What to Know (and Love) about Dauphin Island, Alabama
Set your watch to island time on a trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama. It's a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico that has all the Southern style, coastal charm, and picturesque sunsets you dream of on vacation. With a population of just over 1,200, it's a cozy spot with plenty to do and see.
Dauphin Island is located three miles south of Mobile Bay, with clear blue water and powdery white sand galore. It's connected to mainland Alabama by bridge, and there are also ferry rides to take you to and from the island. Keep reading, because when you visit, there are a few places you just can't miss.
Dauphin Island Public Beach
You're on an island, so scope out the beach. There's plenty of public beach on Dauphin Island, which means you'll need to bring your sunscreen and umbrellas. The island itself is 14 miles long and very, very narrow, so you can explore the whole of it. Take in the seaside oasis, and expect plenty of sunshine on these stretches of serene sand.
Dauphin Island Marina
This is your go-to, one-stop shop for all ocean adventures. Contact Dauphin Island Marina to schedule a chartered fishing trip with your family and friends. They also offer kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as pontoon boat charters. Check out Action Outdoors for boat trips and dolphin watching escapades aboard The Duke, a 44-foot-long vessel that accommodates 42 adventure-seeking visitors.
Audubon Bird Sanctuary
Birdwatchers shouldn't miss Dauphin Island's Audubon Bird Sanctuary, which is an ideal place from which to watch migrating birds, especially in the spring. The 137-acre sanctuary is a bustling spot, as 420 of Alabama's bird species have been known to stop here to rest during their migrations.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its public aquarium, the Estuarium, is a destination for marine research and education. Plan your visit to the Estuarium to learn about coastal Alabama habitats, see the sting ray touch pool, and explore the Living Marsh Boardwalk. You'll see more than 100 species and you'll leave with plenty of marine memories.
Shell Mound Park
Stop by the north shore of the island to see Shell Mound Park, a beautifully preserved archaeological site with shell mounds dating to 1100-1500 AD. Archaeologists believe that the shell mounds are comprised of oyster shells and other layers and composed by Native American tribes visiting the area over many centuries.
Are you planning a trip to Dauphin Island this year? Be sure to check out the island's campgrounds as well as historic Fort Gaines, which has guarded Mobile Bay for over a century.