Dauphin Island, Alabama is three miles south of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Dauphin Island is known as a prime place for relaxing and having fun with family and friends. Dauphin Island's beaches, with their fine white sands and clear blue water, are considered some of the best in the state. Dauphin Island, Alabama, is easy to access since it is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and ferries regularly transport commuters and tourists between Dauphin Island and mainland communities. Plan a relaxing weekend getaway from Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Gadsden, Florence, Mobile and other cities.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Dauphin Island Public Beach, Dauphin Island, AL

Dauphin Island Public Beach, Dauphin Island, AL
© Courtesy of swambolt - Fotolia.com

Dauphin Island Public Beach showcases some of the island's most beautiful landscapes. In addition to the beach itself, visitors can enjoy a variety of nearby trails, parks, and historical exhibits. Dauphin Island Public Beach is unique among beaches in the area since it is pet-friendly.

In an effort to protect the fragile environment, visitors are asked to pay fees between $2 and $5 for access to the beach and surrounding facilities during the high season.

1501 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Fun day trip ideas: East Coast beaches, NC quick trip, Romantic weekend getaways

2. The Estuarium (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), Dauphin Island

The Estuarium (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), Dauphin Island
© Courtesy of Arkady Chubykin - Fotolia.com

The Estuarium, also known as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, is home to more than 100 forms of aquatic life. The 10,000 square foot exhibit facility contains upwards of 30 aquariums. Each aquarium focuses on a unique aspect of the Mobile Bay Estuary, an area that is considered to be the fourth largest estuary system in the United States.

The Estuarium also offers organized tours and educational materials for school groups. Boardwalk Talks, a series of seminars aimed at helping people understand the ecology of the Mobile Bay Estuary, take place twice a month. These educational seminars are free to the public.

101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-2141

Things to do near me today: Getaways from Seattle, NC day trips, FL, Getaways in California, Near Atlanta, AL

3.Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Courtesy of cineuno - Fotolia.com

Fort Gaines, which sits on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, has protected the entrance of Mobile Bay for more than 150 years. Due to its location near the shoreline, Fort Gaines has endured years of erosion from water, winds, and inclement weather.

It is on the list of America's most endangered historical sites. Aside from the fort itself, the area contains a blacksmith shop, a museum, and a gift shop. Visitors can explore the well-preserved tunnels that connect various parts of the fort. Fort Gaines is open year-round with the exception of certain holidays.

51 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-6992

What are some popular things to do: CO, From San Diego, VA, OH, WI, MI, IL, IL Places, VA, San Diego, TX -- You are reading "12 Best Things to Do on Dauphin Island, Alabama" Back to Top

4.Mobile Bay Ferry, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Mobile Bay Ferry, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Mobile Bay Ferry

The Mobile Bay Ferry connects Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan, Alabama. In addition to shaving hours off of travel time between these two points, the ferry ride, which takes approximately 40 minutes, offers spectacular views of Mobile Bay.

The Mobile Bay Ferry operates year-round, and during busy months there are two ferries available to make the bay crossing. Both ferries are equipped to carry vehicles. The ferries are easily accessible to people living in the New Orleans area, Dauphin Island, Mobile, and Fort Morgan. Ticket prices start at $5 for a one-way trip. Phone: 251-861-3000

What are some fun must-see places: NC beaches, Ft Lauderdale, Day trips from NYC, From Chicago, PA, CT, CA, Hilton Head, Castles in Texas, GA beaches

5.Audubon Bird Sanctuary, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Audubon Bird Sanctuary, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Courtesy of angeldibilio - Fotolia.com

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is the prime area for spotting birds as they travel to and from Central and South America. Dauphin Island is among the top four spots in all of North America for viewing bird migrations in the spring, and researchers have learned that more than 95 percent of Alabama's bird species have passed through Dauphin Island at one point or another.

Many of them flock to the 137-acre Audubon Bird sanctuary to recuperate during their long journey. The sanctuary contains a variety of unique geographic features, including forests, marshes, dunes, and beaches. According to the National Audubon Society, the sanctuary plays key role in protecting and perpetuating a number of bird species.

211 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-3607

Expert opinion: Where should I go this weekend for fun? FL, CA, Myrtle Beach, OR, New England weekend, Charlotte, Williamsburg, LA, PA -- You are reading "What to Do on Dauphin Island, Alabama this Weekend" Back to Top

6.Shell Mound Park, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Shell Mound Park, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Courtesy of oda - Fotolia.com

Shell Mound Park is one of the most well preserved archaeological sites in the American south. The mounds in Shell Mound Park are believed to be the remnants of seafood meals consumed by Native Americans between AD 1100-AD 1550. Archaeological evidence suggests that the mounds were formed during the winter when Native Americans would travel to Dauphin Island from nearby Bottle Creek to cook oysters together.

The state of Alabama has gone to great lengths to protect the mounds because of their historical significance, so they are still clearly visible today. Dauphin Island visitors can easily access Shell Mound Park for free to get a glimpse into the area's special past.

North Iberville, Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Top Rated: Last minute places for couples: Denver, Boca Raton, Louisville, CA, Virginia Beach, San Antonio, AZ

7.Action Outdoors, Dauphin Island

Action Outdoors, Dauphin Island
© Action Outdoors

Action Outdoors provides boat trips through the waters that surround Dauphin Island, and private boat rides, birthday parties, and bay fishing trips are also available through Action Outdoors. In addition to giving tours, Action Outdoors organizes field trips that include educational materials for teachers.

The field trip and related curriculum provides students of all ages with an in-depth look at bay ecosystems. Action Outdoors boat trips are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

650 LeMoyne Dr., Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-2201

Affordable things to see near me, must-visit beaches, cheap weekend getaways: Catskills, Pink Sand beaches, Best Places to Visit, Bar Harbor, Destin, Minneapolis, Jacksonville, Key West, Nashville, AZ, From LA

8.Dauphin Island Heritage & Arts Council, Dauphin Island, AL

Dauphin Island Heritage & Arts Council, Dauphin Island, AL
© Courtesy of dauphinisland.org

The Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council (DIHAC) works to promote and preserve various forms of art in the Dauphin Island community. Painting classes and art fundraisers are the main vehicles that DIHAC uses to help Dauphin Island's residents and visitors understand the value of art. The council also manages a gallery that features works from local artists.

The establishment strives to support community theater, musical productions, and local art contest, and. DIHAC has built of a network of art supporters through its membership program. People who are interested in joining DIHAC can apply for membership through the DIHAC website.

918 Bienville Rd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-3300

Our experts' top picks for a long weekend getaway for couples: Berkeley, Tybee Island, Nantucket, NH resorts, MN resorts, Kona, Pasadena, ND, ME, From Boston, Salt Lake City

9.Dauphin Island Marina, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Dauphin Island Marina, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Courtesy of fotografci - Fotolia.com

The Dauphin Island Marina sits at the base of Dauphin Island Bridge between the Intracoastal Waterway and Mobile Bay. The full-service marina has an assortment of amenities, including fuel and oil for boats, an area for boat maintenance and storage, restrooms with showers, and a restaurant.

People who are interested in going fishing near Dauphin Island can contact the marina to join in on chartered fishing trips. The Marina also provides kayak, standup paddleboard, and pontoon boat rentals for visitors who want to see dolphins and spot wildlife. Rentals are available on a 2-hour, 4-hour, or all-day basis.

Dauphin Island Marina, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-861-2201

Insider travel recommendations, In-depth reviews of our favorite places: NC, NM, ME, VegasFrom LA, WY, Hot Springs, Midwest , Things to Do in Reno, Ohio castles,, KY, South Padre Island, Dream vacation spots -- "Best Things to Do on Dauphin Island, Alabama for Locals & Tourists - Restaurants, Hotels" Back to Top

10.FinAtics Inshore Fishing Charters, Dauphin Island, Alabama

FinAtics Inshore Fishing Charters, Dauphin Island, Alabama
© Courtesy of Damon - Fotolia.com

FinAtics Fishing Charters organizes fishing trips in the Dauphin Island area for individuals, families, and groups. The chartered trip rates include the cost of renting a fishing rod, reels, tackle, bait, and other supplies. Trips typically last between four and six hours, and guests are allowed to keep anything they catch.

The departure point for the chartered trips varies depending on the time of the year. In the summer guests leave from Dauphin Island, and as the weather cools down the trips are moved farther inland toward Mobile Bay. The chartered trips are open to beginners, advanced fisherman, and everyone in between.

610 E Lemoyne Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, 251-265-3474

What to do near my location, inexpensive getaways: Florida Keys, IN, Healdsburg CA, Madison, Best beaches in USA Water parks in Texas, New Braunfels, Long Island, NY, NC, OK, OR, Day Trips in Southern California, Cocoa Beach, CA, Harpers Ferry, Durham

11.Sand Island Lighthouse

Sand Island Lighthouse
© Elizabeth/stock.adobe.com

One of the most historically rich lighthouses in Alabama, the grand Sand Island Lighthouse has stood off the coast of Fort Morgan for over 150 years. The lighthouse was originally constructed by the renowned Winslow Lewis in 1838, but was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt nine years after the war ended. The land it stands on has also shrunk through the years from 400 acres to less than one acre today. Efforts have been made by the residents of Dauphin Island to maintain and preserve the lighthouse such as transferring tons of granite, rock, and sand in order to expand the land around the tower. Visiting the lighthouse is free of charge, but requires a boat rental or tour in order to get there.

Sand Island Light, Gulf of Mexico, Alabama

Cool places to go near me, luxury spas, golf: MA, FL, Caribbean, All-inclusive Jamaica, AR, CO, ME, KS, CT, Missouri caves, Gadsden, Pismo Beach, Blue Ridge, Best caves in Missouri, Beaches Near Atlanta, NJ, FL caves

12.Fort Morgan State Historic Site

Fort Morgan State Historic Site
© Fort Morgan State Historic Site

Built more than 200 years ago by the United States Army, Fort Morgan State Historic Site is rich in history as well as beautiful sights. The masonry fort stands at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula and was used to guard the area where the bay and the Gulf of Mexico connect. It was heavily used throughout the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II, until it was given turned into an Alabama historical site in 1946. Visitors can marvel at the original structures throughout the fort along with several canon displays. Several nature attractions can also be found such as nature trails, bird watching areas, picnic areas, and beaches.

110 AL-180, Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542; Phone: 251-540-7127

Free things to do, beaches near me: Anaheim, Things to Do in Vermont, Hawaii resorts, OH, Northern CA beaches, Holland, MI, Galveston, Ellensburg WA, Encinitas, LA, ME, MD, MI, Canada, ID, DE, MD Islands, FL

13.Pirate's Bar and Grill

Pirate's Bar and Grill
© Paulo Nabas/stock.adobe.com

Get an authentic taste of real southern cuisine at Pirate’s Bar and Grill. From their fresh gulf seafood to the handcrafted half-pound burgers, everything on their menu is guaranteed to be made from scratch with fresh, real ingredients. Other customer favorites from the menu include a pan-seared flounder with white wine sauce and the original Dauphin Island Bushwacker, which consists of ice cream, rum, and chocolate. Customers can enjoy their meals inside or pay an additional fee to access the restaurant’s pool and beach front for great views of the gulf.

100 Orleans Drive, Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528; Phone: 251-861-2969

Top sights: Berlin, Beaverton, Boonsboro, Brookings, Valentine's Day, Vegas wedding venues, WI, Evansville, Jim Thorpe, Airports near Glacier N.P.

12 Best Things to Do on Dauphin Island, Alabama

You are reading "12 Best Things to Do on Dauphin Island, Alabama " Back to Top