The city of Mobile has a rich and vibrant history that spans over 300 years. It was initially founded by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville in 1702 and served as a part of New France for over 60 years. In 1702, Mobile was named the capital of colonial France until 1720 when the French battled with Spain and the capital was relocated to Biloxi. During its history, Mobile was ruled under French, British and Spanish leadership until the United States obtained ownership of the city in 1813.
The first official Mardi Gras celebration was held in 1703 in the Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff settlement by French settlers. The celebrations were dormant during the Civil War until Confederate veteran Joe Cain marched the streets of downtown. He dressed as fictional Chickasaw chief “Slacabamorinico” and was joined by fellow soldiers. Locals consider him a hero for breathing life into Mardi Gras and the reason why it is celebrated today.
Mobile’s current population is 192,085 and it is the third most populated city in the state of Alabama. The overall population of the Mobile metropolitan area is 413,955.
This includes the cities of Saraland, Prichard, Tillmans Corner, Semmes, Theodore, Grand Bay and Dauphin Island.
The city of Mobile and the surrounding metropolitan area has seen a rise in construction projects over the years. Downtown Mobile has seen a lot of growth in urban development with the construction and opening of more bars, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and mixed-use housing developments.
Currently, there are over 13 buildings and 20 sites available in Mobile County. These have an ample amount of square footage and proximity to the I-10/I-65 junction, with easy access to Mobile’s deep-water port and five class-one rail companies. Mobile also has over 10,000 acres available for industrial development.
Other vital areas for industrial development in Mobile include the Mobile Commerce Park and Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley which consist of 6 million square-feet of space perfect for those in aerospace and industrial sectors.
Sales in new residential construction in Mobile has increased over the years. In 2019, the average sales price in new residential construction has increased by 7% in Mobile County.
Mobile County has also seen a 9% increase in new single-family building permits from the previous year.
The carnival season is the city’s most popular yearly event and attracts over 100,000 people from around the world. Mardi Gras normally begins in either February or March, depending on the lunar calendar and when Lent begins.
Mobile hosts several annual events including:
The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park consists of a War World II battleship, aviation museum, an Alabama Korean War Memorial and a World War II submarine, the USS Drum. The park hosts war reenactments throughout the year.
The Mobile Carnival Museum has artifacts and exhibits from past Mardi Gras krewes and parades.
Guests can take a tour of Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The sprawling estate has lush greenery, flowers of all varieties and antique furniture once belonging to the Bellingrath family.
Lots of locals make the best use of living on the water. Day trips to the beaches of Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are easy to pull off since it takes less than an hour of driving to reach the Gulf. Plenty of people go boating on Mobile Bay and the five rivers that empty into it. Fishing and water sports are extremely popular during the warmer months nearly all year round.