stuff--each one looks the same to me. BUT, as far as having more a variety, I do like Battleship Park. Not only is there a large ship, but there's planes, a submarine and even a rose garden. There's a little cafe on board the ship where you can wait for people who are a little more enthusiastic about seeing 40 battleships a year.
This one does have a history, too...it was the ship that led the fleet to Tokyo in 1945, it was known as the "mighty A"
They have stuff on the Tuskegee Airmen and you can get inside the submarine
As part of a downtown tour, make sure you check out Bienville Square. It's a very nice green spot in Mobile that used to be the center of social activity--like clubs, for example. Now, it's just a wonderful place to hang out, walk around and sometimes there are live events. When we were there, being so close to Christmas, there was a lovely tree and decorations hanging from the live oaks.
The Museum of Mobile is located downtown near Fort Conde (which is one of the museum sites) But the building the actual museum is located in is beautiful. Inside, they have a good variety of exhibits including the Civil War from Mobile's eyes, the journey of the African Americans coming to the deep south, the first Americans view of Mobile, and even Hurricane. ALSO, my favorite (as in all museums) is the discovery room with the interactive exhibits. FUN!!!
The Mobile Museum of Art was recently rennovated and is something people must go see! The design of the building is nice and for a city that people never really say much about, it boasts a good museum and other galleries/shops. I used to volunteer here and we'd get maybe a few people on the weekends. However, even then, they had terrific exhibits and it was such a laid back museum you didn't feel like someone was staring at you the whole time and just waiting to yell if you got too close to a painting (we've all been to those museums). Since it's much bigger now, there's so much more to see and people are (thankfully) taking advantage of it. For a small city, it's a great place to check out.
the mobile mardi gras museum is located in the historic bernstein-bush house on government street in downtown mobile. this interesting museum is part of the museum of mobile. the mobile mardi gras celebration began in 1711 which was the same year that the town of mobile was established. the museum covers this celebration from 1711 to the present day. a very interesting museum to visit to learn about this southern custom.
A must for families with kids or for anyone fascinated by science (like me) is the Mobile Exploreum. This magnificent museum houses over 100 hands-on displays and interactive virtual reality games that teach kids of all ages about various aspects of science and are very entertaining. A larger than life IMAX theater is onsite also. They frequently have traveling exhibits and special activities so check out their website.
the fort conde museum and visitor center is a good first stop when in downtown mobile. here you can learn about this interesting fort and get information about the other attractions of mobile. admission is free.
the cathedral of the emmaculate conception is mobile's catholic cathedral. the constuction of the building you see today was ordered by bishop michael portier in 1829. the cathedral was designed by claude beroujin and was completed in 1850. the interior of the cathedral has a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that were imported from munich germany. a very beautiful building to visit when in downtown mobile.
Mobile has a nice Mardi Gras Museum that doubles as a mystery dinner theater. Admission covers an unlimited wine bar (may adversely affect your mystery solving abilities), a multi-course meal, and 2 1/2 hours of hilarity and mystery provided by the Mobile Mystery Dinner Players. Nice museum too.
A much less visited museum, but one that I found interesting, was the Phoenix Fire Museum. The museum is housed in a restored 1859 firehouse and has a number of old fire engines, steamers, and other fire fighting displays shoehorned into the small building. The guy manning the museum when I visited was a retired firefighter and was pretty nice. Admission is free but donations are appreciated and help keep the museum running. Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday.
This building is currently the home of the Mobile Bar Association; but was originally the office of Doctor Henry S. LeVert. LeVert was the Mobile Physician from 1829 to 1864 and was instrumental in bringing modern health care to the town. This Italianate building served as a doctor’s office for almost 100 years.