Raise your hand if you love the beach! We visiting Dauphin Island, Alabama for a long weekend and loved it. If you’re looking for a quiet beach vacation it’s a great option.

Stuff To Do

You can rent kayaks and paddleboards to get out on the water, bring or rent bikes to enjoy a 7.5 mile long bike trail, and there are piers for fishing. If you’re not staying on the water there are public beaches including the West End Beach, which is a great spot for shells. There is also a 137-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary (347 species have been reported on the island).

If you’re visiting with kids check out the Estuarium at Sea Lab. It’s an educational public aquarium highlighting the four key habitats of coastal Alabama. Sea Lab also offers day and overnight camps.

Other Things Nearby

Downtown Mobile (about 45 minutes away) is a beautiful, old city with lots of interesting, local restaurants. Military buffs will love visiting the USS Alabama and seeing the military ships under construction in Mobile Bay (by Australian firm Austal).

The Gulf Coast Exploreum science center is also downtown, to help keep those kids entertained, and there is an art community with a few shops as well. We visited the Cathedral Square Art Gallery and were impressed by the art and affordable prices. 

You can take the 40-minute ride on the Mobile Bay ferry from Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan at Mobile Point. We did this and then drove to Flora-Bama, which was entertaining.

Where to Stay

View from our condo patio

We stayed at a condo at the Holiday Isle (via VRBO) and enjoyed the beach right in front of the building. It was great to go out after dinner and catch crabs! There are not a lot of restaurants on the island, so I’d definitely recommend staying someplace with a kitchen. Getting your groceries in Mobile (there is a Whole Foods, and several other grocery stores) and pick up fresh fish at Skinner’s Seafood on the island.

Click on the photos to see more images from our trip:

Getting There

You could drive the ten hours, but we’re not big fans of long drives so we opted to fly. American flies non-spot to Mobile, Alabama, but we opted for the less expensive option of flying Southwest into New Orleans and driving from there. It was enough of a price difference to justify the longer drive.

Other Useful Websites

Dauphin Island Park & Beach Board

South Mobile County Tourism Authority