Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the only port city in Alabama is a perfect place for a school trip. The variety of educational and entertainment options makes Mobile a top student travel destination in the South.
Top Attractions for Student Travel Groups in Mobile
Mobile abounds with outdoor and indoor attractions. A good place to start would be Mobile’s six historic districts. The 19th and 20th century public buildings, homes and churches, in diverse architectural styles, can be explored by foot or driving. Many tour companies, such as Bay City Convention & Tours or Colonial Trailways Charters & Tours, offer customized tour packages to fit any group’s needs.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home, probably the most famous tourist destination in Mobile, features cultivated and landscaped gardens blooming with different flowers each season. Cruises of the nearby Fowl River are offered aboard the Southern Belle River Cruise. Alabama Cruises at Bellingrath Gardens also operates 45-minute cruises along the Fowl River, where wildlife and plants flourish. Youth groups might also want to check out Bellingrath Museum Home, Bayou Boardwalk and Asian-American Gardens, among other attractions. Animated displays, evening choral performances and more than three million sparkling lights illuminate the gardens during the Magic Christmas in Lights event.
The Mobile Museum of Art exhibits feature more than 6,000 works of American, European, African and Asian art. School groups might want to book a guided tour.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park houses two National Historic Landmarks, Battleship USS Alabama and Submarine USS Drum, along with over 20 historic aircraft. Both of the vessels can be explored. Students can also step into the cockpits of the aircraft and see a Vietnam river patrol boat as well as tanks.
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX Dome Theater attracts student travelers with four permanent science exhibits, daily experiments and demonstrations, traveling science exhibits and science movies on the immense IMAX projector. Another science facility worth visiting, the Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, features sea life exhibits and interactive displays that educate visitors about Mobile Bay’s natural habitats. The Mobile Bay Ferry provides a scenic ride to Dauphin Island as an alternative to driving.
Guided tours are offered at Mobile’s most popular historic homes – Bragg-Mitchell Mansion and Oakleigh Historic Complex.
Mobile’s Scenic and Historical Tours for Students
“African-American Heritage Trails,” provided by Mobile Historic Development Commission, will take school trips on a guided bus ride to many historical sites related to African-American heritage and culture. Africa town, Fort Conde and Slave Market are some of the tour destinations.
In the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Airboar Express offers one-hour or half-hour trips. Up to six guests can ride in one boat. Alligators, plants, birds and other wildlife can be sighted. The tour operates from February to mid-November.
Five Rivers Delta Safaris can accommodate larger groups in a pontoon boat around Sardine Pass. Alligators and shore birds might be seen along the way. Guided canoe and kayak safaris in the Delta are also available.
Student visitors looking for a close-up gator adventure should book with Dauphin IslandAlligator Alley. Over 150 alligators can be seen. A record holder for the strongest alligator bite, Captain Crunch, extends over 13 feet and weighs over 800 pounds. The alligator is featured in one of the exhibits. Nature walks are also available along with bird-watching and seasonal snake safaris.
Performance Venues for Students in Mobile
University of South Alabama accommodates performing student groups at Mitchell Center. Whether for a concert or a basketball event, the center offers many standard arena amenities and extra equipment for different configurations. Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center, with its four venues, offers facility rental as well, primarily for theater, dance, music and comedy. The Virginia Samford Theatre at Caldwell Park is another option for theatrical or musical performance.
Annual Festivals and Events in Mobile for Student Groups
GMAC Bowl might interest fans of college football. It’s held every first week of January at Ladd Pebbles Stadium.
As the home to the first Mardi Gras in the USA, Mobile schedules its yearly parade three weeks before Lent. The Festival of Flowers might attract student travel visiting Mobile in late March. Lasting five days, the show features landscaped gardens and dazzling flowers from every corner of the earth. All things flower-related can be found and experienced at this show.
Dining Selections in Mobile for Student Groups
The Gulf Coast city offers exceptional seafood. Oysters, blue crabs and shrimps are local favorites. To experience Mobile’s finest seafood at a reasonable price, students can visit Claire’s Place on the Creek. Tantalizing all-you-can-eat dinners are offered five days a week. Another great seafood restaurant, Wintzell’s Oyster House, has two locations in Mobile.
For a taste of local pit barbecue, students might want to visit Dreamland Bar-B-Que, which offers all types of BBQ specialties and a nice choice of desserts. Other affordable restaurants include Baumhower’s Wings Restaurant, The Dew Drop Inn with their famous hot dogs and Mama’s On Dauphin.
International cuisine in Mobile consists mainly of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Caribbean and Greek dishes. Busaba’s Thai Cuisine offers authentic Thai dishes, while Dauphin Street Taqueria is a great Mexican restaurant. Other tasty choices include Mediterranean Sandwich Co. and Liquid Sushi Lounge.
Student Lodging in Mobile
In the downtown area, Best Western Battleship Inn (located right by USS Battleship Memorial Park) and Mobile Bay Adventure Inn offer the most affordable rates. The I-65 area has the Red Roof Inn – Mobile North and Motel 6 North. The Gulf Breeze Motel is near many Dauphin Island restaurants and beaches.
Exciting attractions, festivals, tours and historical sites make Mobile one of the South’s top school trip destinations. Great Southern and international food satisfies every taste, and inexpensive hotels make for an affordable trip.