Let the good times roll in Mobile, Alabama
Welcome to America’s rainiest city. Driving into Mobile, Alabama, a coastal, picturesque city located on the Gulf Coast, you’ll be greeted by eye-catching skyscrapers and marshy bayous. There is a lot to discover in Mobile including museums, music festivals, culture, and great cuisine. These are only a few reasons to start planning a weekend getaway. Something to keep in mind is Mobile, Alabama boasts more rain per year than Seattle, Washington. Pack an umbrella, rain boots, and a waterproof jacket to enjoy the charm of this southern gem.
Festivals, Street Parties, and Mardi Gras
Mobile knows how to throw a party. The very first French settlers celebrated the first Mardi Gras in the U.S. in 1703. Although this holiday is widely known in New Orleans, Mobile has continued celebrating its rich cultural traditions. Every year the city hosts several parades, societal balls, and activities. The Moon Pie headquarters hosts the annual New Year’s Eve Moon Pie Drop. Moon Pies are a popular treat in the U.S. consisting of two graham crackers with a marshmallow filling, dipped in chocolate. Visit in February, for the family-friendly and colorful Mardi Gras celebration and try to catch a few tasty moon-pies from the parade floats.
Downtown Mobile is very easily accessible; there’s plenty of cheap parking and bicycle rentals for visitors. Simply find a bike and unlock it through its designated app on your phone. Explore the multiple gardens and artistic murals at every block and feel free to partake in one of the city’s numerous events.
Learn all about the history of Mobile Mardi Gras before the festivities. The Carnival Museum features the Queen’s Gallery, which is full of beautiful gowns and jewelry worn by former queens. Next, go to Mardi Gras Park to see colorful statues of Mardi Gras royalty and jesters. Both of these attractions are great ways to learn all about the traditions and history of the annual celebrations.
The main downtown street is Dauphin Street. The area has a “big city” meets a small town vibe. There are plenty of museums, tasty restaurants, parks, live music venues, and culture to make it feel like a big city. However, step into a small shop or restaurant and the owners will take the time to chat and share stories as if you were invited onto their front porch for some sweet tea.
One of my all-time favorite museums to visit is the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. Currently, you can view artifacts and experience life in 13th century Mongolia in the Genghis Khan exhibit. This museum features world-renowned touring exhibits regularly, visit their website before your trip to see which exhibit is in-house.
For shopping enthusiasts, visit Bienville Souvenirs & Gifts, a very charming shop with an eclectic assortment of Mardi Gras attire, gifts, art, and moon pies. Located across the street from the gift shop is a park called Bienville Square. Friendly squirrels have taken over the shaded park. They are used to human interaction and get surprisingly close.
After you’ve explored the area, grab a bite to eat at Panini Pete’s for a fresh and affordable meal. Their Hip Hip Beignets, served with lemon wedges, are simply delightful.
Most importantly, don’t forget to pack an umbrella and raincoat. In Mobile, it might rain on the parades, but the festivities will go on! Let the good times roll.