America's Scenic Byways

Alabama's Coastal Connection

130 miles -

This route and the waterways it follows are significant to the state of Alabama and the region for many reasons. Among them are the National Historic Landmarks of Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, the protected lands of the Dauphin Island Audubon Sanctuary, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Gulf State Park, beaches, and a unique culture of working waterfronts with distinct scenery.

The waters of Alabama’s Gulf Coast create its strongest connections. Making a living from the waters is a tradition that is alive and well here. Shell mounds hold the stories of early inhabitants who lived off the bountiful waters. Captains run shrimp and charter boats, and research vessels carry those dedicated to understanding the waters and to preserving the ecosystems that are so dependent upon them.

Historic Forts Gaines and Morgan stand united around the mouth of Mobile Bay. In earlier times they stood guard against enemies and their cries of “Damn the torpedoes.” Today, the brick and wooden fortresses tell the stories of those battles and their soldiers to the many visitors who step onto their grounds.

The Dauphin Island Audubon Sanctuary, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, and Gulf State Park provide more than 12,000 acres of protected lands along the coast. Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of only 27 such reserves nationally. See indigenous wildlife, seasonal migratory birds and a variety of native plants. See the refuge's bio-diverse habitats, including beaches and sand dunes, salt and freshwater marshes, scrub forests, fresh water swamps and uplands.

Enjoy a stroll along the shore at sunset or a quiet sail on the bay or backwaters, or go golfing and offshore fishing. And here, dining is definitely recreation! Seafood is standard fare and can be prepared any way imaginable. Whether you're looking for a campsite, a family-friendly beach house, a luxury hotel or anything in between, your family will find the accommodations they need.

Alabama’s Coastal Connection has much to share and it beckons you to make your own connection and to learn more about The Waters, Ways, and Wildlife of Alabama’s Gulf Coast.