Coastal Alabama’s Best Kept SecretsCrystal Brown - October 17, 2013
Every town in America has some attractions that have yet to be discovered by the majority of visitors and Alabama’s Gulf Coast and surrounding communities are no exception. Here are a few of the Gulf Coast’s best kept secrets.
A Quieter Beach
If you’re looking for a beach that is off the beaten path, the Mobile Street public beach access located 10 miles down Fort Morgan Road is a good option. This winding road passes by Gator Lake and dead ends into the Gulf of Mexico and borders the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. So, a long walk on the beach is likely to go uninterrupted.
Ferry Across to Dauphin Island
With a ride down Fort Morgan road, the ferry across the mouth of Mobile Bay runs cars and passengers toDauphin Island where the historic Fort Gaines and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab are located. The easygoing island atmosphere transfers over the narrow pass and on to Dauphin Island. The remote beaches and breathtaking wildlife of Dauphin Island are unlike anything else found along the Alabama Coast. And a fisherman’s paradise awaits those who make the venture over to the less populated Dauphin Island. The Ferry has seasonal operating hours, so make sure you check the schedule before heading out.
Oak Hollow Farms
Oak Hollow Farms offers horseback riding, skeet shooting, pheasant hunts, archery, fishing, hay rides, and more. Located in Fairhope, Oak Hollow sits on 300 acres of timeless natural habitat unique to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. Hunts are offered seasonally and provide lunch and refreshments with your afternoon of sport. Oak Hollow events are family friendly, so feel free to bring the kids and even the bird dog!
Lunch With a Gator
Alligator Alley in Summerdale has an elevated viewing platform where you can see more than 450 alligators from hatchlings to mature adults, relaxing, sunbathing, courting and nesting in their natural habitat. Come during feeding times (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.) and you can watch an alligator have lunch. Admission is free for children 3 and under, $10 for adults, and $8 for seniors and children 4-12. Alligator Alley is open six days a week (closed on Wednesdays).
A Landmark Lighthouse
For lighthouse enthusiasts everywhere, Mobile Bay holds a truly unique hexagonal shaped lighthouse in the middle of Mobile Bay, which continues to be a landmark to boaters and an icon to the Mobile and Baldwin County community. Daily tours out of Fairhope will arrange for you to get an up-close and personal view of this historic lighthouse. Opened in 1885 to guide ships through the Mobile Bay, the Middle Bay Lighthousewas placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 after several attempts by local officials to demolish the dilapidated monument.
Lower Alabama Cheeseheads
Sweet Home Farms in Elberta is Lower Alabama’s only all-natural dairy farm specializing in non-pasteurized cheeses. With this hidden gem only open to the public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the rush is on during the weekend to cram into the tiny country store to get a taste of some of the best cheese south of Wisconsin.
So, if you are looking for a non-touristy experience, check out some of Coastal Alabama’s best-kept secrets! We love to hear what other hidden gems you may have found in South Baldwin County!