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3 Off-menu Reasons to Visit Mobile, Alabama

by JonPharr

When it comes to cuisine, Mobile, Alabama, is the epicenter for diverse palates. Boasting menus of seafood, southern delicacies and some of the South’s best barbeque, you’ll be hard-pressed to find disappointment in the culinary options. While you’re eating your way through this historic city, there are plenty of ways to feed your traveling spirit as well. Mobile is the type of city where you can relax in a natural wonderland or set out and learn through its many cultural and educational experiences. The city is a true “choose your own adventure” destination, where travelers pick their own pace and dive into activities that spark their interests.

Cultural Heritage

Mobile’s close-knit relationship to its cultural history makes it more than just your average Instagram-able vacation spot. If you’re looking for a trip filled with impactful stories of cultural heritage, this is your must-experience destination. Following the discovery of America’s last slave ship, the Clotilda, in 2019, the Africatown community has gained national media attention. Descendants of the ship’s survivors have embraced and uplifted the stories of their ancestors, who were forcibly brought to the area. Named one of the top new museums of 2023 by USA Today, “Clotilda: The Exhibition” at Africatown Heritage House will impact you long after your visit.  Mobile’s “Remembering the Avenue” exhibit, found at the newly renovated Historic Avenue Cultural Center, adds a unique, deeply personal dimension to the area’s interconnection of past, present and future. The Cultural Center is located in the building which formerly housed the city’s segregation-era library, with plans to restore the area to a center of pride within the community.


Known as the city “born to celebrate,” Mobile has a knack for highlighting its local talent. The arts are celebrated year-round at ArtWalk. Every second Friday of the month, Mobilians and visitors flock to the family-friendly, block party style marketplace where local vendors sell their wares and musicians serenade the downtown streets. No two ArtWalks are the same! Every month features new themes and artwork to discover. The celebration pushes far outside of downtown as well. This year, the Mobile Museum of Art commemorates its 40th anniversary. Celebrating the history of art in Mobile, the “DECADES: Looking Back/Moving Forward” exhibit is being released in a series of installments. Each installment offers an immersive experience into the art and innovations of the past. You may feel your creativity flowing after this artsy getaway.

Mardi Gras

Home to the original Mardi Gras, Mobile’s Carnival season celebrations are simultaneously all the rage and wonderfully unexpected. If you didn’t know Mardi Gras originated in Mobile, just ask someone who lives there, and they will eagerly oblige you with the details! In fact, an entire day of the Mardi Gras season is dedicated to the man who brought Carnival to the U.S., Joseph Cain. While the rest of this festive holiday season features floats of mystic society members in flashy costumes, Joe Cain Day is revered as “The People’s Parade.” On this day, a society known as Joe Cain’s Merry Widows wail hysterically over his grave, their faces hidden by black veils, before kicking off a full day of parades of handmade floats, children and friends tossing beads and moon pies alongside a dramatically harmless falling-out with the Mistresses of Joe Cain.

Whether your soul is craving culture, creativity or Carnival, there is no shortage of experiences to be had in Mobile. Though the decision to visit is an easy one, one question remains: Which adventure will you choose?

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