13 Things to Know About Living in Mobile

Moving to Mobile? The Port City has a rich Southern culture, engaging waterfront recreation, an active nightlife scene, and more—all at an affordable price. Here are 13 things to know about living in Mobile!

Live Affordably in the South

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Southern city to settle in, Mobile is a top choice offering residents plenty of affordable places to live. The city’s cost of living is roughly 17% lower than the national average—and residents benefit from lower utility and transportation costs, too. Plus, housing expenses in Mobile are almost half as expensive as the national average and many homeowners are eligible for state and county homestead tax exemptions, helping residents save even more money. The city also provides a number of financial assistance programs for low and moderate-income households—including low-interest loans, home repair grants, and downpayment assistance.

Work on The Port City’s Waterfront

Mobile is a vibrant port town located along Alabama’s Gulf Coast that boasts a low unemployment rate and a vast economic workforce with diverse opportunities for employment. For those traveling for work, this Gulf Coast city provides Mobile Airport Authority terminals, with the Mobile Regional Airport for U.S. trips and Mobile International Airport for global trips or vacations. Job seekers can find work in one of Mobile’s major industries like aviation and aerospace, maritime, logistics and distribution, healthcare, and more. Seek a career at the largest private, non-profit healthcare system in Alabama, Infirmary Health—which is also one of the largest employers in Mobile. Provide catastrophe response services and manage daily claims for Mobile residents as an adjuster at Pilot Catastrophe. Check out Mobile shipyard jobs in engineering, design, and construction at the global shipbuilder and defense contractor, Austal USA. Or work in skilled trades, project management, or business administration in service of the global maritime transportation sector with the Alabama Port Authority.

Graduate from Top Colleges in Mobile

If you want to earn a degree in Mobile, the city has several great colleges and universities where you can pursue your education. Dive in to higher learning with hundreds of popular undergraduate and graduate programs such as engineering, biomedical sciences, psychology, and computer science at the University of South Alabama. Find over 45 majors in topics ranging from business to communication at one of the oldest Jesuit colleges in the U.S. and one of the top private schools in Mobile, Spring Hill College. Choose from more than 75 academic programs and areas of study at a private Christian college with a liberal arts and sciences focus at University of Mobile. Take transfer courses or study career and technical programs like culinary arts, welding, and more at Bishop State Community College. Or prepare for the workforce by honing your professional skills in fields like healthcare, business, and technology at Remington College – Mobile Campus.

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Enjoy Gulf Coast Weather

As the Gateway to the Gulf, Mobile is a tropical locale that gets plenty of sun and rain. The temperature in Mobile typically varies from 42 to 90 degrees, resulting in hot and humid summers and mild winters—perfect for enjoying the city’s outdoor amenities. Despite experiencing roughly 220 sunny days per year, Mobile is also the rainiest city in the U.S., with an average of 59 rainy days per year and approximately 67 inches of annual rainfall. Keep in mind that season by season, residents could face hazardous conditions like droughts, fires, and floods. Due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile is also susceptible to hurricane weather, which requires proper preparation and safety measures. By keeping these considerations in mind, you can safely benefit from the coastal climate and tropical weather in Mobile year-round!

Get Active Outdoors

Mobile features over a thousand acres of parks and recreational spaces for residents to explore. Take advantage of the warm weather by walking through paths of beautiful azaleas, camellias, and pollinator plants at the Mobile Botanical Gardens. Visit Downtown Mobile to stop by a number of urban parks like British Park, Cathedral Square Park, and historic Bienville Square. Take nature walks, go boating or pier fishing, and camp near the Alabama coast at Mobile River Delta and Campground. Tour the historic 15-room home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath and see thousands of full-bloom flowers in the renowned Rose Garden at the Bellingrath Gardens & Home. Or tee off at top Mobile golf courses—like the Crossings, Falls, and Short Courses at Magnolia Grove Golf Course, or the traditional 72-par Azalea City Golf Course.

Explore Mobile’s Marina Life

The aptly-nicknamed Port City is full of fun and educational waterfront recreation. Sail around the coast of Alabama from Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island on the Mobile Bay Ferry, getting excellent views of historic landmarks like Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan along the way. Learn about maritime history by exploring an interactive map of the Gulf of Mexico, viewing life-sized container ship replicas, and testing your piloting skills in the ship simulator at the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum. Observe park memorials honoring war veterans and tour the world-famous World War II battleship at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Spot rare plant and animal species while exploring the Mobile-Tensaw Delta—the second-largest river delta in the U.S.—via canoe or kayak on the Bartram Canoe Trail. Or venture through the river delta on an airboat tour with Airboat Adventures to see all kinds of wildlife, from alligators to owls!

Schedule Fun Family Outings

From educational museums to local shops, there are tons of family attractions in Mobile for kids of all ages. Take a guided tour to discover the origins of Mardi Gras in Mobile and see seasonal live parades at the Mobile Carnival Museum. Get your little ones interested in science with hands-on exhibits and live demonstrations, plus immersive films like Tiny Giants and Backyard Wilderness in the Dome Theater at Exploreum Science Center. Have family fun nights with bumper cars, mini golfing, arcade games, and laser tag at Lazer Zone of Mobile. Lace up your skates and head to Mobile skating rinks like Sunshine Skate Center and Rambo’s Skateland. Take your kids to Playhouse in the Park to watch re-enactments of classic Broadway shows like Babes in Toyland and Dracula at Saenger Theatre—or let them audition to be in the shows themselves! Play on one of more than 50 hard courts at one of the largest public tennis facilities in the world, the Mobile Tennis Center. Or swing by Dauphin Street in Downtown Mobile for candy and freshly-roasted peanuts at A&M Peanut Shop!

Get Involved in Local Sports

Line the bleachers and get rowdy for Mobile’s sports teams! Root for the South Alabama Jaguars (NCAA D-I) as they swish buzzer-beaters and sink three-point shots inside Mitchell Center—or watch the Jaguars compete in a wide variety of other sports, including football, baseball, volleyball, tennis, and more. Cheer for AFC Mobile (NPSL) as they make passes and score goals at the Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Get tickets to watch the Spring Hill College Badgers (NCAA D-II) play everything from baseball to basketball at one of their many home fields and stadiums. Or watch competitive bowl games between all-star teams during Reese’s Senior Bowl or 68 Ventures Bowl at the state-of-the-art Hancock Whitney Stadium.

Tour Historic Museums & Landmarks

As the oldest city in Alabama, Mobile is a great spot for history buffs. Interact with artifacts of Mobile’s past in exhibitions like The Aaron & Sarah Friedman Miniature Gallery, Old Ways New Days, and Mobile’s History in Art: 30 Decades in 30 Works at the History Museum of Mobile. Visit a beautifully-restored Mobile cathedral from the 1800s featuring a classic portico, ornate cast-iron fence, and custom-built organ at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Educate yourself on landmark contributions and events from Mobile’s African-American community since the city’s founding on a tour of the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail. Explore Mobile’s first courtroom and jail—complete with Greek Revival architecture and American Federal antiques—at the Condé-Charlotte Museum. Walk through the De Tonti Square District to admire Italianate architecture, period furnishings, marble mantles, and one of Mobile’s largest Baccarat crystal chandeliers at the Richards-DAR House Museum. Or celebrate over 300 years of local and national medical history with exhibitions like Polio and the Iron Lung at the Mobile Medical Museum.

Admire Mobile’s Art & Culture

Port City culture is alive and well with an eclectic mix of jaw-dropping performing and visual arts! Discover over 6,400 works of fine art in rotating displays or walk along the Sculpture Trail at the Mobile Museum of Art. Appreciate multi-media installations from prolific artists that illustrate a wide range of backgrounds and stories at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center. Participate in monthly LoDa ArtWalks, check out work by local artists in the Community Gallery, or attend events like The Artys awards show hosted by the Mobile Arts Council. View stunning orchestral performances featuring national headliners like Yo-Yo Ma or mark your calendar for the annual holiday concert at the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. Listen to incredible vocal performances of musical selections like Le villi, Rigoletto, and The Marriage of Figaro at Mobile Opera. Or purchase tickets to see productions of classic stage shows like Brigadoon, Arsenic & Old Lace, and Clue: On Stage at the historic Chickasaw Civic Theatre.

Celebrate Year-Round Festivals

Known as the birthplace of Mardi Gras, the city of Mobile is no stranger to festivals and parades! Watch marching bands, masked mystics, and elaborately-themed floats parade through Downtown Mobile during Mobile Mardi Gras. Get tickets to three days of live music showcasing upcoming artists in genres including country, jazz, rock, and more at MOB Music Fest. Find works from Alabama artisans in a variety of mediums—including sculpture, drawings and watercolors, pottery, and homemade jewelry—across Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore at the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival. Make your way to Dauphin Island to join over 75,000 spectators or compete with over 3,000 anglers to catch fish off the docks at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Head down to LoDa to try a wide variety of brews from dozens of Alabama bars and taverns at the Dauphin Street Beer Festival. Celebrate Mobile Pride with a variety of LGBTQ-focused events throughout the year—like Mobile PrideFest, Pride Family Picnic, and the Glitter & Gold Gala, hosted by Rainbow Pride of Mobile. Or spend New Year’s Eve in style with live music from Port City headliners and grab a slice of the world’s largest MoonPie at MoonPie Over Mobile.

Try New Restaurants in Mobile

Avid foodies will find plenty of places to eat in Mobile, whether you’re in the mood for classic Southwestern fare or tasty international food. Settle in for Southern-inspired eats like Shrimp & Grits, Wagyu Brisket, and Pork Belly at The Noble South. Enjoy Alabama oysters for dinner on Dauphin Street with Rockefeller, Bienville, and Monterey oysters from the original Wintzell’s Oyster House. Build your own Hammer Burger or try specialty burgers like the Moo-uau Burger, Mushroom Cheeseburger, and Pimento Cheeseburger at Hammered Cow. Discover a weekly selection of Mediterranean-Asian meals like Panko Crusted Fresh Fish, Drill Marinated Tofu, and Pan Seared Salmon at Noja. Dine out for all-you-can-eat sushi in Mobile with Samurai Rolls, Dynamite Rolls, and Rainbow Rolls from See-Wee-Roll Japanese Restaurant. Or pull up a seat for soul food in the heart of Downtown Mobile, with dishes like Deep Fried Pork Chop, Seared Scallops, and Stuffed Chicken Breast at Dumbwaiter Restaurant.

Experience Mobile, Alabama Nightlife

The party starts when the sun goes down in Port City! Sip an Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail, Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon, or Stone Smoked Porter while competing in Monday Night Mayhem video game tournaments at Alchemy Tavern. Knock back Irish whiskeys and draft beers while shooting darts or watching Premier League games on the patio at O’Daly’s Irish Pub. Let your hair down with some beers or cocktails while watching drag shows or participating in nightly features like Fireball Fridays at one of Mobile’s longest-running LGBTQ nightclubs, B-Bob’s Downtown. Settle down in an intimate listening space to hear live music from artists like Eric Erdman, Rob Hickman, and Taylor Craven at The People’s Room of Mobile. Chill out with rotating flavors of frozen cocktails, including Cocojito, Jon Daly, and Dreamsicle from The Ice Box, one of the best bars in Downtown Mobile. Or choose from a selection of rotating drinks and craft cocktails like Prince of Dankness, Two Hearted, and Hoppy By Nature IPA at The Haberdasher.

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Moving to Mobile? With convenient storage facilities in and around Mobile, Extra Space Storage can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.

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