Mike Knell

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Overview

A subtropical barrier island 35 miles south of Mobile, Alabama, Dauphin Island is a veritable freeway for migratory birds. As such, the entire island – just 14 miles long and less than two miles wide – is a designated bird sanctuary. Connected to the mainland by a three-mile bridge, the island is rimmed with white sandy beaches and surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay, making the fishing and boating spectacular. With around 1,200 permanent residents, the population swells in spring and summer, when families come to meander along the piers, dip fishing poles into the bay, and eat caught-that-day seafood sold at ...

A subtropical barrier island 35 miles south of Mobile, Alabama, Dauphin Island is a veritable freeway for migratory birds. As such, the entire island – just 14 miles long and less than two miles wide – is a designated bird sanctuary. Connected to the mainland by a three-mile bridge, the island is rimmed with white sandy beaches and surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay, making the fishing and boating spectacular. With around 1,200 permanent residents, the population swells in spring and summer, when families come to meander along the piers, dip fishing poles into the bay, and eat caught-that-day seafood sold at shore-side shacks. Birdwatchers come to visit the 164-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary, composed of maritime forest, swamps, marshes and beach dunes. During fall and especially spring migrations, dozens of species of neotropical birds pit stop at Dauphin Island before heading north or farther south. Other animals, plants and marine life are studied at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a renowned marine science and research center.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A town in Mobile County, Southwestern Alabama, located on a barrier island also named Dauphin Island.
  • Research: Gulf Shores | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    For avid bird watchers, the best time to come is during spring and fall bird migrations. Beach-going is best from May to October.