Let me start by saying that I have been jonesing for an island vacation for some time now. I dream of Hawaii, Tahiti, Bermuda, and Turks and Caicos on a fairly regular basis. I drool and practically cry when I see other people’s island vacation photos on Instagram. I’ve been saying to myself, “maybe next year” for several years. Finding the passport I thought I had lost hasn’t helped either! Am I glad that I found my passport? Of course, but it’s made the wanderlust grow.
In the midst of one of my first world pity parties, I remembered that I had heard of a little island off the coast of Alabama for many years and had never been there. My mom lives in Mississippi and I was going there anyway, so I thought, “Why not check out this little island?” We did, and it did not disappoint!
The day we arrived was a Sunday. We grabbed the keys to the beach house from the realty office, dropped our luggage (and dog) off at the house, and headed straight to the beach! Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let you look at what we found.
After walking around and taking some pictures of this gorgeous, white sand beach with huge dunes and plenty of marsh surrounding it, we decided to go grab a bite to eat at J.T.’s Sunset Grill. We enjoyed a nice meal and these beautiful views while we ate.
FIRST FULL DAY
On our first full day, we were looking for the dock where dolphin and lighthouse tours launched (we didn’t find it) and just happened upon the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. Wow! We only saw one bird (a woodpecker), but the loop around the lake was so gorgeous. I couldn’t believe something so unspoiled was within easy driving distance of Northern Mississippi.
After a walk in the woods and lunch, we headed back to the beach. This time, we headed to the end of the island where there were just a few families enjoying the water, sun, and white sand. A quick trip to Beach Planet (Treasure Trove) to shop and then we were ready to spend the evening at the beach house, researching lighthouse and dolphin tours.
SECOND FULL DAY
We reserved a spot on The Duke for a dolphin and lighthouse tour. Many people (including me when I was younger) think the name of the island is “Dolphin Island” and, after this tour, it’s certainly easy to understand why! We arrived at the Marina pretty unprepared (my bad), but the shop had lined canvas bags, ice, and cold drinks, so our problem was easily solved. We embarked on a “three hour tour” (cue the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song) with several different families. On the way to the lighthouse, there were a few dolphin sightings, but after we passed the lighthouse, they were EVERYWHERE! Dolphins are such delightful animals. To me, they always seem to be having such a great time.
We rounded out our day with dinner at the beach house and a little more research on what to do next.
THIRD FULL DAY
During the previous evening’s research, we read about the Dauphin Island Estuarium and decided that we needed to check it out. We lucked out and arrived pretty close to an 11:00 AM feeding time and got to see the different fish and reptiles eating.
After lunch at Islanders and an afternoon at the beach, it was time to shower, get dressed, and try to catch one more island sunset. We went to Pirates Bar and Grill and enjoyed some drinks by the pool while catching a really beautiful sunset.
TIME TO LEAVE
Our stay here was brief, but it was just what we needed for a little self-care break. About an hour into the drive back to Mississippi, Sweet Home, Alabama came on the radio. I’ve never been a big fan and, in the past, would certainly have changed the station. This time, I let it play and smiled as we waved goodbye to Alabama. We hope to see you again, soon, Dauphin Island! Thanks for a great four days.
Do you need anything for a fun beach getaway?
This is awesome. I am glad you got to check out an island that was not too far away. I am in love with you pictures, especially the ones with the beach and palm trees. They look so tropical. Road trips are awesome!!!!
Thank you so much. It was a great little vacation and very affordable.
Wow! Who knew Alabama was such a great beach destination! Looks like a great trip!
I love a good vacation to reset
It’s the best! I am in need of a “beach fix” right now.