April 11, 2021

Roaming Around Mobile, Alabama

Roaming with Red Roams to Mobile, Alabama

My husband turned 40 this year in March, and he was interested in a getaway. Naturally, I got really excited because traveling is my jam. We tried to book a stay in Ocean Springs, but the two places we wanted to stay were booked. Not wanting to go too far from home for a two-day trip, Jeff chose Mobile, Alabama. After going back and forth regarding the accommodations, we (he) settled on the Battle House, a Renaissance hotel. It’s not in my wheelhouse for my typical blogs because of my desire to keep my audience in the boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts arena, but here I am...writing about it anyway.
Mardi Gras Mural in Mobile, Alabama
Mardi Gras Mural in Mobile, Alabama

Fun Facts About Mobile and the Surrounding Cities

I like to take road trips that don’t last all day. Getting there in a couple of hours is ideal, so Mobile was a good candidate for a two-day trip from New Orleans. Mobile is on the water, but not a beach in the traditional sense. The 12th largest port in the US is in Mobile, so it is an important part of the city’s economy. It also has a tunnel that links it to the cities of Daphne Fairhope, where The Grand Hotel is located. The tunnel is fun. I held my breath the entire time when we went through it, even on this trip. It’s what I did in my childhood and I can’t let it go. The Grand Hotel, which I have not been to since my childhood, is a hot place for folks from New Orleans to vacation. I’m not a resort person, so it’s a hard sell for me. If you are, though, I hear it’s a “grand” time! On a totally different note, I noticed that Mobile proper is that they definitely like to tout being the “original Mardi Gras.” That’s fine and all, but as a New Orleanian, I feel that we have perfected it. That is my not-so-humble opinion.

Clean is Good

I’ve been to Mobile a handful of times. I never had the desire to stay long or go back, though. Maybe my need for broader travel was greater before COVID, but I am glad for the quick getaways that can fill my travel cup...at least for now. We pulled up in the late afternoon on a Thursday, and the folks greeting us were lovely. They asked if we needed help with our luggage and whatnot, valeted the car for a reasonable amount per day, and all the benefits of a larger hotel. Check-in was easy, the lobby was lovely and looked clean, and our room was on the larger side -- also appeared very clean. So far, so good. The bed lines were crisp white and fluffy, and there were an adequate amount of pillows. This stuff may be trivial to some, but it’s a big deal to me and many travelers. I also check around for hair in the sheets and the towels and found none. Stray hair makes me want to vomit on the spot. Some of you totally get me when I state this.

What’s There to Do? Leave

We did a round of exploring at the hotel after putting down our bags. We checked out their spa (yes, they have a spa!), their fitness room, and the hotel bar to see if it was worth coming back for a drink later. (Read on to see if it was.) After our exploration jaunt, it was time to rest up and get ready for dinner. Our restaurant of choice on the first night was called Dauphin. It was conveniently located across the street on, I believe, the 34th floor. It was a lovely view, if I do say so myself. The meal was good and it was reasonably priced for an upscale restaurant, as were the drinks. Aside from a little aftermath of feeling weird from the COVID vaccine on Jeff’s end, we enjoyed the meal. The piano player was a nice touch, too, although he did play the same song twice while we were there. Our waitress, when asked what to do in Mobile, told us to go to two different cities that were more entertaining. We were part shocked and part amused. “What’s there to do in Mobile, Alabama?” Answer: “Leave.” Alrighty then. We actually did end up leaving for a few hours, but not because she told us to.

Eat Like a Noble Southerner in Mobile, Alabama

The next day we shot from the hip, except to visit one of the churches there - we had that planned because it was Good Friday. We walked past lots of restaurants and a few shops, and the city center seemed to be moving and grooving. Our lunch spot was a recommendation from a Twitter friend of mine who is from Mobile. It was called Noble South. I will say that the food was delicious. I got a vegetarian plate and I got to choose four options out of several. I didn’t regret any of mine, as most were good old southern dishes. Rarely do I eat like that, so I was very happy with my choice. A glass of wine to accompany my meal was just right to satisfy my hungry stomach. We walked around a bit more, but made our way back to the hotel and rested for the most part. R&R was a desired activity on this trip, so R&Ring is what we did.
Sunset at Sunset Pointe in Fairhope, Alabama
Sunset at Sunset Pointe

Don’t Miss the Sunset

One of my favorite cousins and her family lives not far from Mobile (through the tunnel where I held my breath) so we got in the car and drove across the bay to see her. This is where we “left” Mobile, as I said earlier. We visited her and her family for a while, caught up, and per their recommendation, went to a place called Sunset Pointe. We couldn’t have planned it better as far as the sunset, our position on our barstools, and the absolutely clear and perfect evening. I’m glad we stopped there. If I lived near, I may be a regular at Sunset Pointe. Sometimes an unplanned stop is exactly what you need on a trip. Actually, in my opinion, it’s needed on every trip. When we (ahem, Jeff) started to get hungry, we headed back so we could hit Roosters. It’s a Mexican restaurant not far from Noble South, and it was satisfactory. I didn’t eat much because my lunch was not quite digested, but what I did have was good. It was a sit-down, good service, inexpensive way to enjoy our second and last night.
Driving Away from Mobile, Alabama to Florida
Driving Away from Mobile to Florida

Will Mobile Entice Me to Go Back?

Honestly, it’s doubtful. I wasn’t hugely connected to it in any way. Perhaps I didn’t give it a fair shake, but as an experienced traveler, you know when a place speaks to you. I appreciated the trip for what it was. It was relatively relaxing and an easy drive, so those things were positive. The food we had was good. It wasn’t New Orleans good, but it was good. I know I’ll be passing through it again at some point, but this time will be to get to another destination. I’ll still hold my breath in the tunnel, and I may even stop for a cocktail and sunset at Sunset Pointe. Mobile is a nice town. It just wasn’t, to quote Frank Sinatra, “my kind of town.”
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