Okay, maybe this is just because I have lived in a place where people pick up their trash and recycle but I was shocked by how much trash is laying around the streets and in the yards of Mobile. It's such a beautiful old city, I wish people would have more respect for it. But they don't seem to care. One of my first experiences was driving with a local who got something from a fast food restaurant and while driving down the road, threw the garbage out the window--bag, cup, wrapper...everything. I didn't know what to say.
People who hang out with me know that I pick up garbage when I'm walking along the streets of a city or on a beach, anywhere. It's not sanitary, I realize, but I can't stand seeing litter everywhere. It's the park ranger in me, I guess.
The most evident times are after a huge storm in Mobile--the bay, rivers and shores are lined with refuse. It's so gross. And the grafitti isn't appealing or artistic either...people will deface anything here (not your personal property, but like cement walks and bridges, etc) I spent a lot of time one spring testing water samples in the canals, rivers and other waterways and again the lack of respect people have here for their beautiful city is upsetting. Back when I was in school there, the rumor was a political figure in Alabama owned some of the landfills and made it unreasonably expensive to recycle because he would lose money...maybe that's changed now, I'm not sure. Still, just prepare youself for the garbage and the general mess you might find around some parts of Mobile.
I haven't seen it happen all the time in other cities but in Mobile, on Sundays especially, there are going to be people selling things at the stoplights. I don't mean like crafts or whatever they have, but the city pays them to sell the local newspaper. Where the warning comes in is right when the light goes from red back to green and everyone is trying to go...these people (most are kids) selling the Press Register haven't gotten out of the street quite yet. They will walk right up to your window, see if you want a paper and then hesitate to move when you want to drive. This also happens with Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the weekends--same thing. If you want a box of them, flag the guy down and there you go. I guess it's how most people get their papers and I'm not sure there's been an incident, but use caution at the main intersections--you don't want to run anyone over and for your own safety as well, use good judgement.
there have been some sharks seen close to shore. Just be careful of this--a teach got some body part bitten off a couple of years ago. The water gets very warm, but fortunately, it's clear and calm, so you should be able to get a sense of where you are. Also, watch out for broken glass on the beach, you are suppose to drink out of cans or plastic, but there are a lot of drunk people in the area, so just be careful.
Mobile, the city, can be a little rough after dark--like any city, use common sense. Stay in the well lighted areas, the well traveled roads and if you get lost, don't "try" to figure out where you are, ask someone you trust.
I was only in the Mobile Bay area for a couple days to go to a wedding and I only went around the city one afternoon. While we were on our way back we stopped beside one of the parks right in the center of downtown. We got out and walked around for a few minutes to try to find a place to eat, but soon returned to our car to go back to the hotel on the other side of the bay because we found nothing nearby. Also, the part of town we were in seemed almost dead. There were very few cars, almost no people, nothing open, and it didn't even seem safe to be there except when a police car passed by. This was a little after 6 pm on a Friday in August. Perhaps it was just the part of downtown we were in, I know nothing about Mobile and had never been there before, but from my experience I would say there is practically nothing downtown other than right on the riverfront, which we were only a few blocks away from. So my warning is don't go walking around downtown unless there are lots of people around or you know where you are going.
This is a warning during the summer months. It is worth your while to travel on the Causeway, old hwy 98, to avoid tunnel traffic. The Causeway is an older, lower highway that travels right beside the newer, higher, though clogged Bayway. People heading to the beach are the culprits. FRIDAY AFTERNOONS ARE THE WORST! If you are heading East , leave in the a.m. There are frequent accidents because the tunnel was built with a tricky curve in it. In the last few years, 2 cattle trucks rolled over due to the curve. Accidents can cause you to be backed up for up to 3 hours! Also, watch for fog!!!
On I-10 heading East:
Head North on I-65,
Head East on Government Street exit (first exit you will come to)
Enjoy beautiful downtown homes and huge oak trees. Now you are downtown so stay in LEFT lane to go in the OLD Bankhead tunnel, which dates to the 1930's.
After you cross the Mobile Bay, you will stay to the right. Then you will be able to cross I-10 and exit back on I-10 East.
On I-10 Heading West:
Before you cross the Bayway, you will see that you can get off at SPANISH FORT to the RIGHT. Stay straight and cross road(directions toward HWY 98). If you got confused and turned RIGHT towards Spanish Fort, you can continue until dead end, TAKE LEFT. Now you are on Causeway. At 2 points on the Causeway, you can get back on the BayWay if you see traffic is okay. If not, after you cross Mobile Bay, you will come to a light, TAKE A LEFT TO GO INTO THE OLD TUNNEL.
You surface in Downtown Mobile on GOVERNMENT ST. Stay straight until you get to I-65 intersection. GO I-65 SOUTH. THEN I-10 WEST.
I noticed in some of the other posts, mention was made about the homeless and the deadness of downtown.
Yes, there are homeless in downtown but they are harmless. If they do happen to bother you, PLEASE call the police (911). They will take care of it even if they are verbally harassing you. They tend to love Bienville Square rather than Cathedral Square.
No, downtown is not dead. The well-meaning poster mentioned he was downtown in August at 6 pm on Friday. On Fridays , in the summer, many of the white-collar workers have beach or bay homes so especially on this day, they may leave early around 4 pm. Traffic will be bad on Airport after you pass I-65 from 3:00 pm on. You can use the access roads to bypass the worst two lights after the I-65 heading west. The far right hand lane goes faster. But you will still be able to pass people, unlike going to Fairhope down HWY 98.
Downtown bars, which is a little French Quarter on Dauphin Street, get hopping around 9 p.m. Sunday is dead, though. Spot of Tea on Cathedral Square is open for brunch, however.
For an orderly and complete tour of the ship, please follow the numbered arrows. Sign throghout the ship
describe the ship's feature and equipment.
Visitors are cautioned that the construction of
a battleship offers many hazards,low doorways, high door sills, and obstructions around the deck.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
If you are driving into Mobile over the Mobile Bay, you will most likely catch a very foul stench in the air. Don't worry. It is normal, unfortunately. Paper mills are nearby, and the odor comes from their production facilities. You'll get used to the smell and not notice it after a while.
There are ladders and steep steps outside and inside the ship and submarine. Both vessels look huge from the outside but inside they are cramped with low ceilings.
Not really a warning but I was rather amazed and the amount of homeless people hanging around the city parks during the day. I presume it got worse at night.