Most visitors come to Fort Morgan for a quieter, more secluded beach experience, but there may be a time when the kids are tired of the same old beautiful beach in front of your rental. Here are a few of the top Fort Morgan tourism hot spots in and around the area.
Take the ferry from Fort Morgan across the bay to Dauphin Island for the day. Located on a barrier island to the west, the island is home to quaint shops and restaurants, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium, public beaches, and Fort Gaines. The Audubon Bird Sanctuary is just one of many bird sanctuaries on the island. You can still see some of the ancient shell middens built by Native Americans long ago. Historic Fort Gaines, on the eastern tip of the island, is worth the visit. On the ferry trip over, you’ll be crossing the same waters where U.S. Admiral David Farrugut is supposed to have shouted, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” during the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Everyone loves the zoo! The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is not only home to many endangered and vulnerable species; they always seem to have some sort of program or event going on for a visiting Fort Morgan tourist. If you’ve watched Animal Planet, you may already be familiar with the “Little Zoo” when it was featured in the 2006 docu-series, “The Little Zoo That Could.” Kids of all ages can feed cute sheep, deer and goats at the Petting Zoo, and everyone will love visiting Animal Encounters where you can get up close and personal with a sloth or camel, play with giant snakes, kooky baby kangaroos, loony lemurs and more. Their reptile house has plenty of big ole snakes, huge spiders, and iguanas, not to mention a few native alligators hanging around. Some of the endangered and vulnerable species calling the zoo home include three gorgeous Bengal tigers, lots of lemurs, cockatoos, African Grey parrots, African lions, and Katrina, a lovely black leopard. Plus, there are peacocks, servals, grey wolves, alpacas, an American black bear named Boodah, Chuckie the American alligator (and the zoo’s mascot), and many more interesting animals.
- Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
- 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL
Gulf State Park
You’ve come to Fort Morgan to have a more natural beach experience and Gulf State Park is a great family spot to do just that. This coastal park has a little bit of everything, all in one spot. You can rent a boat, canoe, or kayak for ocean, lake, or lagoon fishing, or just paddling around. Enjoy miles of pristine public beaches where you can work on your tan, look for shells and watch for dolphins. Hit the golf course, tennis courts, or set up your own volleyball court. Pick a spot and fish in the surf for flounder, fish in one of the freshwater lakes for bass, redfish, catfish, and speckled trout, or fish from the pier, where you can catch almost anything, including redfish, pompano, sheepshead, king mackerel, and the occasional shark. You can walk, jog, bike or Segway along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail (with trails winding through several ecosystems, each providing a unique display of wildlife and landscape) or have fun geocaching; it’s a great way to explore the park while competing with your friends.
- Gulf State Park
- 20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores, AL
Fort Morgan Tourism at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Bon Secour means “safe harbor,” which is just what this national park feels like. The Refuge is one of the last undisturbed area in the state and along the Gulf Coast. It is home to several endangered species, including the Alabama beach mouse, Loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. Plus, it’s an important stopover for migrating birds and birdwatchers. It’s also a great spot for viewing coastal wildlife in their natural habitats. Alligators, armadillos, foxes, and shy bobcats are just a few of the animals you’ll be sharing the trails with. Bring your kayak and fish on the lake or take a guided tour. Explore various coastal habitats as you wander the Refuge’s Trail, including dunes, ancient maritime forests, pine flatwoods, freshwater and brackish marshes, and wetlands filled with pond cypress and black gum.
- Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
- 12295 State Highway 180, Gulf Shores AL
- Open daily 9am – 2pm
Fort Morgan Historic Site
The Fort Morgan Historic Site is awash in history. Sitting at the end of the peninsula on Mobile Bay, this historic, pentagonal-shaped masonry fort has been guarding the bay and the Gulf Coast since the War of 1812. The fort played a major role in the defense of Mobile during the Civil War, and during WWI, over 2,000 troops trained and were housed at the fort. Besides exploring the fort and its grounds, the museum’s exhibits present glimpses of life at the Fort during its centuries of service, with soldier’s letters to their loved ones back home, weapons, uniforms and more. The Fort also has canon firings, and live reenactments of the various wars the Fort participated in. There’s more than just the historic fort here too. There are miles of pretty white beaches, a picnic area, a boat launch and more awaiting the adventurous Fort Morgan tourist.
- Fort Morgan Historic Site
- 110 AL-108, Gulf Shores AL
- Grounds hours: 8am – 4:30pm daily
- Gift Shop/Museum hours: 9am – 4pm daily
- The fort is closed on holidays.