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Dauphin Island: The Perfect Summer Getaway

Just three miles south of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, Dauphin Island is one of Alabama’s best beaches. Its clear blue water and sugary white sand make it quite appealing to summer vacationers.
Beautiful Dauphin Island beaches

Dauphin Island has beautiful beaches perfect for relaxing.

The town of Dauphin Island is quiet and peaceful, with a scenic bike path that winds through the island. There are restaurants, historical sites, and an abundance of wildlife that make Dauphin Island the perfect spot for a summer getaway.

Check out the sites and activities listed below.

Dauphin Island Beaches

The island is home to seven miles of sugary white sand beaches with clear water and fewer crowds. There are public beaches that charge visitors a small entry fee; some are pet-friendly, as long as animals are leashed. Dauphin Island Campground offers roomy tent and RV sites with a modern bathhouse, playground, and beach access. And there are many condo and beach house rentals available, as well.

Fort Gaines

This historic fort has guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay for over 150 years. Fort Gaines was the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, and it still has original cannons, a blacksmith shop, kitchens, a museum, a gift shop, and tunnels. If you’re a history buff, a visit to this well-preserved fort is a must.

Historic Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island

Historic Fort Gaines offers spectacular views of both Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Estuariam at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab offers beautiful exhibits about the marine life of Mobile Bay.

This family-friendly estuarium showcases the plants, animals, and other natural resources found in the Mobile Bay Estuary and its surrounding marine habitats.

With beautiful and interactive exhibits and 31 aquariums, featuring more than 100 species, this destination will enlighten its visitors with an appreciation of the unique ecosystems of the area.

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary

Located on the eastern end of Dauphin Island, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary consists of 137 acres of maritime forests, marshes, and dunes. It includes a three-mile walking trail that has been designated a National Recreational Trail. With its warm tropical climate, Dauphin Island is the perfect landing spot for migratory birds on their way to Mexico or South America for the winter. More than 347 species of birds have been spotted on the island.


Every July, Dauphin Island hosts the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the largest saltwater fishing rodeo in the world.

But fishing charter trips are available all year long. Choose from all types of charters, from an afternoon of speckled trout fishing to an overnight marlin fishing expedition.

Speckled trout fishing

Wade fishing for speckled trout is popular on the island’s west end.

The Mobile Bay Ferry

For a short day trip, take a ride on the Mobile Bay Ferry. You can visit Fort Morgan, another historical fort, or head to the beaches at Fort Morgan. Children are sure to be intrigued by seeing the family vehicle aboard a ferry. The trip between Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan at Mobile Point provides wonderful views of the two historic forts that have long guarded the entrance of Mobile Bay. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes and is a great way for passengers to view birds, sea life, and other boats and ships.

Mobile Bay Ferry

A day trip on the Mobile Bay Ferry can be fun for the whole family.

So before you book your summer vacation, be sure to check out Dauphin Island and all that it has to offer. From riding on the Mobile Bay Ferry to fishing, to bird watching, to walking along the uncrowded beaches, Dauphin Island has something for everyone.

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