It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
- Sep 23, 2004
Yeah, Meaher does not. Only the "big" Alabama state parks do (mainly the ones with hotel lodges and maybe a few others but not all). I knew that.I've looked longingly at Meaher when passing it avoiding the bridge/tunnel traffic. It looks very scenic, but I wasn't sure how much there would be to do with small kids for 3 days. (also, they don't seem to have online reservations, which is just annoying)
I'm looking at Buccaneer and Percy Quin in MS and Bogue Chitto in LA for now. Those will save even more time driving. obviously the beach at Buccaneer is not exactly on the same level as Gulf Shores.
A day on the USS Alabama battleship (and there is a submarine too, the USS Drum there) both WW2 vintage. Dauphin Island has a civil war fort and the Estuarium (an estuarium is where the sea water meets fresh water which is what Mobile Bay is). It's not an aquarium but they do have some touch tanks for rays, starfish, and more. Good for kids to get them interested in sea life.
There is also a ferry boat that runs between Dauphin Island on the western side of the bay and Fort Morgan on the eastern side of the bay.
You can make a round trip drive around Mobile Bay if you want. My kids, when little, thought it was neat you could drive your car onto a boat and it would take you to the other side and then you drove off. Of course it's subject to weather and runs more frequently in summer months than winter months. But it is neat and puts you out close to Gulf Shores.
There are learning museums, etc. in Mobile but I'm trying to think of what might be interesting. There is a Bass Pro Shop just to the east of Meaher along I10 and they usually have a fish tank to interest the kids (dads look longingly at the boats and camping/hunting gear and moms sit in the car waiting. And waiting.....).
I particularly remember the Bluegill Restaurant on the Causeway near Meaher having sandboxes for kids to play in while mom and dad enjoyed the seafood. Very casual, more fish camp-like, and delicious. Check pix and reviews for the latest there. It's been a while but the kids loved it (and Lisa and I did too). All the restaurants along the Causeway are worth visiting in my opinion.
I did Meaher in the off/low season (not summer) and it can be very pleasant. That's down about your latitude so maybe make a plan on an away-game weekend. From the Gulf Shores side, we would take the ferry over to DI, did the Estuarium, brought a picnic lunch for the big public park (well shaded) in the center of DI, then ferry back. It's easy to fill a day.
PS - I looked at Buccaneer before the hurricane. I think they had a water park plus a campground.