Most large cities have big attractions to draw a large number of people to their city to promote and support local businesses like restaurants and hotels. Mobile Alabama is not any different from the rest. We may not be as big as the large metropolitan cities, but we do have some big time attractions in my opinion.
Does Mobile Alabama have a zoo or aquarium in their metropolitan area? The answer to that question is no and yes. At one time, we had a small zoo which has since closed for business. We do have an outstanding aquarium in the Estuarium At Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Question #1: Does Mobile AL have an aquarium?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES!
Now to clarify this a little further, the answer is yes, but with a caveat. It is actually in Mobile County Alabama.
The Estuarium (how to pronoun) at Dauphin Island Sea Lab is at the furthermost southern part of the county on the barrier island of Dauphin Island.
It is not only an aquarium, but a fully functioning marine environmental science laboratory that is supported by many different entities that help bring assistance and knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding waterways.
The main mission is to expand the marine science education, research, coastal management of the general public to the wonderful natural preserve we have here on the Gulf Coast.
The Estuarium is supported additional by the MESC or Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, DISLF or Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation and the Mobile Bay NEP or National Estuary Program.
For this post, I’ll stick with the main topic which is “Aquarium”.
Visiting The Estaurium
This public aquarium showcases four key habitats of the coast of Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Mobile Tensaw Delta
- Mobile Bay
- Barrier Islands
- Northern Gulf of Mexico
They have 31 individual aquariums that is filled with over 30,000 gallons of water. A pool where you can reach out and touch real live stingrays in a 7,000 gallon pool.
The Living Marsh Boardwalk lets you get close to the outside habitat which shows off the beautiful plants, animals and natural resources found in the surrounding environment.
Excursions And Talks
Two times a month, events are held that invite the public out to engage with the local Sea Lab experts called the Boardwalk Talk program.
During the summer months, visitors to the Sea Lab are taken out into the local marine environment where the marine scientists and researchers teach and educate about the marine inhabitants that live there.
Hosting An Event At The Sea Lab
You can host an event at several venues at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
- The Estuarium
- The Schooling Room
- Richard C. Shelby Atrium/Auditorium
- and Galathea Hall
The staff can offer services live Event Coordination and Full Banquet Services with custom menus. Contact Lori Angelo at email@example.com for additional details.
Become A Member/Donor For Special Benefits
By becoming a member/donor you not only support the work and mission of the Estuarium at Dauphin Island, but you get special benefits and discounts.
Basic Level – For a $50 donation ($30 students or $100 families) you will received free estuarium admission for a year, 15% discount at the gift shop, subscription to Skimmer (electronic newsletter), membership card/decal and DISL special event invitations.
Seahorse Level – For a $250 donation you get the Basic Level benefits and 4 quest passes to the Estuarium for one-time entries.
Skate Level – For a $500 donation you get the Basic Level benefits plus 10 quest passes to the Estuarium for one-time entries.
Starfish Level – For a $1,000 donation you get the Basic Level package plus recognition in the DISL Foundation Media.
School Of Fish – For a $2,500 donation you get the Basic Level package plus Starfish Benefits and Recognition on the Donor Wall plus Tickets to Special Events.
Contact the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation Executive Direction Helene Hassell at 251-605-6624 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details or visit https://www.disl.org/estuarium/estuarium to get the online forms.
- 102 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528
- Winter Hours are September 1st to February 28/29 – Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm.
- Summer Hours are March 1st to August 31 – Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm and Sunday 12pm to 6pm.
- Adult admission is $12 with children 5-18 or students w/ID $6. Seniors get in for $10.
- Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve & Day.
- No pets allowed in the DISL Estuarium, except for service dogs that are trained to perform tasks.
Question #2: Does Mobile Alabama Have A Zoo?
The answer to this question is unfortunately, no…
The closest zoo to the City of Mobile or county for that matter is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo located in Gulf Shores, AL in Baldwin County Alabama.
Located between Little Lagoon and Shelby Lakes, is the home to over 600 animals with a hands-on experience and yes…real live kangaroos!
The zoo is also on a mission to help with conservation efforts with the 22 endangered species that live at this zoo.
Come down to the Gulf Shores area and visit Casanova the Eurasian Lynx, Frasier, the African Gray Crowned Crane, Simba, the African Lion and R and Rajah, the White Bengal Tiger.
How Much Does The Zoo Cost?
Standard ticket prices is as follows:
- Adults 13 to 54 / $14 plus tax
- Seniors 55+ / $12 plus tax
- Children 3 to 12 / $10 plus tax
- Children 2 and under / Free
- Military Discount w/ID / $1 off you and each person in family
How Big Is The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo?
After Hurricane Ivan destroyed the original location of the zoo, the new zoo is built on 25 acres of high ground to give them a better and more secure location.
- 1204 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
- (251) 968-5732
- Open everyday from 9am to 4pm
- Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Days
- Group and School Group Rates are available. Check Out
- Food is available at the Mojo’s Seafood and Chicken snack bar 10:30am to 3:30pm.
- Wagon rents are available for $4.
- Animal Encounters are an additional attraction and additional cost. You can interact with kangaroos, lemur, reptiles, sloths and anteaters. Check Out ticket prices.