Cross over the Dauphin Island Bridge, and you’ll come to the small barrier island of the same name.
Also known as the “sunset capital of Alabama”, Dauphin Island has no shortage of beautiful beaches and other tourist attractions for visitors to discover.
Have fun exploring this small island while learning about its unique history and heritage.
Take a walk along the Dauphin Island Pier, then get up close and personal with some marine creatures at the Sea Lab, or go deep-sea fishing nearby!
Or if fish aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, such as golfing or visiting the historic Fort Morgan.
From there, catch the Mobile Bay Ferry to East End Beach or Fort Gaines, or head further inland to visit the Audubon Bird Sanctuary.
So, whether you plan to spend the entire summer vacation there or just a weekend, there are plenty of things to do at Dauphin Island!
Things To Do In Dauphin Island, Alabama
1. Fort Gaines
Fort Gaines played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the American Civil War.
Today, Fort Gaines is open to the public and features a museum, blacksmith shop, and interpretive center.
Visitors can also tour the fort’s tunnels and battlements, which offer stunning views of Mobile Bay.
For anyone interested in American military history, Fort Gaines is a must-see!
Address: 51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
2. Fort Morgan State Historic Site
Fort Morgan is a historic military site located on the western tip of Dauphin Island in Mobile Bay.
The Fort was built between 1819 and 1833 and served as an active military post during the American Civil War.
Today, Fort Morgan is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours.
The fort offers stunning views of Mobile Bay and the surrounding area and is a popular spot for fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
Visitors can also explore the Fort’s many tunnels and chambers, which offer a fascinating glimpse into its military past.
Address: 110 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
3. Audubon Bird Sanctuary
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary in Dauphin Island, Alabama, is a nature lover’s paradise.
The sanctuary is home to a variety of bird species and provides a stunning backdrop for bird watching and photography.
The sanctuary is also an important stopover for migratory birds and has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society.
The sanctuary is open year-round, and admission is free.
Address: 211 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
4. Dauphin Island East End Public Beach
This small beach is located on the Eastern tip of Dauphin Island. It can be reached by the Mobile Bay Ferry that departs from Fort Morgan or by car.
It is generally less crowded than West End Beach, making it a good spot to relax and unwind.
Parking and admission are free, but visitors should be aware that there are not many amenities in the area.
That being said, the beach is close to the historic Fort Gaines, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, and the Alabama Aquarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
The beach is also known for having spectacular sunsets, which has earned it the title of the “sunset capital of Alabama”.
Address: 51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
5. Alabama Aquarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
The Alabama Aquarium is a public aquarium located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, formerly the Estuarium.
It is a marine science education facility dedicated to promoting the conservation of Alabama’s marine environment and its inhabitants.
It does this through various educational exhibits that allow visitors to interact with some of the marine animals housed at the aquarium.
One of the highlights of these educational exhibits is the stingray touch pool.
Address: 102 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
6. Indian Shell Mound Park
Indian Shell Mound Park is a beautiful spot that is rich in history and natural beauty.
The name “Indian Shell Mound Park” is actually derived from the piles of discarded oyster shells strewn throughout the park. These were created by native Americans who visited the area between 1100 and 1550 in search of food.
Today, the park is home to a variety of migratory birds, as well as many native plants and animals.
Ancient oak trees also grow throughout the park, providing shade and shelter for the many animals that call it home.
Overall, Indian Shell Mound Park is a great place to enjoy nature and learn about Dauphin Island heritage.
Address: 830 Desoto Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
7. Sand Island Lighthouse
Alabama’s Gulf Coast is home to a unique attraction called the Sand Island Lighthouse.
This lighthouse sits three miles from the mouth of Mobile Bay and has been rebuilt multiple times over the course of its history due to erosion and war.
Visitors can access the lighthouse via a marina cruise offered by the Dauphin Island Marina.
Address: Sand Island Light, Gulf of Mexico, AL
8. Gulf Islands National Seashore
From European colonizers to American Army engineers, the northern Gulf Coast has attracted people from all over the world for hundreds of years.
Today, the region is recognized as the largest national seashore in the United States and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
It also supports a wide variety of sea life, from bottlenose dolphins to corals and crustaceans.
Address: Gulf Breeze, FL 32563, USA
9. West End Public Beach
This beautiful stretch of beach is situated on the uninhabited western tip of Dauphin Island.
It has calm, shallow water, countless shells, and plenty of fish. Dolphins are also often spotted further out to sea.
If you plan on visiting West End Beach, be sure to come fully prepared.
The parking lot is quite a long way off from the beach, so it’s recommended to bring everything you need, including towels, chairs, sunscreen, and an umbrella.
Also, be aware that there is a fee for using the parking lot and gaining access to the beach.
Address: 3000 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
10. Dauphin Island Public Beach
Dauphin Island Public Beach is a white sandy beach located on the west side of the island.
It is frequented by locals and tourists alike and is one of the most popular beaches on the Gulf Coast, especially during the spring and summer months.
It is an excellent spot for bird watching, and there is a playground for the kids to enjoy. Pets are also allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.
If you’re looking for another great beach in the area, West End Beach is a short nine-minute drive from there.
One of the only downsides to Dauphin Island Public Beach is that there is quite a long walk to the water itself. There is also a small entrance fee to access the beach during peak season.
Address: 1501 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
11. Fort Morgan Fishing Beach
This secluded beach at the very bottom of Mobile Bay is an excellent spot for fishing.
There is quite a long walk from the parking lot to the beach, but the white sand and clear water make for a beautiful setting, and the fishing is some of the best in the area.
The beach is also great for sunbathing and relaxing, although visitors should be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is done at your own risk.
Address: Unnamed Road, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, United States
12. Rolston Park
Rolston Park was built to commemorate a former luxury resort called The Rolston Hotel.
The hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1927, but instead of rebuilding it, the owners decided to donate the land to the local community.
It was turned into a recreational facility, and a historical marker was erected there in 1959 to offer insight to visitors into how it came to be.
The park has winding sidewalks, benches, children’s playground equipment, and a fishing pier.
It also offers an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico.
Address: 7840 Coden Belt, Coden, AL 36523, USA
13. Isle Dauphine Golf Club
Built in 1962, the Isle Dauphine Golf Club is situated right on the beachfront, providing excellent views of the Gulf of Mexico.
However, this also means that the fairways and greens tend to be sandy, so come prepared for a challenge!
For those who are not golfing, a nearby restaurant and pool also provide visitors with access to the beach.
Address: 100 Orleans Dr, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
14. Dauphin Island Bird Houses
As you are driving over the Dauphin Island bridge, you can’t help but notice the row of colorful houses that appear on your right.
The six bird-like houses are painted in eye-catching colors that stand out against the marina dock.
Originally, these skinny houses were built for fishermen who wanted easy access to their boats and a place to lay their heads before or after a long day out on the water.
Today, they make cute beachfront rentals.
Address: Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
15. Dauphin Island Beach
Dauphin Island Beach is the perfect place to enjoy a day of sun and sand.
It is also situated near a variety of nearby trails, parks, and historical sites, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to explore.
The beach itself is pet-friendly (provided they are kept on a leash) and is a perfect example of some of the island’s most beautiful landscapes.
Address: Dauphin Island, AL 36528, United States
16. Pelican Point
If you’re looking for another place to do some bird watching while on vacation on Dauphin Island, check out Pelican Point.
This is where you will find shorebirds like the Black-bellied Plover and Ruddy Turnstone. Gulls, Terns, and Brown Pelicans are also commonly seen along the beach, as well as Double-Crested Cormorants.
Bobolinks also frequent this area during migration times and can be spotted in the field and underbrush between the road and the historic Fort Gaines.
Address: Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
17. Mobile Point
Mobile Point is the easternmost point of a long, narrow peninsula that separates Bon Secour Bay on the north, Navy Cove on the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south.
It boasts spectacular views of the surrounding area, and its central location provides visitors with easy access to the historic site of Fort Morgan and the Mobile Bay Ferry.
Address: Alabama 36542, USA