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The southern city of Mobile on the Alabama coast has a busy working port and a proud maritime history. The USS Alabama battleship sits as a permanent visitor attraction on its shore and the surrounding bays, rivers and islands give this area a varied landscape perfect for travellers who love the outdoors.
Mobile is one of the oldest cities on the Gulf Coast and the quaint streets of the downtown district boast colourful old houses full of southern charm. It is also the home to America’s original Mardi Gras, and the Mobile Carnival Museum explores the history and colour of the annual festival. There is also much to see in the surrounding areas. Rent a hire car in Mobile and tour the picturesque beaches of the Gulf Coast, or take the 144-mile drive west to New Orleans.
Mobile Regional Airport is 18 miles out of town, a journey of half an hour by car. If you are driving in then the I-65 and I-10 both pass through, giving this city great links to Florida and Texas. There is also a cruise terminal.
Alamo, Dollar and Thrifty are among the Mobile car hire brands available. National and Hertz also have branches in the city centre.
Mobile is situated on the Gulf Coast amid ribbons of waterways and islands that break up the land and create wildlife havens and quiet bays for boating and water sports. Make the most of it by getting a rental car in Mobile and head north up past the suburb of Prichard to Chickasaw Creek. Or go east to Pensacola, a city just over the border into the state of Florida. It is a 55-minute drive of 60 miles west on the I-10, and Pensacola’s pristine beaches definitely make it worthwhile. Check out the fine sand and calm waters of Perdido Key, the thin strip of land that juts into the Gulf of Mexico, offering idyllic quiet beaches and a stunning golf course.
Atmore is 50 miles northeast of Mobile, a drive of just under an hour. Little River State Forest sits just on the outskirts and it is a popular area for camping, hiking and horse riding. The Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve is a popular stop-off for bird lovers, with herons and eagles among those spotted.
The city of Montgomery is 170 miles from Mobile, a drive of two hours and 20 minutes south on the I-65. This city is one of the most important stops on the American civil rights tour with the Rosa Parks museum, named after the woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus so that white passengers could sit down.
Alabama's maximum speed limit is 70mph on interstate highways unless otherwise marked and if you are travelling with children be aware that child safety seats are mandatory for children aged four and under.
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