Deep in the heart of Dixie in the southernmost section of Alabama, Mobile County is deceptively quiet. With its picturesque location on the Gulf of Mexico, featuring miles of sandy beaches, wide-open green space, and several charming islands, Mobile County embraces its natural surroundings while still being home to the third largest city in the state – its county seat and namesake, Mobile.
Even though Mobile County was founded in 1812, its history started long before. The French founded a colony here in the early 1700s. The British defeated the French in the Seven Years War and took over the colony in 1763. During the Revolutionary War, the Spanish took over the area. Finally, after the War of 1812, it became part of the United States. The area is home to 124 locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four of those properties are listed as National Historic Landmarks.
Most of the county’s historic sites are located in Mobile, which began as French Louisiana’s capital in 1702. The Port of Mobile, Alabama’s only seaport, is a deepwater port that plays a huge role in Mobile’s economy. Ship building, tourism, medicine, manufacturing, and aerospace are other key players in the area’s economic stability.
With traditions and influences from its French, Spanish, Creole, African, and British traditions, this is a culturally-rich community. Its months-long Mardi Gras celebrations, along with its historic sites, beaches, parks, and museums, make Mobile a popular destination year-round. Fine arts venues include the Mobile Civic Center, the Saenger Theatre, and the Mobile Museum of Art. Parks include Bienville Square, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, and the Mobile Botanical Gardens.
Mobile contains nine historic districts and features outstanding examples of antebellum architecture. Historic districts include Lower Dauphin Street, De Tonti Square, Midtown, Ashland Place, and Old Dauphin Way. Beautiful historic sites are strewn throughout the city, making visitors feel as though they’ve stepped back in time.
Mobile is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of South Alabama, Faulkner University, Spring Hill College, the University of Mobile, and Bishop State Community College.
Cities in Mobile County include Satsuma, Semmes, Saraland, Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, and Creola. Dauphin Island and Mount Vernon are towns in the county, and Alabama Port, Bucks, Grand Bay, Eight Mile, Coden, St. Elmo, and Whistler make up some of Mobile County’s other communities.