7 Top Things To Do In Mobile, AL: 21 Best Restaurants, & 1 Amazing Hotel

An in-depth travel guide for the top things to do in Mobile, AL: Check out the best attractions, restaurants, & hotels for your next stay in this historic southern city.

Mobile, Alabama often gets overshadowed by its wilder, flashier younger sister: New Orleans.

While New Orleans, founded in 1718, gets most of the Mardi Gras fanfare, the first Mardi Gras in America was actually held in the nearby port city of Mobile, founded in 1702. Mobile may have been overlooked in the past, but it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.

With its striking architecture, historic hotels, thriving restaurant scene, and a growing list of things to do in Mobile, AL, this southern city keeps getting better with age.

7 Top Things To Do In Mobile

Things to do in mobile al

Many visitors to the city of Mobile, AL may only be staying for a short time as they prepare to depart on one of the Carnival Spirit’s cruise packages to the Caribbean or Bahamas; but, whether you’re only here for a day or a longer stay, there are plenty of things to do in Mobile.

Mobile al cruise port
The Cruise Port of Mobile, AL

For more information on booking a cruise from the port of Mobile, click this link for the current offerings.

1. Explore Historic Downtown

Mobile al barton academy for advanced world studies government street
Government Street

The best way to explore downtown is to walk it. If you happen to be staying at the historic Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, then you can easily stroll to all of Mobile’s downtown restaurants and shopping.

Begin your walk towards historic downtown Mobile on Dauphin St until you reach the original Moe’s Bar B Que (a 20-minute walk), then loop your way back down Conti St.

If you’re looking for more architecture and parks, a stroll along Government Street takes you past Mardi Gras Park, the Carnival Museum, and Spanish Plaza Park.

Mobile has several historic districts, including De Tonti Square, Church Street East, and Oakleigh Garden. A walk through these neighborhoods offers views of well-preserved Victorian homes and beautiful gardens.

Visit The Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Cathedral of the immaculate conception mobile al
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Construction began on the Cathedral in 1835, and while it has been added on to throughout the years, and even weathered hurricane damage, the cathedral stands in pristine condition today, a monument to the generations of dedicated parishioners through the years.

Columns cathedral immaculate conception mobile al

While you can attend a service here, if you’re not of the faith and just want to admire the construction and design, the cathedral is open to visitors to walk through and see the vivid red and gold barrel roof held aloft by the towering, gold-leaf columns leading the way to the front altar.

Cathedral of the immaculate conception interior
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Interior

The stained glass windows have been painstakingly restored in recent years, and a look behind you towards the entrance reveals the magnificent pipe organ, one of the largest and finest in the Gulf Coast region.

Pipe organ cathedral of immaculate conception mobile al
The Pipe Organ of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

As impressive as the Cathedral is, one of my favorite experiences is the walk through the paved garden paths surrounding the building lined with lush ferns and shaded by the sprawling branches of the old oaks.

On weekends, the Cathedral Square Green becomes a hub for local vendors selling crafts and foods, with live musical entertainment.

Cathedral gardens path mobile al
Cathedral Gardens Path

Shop Local at The Haunted Bookshop

“…haunted by the ghosts of all great literature.” -Christopher Morley

In a world of 1-click digital book downloads, I still love visiting an actual bookstore and picking out at least one book to take home with me.

My home library is filled not only with great books, but many of them represent a trip I took, so their value and meaning is two-fold.

The Haunted Bookshop in downtown Mobile is an inviting space brimming with books (of course) and other items as well.

2. Visit the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

Uss alabama in mobile bay
USS Alabama

After serving her duty during WWII initially in the North Atlantic seas before moving on to help free embattled islands in the South Pacific, the U.S.S. Alabama was destined for the scrap yard in the early 1960s.

Instead, she was rescued and became the anchor attraction for the Veterans Memorial Park in Mobile. Once home to 2,500 sailors, the ship is open for tours every day (except Christmas) between the hours of 8:00 – 5:00.

This World War II battleship is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Take a tour of the ship and learn about its role in the war. The park also has a museum with a collection of aircraft and tanks.

In addition to touring the battleship, visitors can also see the USS DRUM (the oldest American submarine on public display) and explore the Aircraft Pavilion. For more information regarding what the Memorial Park has to offer, click this link or use the link below for ticket information.

Things to do in Mobile

3. Tour the Mobile Carnival Museum

Mobile carnival museum exterior
Mobile Carnival Museum Exterior

If you’re interested in discovering more about the origins of Mardi Gras in America, then be sure to check out Mobile’s charming Carnival Museum easily located on Government St.

The museum displays elaborate costumes, floats, and other artifacts from past celebrations.

In addition to its permanent artifacts of Mardi Gras crowns, scepters, and robes, the museum features additional thematic exhibits each year, so be sure to check the website to see what the current offerings on display are during your visit.

4. Tour a Historic Home

As is the case with most notable cities, Mobile has quite a few historic homes available to tour. Each one offers a glimpse into the past and the history of Mobile as well.

The houses below are listed in order of popularity, but all have their unique value and experience. Many are also available to rent for weddings, parties, and receptions.

Conde-Charlotte House & Museum

Conde charlotte house things to do mobile al
Conde Charlotte House

“Near the banks of the Mobile River, the Condé-Charlotte Museum began its life as Mobile’s first courthouse and jail, eventually becoming the beloved home of the Kirkbride family. It now stands as a historic house museum.” -CondeCharlotte.com

Richards-DAR House Museum

Richards dar house things to do in mobile al
Richards-DAR House

“One of Mobile’s most treasured historic landmarks is the Richards-DAR House Museum in the De Tonti Square District. The 1860’s Italianate townhouse with its unique four seasons lace ironwork is approximately 10,000 square feet and is filled with period furnishings.” – RichardsDarHouse.com

Oakleigh House

Oakleigh house mobile al
Oakleigh House

One of Mobile’s most popular attractions, located minutes from downtown, in the heart of the Oakleigh Garden Historic District, the Historic Oakleigh House Museum’s collection contains over 1,000 artifacts that interpret life in Mobile between 1830-1950.” – HistoricOakleigh.com

One of the first major residences to be built outside of Mobile’s city limits, historians cite Oakleigh as one of the finest examples of Greek revival architecture in the United States.

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

Bragg mitchell mansion mobile al things to do
Bragg Mitchell Mansion

“Built in 1855, the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion is a 13,000 square foot Greek Revival facing Springhill Avenue in Mobile, Alabama. After $3 million in renovations, the home was opened to the public in 1987 and now serves as the preferred location for community wedding receptions, corporate dinners and historic home tours.” – BraggMitchellMansion.com

5. Enjoy a Performance at the Historic Saenger Theatre

Saenger theatre mobile al

When Mobile’s Saenger Theatre opened on January 19, 1927, it was the sixty-first Saenger Theatre of a chain founded by J.H. and A.D. Saenger of New Orleans. Hailed as “Alabama’s Greatest Showplace,” and “the most beautiful playhouse in all of Dixie,” the Mobile Saenger Theatre took a year to construct at a cost of about 500,000 dollars.

The Saenger Theatre of Mobile is a performing arts center and the official home of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. The Saenger features an annual Summer Movie Series and presents numerous concerts, lectures, and special events.

6. Ferry To Dauphin Island

Dauphin island beach
Dauphin Island Beach

*A Note on Mobile Area Beaches

If you’re staying in downtown Mobile, and you want to enjoy a beach experience, then you’ll probably be disappointed.

While Mobile is a port city, the focus is on docking large container boats and cruise ships. There aren’t any beautiful beaches in the immediate area to enjoy in a relaxing sense.

The best nearby beaches to experience are on Dauphin Island (accessible by ferry or bridge) or you can drive the 50+ miles to Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, which is its own trip entirely.

Sunset on dauphin island mobile bay alabama
Sunset on Dauphin Island Overlooking Mobile Bay

If you want to experience Mobile Bay, then I suggest checking out the following…

The Mobile Bay Ferry connects to Dauphin Island. The ferry saves hours of driving time plus fuel by providing a travel link across the expanse of Mobile Bay.

The trip between Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan at Mobile Point provides prime views of the two historic forts that have long guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes also granting potential views of birds and sea life.

There are two ferries, the Fort Morgan and the Marissa Mae Nicole to carry passengers and vehicles across the Bay. At least one ferry operates year-round with both ferries operating during the busy summer months.

Please note: The ferries will not run the 6:30 PM trip from Dauphin Island or the 7:15 PM trip from Fort Morgan except during Daylight Savings Time.

In addition to taking a ferry ride, you can also go fishing in the bay, or enjoy a scenic drive along the bay and stop at one of the many parks for a picnic or a walk.

7. Visit a Local Brewery

Breweries have been popping up all over Alabama in recent years, and downtown Mobile has several standout taprooms to visit where you can taste the local brews and maybe find a new favorite to take home.

Braided River Brewing Company

Braided river brewing company mobile al

The term “braided river” describes the way multiple rivers come together in the Delta. They slow down, spread out, and criss-cross with one another, before making their way to the Bay.

The goal at Braided River Brewing is to provide a space where visitors can slow down and connect in Mobile’s back yard.

Braided river brewing company flight mobile al
Beer Flight at Braided River Brewing

Oyster City Brewing Company

Oyster city brewing company

The Oyster City Brewing Company was conceived in 2012 on the barstools of The Tap Room in Apalachicola with one frequently asked question: “What’s your local beer?”

While this beer originated in the old coastal Florida town of Apalachicola, the downtown Mobile taproom is a thriving hub for relaxed gatherings and tastings whether you’re inside or outside enjoying the courtyard.

21 Best Mobile Restaurants

Fine Dining

Dauphin’s Casual Fine Dining

Dauphin's restaurant mobile al
Bread Service with Flavored Butters at Dauphin’s in Mobile, AL

Downtown Mobile is brimming with great food, but if you’re also looking for a great view, then look no further than Dauphin’s.

Wedge salad dauphin's mobile al restaurant
Wedge Salad at Dauphin’s

Situated on the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building, Dauphin’s overlooks Mobile Bay making it an ideal choice for a sunset dinner. A Jazz Brunch is offered on Sundays between 11:00 am – 3:00 pm offering fresh beignets, shrimp & grits, and a French toast topped with bananas foster sauce.

Shrimp appetizer dauphin's mobile al
Shrimp Appetizer at Dauphin’s

Whether you’re there for lunch, brunch, or dinner, expect regional favorites featuring savory southern creole flavors with a hint of the Caribbean.

Dauphin's fish entree mobile alabama restaurant


Noja mobile restaurant entree

Located in the heart of historic downtown Mobile near Cathedral Square, NoJa (short for N Jackson St) is fine dining in a relaxed setting.

The tasting menu changes weekly with a focus on seasonal ingredients and flavors inspired by both Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, so be sure to check the website for the most up-to-date offerings.

The Dumbwaiter Restaurant

The dumbwaiter restaurant mobile al
The Dumbwaiter Restaurant

Also located in the heart of downtown Mobile, the Dumbwaiter is located across from Bienville Square on Dauphin St. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, reservations are recommended for this Mobile favorite. The food may be fancy, but the dress is casual, reflecting the rustic brick and timber interior.

The Noble South

The noble south mobile al restaurant

The owner and head chef of The Noble South is Mobile native, Chris Rainosek, who is passionate about delicious food crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Menu options at The Noble South focus primarily on local seafood, but the menu offers a variety for carnivores and vegetarians alike.

The noble south mobile restaurant interior

The Royal Scam

Seared tuna the royal scam restaurant mobile al
Seared Tuna Appetizer

Located on Royal St between Conti & Government Streets, The Royal Scam is a tucked-away gem that can be easy to miss. Open Tuesday – Saturday from 5:00 – 9:00 pm, The Royal Scam accepts reservations via OpenTable. While the menu isn’t extensive, the focus is on freshness and quality.


Grace restaurant mobile al rooftop

Grace is downtown Mobile’s newest dining destination as well as the first rooftop bar on Dauphin St. Self-described as “Gourmet Gone Casual,” Grace offers lunch, dinner, and a Sunday brunch, and I’m looking forward to visiting this new restaurant on my next visit!

Chuck’s Fish

Chuck's fish restaurant mobile al

Chuck’s Fish in Mobile was the third opening location for this small restaurant chain that continues to grow in popularity due to its consistently delicious seafood and sushi.

Located on Dauphin St, Chuck’s Fish has an inviting atmosphere, offering a daily Happy Hour between 4 – 6 pm and 2 dollars off sushi on Tuesdays. The seafood is sourced from Harbor Docks, their own wholesale market in Destin, Florida.

When you dine at any Chuck’s Fish location, a portion of the proceeds goes to “American Lunch,” a non-profit organization that delivers meals to people in need.

Bistro St. Emanuel

Bistro st emanuel fort conde inn mobile al

Bistro St. Emanuel is an upscale restaurant housed in the Fort Conde Inn, so while the restaurant recently opened to accommodate the inn’s guests, anyone can make a reservation (on Fridays and Saturdays) and dine in the bistro for brunch or dinner 7 days a week.

While many Mobile area restaurants tend to echo New Orleans cuisine, the Bistro St. Emanuel is decidedly “Alabamian” in its menu offerings.

Bistro st emanuel mobile al restaurant
Bistro St Emanuel Dining & Bar

Since the Fort Conde Inn is a prime booking destination for weddings & receptions, be sure to check in advance for public availability to ensure the restaurant isn’t closed for a private event.

For more information about staying at the Forte Conde Inn, click this link.

Casual Dining & Lunch Spots

Debris Po-Boys & Drinks

Debris po boy mobile al restaurant
Debris Po Boy

Debris Po Boys & Drinks is one of my favorite places to pop in for lunch. Located in the middle of Dauphin St, it’s easy to breeze in and have a seat at the bar or at a picnic table out front.

Debris mobile al restaurant
Debris Mobile

Daily specials keep the menu interesting and fresh, and the vibe is relaxed and friendly.

Spot of Tea

Spot o tea mobile al

Opened in 1994 serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch, Spot of Tea is as popular as ever. Open every day between the hours of 8:00 am – 2:00 pm, it’s a can’t-miss spot located on Dauphin St across from the Cathedral and green park space.

Due to its popularity, you may have to wait, but the restaurant is large and also offers patio seating, so the wait isn’t normally too long. The menu offers a deliciously wide variety of tasty eats, so there’s something for everyone.

Croissant sandwich spot of tea mobile al
Croissant Sandwich at Spot of Tea

Squid Ink Eclectic Eats & Drinks

Squid ink eclectic eats drinks mobile al
Squid Ink Eclectic Eats & Drinks

“Our food is deeply rooted in Lower Alabama classics, but also a melting pot of influences from Mobile’s French, Spanish, and British heritage.” -SquidInkEats.com

Awarded “Most Innovative Menu” two years in a row, Squid Ink Eats & Drinks keeps the emphasis on “Eclectic.” Located on Dauphin St, it’s impossible to miss the vivid royal blue exterior, and the restaurant is now open for weekend brunch in addition to lunch and dinner.

The best thing about brunch? The opportunity to taste a fluffy “Panini Pete’s” beignet. They are, without a doubt, one of the top three beignets I have ever tasted.

Roosters Latin American Food

Rooster's latin american food mobile al

If you’re in the mood for fresh Latin American food in a low-key casual atmosphere with picnic tables, Roosters on Dauphin St is the place to go.

Rooster's latin american restaurant mobile al

It’s a hot spot for lunch with its wide variety of burritos, plates, sandwiches, and tacos served on homemade corn tortillas with plenty of customized options to satisfy meat eaters, fish lovers, and vegetarians alike.

*Note: Roosters is closed on Sundays.

The Cheese Cottage

The cheese cottage cheese board charcuterie mobile al

Housed in an old Pure Oil gas station located on St. Louis Street in Downtown Mobile, Alabama, the Cheese Cottage showcases some of the world’s best cheeses.

The cheese cottage mobile al

I randomly discovered Mobile’s The Cheese Cottage on a Sunday morning walk. In the distance, I could see umbrellas and a quaint white building while the sounds of happy people drifted my way. I cannot wait to go back.

This little deli and cheese shop serving sandwiches, salads, and elaborate charcuterie & cheese boards, is as charming as it sounds. Closed on Mondays, the Cheese Cottage is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11-8 and Sundays from 12-4.

The cheese cottage mobile al exterior

Callaghan’s Irish Social Club

Callaghans irish social club mobile al burger

Open since 1946, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club is located in Mobile’s Oakleigh Garden District.

Callaghan’s has been recognized as the Best Burger in Alabama by USA Today, the Alabama Cattleman’s Assn, and Best Burger in Mobile by the Lagniappe. They have also been voted as the Best Music Venue by Mobile Bay Monthly and The Best Bar in America by Esquire Magazine.

The mastersons callaghan's irish social club mobile al

Located near the Oakleigh House & Museum, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club features classic pub fare with a few brunch options as well. Check their website and social media for live music events

Wintzell’s Oyster House

Wintzell's oyster house mobile al restaurant
Wintzell’s Oyster House

This original Wintzell’s location has been open for over seventy-five years and is known for their “Oysters—fried, stewed or nude.”

Founded in 1938 by J. Oliver Wintzell as a small, six-stool oyster bar, the restaurant and brand have grown significantly. Though the Wintzell family sold the restaurant in the 1980s, the original décor remains the same.

Wintzell’s Oyster House is a downtown Mobile staple offering a range of oyster preparations as well as elevated seafood classics like Redfish Bienville and Snapper Muniere. As famous as they are for their oysters, Wintzell’s standout, award-winning appetizer is its seafood gumbo.

Moe’s Original BBQ

Located in the upper part of Dauphin along the Mardi Gras parade route in downtown Mobile, Moe’s Original BBQ features a hot nightlife scene with full premium bars, high-definition TVs, and an entertainment venue that showcases live music.

With over 60 locations, Moe’s Original BBQ is clearly doing something right. While the owners aren’t native to Mobile, the company was founded by three men from Alabama.

If you’re craving BBQ after working up an appetite walking around downtown Mobile, then Moe’s will most likely hit the spot.

Best Casual Breakfast & Brunch

Mama’s On Dauphin

Mama's on dauphin mobile al lunch

Since Mama’s on Dauphin opened its doors in 2003, this restaurant has become a fixture within the Historic Downtown Mobile community, serving homegrown favorites to both regulars and out-of-towners alike.

To support local businesses and growers, Mama’s on Dauphin purchases all of their fresh vegetables from the local farmers and markets.

Bob’s Downtown Restaurant

Bob's downtown mobile al restaurant

Bob’s Downtown is an old-fashioned American diner. Open daily from 7:00 – 3:00, they serve breakfast all day, and it’s a bustling spot on Saturday morning with diners spilling out onto the outdoor sidewalk tables.

Breakfast bob's downtown mobile al

Ruby Slipper Cafe

The ruby slipper mobile al

Located on Royal St in downtown Mobile, the Ruby Slipper brunch cafe is every bit as popular here as it is in its nearby hometown of New Orleans.

Ruby slipper mobile brunch

It’s so popular, in fact, you can actually go online and join The Waitlist so you can better time your visit to avoid waiting too long in line. Brunch at the Ruby Slipper is as decadent as it gets, but the calories (and Hollandaise) are worth it.

FIVE Mobile

Five mobile restaurant exterior

At FIVE, the concept is about quality over quantity. This restaurant offers five dinners, five wines, and five signature cocktails. The products are sourced locally and FIVE features a scratch-made kitchen.

Chandeliers five mobile restaurant

While I do usually like to have more than 5 choices, I appreciate the goal of this small franchise with four total restaurants. The Mobile location is inviting in its eclectic, bohemian style, and it’s a great place to go for a Sunday Jazz brunch.

Things to do in Mobile

Where To Stay In Mobile

Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa

Battle house renaissance resort spa mobile al

Downtown Mobile has several hotels and B&Bs that offer a great home location for your trip to this Alabama port city, but the Battle House Renaissance Hotel & Spa is my absolute favorite.

Battlehouse renaissance mobile al lobby
The Lobby of the Battle House

Not only is it a historic building, but the architecture is gorgeous with a rooftop pool and a luxurious spa. While you definitely want to check out as much of Mobile’s thriving restaurant scene and nightlife, the Battle House has on-site restaurants as well in addition to a cozy piano bar that stays open late.

Battle house renaissance hotel interior architecture

I hope you enjoy your next trip to Mobile, AL, and if you have any additional suggestions to add to this guide, drop me a comment below!

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