From Southern Living

There are a lot of ways to get to Mobile: flying into the international airport, driving in on I-10 or I-65 from all over the South, or even sailing in on a Carnival cruise ship (Mobile is the cruise line’s homeport). And as the song lyrics go, it doesn't matter how you get here, just get here if you can.

That’s because in the last year or two, Mobile has seen a resurgence of sorts, so much so that even if you’ve partied in the Home of Mardi Gras or counted down to the New Year alongside Mobile’s 600-pound electric MoonPie drop, you’ll find a fresh repertoire of restaurants, activities, and places to stay. 

Here’s what’s new in Mobile and how to make the most of your time on your next visit to Sweet Home Alabama.

Where To Stay

The Admiral Hotel

Interior of hotel room


Be one of the first to stay at The Admiral, where hometown boy Jimmy Buffet used to play for tips. Built in 1940, it is on the verge of finishing a massive remodel, with guest rooms already complete and booking up fast.

Stay in a modern and quirky room embellished with purple and yellow accents that make every day feel like Mardi Gras. Whimsical touches like a portrait of a zebra dripping its stripes and a brass bulldog crouched on his haunches set these rooms apart from the standard.

The Admiral is just steps away from the bustling Entertainment District filled with restaurants, bars, and history. But before you head out to sample them all, make a reservation at Le Moyne’s Chophouse, the hotel’s premiere dining spot set to debut in late spring. Indulge in oysters, beef tartare, and beef carpaccio flavored with herbs from The Admiral’s rooftop garden., 251 Government St, Mobile, AL 36602

Where To Eat

Bienville Bites Food Tour

Overhead shot of Bienville Bites tour with snack


Mobile has a burgeoning food and beverage scene appealing to a wide variety of tastes. The best way to sample before committing to a full meal is to join a Bienville Bites Food Tour that takes you through Downtown Mobile’s Lower Dauphin Street Historic District (LoDa).

Launched in 2017 by Chris and Laney Andrews, who just added a curated gift shop so you can take a piece of Mobile home with you, this food tour introduces you to the city’s classic establishments and the new kids on the block. Aside from eating some of the best dishes in Mobile, you’ll learn about the architecture, history, and local culture that make Mobile unique., 658 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL 36602

Dropout Bakery & Company

Shot of layer cake


Make sure your day begins on a sweet note at Dropout Bakery & Company, launched just two years ago after owner Lacey Evans dropped out of fashion school, baked her way through COVID, and went viral on Instagram with posts of her culinary creations. There’s usually a line out the door, so grab a coffee, gaze into the glass case of confections, and take your pick. You really can’t go wrong., 358 St. Louis Street, Mobile, AL 36602

Penton's Bistro and the King Bleu Corner Bar

The just-opened Penton’s Bistro and the King Bleu Corner Bar already has the locals talking, and you can be one of the first visitors to check it out. Lunch is casual —think po'boy and pasta salad—and dinner fancies it up with menu items like duck cassolette and potato gnocchi short rib ragu., 219 Conti Street, Mobile, AL 36601

Velvet Pig

What happens when you turn an old Crystal Ice manufacturing plant into an even cooler massive bar? Everyone gets hungry, so you introduce the Velvet Pig, a Southern-style, whole-hog butchery that focuses on local ingredients to make its pork belly skewers and boudin egg rolls, among others. Opened at the end of 2023, it’s found a home in Mobile, and its Alabama HOT Fried Chicken Sandwich has already won hearts., 755 Monroe Street, Mobile, AL 36602

Box Owt

After years in development, Mobile’s first outdoor food court concept, Box Owt, has opened with a unique twist—all of the restaurants make their home in shipping containers. Four eateries are currently open, with more debuting in the coming months.

For families looking to pare down the cost of dining, options in Box Owt are affordable and surprisingly diverse. Make the kids happy with the ultimate comfort food at Mac & Cheesery, or take your more mature palate on an adventure at Las Catrachas, serving authentic Honduran food., 265 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL 36602

Things To Do

Visit Africatown Heritage House

Interior of Africatown Heritage House Museum


You simply can’t travel to Mobile without a visit to the new Africatown Heritage House. At once painfully real and inspiringly hopeful, the museum documents the 1860 arrival of 110 Africans taken from their homes and transported in the hull of the ship Clotilda. Upon arrival, they were sold as enslaved people, a full 52 years after slavery had been officially abolished.

To cover their tracks, the men behind this crime burned the ship in the Mobile River. That ship was discovered on the river floor in 2019, confirming the terrible crime. But the mission of Africatown Heritage House isn’t only educating visitors about the events—it’s also about the resilience and hope that came years later, when the enslaved were made free and established their own thriving community, Africatown. It’s a don’t-miss on your tour of Mobile., 2465 Wimbush Street, Mobile, AL 36610

To keep up with this ever-evolving city or to find special events, be sure to check Visit Mobile Alabama ahead of your visit. 

See this article as it appears in Southern Living.