If you’re looking for things to do in Mobile, Alabama before your after your cruise you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to show you the best the city has to offer, so you can make the most of your cruise vacation.
After having been in the cruise business for about seven years, the Mobile Cruise Terminal had to pull out in late 2011 after Carnival relocated their ship Elation to other ports.
The port authority in Alabama worked to increase terminal facilities and marketing for upcoming cruises, and by 2016 they re-opened with the Carnival Fantasy offering roundtrip cruises to Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
The Mobile Cruise Terminal also welcomes visiting cruise ships as a Port of Call, which allows more tourists to visit and enjoy what Mobile has to offer.
Mobile, Alabama is filled with rich history and beauty, and provides visitors with plenty of museums, fine dining, parades, and more.
Before or after your cruise, be sure to take a few extra days to explore the city and enjoy the attractions available there. Below is a list of our suggestions of where to dine, as well as some sightseeing options for you to experience.
Restaurants in Mobile, AL
Too many people don’t think about spending time in their homeport city and instead are too focused on their cruise destination, be it The Bahamas, Cozumel, or Nassau.
The Mobile Cruise Terminal is the only cruise terminal in all of Alabama, and with only one ship coming in and out on a regular basis, the city doesn’t see much tourist traffic. This is a perfect reason to take some time to really explore the city, as you won’t have as many crowds to deal with as you would in, say, New York or Miami.
One thing that should definitely be experienced is the local cuisine. Plenty of restaurants offer the best in seafood, steak, Mediterranean influences, and even some vegetarian or vegan options. If you’re hungry and looking for somewhere to dine, here are some great suggestions for you to try.
1. Trellis Room
Located inside The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa is Trellis Room, the only AAA Four Diamond restaurant in all of Mobile.
Serving an eclectic mix of seafood, steaks, salads, and more. Enjoy their delicious breakfast buffet, or stop in for dinner to try their Catch of the Day and Diver Scallops. They also offer gluten free options on their menu.
You’re free to eat here whether you’re a hotel guest or not. It might use up your whole dinner budget, but it’ll be worth it.
2. Noja Fine Dining
This vegetarian friendly restaurant has been rated #1 of all restaurants in Mobile on TripAdvisor. Located right in the heart of downtown, they provide luxury dining at it’s best.
A perfect spot for special events (birthdays, proposals, wedding dinners), they serve amazing steaks and seafood, along with some unique dessert options. It’s also located just a few blocks away from the cruise terminal, so it’s a great place to have lunch before your cruise leaves.
3. T.P. Crockmier’s
This restaurant was inspired and named after a soldier from the Civil War who opened a restaurant in Atlanta in 1875, desiring to appeal to the finest folks in the city.
The atmosphere at T.P. Crockmier’s in Alabama embraces the same idea, providing Alabama residents and visitors with a friendly atmosphere rich with conversation and delicious food.
Enjoy your choice of salads, artisan sandwiches, beef or seafood, and mouthwatering homemade desserts.
4. Loda Bier Garten
This German inspired bar and pub is so good they had to build two of them. One is in downtown Mobile, just a few blocks from the cruise terminal, while the other is on the western side of the city on Cottage Hill Rd.
Come out for a fun night of award winning burgers (voted Best Burger on Dauphin Street), a huge list of draft beers, and super friendly service. Come in on Sunday for half off select draft beers, or Monday to build your very own BADASS burger for just $9.99.
- Address: 251 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL 36602 (downtown location)
- Phone number: 251-287-6871
- Website: http://www.lodabeer.com
5. The Noble South
This cozy little restaurant on Dauphin Street was originally started by owner and head chef Chris Rainosek. He features in his menu an authentic Mexican cuisine with a bit of Southern influence.
If you eat here for Sunday Brunch before your ship leaves, you can thank Chris’ sous chef, Josh Lear, who is in charge of the brunch and dessert menu.
You’ll love the cozy boutique-like atmosphere and great food that will make you want to come back again and again.
6. Spot of Tea
For the best breakfast or brunch menu around, you don’t want to miss Spot of Tea. Indulge in your choice of waffles (pecan & Belgian are the best), cucumber sandwiches, and delicious omelets filled with meat and veggies.
They also have vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan options to choose from. If you have something to celebrate, they’re open for booking private parties for birthdays, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, and more.
- Address: 310 Dauphin Street, Across the Street from Cathedral Square, Mobile, AL 36602
- Phone number: 251-433-9009
- Website: https://www.spotoftea.com
7. The Royal Scam
With one of the most unique restaurant names around, The Royal Scam also offers a very different and unique menu. Full of options that cater to anyone depending on personality or mood.
Feeling fancy and want to some fine dining? Order one of their fancier dishes like Grilled Rack of Lamb, Airline Chicken Breast, or Shrimp Etouffee.
Feeling casual? Just get an Angus burger or the soup of the day. We promise, no matter what you get, you won’t regret it.
Things to See & Do in Mobile, AL
Dining options isn’t all that the town of Mobile has to offer it’s visitors and friends. There are plenty of attractions and sightseeing opportunities to choose from once you’ve satisfied your hunger.
Below is a list of some must-see museums and locations where you’ll be able to learn a bit about Mobile’s history.
8. Bellingrath Gardens
Don’t forget your camera when you visit Bellingrath Gardens, the 65-acre garden and estate built for and originally owned by Walter Bellingrath in 1702.
All over the 65 acres you’ll find thousands of blooms to assault your senses with bright colors and intoxicating scents.
And there isn’t just flowers and plants to explore. You can explore the original home that Walter and his wife lived in, visit the Rose Garden, Live Oak Plaza, Bellingrath Home Terraces, Asian-American Garden, and so much more.
There are numerous events staged here year round, including Boo at Bellingrath in October, and Magic Christmas in Lights in December.
- Price: Varies
- Address: 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, AL 36582
- Website: https://bellingrath.org
- Phone number: 251-973-2217
9. Historic Oakleigh Mansion
Just minutes from downtown is one of Mobile’s most popular attractions. Built in 1833, this mansion saw the horrors and wonders of the south, from slavery, King Cotton, to the expansion of the railroad and the emancipation of the slaves.
This serves as a historic landmark, preserved to tell the history of the time. Come on in for a tour and a history lesson.
- Price: $10 for adults, free for children under 5
- Address: 300 Oakleigh Place, Mobile, AL 36604
- Website: https://www.historicoakleigh.com
- Phone number: 251-432-1281
10. Cox-Deasy Cottage Museum
Located just a few steps from the Historic Oakleigh Mansion, the Cox-Deasy Cottage is also a part of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society.
Built in 1850 by George Cox, it is included in tours of the Oakleigh Mansion Complex. Also in the same complex you’ll find the Minnie Mitchell Archives, home to a vast collection of maps, documents, family papers, photographs, memorabilia, and more.
11. Battleship USS Alabama
If visiting historic battleships is what excites you, or you have children interested in anything that moves, you should visit the Battleship USS Alabama at the Battleship Memorial Park.
The USS Alabama served all through World War II and now is a National Historic Landmark. You don’t just get to visit a museum and learn the history of this amazing battleship. You also get to go on board and explore the inside of the ship.
Also available in Battleship Memorial Park is the USS Drum, another massive submarine from WWII, an aircraft pavilion, tanks and artillery, memorials, and more.
In addition to their admission fees there is also a small parking fee of $4.
- $15 for visitors 12 and up
- $13 for Seniors 55 and older
- $6 for children 6-11
- Free for children 5 or younger
- Free for Active Duty Military (with ID)
- Address: 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, AL 36602
- Phone number: 251-433-2703
- Website: https://www.ussalabama.com
12. Audubon Bird Sanctuary
Audubon Bird Sanctuary is located on Dauphin Island, a 14-mile-long island just off the coast of Alabama. This sanctuary was built as a place for birds returning from their migratory trip across the gulf coast to rest and recuperate. This is their first landfall after such an enduring trip, so they often arrive exhausted and severely weakened.
This sanctuary is globally recognized as vitally important to bird migrations. It is filled with 137 acres of forests, marshes, dunes, a lake, swamp, and even a beach. This is the perfect place for these birds to get the rest they so desperately need.
You can visit any time the sanctuary is open (dawn till dusk) and admission is free. Get your binoculars ready and come watch the birds of Audubon Bird Sanctuary.
13. Fort Gaines
This historic fort once protected Mobile Bay and was the site of the famous Battle for Mobile Bay in 1864 during the Civil War.
The fort was well preserved, and houses the original cannons, blacksmith shop, and kitchens. There is now also a museum, where you can learn more of the history behind the fort and the battle, a gift shop, and various tunnels.
Standing on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, you can get stunning panoramic views of the bay
14. Ft. Conde
Also called The Fort of Colonial Mobile, this French fort has a long history with many names and owners. The fort was originally built in 1711, after the town of Mobile was relocated from 27-Mile Bluff to where it is now.
At the time, it was named Fort Louis after the old fort up the river from the town. But about half a decade later, it was rebuilt using a stone foundation, and renamed once again as Fort Conde.
The French had built it to protect Mobile from the British and the Spanish, and it did that quite well for over a century.
Now it serves Mobile as a museum, preserving its history, and a likely site for events such as weddings, birthdays, and corporate events.
- Price: $8 for adults (13 and up), $7.50 for Seniors, military, and teachers, and $5 for children (3-12)
- Address: 150 S Royal St, Mobile, AL, 36602
- Phone number: 251-525-6933
- Website: http://colonialmobile.com/
15. Mardi Gras
While Mardi Gras in Mobile may not be as well known as the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it is just as spectacular and far from inferior. In fact, Mobile was celebrating Mardi Gras long before New Orleans ever did.
Discover over 300 years’ worth of history and learn about the time when Mobile was a part of the French Louisiana, before Alabama bought it.
Elaborate costumes, delicious food, and bright and colorful parades is just the beginning. Be sure to plan your cruise around the festivities so you can be there to take part.
Contact Visit Mobile Alabama (details below) for more information.
Conclusion on Things to Do in Mobile, AL
When you make your plans to arrive in Mobile for your cruise, make sure to allow for an extra day or two before or after your cruise. You don’t want to miss all the food, history, and fun that you’ll find nowhere else but in Mobile, Alabama.
This guest post was written by Justin Stewart.