Dauphin Island/Bayou La Batre
Located only a 45-minute car ride from downtown Mobile, the sprawling sandy beaches of Dauphin Island beckon visitors to come out and play. You'll even want to leave with plenty of time to stop at the unique shops and produce stands along the way. Once you cross the bridge, you'll be transported into another time. This quaint little beach community boasts a casual, quiet, even vintage 1950s feel and offers plenty of wholesome fun for the entire family.
Home to historic Fort Gaines, The Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, a public beach, pier and boat ramps, Dauphin Island has been the sandy backyard for generations of Mobilians, as well as a popular beach destination for thousands of tourists each year who prefer a simpler, beach experience.
This charming fishing village is located along the Mississippi Sound. Founded by Joseph Bosarge, who was granted the land from the King of Spain in 1786, Bayou La Batre was the first permanent settlement on the South Mobile mainland. By the turn of the 20th century, the area had developed into a thriving resort community. However the "Hurricane of 1906" put an end to all of that, as it ransacked the hotels and railroad business.
Now known as the seafood capital of Alabama, the town immortalized in Winston Groom's "Forrest Gump" is home to oodles of fishermen and shrimpers. One of the rites of spring here is the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Bayou La Batre is also host to a successful boat building industry, producing everything from barges and tugs to the Black Pearl from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. In 2009, the town received national attention when President Obama named Regina Benjamin, a rural health clinic physician from Bayou La Batre, as the U.S. Surgeon General.