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Travel beside Mobile Bay’s shoreline as you explore historic, natural, and cultural attractions on Alabama’s Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway circle tour.
Bessie Bellingrath wanted to beautify her husband's fishing camp. So she hired an architect and 40 gardeners. Learn about this fascinating woman who knew and got what she wanted but also didn't hesitate to help the less fortunate.
Explore an 1800s fort, a bird sanctuary, and an aquarium on this island in Mobile Bay, accessible by bridge from the west and ferry from the east.

Alabama Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway: 20 Things to Do

Did you know that more plants and more species of aquatic creatures live in Alabama than in any other state in the United States? When we planned to spend a month exploring the Alabama Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway last winter, little did we know we were headed to the most diverse ecosystem in the ... Read more

The Woman Behind Bellingrath Gardens

Bellingrath Gardens was a must-see visit for us as we explored Alabama’s Coastal Connection Scenic Byway. Sixty-five acres of gorgeous gardens and the impressive 10,500 square-foot mansion, complete with the Bellingraths’ original furnishings, were absolutely worth the visit. But what impressed me most was the story of Mrs. Bellingrath. Avid gardener… collector of fine things… ... Read more

Dauphin Island: 3 History and Nature Attractions to Explore

When British military occupied Dauphin Island during the War of 1812, they described the land as full of snakes, alligators, and mosquitoes. The island was “very barren…and produces nothing at all…a very marshy nature.” I suppose some of that is true today, since we saw warning signs about alligators. But developed with museums, restaurants, and ... Read more

Jubilee: A Rare Phenomenon that Delights Seafood Lovers

This oceanic phenomenon occurs in rare instances around the world. However, it happens in only two places regularly: Tokyo Bay and the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, Alabama. When it occurs, seafood lovers scramble to gather all the flounder and blue crab they can carry. The phenomenon is known as a jubilee. How a Jubilee ... Read more

Foley, Alabama: Two Museums and a Soda Fountain

Foley, Alabama, is a popular side trip from Gulf Shores, just 11.7 miles north on Alabama State Route 59. You also go through the town if you drive Alabama’s Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, even though it’s twelve miles east of the coast. There’s a lot to do in Foley, from shopping and museums to an ... Read more

Mobile Carnival Museum: How Did Mardi Gras Begin?

When we spent a month along the Alabama Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, we purposely stayed near Mobile. We wanted to experience the family-friendly Mardi Gras there, since the city is the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States. So, we made the Mobile Carnival Museum one of the first stops during our visit. Visitors ... Read more

Fairhope, Alabama: A Single-Tax Colony

In a single-tax colony, individuals do not own land. The community owns the land, and individuals lease the land from the community group. The community taxes people on the share of the land they lease, not on the property’s structure. Whether someone builds a tiny home or a mansion, the property tax is the same. ... Read more

Historic Blakeley State Park: Ghost Town and Battlefield

At first Blakeley State Park seems like most other state parks, with a lot of natural features. The 2,000-acre park includes campgrounds, nature trails, and pavilions for group picnics. Its location on the Tensaw River makes it ideal for fishing. But, the park is far more than nature-related. It’s a historic site that will fascinate ... Read more