Dauphin Island Alabama

Dauphin Island Bridge
Dauphin Island Bridge

Dauphin Island Alabama is a laid-back resort destination that has plenty more to offer than just great beaches. Found 3 miles south of Mobile Bay's mouth and some 30 miles south of Mobile, Dauphin Island is connected to mainland Alabama by the Gordon Persons Bridge. A barrier island, Dauphin Island Alabama is just 14 miles long and under 2 miles wide at its widest point, which explains why so few people live here. About 1,300 people call Dauphin Island home, though during the summertime and the holidays, incoming visitors add significantly to the population. Summers and holidays aren't the only good times for Dauphin Island vacations, however, as the island enjoys moderate temperatures in the winter. For those looking to book a vacation rental here, they are available year round.

Dauphin Island Rentals
Dauphin Island Rentals

Dauphin Island is a great place for people to relax, but you might not know that it's also a popular resting point for migratory birds. The entire island has earned a designation as a bird sanctuary, and it is divided into individual sanctuary areas. The main sanctuary here is the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, so if you're limited on time and want to do some birding, it's your best bet. Birdwatching enthusiasts will do well to book their Dauphin Island vacations during the annual migrations, though you are likely to spot some fine feathered creatures here regardless of the time of year. The Audubon Bird Sanctuary can be found on the east side of the island, which is also where you'll find some of the other top attractions in Dauphin Island. Among the other attractions found on the eastern side include the Dauphin Island Campground and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which is the top marine research and education center in all of Alabama. The Sea Lab's Estuarium/Public Aquarium is a must-visit for those who want to learn about some of the area's native marine life. Right across the street from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is historic Fort Gaines, which is one of the attractions in Dauphin Island that history buffs will not want to miss.

Fort Gaines was originally established way back in 1821, though it was not completed until 1861. It's defining moment came during the Battle of Mobile Bay, which was just one of the many battles that pertained to the American Civil War. You can learn more about this notable naval conflict should you visit this fort, and you can also learn about how the fort was modified in 1898. For another taste of Alabama history, you can also head over to Cadillac Square Park, which once served as the site for the family home of M. de la Mothe de Cadillac. Cadillac, who founded Detroit Michigan in 1701, took his family down to Dauphin Island in 1713. He would be appointed the new governor of the Louisiana Territory. While the home where Cadillac and his family lived is no longer present at Cadillac Square Park, it is an excellent place for picnics and things the like. In addition to finding picnic tables here, you will also find restrooms for public use. Bike riding aficionados can access the island's Bike Path from the park, and it's central location means that you can head either east or west to do some exploring.

Dauphin Island Beach
Dauphin Island Beach

Cadillac Square Park isn't the only park that you'll find on Dauphin Island, as there are a few other ones where visitors can seek outdoor recreation. Bayou Heron Park is just one of the other parks here that you can enjoy, and its small pier is ideal for fishing. If the fish aren't biting, you can kick back and enjoy a picnic while gazing at the Gordon Persons Bridge in the distance. While the parks that are found on Dauphin Island are fine places to enjoy the great outdoors, so too are the island's beaches, which are hugely responsible for bringing the tourists in. Besides soaking up some sun and doing a bit of swimming and surfing at the Dauphin Island beaches, visitors can also do some sport fishing. Kite flying is another fun thing to do on the beaches of Dauphin Island Alabama, so you might want to pick up a new kite on the way down.

Dauphin Island
Dauphin Island

Beaches, a historic fort, parks, an informative aquarium, and bird sanctuaries aren't the only attractions that you can take advantage of when enjoying Dauphin Island vacations. There is also a public golf course here, so pack up the clubs if you like to play. Of course, no trip to Dauphin Island would be complete without a visit to the island's main pier. The Dauphin Island Fishing Pier stretches more than 800 feet out over the water and it features concession stands where you can grab some snacks and refreshments. Come spring and summer, hopping on a ferry to visit historic Fort Morgan is also an option.

When you're not enjoying all the great attractions in Dauphin Island, you can enjoy some fresh seafood and other regional food favorites at the restaurants that line the tourist area. As one might imagine, the tourist part of the island, which extends from the center of the island westward, is a good place to find Dauphin Island hotels if you're not going the vacation rental route. The hotels here are limited, however, so you'll want to consider the vacation rentals as well.

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