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On a little thumb of land that pokes into Mobile Bay in southern Alabama, Mobile is a refreshing, lively place with plenty of activities and attractions. As anyone (including the tourist brochures) will tell you, Mobile has been celebrating Mardi Gras for a heck of a lot longer than those folks over there in New Orleans — since 1703! With a month of festivities culminating in Fat Tuesday, Mobile's big party is more subdued than the other one, but lots of fun. Mobile has four historic districts filled with antebellum architecture, shops, museums and fresh-oyster restaurants. It has a lively cruise-ship dock and is home base for the USS ...

On a little thumb of land that pokes into Mobile Bay in southern Alabama, Mobile is a refreshing, lively place with plenty of activities and attractions. As anyone (including the tourist brochures) will tell you, Mobile has been celebrating Mardi Gras for a heck of a lot longer than those folks over there in New Orleans — since 1703! With a month of festivities culminating in Fat Tuesday, Mobile's big party is more subdued than the other one, but lots of fun. Mobile has four historic districts filled with antebellum architecture, shops, museums and fresh-oyster restaurants. It has a lively cruise-ship dock and is home base for the USS Alabama, a striking WWII battleship that is open for tours. Given its spot on the Bay, it's not surprising that Mobile offers lots to do on the water — be it fishing, boat tours, birding trips or jaunts to Dauphin Island — a nearby barrier island reachable by car from Mobile.

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

Climate

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    Mobile is a year-round destination, but it's fun to be here for Mardi Gras, which takes place in February.