The beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama can lure guests to spend the entire day basking in the sunshine and soaking up the salty sea breezes. While it may be difficult to pry yourself and the family off of those sandy beach blankets, there is one sight in Gulf Shores that you don’t want to miss, Fort Morgan. The Fort Morgan Historical Site is a hidden gem that has stood guard for over Mobile Bay for over a century. Here are four reasons why Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, AL needs to be on your bucket list.
The Incredible History Behind Fort Morgan
Proceeded by Fort Bowyer, Fort Morgan was constructed right in its place from 1819-1834 on Mobile Point. The total cost of constructing the fort in 1834 was $1,026,777.41. That was in 1834! The fort played a vital room in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August of 1864 and was used by the armed forces all the way up until the end of World War II. During World War II German U-Boats were operating in the Gulf, with constant sighting and debris washing ashore. The garrison was active in patrols and debris removal. In 1944 the garrison was removed and the fort was turned over to the state of Alabama and deemed a historical site. There is a self-guided tour that takes guests through the history of the fort and throughout the grounds. Text panels are located throughout the park packed full of interesting tidbits.
It’s A Photographers’s Dream
Fort Morgan is no stranger to photographers. Even on rainy days, you can spot tripods, cameras, and selfie-taking tourists. It is one of the best-preserved forts that is packed full of mystery, captivating corridors, and breathtaking beauty. Add in a stunning ocean backdrop and you have the recipe for striking photographs that will immediately become your favorite souvenir. Expect to spend a few hours taking in all the architecture, landscapes, and scenic views.
Fort Morgan is a Wildlife Refuge
With beaches, a wooded natural area and marshes visitors can spend hours exploring, fishing, swimming, and birding. Did you bring your boat? There is a boat launch is available as well. My recommendation is to pack a picnic, sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery that spans throughout the area. Take a leisurely hike on a nature trail, comb the beach for treasures or catch a glimpse of the resident wildlife. Since the majority of the fort is outdoors, furry companions are welcome. Dogs are required to be on a leash but can explore the entire site with their owners. Be sure to bring bags to clean up after them as there are none on site.
Visit The Museum and Gift Shop
It might be tiny, but it is mighty. Whether you stop in before you tour the fort or after you in for a treat. Relics and artifacts bring the stories to life as you can imagine what life was like in the fort. Don’t forget to bring home a little souvenir outside of your amazing photographs.
Know Before You Go
How To Get From Gulf Shores To Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan is located roughly 30 minutes from Gulf Shores down State Highway 180. If you are looking for a bite to eat on your way, swing into Tacky Jacks located in the marina. There are a few other local restaurants and shops along the way as well. While you are driving you will see a lot of signs for the ferry. You do not need to take a ferry to get Fort Morgan. The ferry is for those wishing to visit Dauphin Island.
Hours and Admission
The fort and grounds open at 8:00 am daily and the gates close at 5:00 pm. The museum and gift shop are open from 9:00am-4: 30 pm daily. Admission is $7 per adult and $4 for a child ages 6-12. They do accept credit cards!
Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and a few water bottles. The sun is brutal and will easily burn you and your family to a crisp! Come prepared for the heat. I would also recommend throwing a few towels in your car in case anyone decides to go for a dip in those sparkling waters.
Ferry To Dauphin Island
Why not plan a whole day of adventure and hop on a ferry to Dauphin Island. This is the perfect excursion following your time at Fort Morgan. Check the ferry times and plan your whole day trip!
Looking for more great activities to do in Gulf Shores? Check out our Family Guide To Visiting Gulf Shores!
We would like to thank the Tourism Board of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for sponsoring this post.
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