The boys had a weeklong break from school for Thanksgiving. We thought is would be a great time to go camping. We wanted to go somewhere different, and the boys wanted a beach. So after driving nearly nine hours of a seven hour drive we arrived at Dauphin Island, Alabama at nighttime. Everyone was tired. Therefore as soon as we arrived at the campground we just parked the camper and went to bed.
Dauphin Island is a small island located about 40 minutes from Mobile. It is surrounded by the waters of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
The island is very low key. You will not find chain restaurants or hotels. We loved the island because of this. The island has it’s own unique personality, fascinating history and beautiful beaches to explore.
Dauphin Island Campground
The campground is located towards the tip of Dauphin Island. It is ran by the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board.
This is a well maintained campground. The bath house, where the restrooms, showers and laundry room are located had very clean facilities. The playground for the kids was also well maintained and clean. The fence around the playground is an added safety measure that was good to see. You don’t have to worry about kids running out in front of vehicles as they play.
The campsites are nestled close together under the canopy of large shady oak trees. You will not have a lot of privacy. But they do have full hookups which is so convenient. Pets are welcomed at your campsite.
You can find more information about Dauphin Island Campground here.
The first place we choose to explore on Dauphin Island was the beach. We were lucky enough to have our campsite located near the beach path that goes directly to a private beach. This pristine, white sandy beach was such a surprise after walking briefly on a wooded path.
The boys had a fun time exploring the beach, even though it was too cold to get into the water.
Dogs are allowed on the beach as well, but they need to be on a leash at all times. Also remember to be kind and clean up after them.
Our next place to visit was the Historic Fort Gaines. The fort is located near the campground and its quick trip by vehicle, bike or by walking.
There is a lot of history behind the walls of this fort. The Battle of Mobile Bay towards the end of the Civil War and the fort’s involvement is one of the more significant points in its history. Make sure to grab a brochure to use as a guide. It will explain each point of interest as you take a self guided tour around the fort. There is a small entrance fee to help cover the maintenance of the fort.
Fort Gaines was such an interesting place to explore and learn about. You can find more information on Fort Gaines here.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Another great place to explore on Dauphin Island is the Sea Lab.
The Sea Lab is a hands on aquarium that is great for kids to learn about ecosystems and the sea life in them. It is both educational and fun. The whole family enjoyed it. The boys especially loved being able to touch the stingrays as they glided past.
Also, my youngest was even brave enough to feed a Horseshoe Crab. Its experiences like this that kids will remember.
The Sea Lab is definitely one place you will want to visit and explore. You can find more information on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab here.
Audubon Bird Sanctuary
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island is considered a top location for bird viewing. Migration times in the Spring and Fall are a better time to view the different types of birds in the sanctuary. Which would probably explain why we only saw a duck on our hike. Or it could have been the boys and all the noise they made on the hike.
This was a nice nature hike to take and there are several paths to choose from. For more information on the sanctuary click here.
Dauphin Island was such a fun and interesting place to explore. A couple helpful hints for your trip for when you go. One, try the cinnamon rolls at The Lighthouse Bakery, and Two don’t forget your flip flops.