9 Things Mobilians Understand That No One Else Will

Every city has a personality and only those that live there can truly understand and appreciate it. This is never truer than in Mobile, a city that constantly surprises with new idiosyncrasies while remaining interesting with older ones that created the Port City’s character in the first place. Here are nine things only Mobilians will understand about the place they call home.

 

  1. Mardi Gras Is Ours
    1. New Orleans can say whatever they want because Mobilians know the truth. Bienville and Iberville started Carnival here on 27-Mile Bluff in 1703, more than 20 years before they took it to the Bayou. When the Civil War took away the festivities for a while, it was Mobilian Joe Cain who brought it back with a racket still celebrate today on Joe Cain Day (a holiday no other Carnival city can claim). It’s a fact that Mobilians are proud of and will quickly “educate” anyone who says otherwise.
  2. Dauphin Island Is Awesome
    1. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach get the accolades and the tourists and the HGTV shows—and deservedly so—but Mobilians know the true treasure lies on Dauphin Island. We’re ok with the secret not getting out because that stretch of land is perfect for those of us just needing a quick day in the sun. The Gulf on one side provides the necessary white beaches while the Bay on the other side gives boaters and kayakers inlets and open areas to take advantage of the water.
  3. Mobile Is Strangely Haunted
    1. Savannah claims to be the nation’s most haunted city and it’s one it came by honestly, but travelers looking to head west for a bit of spook won’t be disappointed with what they find in Mobile. The old mansions all have their own tales of household ghosts and the countless battles in the city have left an eerie air. The city itself is haunted—don’t believe me? Head to Church Street Cemetery and research the Boyington Oak.
  4. The Architecture is Second to None
    1. Take a ride down Government Street and you’ll see buildings boasting every type of architecture from Roman Gothic to French Revival. The different cultural influences are evident in every building that dots the cities historical areas. And it’s not just the front face. Head inside the Battle House Hotel to try out the “Whispering Arch.” While in Cathedral Square, look up to admire the domes of the Basilica. If you need to take it all in at once, visit the History Museum’s Doll Room where miniature dollhouses of Mobile’s grandest architectural beauties are open for viewing.
  5. Mobile’s Cultural Door is Wide Open
    1. Sitting at the bottom of the state known as “The Heart of Dixie,” Mobile seems like it would be the epitome of the Deep South and in many ways it is; but the city also has something many others in the area don’t. As we will see in the next point, Mobile is home to major international industries leading to a city teeming with different cultures. Those of us who’ve grown up here have often gone to school or church with those of different nationalities. It opens a door to unique cuisines and traditions (like the Dragon Race at the Battleship) that those of us from Mobile are lucky enough to learn from. It makes sense for a city that has been a part of six different nations throughout its history.
  6. The City is Hugely Important to Industry
    1. A ride over the Africatown Bridge is like a glimpse into worldwide industry. From Austal to Airbus, some of the world’s biggest companies set up shop in Mobile and for those of us from the area, we know it’s the perfect place for such businesses. The warm weather, dry inland and access to waterways are ideal. We also know to look up when heading into the Bankhead Tunnel westbound for an up-close look at Austal’s next big project.
  7. It’s Becoming an Entertainment Hotspot
    1. For a while there you couldn’t walk around downtown without finding yourself in a Nicholas Cage photo-op. The state’s tax incentives have brought production companies to the area where they take advantage of the vast landscapes (pine forests to beaches), range of cityscapes (historical to modern), access to unique settings (Battleship Park alone offers everything you need for a WWII movie) and swings of weather (you can shoot a rain scene and blue-sky scene in the same afternoon!) to shoot movies, music videos, marketing tools, and more. And it’s not just film; the music scene provides Mobilians with intimate concerts at places like the Soul Kitchen and major headliners at The Wharf and Hangout Festival—the latter of which fills MTV programming for three straight days!  
  8. Mobile Is One of the Nation’s Oldest Cities
    1. For years Mobile was known as the City of Six Flags, due to the different nation’s it has flown under through the years. It’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in American and one of the first founded communities. Started in 1702, the city has been through 300 years of wars and nationality shifts and celebrations and political events, giving it a deep and versatile history that few other cities can even begin to boast.
  9. The Food Can’t Be Beat
    1. People want to tell you that it’s the surrounding areas that know how to do their respective foods right. New Orleans has the Creole\Cajun cuisine; Birmingham has mastered barbeque and it’s only the south that sits in the foothills of the Appalachians, Smokies and Ozarks that really know how to do down home cooking, right? Wrong. While each of those areas are deserving in their own right, here in Mobile we’ve found a way to tap into all of them, not as a way of stealing, but just by the good grace of being in an area that holds all of the same qualities of those other places. Throw in the seafood that is always fresh from the Gulf and you really can’t find a better place for foodies to thrive.
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