Dauphin Island, nestled on the Gulf of Mexico’s shores, boasts a rich and fascinating history.
First inhabited by indigenous peoples, it later served as a French settlement in the 17th century. The island’s name derives from the term “Dauphin of France,” reflecting its early French influence.
Today, you can find many exciting things to do in Dauphin Island; it is a prime tourist destination renowned for its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and historical attractions.
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary attracts birdwatchers, while Fort Gaines, a Civil War-era fort, captivates history enthusiasts.
The island’s tranquil atmosphere and pristine landscapes make it a haven for relaxation and outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and beachcombing.
It also has served as a site for early French exploration, endured Civil War battles, and has been impacted by hurricanes due to its vulnerable location.
The island’s Sea Lab facility is a center for marine research, offering educational programs, and the most famous festival, the annual “Migration Bird Festival,” celebrates the island’s ornithological wonders.
Dauphin Island experiences a warm subtropical climate year-round. Summers (June to August) are hot and humid, perfect for beachgoers.
Spring and fall (April to May and September to October) offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, making them ideal for pleasant visits. Winters (December to February) are soft, attracting those seeking a peaceful getaway.
For Dauphin Island tourists, comfortable and casual attire is the key to a relaxed day out. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing, swimsuits, and flip-flops for the beach.
During cooler months, bring layers like light jackets and long pants. Also, remember to keep sun protection with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Keep it relaxed and beach-friendly while exploring this charming island.
However, Dauphin Island’s allure emerges from its historical significance, natural beauty, and diverse attractions, making it a cherished gem for tourists and history buffs. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today and have infinite fun!
1) Dauphin Island Public Beach
Native Americans originally inhabited Dauphin Island Public Beach; it later became a strategic point for French settlers.
It witnessed battles during the Civil War and was used as a quarantine station for immigrants in the late 19th century.
The beach has faced erosion challenges recently, leading to ongoing preservation efforts. Today, visitors enjoy its sandy shores while glimpsing traces of its rich and diverse past.
Are you looking for historical things to do in Dauphin Island? Here you’ll get it all! It features clean restrooms, ample parking, and convenient access points. Visitors can relish the soft sandy shores for sunbathing, picnicking, and beach volleyball.
The beach’s gentle waves are perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Estuarium to discover local wildlife and marine life.
Fishing off the pier is a favorite pastime, while sunset views create picturesque moments. A serene atmosphere and various activities make Dauphin Island Public Beach an inviting destination for all ages.
Fort Gaines, 51 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
2) Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium has a captivating history rooted in marine science education. Established in 1971 on Alabama’s Dauphin Island, it’s a renowned research and educational facility.
The Estuarium showcases the unique ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, providing visitors with interactive exhibits and live aquatic displays.
With a focus on estuarine environments, the Estuarium’s history reflects a commitment to environmental awareness and education, fostering a deeper understanding of coastal ecosystems and their significance.
The Dauphin Island, Sea Lab Estuarium, offers many facilities and things to do in Dauphin Island for an engaging visit. With interactive exhibits, touch tanks, and live animal displays, visitors can get up close to marine life like stingrays and seahorses.
The Estuarium also boasts an underwater tunnel that provides a unique perspective on aquatic environments. Educational programs and guided tours enhance the experience, catering to children and adults.
The beautiful setting of Dauphin Island adds to the charm, with scenic views and opportunities for beachcombing and birdwatching. It’s a place where science meets adventure, making learning about marine ecosystems exciting.
102 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
3) Fort Gaines
Fort Gaines, located on Dauphin Island, Alabama, boasts a captivating history. Constructed in the early 19th century, it played a crucial role in the War of 1812, guarding Mobile Bay.
It held a pivotal position during the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. The fort has witnessed changing hands and adaptations, evolving from a military stronghold to a historical site.
Today, it is a testament to its rich past, drawing visitors to its intriguing history and picturesque surroundings providing historical things to do in Dauphin Island.
Visitors can explore the well-preserved fortifications, taking in stunning views of Mobile Bay. The museum showcases artifacts and exhibits, bringing history to life.
Guided tours provide insightful narratives of its storied past, while picnic areas invite relaxation to enjoy the scenic beauty. Birdwatching and beachcombing are popular pastimes along the island’s shores.
Special events and reenactments transport visitors back in time. Fishing and water activities, like kayaking and swimming, can provide you with aquatic adventures. With its historical significance and engaging offerings, Fort Gaines promises an enriching and enjoyable experience for all.
51 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
4) Indian Shell Mound Park
Indian Shell Mound Park holds a captivating history, showcasing the ancient shell mounds built by indigenous people thousands of years ago, providing insight into their culture and lifestyle.
These mounds contain artifacts, remains, and clues about their daily lives and interactions. The park’s preservation efforts help us appreciate the rich heritage of the region’s original inhabitants.
Indian Shell Mound Park offers a blend of nature and history, complete with well-maintained facilities and things to do in Dauphin Island for an enriching experience. Explore walking trails surrounded by lush greenery and captivating water views.
Take your camera’s out and discover the Native American shell mounds, a testament to ancient culture and heritage.
Picnic areas are perfect for relaxing outings, while birdwatching enthusiasts can get delightful in the diverse avian population. You can also engage in educational activities and guided tours to learn about the indigenous way of life.
Immerse yourself in the serenity of this unique park, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. Experience the past while creating unforgettable memories for the future.
830 Desoto Drive, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
5) Audubon Bird Sanctuary
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary, established in 1942, graces Alabama’s Dauphin Island. This natural haven spans 137 acres, encompassing diverse habitats that attract over 400 bird species during migration.
It is named after famed naturalist John James Audubon and pays tribute to his ornithological work. Visitors relish pristine beaches, marshes, and woodlands.
The sanctuary supports research and education, ensuring the conservation of avian species. Its serene beauty and ornithological significance make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary has many amenities and things to do in Dauphin Island for an enriching experience. Explore well-maintained trails that wind through diverse landscapes, including beaches, marshes, and forests.
Picnic areas and benches provide tranquil, relaxing spots, while Birdwatching is a highlight, with the chance to spot numerous species during migration.
Educational programs and guided tours enhance understanding of local wildlife. The Butterfly Garden adds a touch of charm.
With its captivating landscapes and rich biodiversity, the sanctuary beckons visitors to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty, fostering a deep appreciation for the avian world and the environment.
211 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
6) Bayou La Batre
Bayou La Batre, located in Alabama, has a rich history as a fishing village. Established in the late 1700s, it grew around its seafood industry, with shrimping becoming a significant trade.
The town’s diverse cultural influences, including French, Creole, and Vietnamese, shaped its unique character. Known as the “Seafood Capital of Alabama,” Bayou La Batre suffered damage from hurricanes over the years but remains a resilient community tied to its maritime heritage.
The town boasts picturesque waterfront views, a thriving seafood market, and delicious dining options with exciting things to do in Dauphin Island. Visitors can explore the historical Seafood Industry Museum, which showcases the town’s maritime heritage.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, boating, and birdwatching in the nearby Coden Belt Nature Reserve. The annual Blessing of the Fleet festival celebrates the town’s fishing tradition with boat parades and live music.
For a taste of local culture, the French and Vietnamese influences are reflected in charming shops and diverse cuisine, making Bayou La Batre a unique and engaging destination.
Bayou La Batre, Alabama, United States
7) Dauphin Island Marina
Dauphin Island Marina, nestled on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, boasts a captivating history. Founded in the early 1960s, it has been a hub for boating enthusiasts and fishermen alike.
Surviving hurricanes and evolving with time, the marina is a testament to resilience. Its vibrant past includes hosting fishing tournaments and providing a gateway to aquatic adventures.
With stunning sunsets, serene waters, and a rich maritime heritage, Dauphin Island Marina continues to enchant visitors, merging the past with the present.
Do you want to indulge in fun things to do in Dauphin Island? Come to this spot as it boasts a well-equipped dock, boat rentals, and a fueling station; it’s a haven for boaters.
The marina’s charming waterfront restaurant serves delicious seafood, while its ship store stocks essentials and nautical gear. Adventure seekers can partake in kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.
Nature enthusiasts will relish bird-watching, with the Audubon Bird Sanctuary nearby.
Remember to keep your camera charged to capture breathtaking sunsets, dolphins, and the beach’s serene atmosphere. The marina’s history and inviting ambiance create an unparalleled destination, merging maritime allure with modern comforts.
650 Lemoyne Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
8) Isle Dauphine Golf Club
Isle Dauphine Golf Club, located in Alabama, has a rich history from 1953. Originally a private club, it opened its doors to the public in the 1970s.
The course features stunning Gulf Coast views and has hosted various tournaments. It underwent renovations and improvements, enhancing its reputation as a scenic and challenging golf destination.
However, Isle Dauphine remains a testament to the enduring allure of golf along the picturesque coastline, with many amazing things to do in Dauphin Island.
Apart from the 18-hole golf course, visitors can enjoy tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a clubhouse with dining options. The pristine beach adds a relaxing touch, and fishing enthusiasts can use the pier.
The historic charm of the location, combined with its modern amenities, makes it a popular venue for weddings and events. Nature walks, bird watching, and stunning sunsets provide additional entertainment. Whether you’re a golfer or simply seeking leisure, Isle Dauphine caters to diverse interests.
100 Orleans Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
9) Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council Gallery
The Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council Gallery, established in Dauphin Island, Alabama, serves as a cultural hub.
Showcasing local artists and preserving the island’s heritage, the gallery offers diverse exhibitions, workshops, and events.
Its history intertwines with the island’s rich past, connecting residents and visitors through art. Through continuous efforts, the gallery promotes creativity and fosters community, making it a cherished destination for art enthusiasts and those intrigued by the island’s captivating history.
The Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council Gallery offers a delightful array of facilities, activities, and things to do in Dauphin Island for all to enjoy. Immerse yourself in captivating art exhibitions that highlight local talents and island heritage.
Participate in engaging workshops to unleash your creativity or learn new skills. The gallery’s serene setting and inviting atmosphere create the perfect backdrop for artistic inspiration.
Explore the quaint town, indulge in coastal cuisine, or relax on pristine beaches nearby; whether you’re an art enthusiast, a curious traveler, or seeking a unique experience, this gallery promises a memorable and enriching visit.
918 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
10) Captain Mike’s Deep Sea Fishing
Captain Mike’s Deep Sea Fishing has a rich history of providing thrilling fishing experiences and things to do in Dauphin Island. Established in the 1980s, it began as a small charter service and quickly gained a reputation for its skilled crew and impressive catch records.
Over the years, the company expanded its fleet and now offers state-of-the-art vessels equipped with top-notch fishing gear.
With a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, Captain Mike’s remains a favorite choice for anglers seeking unforgettable deep-sea fishing adventures.
From well-maintained boats and top-quality fishing gear to comfortable lounges and onboard refreshments, every detail is thoughtfully arranged.
But the excitement doesn’t end there! As you cast your line into the deep blue, you’ll be chasing after the most sought-after game fish, making memories that last a lifetime.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-timer, the thrill of reeling in a trophy catch against the stunning backdrop of the ocean is an adventure you won’t soon forget. Your journey with us promises excitement, camaraderie, and a deep-sea tale to tell.
650 Lemoyne Drive, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
11) Billy Goat Hole
The Billy Goat Hole on Dauphin Island, Alabama, has a storied history. This picturesque inlet was known as a pirate hideout in the 19th century, where legends of buried treasure abound.
Its name comes from the mischievous goats that once inhabited the area. Over time, it transformed into a serene spot for fishing, boating, and relaxation.
The Billy Goat Hole’s history combines tales of pirates, wildlife, and coastal beauty, making it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The Billy Goat Hole on Dauphin Island offers a delightful escape. Its tranquil waters make it perfect for fishing, kayaking, and enjoying nature’s beauty.
Visitors can bask in the sun, explore tidal pools, and take in stunning sunsets. The location provides basic facilities for a cozy picnic or a relaxing day by the water.
With its mix of history, natural wonder, recreational activities, and things to do in Dauphin Island, the Billy Goat Hole promises an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or a peaceful getaway, this hidden gem on Dauphin Island is a haven that caters to all, leaving them with cherished memories.
114 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
12) Sand Island Lighthouse
Sand Island Lighthouse, built in 1859, stands proudly off Alabama’s coast. Its sturdy structure has weathered Civil War battles and hurricanes, guiding ships safely through Mobile Bay.
The lighthouse boasts a unique iron tower with a central spiral staircase, standing 125 feet tall and automated in 1933; it continues to shine its light today.
A testament to maritime history, Sand Island Lighthouse remains a captivating symbol of resilience and navigation in the face of nature’s challenges.
Sand Island Lighthouse offers a charming escape with modern amenities and fun things to do in Dauphin Island. The accommodations provide stunning ocean views and a tranquil atmosphere for relaxation.
Explore the nearby sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing and shell hunting, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching.
The island’s rich history lets you discover Civil War relics and maritime artifacts while gathering around a bonfire under the starlit sky as the day winds down, creating memories that will forever be etched in your heart.
Experience the perfect blend of serenity and adventure at Sand Island Lighthouse – where past and present harmonize.
Gulf of Mexico, Sand Island Light, AL, United States
13) Dockside Seafood Restaurant
Established in 1950, Dockside Seafood Restaurant began as a humble waterfront eatery serving fresh catches from local fishermen.
Over the decades, it transformed into a culinary landmark, renowned for its innovative seafood dishes and breathtaking views. Its menu reflects coastal traditions while embracing modern flavors.
A fire in 2012 tested its resilience, but the community rallied, aiding its rebirth stronger than before. Today, Dockside thrives as a cherished blend of history and gastronomy, offering a timeless taste of the sea and exciting things to do in Dauphin Island.
Are you craving some delicious food? Enjoy a spacious dining area with panoramic views of the harbor, providing a stunning backdrop for your meal. The outdoor deck is perfect for savoring the sea breeze while indulging in exquisite seafood creations.
Immerse yourself in maritime history through captivating displays and artifacts. For added excitement, embark on guided tours of the nearby lighthouse or engage in interactive seafood cooking classes.
Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or a history buff, Dockside promises an unforgettable experience that tantalizes the senses and creates cherished memories by the water’s edge.
1102 De Soto Ave, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
14) Dauphin Island Campground
Dauphin Island Campground, situated in Alabama, boasts a rich history. Native American tribes once inhabited the island, followed by French settlers.
During the Civil War, the island became a key naval base, and today, the campground offers a glimpse into the past through its historic sites and artifacts.
However, with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and diverse wildlife, it remains a popular destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Come and join us if you don’t want to miss fun-filled things to do in Dauphin Island. Enjoy modern campsites with electricity and water hookups, clean restrooms, and showers.
The serene beach provides a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. Venture into the Audubon Bird Sanctuary to discover diverse bird species and scenic trails.
Fishing enthusiasts can cast a line from the pier or surf, and kayaking and paddleboarding in the calm waters are a must-try. As the day ends, gather around a campfire and watch the sun dip into the horizon, painting the sky in a mesmerizing array of colors.
109 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
15) Lighthouse Bakery
Lighthouse Bakery, founded in 1950, began as a small family-owned business in a coastal town. Their signature recipe, a closely guarded secret, led to rapid popularity.
By the 1970s, the bakery had expanded and gained a loyal following for its delectable pastries and artisan bread. In 2005, the bakery underwent a modernization, embracing sustainable practices and online ordering.
Today, Lighthouse Bakery is an iconic blend of tradition and innovation. It continues to delight customers with its timeless treats, mouthwatering menus, and relaxing things to do in Dauphin Island.
Nestled in a picturesque locale, their facilities offer an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in luxurious accommodations featuring stunning views and modern comforts.
Indulge in culinary delights at their gourmet restaurant, where expert chefs craft exquisite dishes. Want to have relaxing fun? Their spa offers rejuvenating treatments for leisure, while the fitness center keeps you active.
Nature enthusiasts can explore nearby trails, and art lovers can admire local galleries. With a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, their destination promises an enchanting escape. Come and discover the harmony of indulgence and exploration that awaits you!
919 Chaumont Ave, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
16) Fins Bar
Fins Bar on Dauphin Island boasts a rich history. Originally established as a bait shop in the 1950s, it evolved into a beloved beachside bar and hangout spot.
Over the decades, Fins Bar has become a cherished gathering place for locals and visitors, known for its relaxed atmosphere, live music, and stunning Gulf views.
The bar’s evolution reflects the island’s changing dynamics, making it a captivating symbol of community and coastal culture.
Fins Bar on Dauphin Island offers a range of activities and things to do in Dauphin Island for a memorable experience. From beachside lounging to live music, the bar exudes a relaxed vibe.
Enjoy refreshing drinks, tasty seafood, and stunning Gulf sunsets, lounge on the sandy shore, play beach games or explore nearby attractions.
Live music events infuse energy into the evenings, fostering a lively atmosphere. Whether mingling with locals or meeting fellow travelers, Fins Bar creates connections.
It’s more than a bar; it’s a hub of joy, community, and coastal magic, ensuring your time here is filled with laughter, relaxation, and cherished memories.
1600 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
17) Island Rainbow
The Island Rainbow’s history is a captivating tale of diversity and resilience. Originally inhabited by indigenous cultures, it witnessed the arrival of explorers and settlers who shaped its unique blend of traditions.
Colonial rule led to struggles for independence, resulting in a vibrant cultural mosaic. Today, it thrives as a global tourist destination, celebrated for its lush landscapes, rich heritage, and welcoming people.
The Island Rainbow’s history embodies the human spirit’s ability to flourish amidst challenges and create a harmonious cultural tapestry.
The Island Rainbow offers various facilities and things to do in Dauphin Island, catering to diverse interests. From luxurious resorts to charming boutique hotels, accommodation options abound.
Relax on pristine beaches, enjoy thrilling water sports, or explore lush hiking trails. Immerse yourself in local culture through bustling markets and traditional performances.
Culinary enthusiasts can savor a fusion of flavors from street food stalls to fine dining establishments. Discover historical landmarks, modern art galleries, and vibrant nightlife.
Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, the Island Rainbow promises an unforgettable journey filled with captivating activities and the warmth of its welcoming community.
1614 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
18) Miguel’s Beach’n Baja
Miguel’s Beach’n Baja started as a small taco stand in 1985 overlooking a serene beach. Its founder, Miguel Hernandez, drew inspiration from his Mexican heritage to create unique Baja-style fish tacos.
Word spread about the fresh flavors and handmade tortillas, attracting surfers and locals alike. The business grew steadily, maintaining its commitment to quality.
By 2000, it expanded into a beachfront restaurant, still cherished for its authentic dishes and laid-back ambiance. Miguel’s legacy lives on, a testament to how a simple idea can become a beloved coastal institution.
Miguel’s Beach’n Baja offers many exciting things to do in Dauphin Island for a perfect coastal getaway. The beachfront restaurant boasts stunning ocean views, complementing its vibrant atmosphere.
Guests indulge in Baja-style fish tacos crafted with fresh catches and secret family recipes. Surfers ride the waves while families build sandcastles on the shore.
The restaurant’s beach volleyball court invites friendly matches, and as the sun sets, bonfires light up, creating a magical ambiance for storytelling and s’mores.
Miguel’s Beach’n Baja is more than a destination; it’s a sanctuary where flavors, nature, and community converge, leaving memories as eternal as the tides.
202 Lemoyne Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
19) Shell Mound Park Boardwalk
Shell Mound Park Boardwalk, located in Dauphin Island, Alabama, boasts a rich history. The boardwalk offers a glimpse into the past as it traverses through an ancient Native American shell midden, a mound of discarded shells from prehistoric times.
These shells provide insights into the diets and lives of indigenous peoples who inhabited the area for thousands of years. The boardwalk preserves and educates about this cultural heritage, connecting visitors with the region’s fascinating history.
Are you looking for exciting things to do in Dauphin Island? Shell Mound Park Boardwalk has everything inside for a memorable visit. You’ll find interpretive signs along the boardwalk that unveil the site’s history.
Benches provide resting spots to take in the breathtaking coastal views. The park features picnic areas, perfect for enjoying a meal surrounded by nature.
Birdwatching enthusiasts can spot avian species in the area while fishing is also popular, with the chance to catch various coastal fish.
Exploring the natural beauty, learning about ancient cultures, and indulging in recreational activities make this park a captivating destination for all ages.
Delay no more to immerse yourself in history, nature, and relaxation at Shell Mound Park Boardwalk—a stunning destination where the past meets the present.
830 Desoto Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
Best Hotels To Stay On Dauphin Island
These hotels on Dauphin Island offer idyllic beachfront locations, comfortable accommodations, and a range of amenities.
- The Inn at Dauphin Island
- Dauphin Island Beach Club
- Holiday Isle Condominiums
- Gulf Breeze Motel
- ACP Real Estate Vacation Rentals
- The Pelican’s Nest Bed & Breakfast
Whether you’re looking for a serene getaway, a family-friendly atmosphere, or a cozy bed and breakfast experience, these options provide the perfect base to explore the island’s beauty and enjoy a relaxing vacation.