The City of Mobile is proud to offer a rich history and heritage as well as many modern attractions and adventures for visitors. The Port of Mobile boasts delicious fresh seafood, romantic delta excursions, beautiful beaches, interesting museums, world-class golf courses, and many fascinating historic homes. Visitors enjoy the relaxed coastal lifestyle and a wonderful waterfront area that is home to the country's newest cruise terminal. For information on the many attractions and activities available to visitors to the Port of Mobile, please visit the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Center's website.
The Port of Mobile enjoys the mild subtropical climate of the northern Gulf of Mexico with hot humid summers and mild wet winters. The Port of Mobile may be the wettest city in the lower 48 states, receiving about 170 centimeters of rainfall over 59 days each year. The last snow fell in 1996. The Port of Mobile is sometimes hit by tropical storms or hurricanes. In 1979, Hurricane Frederic caused tremendous damage to the city, and the city suffered significant damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Temperatures range from an average high of 33 °C (91 °F) in July and August to an average low of 4 °C (40 °F) in January. Rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year.
History buffs will enjoy visiting the Port of Mobile's Fort Conde, a recreation of the original 1723 fort built by the French. The fort protected the city for almost a century when the city was a colony of France, Great Britain, and Spain.
One of the Port of Mobile's most popular attractions is the Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore. This 26-hectare garden estate is open all year. Originally intended to be a fishing camp, Bessie Bellingrath made it a showplace with gardens of azaleas and camellias modeled after the European gardens she admired during her travels. She added fountains and waterfalls framed by English flagstone walkways. In 1932, the Bellingraths invited the public to visit the gardens, and over five thousand residents came to see what they called "Belle Camp." Police were called out to direct traffic. The Bellingraths were so overwhelmed by the response that they opened the gardens for the general public. Today, the Bellingrath Gardens feature many flowering plants throughout the year. They include a rose garden, a conservatory, a butterfly garden, the great lawn, fountain plaza, terraces, the riverfront, a rockery, boardwalk, a small lake, and an Asian American garden.
The Bellingraths built an over 10-thousand square foot, 15-room home on the grounds in 1935 when they realized that the gardens would need close supervision. Created with bricks from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont and ironwork from a grand Mobile hotel, the Bellingrath Home was complemented by flagstone terraces, a slate roof, a central courtyard, and many balconies in grand southern style. Giving the impression of a more modest residence than a mansion, the home has a guest house and garage and contains a wonderful collection of Boehm Porcelain as well as the original furnishings and decorative items. The home is open for tours each day. Curing Christmas the tours are extended, and the house is beautifully decorated for the season. Of special note are the sterling silver and European porcelain collections.
While visiting the Bellingrath Gardens and Home, visitors enjoy the 45-minute river cruise on the Southern Belle River Cruiser that takes a leisurely journey along the Fowl River where visitors can see native wildlife and birds as well as get a great view of the Bellingrath Home. The cruiser also offers public and private dinner cruises and private charters.
In 1703, the Port of Mobile became the first known American city to have a Mardi Gras celebration. Today, it is home to "America's Family Mardi Gras." People come to enjoy the two-and-a-half week celebration when the streets of downtown Mobile are filled with marching bands, floats, and crowds. While the celebrations ended with the Civil War, they began again in 1866 when Joseph Stillwell Cain decided to raise the city's spirits by donning a costume and holding a one-float parade. Now, he is remembered every year on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, called the "people's day," when revelers decorate anything they can handle and join the Joe Cain Procession.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Mobile by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.
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