Fort Morgan, Alabama is a hidden gem on the beautiful Mobile Bay, a Gulf Coast inlet. This island community is part of a small chain of resort islands, where visitors from the mainland mingle all year-round with local residents, who exude hospitality and Southern charm. Many Fort Morgan vacation rentals are situated no farther than a short walk from the beach, thanks to the island’s long, thin geography. You’re also never more than a short drive or ferry ride from the other nearby small townships that boast amazing attractions for families, adults, and kids alike. Here are 15 of the spots you can’t miss in Fort Morgan.

1. Fort Morgan, Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan takes its name from a historic monument, an iconic military installation on the eastern tip of the island. This red brick behemoth was built during the War of 1812, to defend the coast against possible British attack. Take a guided tour and pick up some souvenirs in the on-site gift shop.

2. Tacky Jacks, Fort Morgan

Bring the kids to Tacky Jacks for a fun family dinner of surf and turf. Tacky Jacks does business out of a ramshackle-looking wooden shack on the beach, and the casual diner has been voted “Best Bushwacker in Baldwin and Mobile Counties.”

3. Chill Time Charters, Fort Morgan

No visit to a beachfront community is over until you’ve had a chance to fish in the clear water of the Gulf. Chill Time Charters operates blue water fishing trips for guests who want a shot at pulling in a sea bass or bluegill. Watch out for barracudas, which take half your bait, and dolphins, which take the barracudas you hook.

4. Corsair Charters, Fort Morgan

Book a day trip with Corsair Charters to learn more about the natural history of the Fort Morgan area and its environs. Kids are welcome on every voyage.

5. Estuarium, Dauphin Island

Hop over to Dauphin Island, where you and the kids can spend an afternoon wandering the halls of the Estuarium. This marine attraction hosts many exhibits on the natural and human environment of the bay, and it provides plenty of hands-on teaching experiences to keep children occupied. Children under 14 must be accompanied.

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6. Pirate’s Bar and Grill, Dauphin Island

Swing by Pirate’s Bar and Grille for some of the best in regional cuisine. Pirate’s is a pure Creole experience that combines fresh seafood from Dauphin’s own regional waters with Southern home cooking. Enjoy fresh sole with a side of Soul when you order the battered fish with collard greens.

7. Islanders Restaurant and Bar, Dauphin Island

Pirate’s is a lot of fun for kids and couples hungry for a hearty lunch, but older teens and married couples who like a bit of atmosphere should make reservations at Islanders. Sedate and dignified, this restaurant is an attraction in itself, famous among locals for its unique blend of the finest European and French cuisine.

8. JT’s Sunset Grill, Dauphin Island

JT’s Sunset Grill, also on Dauphin Island, is a fried food shack offering a fun, casual environment to sit-down guests. There’s also take-out for customers who have to catch the evening ferry back to Fort Morgan. Try to time your visit for just before the local sunset; everybody heads out to the west-facing dock to watch it on the water.

9. The Spa at The Beach Club, Gulf Shores

Unwind at The Beach Club Resort, in Gulf Shores. Here, a fully equipped spa and salon can pamper you back to full power with massage, facial treatments, manicures, pedicures, and rest cures.

10. Shell Banks Cemetery, Gulf Shores

Located just across the Gulf Shores, Shell Banks Cemetery is the eternal home of Alabama’s Civil War veterans, including many who died on July 2, 1863, charging up Little Round Top at Gettysburg. Southern oaks heave over the walkways, trailing long streamers of Spanish moss. Stop at nearby Pines Grocery and Hardware for paper and charcoal if you want to take a rubbing of one of the old headstones.

11. Sassy Bass, Fort Morgan

Stop by Sassy Bass for generous portions of Southern food, drinks, live music, local artists, and sports on the big screen TVs. The atmosphere is family-friendly, and the dress code is quite casual. Feel free to don flip-flops and a silly hat while noshing on some of the tastiest down-home cuisines this side of Fort Morgan.

12. Frost Bites, Gulf Shores

For dessert on the beach at sunset, Frost Bites is the place for you. This casual, dessert-themed eatery serves ice cream, shaved ice, cake, and pie. Locals rave about the specialty coffee drinks.

13. Bon Secour Refuge, Gulf Shores

Wild America is one of the main attractions of the Gulf Coast island communities, and you can get right up close to it in the Bon Secour Nature Refuge. Tour the refuge and commune, or take the kids on a 3-mile hike up the trail to the northeast section of the protected area. Bring bug spray in summer, but wear shorts and a T-shirt in winter; it never gets too cold here, even at night.

14. Beach Power Rentals, Gulf Shores

Stop by Beach Power Rentals to rent mobility equipment, such as custom-made motorized beach wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and fun-oriented personal transports. Beach Power Rentals offers solutions to help you get around the beach and nearby trail excursions. They also rent large beach umbrellas.

15. Fort Morgan Pizza, Gulf Shores

Hit this casual pizzeria on the highway back toward your vacation home – it’s right off the highway near the town limits – and pick up enough pizza for the night, with some leftovers to cover your family until lunch tomorrow. All the old standbys are on offer here, as well as some local treats, such as shrimp.

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