“The Pearl of Alabama”
Looking out my window on a cold rainy winter day I decided that we needed a vacation, somewhere warm and sunny. Where would we go this year? A Cruise? A tropical island? Just then, a memory from long ago came back to me. When I was a young girl of around thirteen I remember that I used to live on an island off the coast of Alabama. It was called Dauphin Island, and it was connected to the mainland by a three and one half mile long land bridge. The island is just over nine miles long. That’s where we would go! So then and there I started to put my plan into motion. My traveling companions would be my twenty two year old daughter and her fiance’.
We reserved a seven day stay at Sand Castle Condominiums located right on the beach of Dauphin Island. We booked the trip in February, making sure we could get reservations for the dates that we needed. Finally we arrived at our destination. There was so much to do and so much to see on the island that we almost didn’t have enough time to experience it all. Warm sandy beaches, salty sea spray and white capped waves greeted us. The features of the island include The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, with informative tours every day, Historic Fort Gaines, which opened with a period piece reenactment of The Battle of Mobile Bay, in which they shot a canon and told the story of the battle. Another “Haunting” feature was mysterious Shell Mound Park, an Indian burial ground dating back more than eight hundred years. It was filled with live oak trees of the same age, dripping with spanish moss, it is said to have a ghost still walking around guarding his grave. There is also the Audubon Bird Sanctuary located in a quite unique shady forest. Alligators and fish populated the beautiful lakes located within the forest of pines and palmettos but yet all connected to a sun swept sandy beach. The landscape is very strange and yet breath taking…
Dauphin Island also has its own golf course overlooking the ocean. One morning, we caught the ferry at the east end of the island which took us on a 45 minute journey over open ocean in Mobile Bay across to historic Fort Morgan. After taking the tour around the fort we drove another 45 minutes to beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama. We spent our day soaking up the sun at Waterville USA, a local water park filled with fun! It included mini golf, swimming, wave pools, go-karts and we could never forget the water slides! At the end of the day we caught the ferry back to the island and watched a gorgeous sunset on our return trip. We observed brown pelicans and sea gulls gliding in their graceful but beautiful manner.
Once back on Dauphin Island, we dined at “The Ore House”, which specialized in fresh seafood and juicy burgers. Another highlight to our trip was visiting Bellingrath Gardens, on scenic Fowl River. It’s located about 50 minutes off of Dauphin Island. We also took the Bellingrath Gardens riverboat cruise on the double decker paddle wheel boat which lasted about an hour. The trip was filled with peace and tranquility. We had the pleasure of seeing a Bald Eagle perched in a cypress tree and an Osprey in its nest, as well as the local alligators in their natural habitat. Also back on the island there were jet ski rentals, sailboat rentals, deep sea fishing tours, sunset cruises and much much more. For more information on Dauphin Island, Alabama, go to http://www.alabamatravel.com. Over all I hope I have given my readers an insight to a beautiful unexpected paradise to provide them with options and ideas when it comes time to plan you next vacation…