One of the largest cities in Alabama is the industrial town of Mobile. Mobile was founded back in 1702, and is currently the only saltwater port located in Alabama. Over its long and illustrious history, Mobile has been controlled by 6 different flags. Originally settled by the French, it was taken over by England in 1763, and again by the Spanish in 1780.
America took over control of Mobile in 1812. The Civil War saw Mobile be controlled by both the Union and Confederate troops. Mobile was home to one of the most important naval battles during the Civil War as well. Following the Civil War, Mobile prospered as a ship building port town. Nowadays, industry still drives the local economy, as well as aerospace and maritime industries, and even tourism.
The name Mobile is believed to come from the name of a local Indian tribe, the Maubilla Indians. It is also known as the Azalea Capital of the World, boasting more than 50 different species. It is also the historical birthplace of Mardi Gras. Started in 1704, the celebration happens every year, with usually 2 weeks of feasting, partying, and parades, leading up to Fat Tuesday. While New Orleans may be more popular for Mardi Gras, Mobile had been celebrating it 62 years before it was celebrated in New Orleans. Mobile’s Mardi Gras parties and parades are considered to be family-friendly. Mobile is also the annual host of the Distinguished Young Women scholarship competition every year, held in July.
Mobile is a town of history and learning. One of the largest and most popular attractions other than Dauphin Island is the USS Alabama, and Battleship Park. The USS Alabama is a WWII retired battleship that saw some service in WWII, and comprises of the Battleship, a decommissioned submarine, and various aircraft and military equipment. Mobile is also about the learning with the Gulf Coast Exploreum. The Exploreum is great for kids of all ages, and the displays are consistently fresh and changing. The local IMAX Theater can be found here as well. Mobile is also known for its music. Concerts such as the annual BayFest bring millions of tourists and music lovers to the area, while the Historic Sanger Theatre provides an incredible setting for ballets, opera, and symphonies.