The beautiful port city with its 206,000 inhabitants was founded in 1702 as a French colony. Until the end of the civil war, it was a strategically important port – and at the same time an important transhipment point for cotton. It has retained its French-Southern flair.
A stroll through Mobile’s romantic historic districts will give you a taste of the city’s history. There are seven designated historic districts in Mobile, each with its own unique character and architectural heritage. Self-guided tours by car or on foot are available to explore these interesting neighborhoods.
One of the highlights is De Tonti Square in the city center. There are various historical buildings in numerous architectural styles. The adobe townhouses and cottages were built in the 1850s and 60s and have brick sidewalks that still have the original gas lamps. The Oakley Garden District, spanning, more than 60 blocks, is home to a mix of mansions and cottages that feature varying architectural details from the 1830s through the 1930s.
According to Travelationary, the Old Dauphin Way District is west of Mobile. The older buildings consist of simple half-timbered houses, while larger houses line Dauphin Street and Spring Hill Avenue. Church Street East is the most diverse of Mobile’s historic neighborhoods. Many of the French, Spanish and English colonial buildings were destroyed by fire – but rebuilt. Lower Dauphin Street is Mobile’s only commercial district that dates predominantly from the 19th century. Here you will find two- and three-storey brick buildings in the Victorian – but also in the Italian-style revival style of the 20th century.
Don’t miss the Mobile Carnival Museum (355 Government St., Mobile) The museum, which tells 300 years of Mobile Carnival history, is located in the historic Bernstein Bush Mansion downtown. One of Mobile’s top attractions is the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, with the warship USS Alabama as the largest exhibit (2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile)
Fort Conde, built in 1702, points to the founding of the city by the French. The weir system was rebuilt after a storm surge in 1723 and was used until 1820. (150 South Royal Street, Mobile)
Art lovers will be interested in the Mobile Museum of Art in Langan Park. The large complex houses more than 10,000 works of art from 2,000 years of history. (Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive, Mobile)
The History Museum of Mobile also deals intensively with the history of the city – the exhibits range from the founding of the city to the indigenous population of the region, the civil war and recent history, the civil rights movement. Also affiliated with this museum is the Mary Jane Slayton Inge Gallery collection with a unique collection of faithfully reproduced miniature houses from the city’s golden era.
Also part of the historical museum is the Phoenix Fire Museum on Claiborne Street – housed in a 19th century fire station. Numerous historical fire engines can be admired. (Main building address: 111 South Royal Street, Mobile)
The GulfQuest Maritime Museum deals with all aspects of the natural history and ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. With numerous activities for the youngest visitors, this multimedia museum is one of the most interesting tourist attractions. (155 South Water Street, Mobile,)
Montgomery, with a population of 225,000, has been the state capital since 1846. In 1861 Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy on the steps of the neoclassical State Capitol. A museum in the First White House of the Confederacy commemorates this period. (First White House of the Confederacy, 644 Washington Ave).
Montgomery played an important role in the civil rights movement. A museum is dedicated to Rosa Parks, a black woman who refused to give up her seat for a white man in a protest against racial segregation. (Rosa Parks Museum, 252 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, AL 36104). dr Martin Luther King supported the boycott of buses for a year from 1956, which finally led to the abolition of racial segregation in local public transport.
Other memorials of the civil rights movement include the Civil Rights Memorial, which honors the 41 victims who lost their lives fighting for racial equality. (400 Washington Avenue, Downtown Montgomery)
The city is closely linked to two artists of the 20th century: in 1931 Scott Fitzgerald (1894-1940) and his wife Zelda, who was born here, lived in Montgomery. Fitzgerald was writing Tender is the Night at the time. Her home is now a museum: Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, 919 Fields Ave., Montgomery, AL 36106).
In 1958, three days before his death, Hank Williams gave his last concert in the city. He is buried in Oakwood Cementary. (Oakwood Cementary, 829 Columbus St, Montgomery, AL 36104)
Former slave Booker T Washington founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in 1881, which served primarily to improve educational opportunities for African Americans. A university developed from the school. Agronomist George Washington Carver studied here how to increase agricultural yields in the region.
Also of interest is the Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center with its exhibit. This is where the former flight school of the Tuskegee Airmen was established – a group of black pilots who joined forces during World War II. (Tuskegee Airmen, 1616 Chappie James Ave. Tuskegee, AL 36083) and Tuskegee History Center, 104 South Elm Street, Tuskegee, Alabama