Skip to main content

From Mardi Gras to Moon Pies: 10 reasons to visit Mobile, Alabama

Written By | Feb 23, 2019
Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Mobiles skyline at night in purple and gold, the colors of Mardi Gras. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

MOBILE, AL: Carnival season which ends with Mardi Gras makes for great time of the year to visit Mobile. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Mobile claims to be the first to observe Mardi Gras. The smaller town offering a more gentle celebration than their New Orleans neighbor.

Arrive a few days early to enjoy the unique and fun attractions, sweet temptations such as Moon Pies and other lively diversions.

The top 10 things to see and do in Mobile.
Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

The Malaga Inn is a historic hotel located within easy walking distance of many of Mobile’s tip attractions. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

1. Malaga Inn

The Malaga Inn is a historic hotel located within easy walking distance of many of Mobile’s top attractions. @Ron Stern All rights reservedMalaga InnThe Malaga Inn is a boutique hotel conveniently located in the historic district of downtown Mobile. The twin townhouses were constructed around 1862 at the request of two sisters.

Now, the privately owned and operated hotel has 39 rooms; each decorated with period pieces that add to the French ambiance. The Malaga Inn is definitely a unique and lovely venue from which to explore the main attractions, many of which are within walking distance




Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

A Trolley tour is a great way to see the main sites around Mobile. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

2. Trolley Tour

It’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land when visiting a city for the first time. Gulf Coast Trolley Tours is a comfortable way to see the sights. The tour guides are locals familiar with their beloved city.  There are plenty of interesting historical facts and tidbits on the 90-minute air-conditioned tours.

The route passes through some of the more interesting neighborhoods and includes a stop at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Spot of Tea is a Mobile Tradition and offers affordable meals, Moon Pie desserts , and Segway Tours. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

3. Spot of Tea

Located In the central downtown area, Spot of Tea is a favorite among the locals and returning visitors. This family-run restaurant is known as the place to go for affordable meals and afternoon tea. A must is the Moon Pie Banana Pudding that contains layers of fresh bananas, banana pudding, chunks of Moon Pie cookies, and a mound of whipped cream.

Boise, Idaho: Ten reasons to love the sweet and savory food scene

You can also sign up for one of their Segway tours to explore some of the most interesting streets and attractions. A well-informed guide will point out historical architecture and regale you with local folklore

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

The aroma of freshly roasted nuts will make it hard to pass this place by. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

4. A&M Peanut Shop

You will probably smell the A & M Peanut Shop, a fixture since 1947 before you see it. Using an old-fashioned roaster, they create a variety of nutty offerings, peanut clusters, and old-fashioned candies. You can also choose from an abundance of homemade pralines, dried fruits, and traditionally boiled peanuts. After their purchase, many will walk across the street to Bienville Square where they will feed some cute little squirrels.

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Mobilian’s are crazy for anything that has Moon Pie in the name. This general store has just about every flavor imaginable. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

5. Moon Pie General Store

Originally created in 1917 for coal miners who wanted a snack as big as the moon but one that would fit in a lunch pail, Moon Pies have become the most iconic snack in the South.

In fact, Mobilians seem to have adopted these treats as their unofficial confection.

At the Moon Pie General Store, you can indulge your sweet tooth with every flavor under the rainbow. Large and mini-size Moon Pies come in flavors of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, and salted caramel. Also offered are retro candies, hats, T-shirts, novelty gifts, toys, and Mardi Gras accessories.

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Mardi Gras is a colorful and exciting tradition here in Mobile and residents look forward to it all year long. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

6. Mardi Gras

Claiming to be the original home of Mardi Gras, Mobile gears up all year long for this celebration. Mystic societies work on their colorful floats and costumes, preparing for a raucous 2 ½ weeks of celebrations leading up to Fat Tuesday.

RECIPE: Quick and easy Mardi Gras King Cake

Locals and visitors line the streets as float riders toss prized items like toys, stuffed animals, beaded necklaces, ramen soup, wrapping paper, doubloons, and yes, even Moon Pies.



Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Maybe the perfect hot dog? You will have to decide here at The Dew Drop Inn. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

7. Dew Drop Inn

The oldest and one of the more well-known eateries in Mobile, the Dew Drop Inn (1924), is known for their famous pink hot dogs made from a mixture of pork and beef and topped with slightly sweet chili. Even their buns are sheer perfection and have a bit of crunch to each bite.

You can also order some down-home favorites like chicken n’ dumplings, fried catfish, and homemade gumbo.

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

Cammie makes all her own ice creams from Moon Pie to Creole Praline. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

8. Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe

After you have had your Dew Drop Inn hot dog, head over to Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe. Converted from a Texaco Gas Station, this Mobile tradition has been around for over 48 years. Cammie Wayne makes her own thick, rich, and delicious ice cream in dozens of uniquely created flavors. Whole cakes such as red velvet cake and birthday cake are baked from scratch, cut up in bite-size pieces, and hand mixed into the ice cream. For a nostalgic experience, take a seat at the counter and enjoy a hot fudge sundae, a milkshake, or a banana split

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

The Mobile Carnival Museum is a must-see with many former costumes, gowns, and crowns used during Mardi Gras and the official balls. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

9. Mobile Carnival Museum

Before attending a Mardi Gras parade, get a good glimpse of Carnival history at the Mobile Carnival Museum. The 2 1/2 story historical mansion houses some real treasures from the history of this celebration. Elegantly displayed rooms are adorned with elaborate, jeweled gowns with flowing trains; tuxedos; crowns; and scepters. Numerous photos and videos from the coronations and balls can be viewed as well. The well-stocked gift shop offers Mardi Gras gift items, favors, souvenirs, and parade throws. Guided tours are available for groups.

Mobile, Alabama, Travel, South, Mardi Gras, Moon Pie, Ron Stern

The Perdido Queen River Cruise is a newer attraction in Mobile but has already become a big hit. @Ron Stern All rights reserved

10. Perdido Queen River Cruise Dinner

The newly opened Perdido Queen River Cruise Dinner is a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion. After boarding the custom made paddle-wheel boat, a whistle blows and the boat begins to chug its way up the Mobile River. A buffet dinner is served and may include selections of pulled pork, shrimp mac, and cheese, black beans and rice, vegetables and dessert. Beverages are sweet tea and a complimentary drink. Enjoy the beautifully lit skyline and the live music upstairs to dance the night away.

Whether it’s relaxing on a trolley ride, strolling through an interesting museum, or enjoying a big serving of oysters, there’s plenty to do, see, and eat in Mobile, Alabama!

This was a sponsored visit; however, all opinions herein are the authors.

Nancy Stern

Nancy writes about food and travel and is a regular contributor to The Daily Meal. Her articles have appeared in major news outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, Sun-Sentinel, San Diego Union-Tribune and Yahoo News. Nancy started her career through creative art journaling, eventually compiling them into a book about her adventures., The Travel Writer's Wife