What To Do On Dauphin Island: (Fort Gaines, Bird Sanctuary & Mobile Bay Ferry)

Dauphin Island, Hi, I am here today to tell you all about a tiny island, Dauphin Island. Do not confuse Dauphin Island with Dolphin Island that is just off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. Mobile is a southern city that offers you fun and it is worth visiting when you go, you should check out Dauphin Island. This place also steeped n history dating back to the time when this area was part of French Louisiana territory. You consider the Native American findings here that are almost fifteen hundred or more years old. This place is known for its blue water, white powdery sand and huge live oak trees. It is an island that you have never heard that it offers  some great reasons to visit.

Dauphin Island is a tiny island located in the Island Alabama that is in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Mobile, Alabama. The Gulf is to the south and Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound at the north.

What To Do On Dauphin Island

To reach Dauphin Island from Mobile take almost 45 to 50 minutes over a system of bridges, it is a part of the Mobile metropolitan area. It is name after the Louis XIV of France’s great- grandson and heir, the dauphin and future King Louis XV. The name Dauphin refers to the older son of the King in French. But it can be confusing that Dauphin Island Alabama is not pronounced in the French accent but it is pronounced similarly as the word ‘dolphin’ if you eliminate the letter ‘L’ in dolphin.

Things to do on Dauphin Island

Things to do on Dauphin Island

Native Americans paddled out here to hunt and fish long before the French,English and Spanish explorers arrived. You can see fresh drinking water that surrounds bays that are packed with fish, oysters and some other seafood that make Dauphin Island a famous seasonal destination for Creek, Seminole and Choctaw tribes. But as the time passes Europeans arrived in North America  the scenic barrier island start separating Mobile Bay from the Gulf of Mexico as it become the capital of Louisiana Territory. Now its time to plan a relaxing weekend getaway from Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville. Gadsden, Florence, Mobile and other cities. Dauphin  Island has number of things to do and enjoy. Here is the list of some activities to do on Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island Visitors Guide

Public Beach In Dauphin Island

Public Beach of Dauphin Island is the most beautiful landscapes at this place. With enjoying the beach itself you can also enjoy a variety of things like trails, parks and historical exhibits. Dauphin Island’s Public Beach is unique among all beaches there since it is a pet -friendly beach. The beach authorities are asked to pay a fee between $2 to $5 to access the beach and surrounding facilities, it is an effort to protect the environment during the high season of tourists. The Public Beach is open from 8 am to 6 pm throughout the year.

The Estuarium, Dauphin Island Sea Lab

The Estuarium of Dauphin Island is also known as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This Sea Lab is the home for more than 100 types of aquatic animals. It has a 10,000 square feet exhibit facility which contains upwards of 30 aquariums and each aquarium focuses on a unique aspect of the Mobile Bay Estuary. This is considered the fourth largest estuary system in the U.S. The Sea Lab also offers you the organized tours and educational materials for school students group. There is also a series named Boardwalk Talks aimed to help the visitors to understand the ecology of the Mobile Bay Estuary, this series places twice a month. These seminars are free to visitors.

Fort Gaines Dauphin Island

Fort Gaines is located at the eastern tip of  Dauphin Island. It protects the entrance of Mobile Bay for more than 150 years. Fort Gaines is here with endured years of erosion from water, winds and inclement weather because of its location near the shoreline.  It is one of the most endangered sites of America. Nearby Fort Gaines, there is a number of shops or stores located such as a black -smith shop, a museum and a gift shop. This Fort is open all around the year with a certain number of holidays.

Dauphin Island Mobile Bay Ferry

The Mobile Bay Ferry connects Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan, Alabama. This ferry takes about 40 to 50 minutes to reach from one place to another which also saves traveling hours and this trip offers spectacular views of Mobile Bay. The Mobile Bay Ferry offers you ride all around the year but there are also two ferries available during the busy months to make the bay crossing hassle -free. Both of the ferries are equipped to carry vehicles also. These ferries are easily available in the areas like New Orleans, Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. This ferry service prices start from $5 for a one -way trip.

Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary

The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is one of the prime locations to see birds as they travel from and to Central and South America. Its spread over 164 acres of the area. Dauphin Island is in the top four places in all of  North America for viewing migratory birds in the spring season and researchers believed that more than 95 % of Alabama’s birds have passed through Dauphin Island while traveling from one place to another. The Audubon Bird Sanctuary has a variety of unique geographic characteristics like forests, dunes, marshes and beaches. According to the Audubon Society, the bird sanctuaries play a vital role to protect and perpetuate the number of bird species.

Dauphin Island Shell Mound Park

Shell Mound Park is the most well -preserved archaeological site in South America. The mounds here are believed to be the remnants of seafood meals that were consumed by Native Americans between AD 110 to AD 1550. Some archeological evidences suggest that the mounds of the Shell Mound Park were formed during the winter season when the Native Americans would travel to Dauphin Island from nearby places of Bottle Creek to cook oysters together here.

Also, Checkout, Things You Must Know (Grand Canyon): First Time Traveler Guide

What is Dauphin Island known for?

Dauphin island is known for its bird species as it also knowm a the paradise for bird- watchers. Dauphin Island is an important habitat during the migration season of the birds. Every year more than 350 species of birds have been spotted in Dauphin Island. As I mentioned above that the Audubon Bird Sanctuary is a designated sanctuary on Dauphin Island  and it has a variety of spectacular landscapes to explore on the trails and boardwalks. This bird sanctuary is the major attraction on Dauphin Island.

Is Dauphin Island water clear?

Yes, the water of Dauphin Island is clear blue water with powdery white sand galore. The ocean  around  Dauphin Island is quite safe the water is calm and clean. Dauphin Island is known for its relative isolation and quiet beaches. This island is an untapped paradise as it is a top family destination.

Are there alligators on Dauphin Island?

Alligators can be seen on the far west end of the island. Alligators do not live in salty water they live in freshwater The alligator is not a threat to residents or tourists to Dauphin Island. Alligators move to this place because they lost their territory to another male or to find female alligators.

Also, Read Does It Snow in Australia?

Are there sharks on Dauphin Island?

There is a number of shark species that swim Alabama waters including genuine man- eaters. But the attacks are rarely happening. You would be surprised at how many species and the number of sharks off the Alabama coast. Most sharks in Dauphin Island are small and non -threatening to humans.

The unprovoked shark’s attack are now very rare in Alabama, but in the past 20 years an increase in attacks because more human begins are going to thecoast and there are more sharks now. In the seasons of late spring and summer, there are so many black-tip and spinner sharks in the waters of Dauphin Island that people can hardly reel in a big fish without a shark biting it.  You commonly catch 6 to 7- foot black-tips while surf fishing the beaches at night. The toothy sharks present here could give humans a nasty bite. Most shark attacks occur because sharks think a human body part like a hand or foot in the water looks like a fish and because humans do some activity to provoke the sharks. Mostly a shark takes a bite out of someone because sharks take it as  prey.

There are three large shark species at swim in Alabama water they are- great whites. tigers and bull sharks.

Best time to visit Dauphin Island

Best time to visit Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island is a humid subtropical place where you experience mild winters and hot, humid summers. The mean annual temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius with a significant amount of rainfall is received throughout the year.

  1. Winter- Winter starts in Dauphin Island is from December to February with temperature is mostly around 10 degrees Celsius to 12 degrees Celsius over time. Normal rainfall is expected too in these months.
  2. Spring- Spring season starts from the month of March and ends up in the month of April when the weather remains pleasant and all the natural beauty of the island comes into full bloom during these months of the year.
  3. Summer- The summer season starts in May and usually goes on till September when the temperature ranging between 25 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius. Summers are  quite hot on Dauphin Island. There is a very small amount of precipitation during the summer season with the combination of heat that makes the weather more humid.
  4. Fall- The temperature dives in the month of October and stays a bit cool to indicate the arrival of the winter season. The temperature remains around 16 degrees Celsius during the winter season.

It is a place where you can visit throughout the year, as there is no drastic change in temperature throughout the year.

Leave a Comment