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No visit to Dauphin Island is complete without visiting the island’s top attraction, the Alabama Aquarium. This aquarium, operated by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, offers visitors an inside look into the key coastal habitats of Alabama. Plan a visit and learn about the unique ecosystems surrounding our island through the 10,000-square-foot exhibit hall and guided excursions led by local experts. Stay with Boardwalk Realty and discover everything the Alabama Aquarium has to offer during your visit:

Dauphin Island Sea Lab: Alabama Aquarium

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a marine research and education center, operates the Alabama Aquarium. Dauphin Island, surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico, offers the perfect destination for marine research. The lab’s mission is to share information about ocean life and conservation with the public. The aquarium allows visitors to get a firsthand look at local marine life and learn about DISL’s work.

Things to Do at the Alabama Aquarium

Purchase tickets for the Alabama Aquarium and learn about Alabama’s coastal habitats through these attractions:

  • Stroll through the 10,000-square-foot exhibit hall featuring species of Mobile Bay including drum, pipefish, and the diamondback terrapin. 
  • Visit the 7,000-gallon stingray touch pool and pet a live stingray! Species include Atlantic, Blutnose, and Cownose Stingrays. 
  • Explore the Living Marsh Boardwalk.

Alabama Aquarium Education Opportunities

The DISL also offers education opportunities and excursions for an additional fee. Fill out a reservation form or contact excursions@disl.edu for more information!

  • Boardwalk Talks is a series where you can learn about the current projects DISL is working on and a broad range of science topics.
  • Salt Marsh Excursions allows you to become a marine scientist for the day by learning how to collect samples and specimens from a salt marsh. 
  • The Beach, Dune, and Maritime Forest Excursions allow visitors to explore all three ecosystems. Visitors can also get an up-close look at wildlife by using nets and digging for moles and ghost crabs.
  • R/V Alabama Discovery Excursion takes you on a two-hour boat ride around Dauphin Island with a professional DISL educator. 

Book Your Dauphin Island Vacation Rental Today!

There is plenty to do on Dauphin Island beyond the Alabama Aquarium. Enjoy miles of beachfront, exceptional fishing, outdoor exploration, and historic sites. Choose Boardwalk Realty to host your getaway and stay in one of our Dauphin Island vacation rentals. Check out our specials and save on your upcoming Dauphin Island vacation!

When you vacation on Dauphin Island, not only do you have access to exceptional beaches and activities on the island, but you are also a stone’s throw away from some of the top attractions on the Gulf Coast! Boardwalk Realty invites you to plan an Alabama day trip from your Dauphin Island vacation rental to Mobile, Gulf Shores, Biloxi, or Pensacola. Whether you are interested in local history, exploring the great outdoors, or family-friendly amusement parks, there is something for everyone to discover on the Gulf Coast:

Mobile, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama, is just a 40-minute drive north of Dauphin Island on Highway 193. Once you have arrived in Alabama’s oldest city, we recommend checking out these top attractions in Mobile:

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Getting to Gulf Shores is easy with the Mobile Bay Ferry, transporting passengers from Dauphin Island to Mobile Point. The ferry will drop you off at Fort Morgan, where you can explore this National Historic Site before heading out to explore what Gulf Shores has to offer:

Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi, Mississippi, is just over an hour from Dauphin Island on Interstate 10, offering the perfect Alabama day trip from your vacation rental. The city is best known for its eight first-class casino resorts, where you can enjoy endless games and entertainment!

Pensacola, Florida

Make the one-hour-and-a-half drive from Dauphin Island to Pensacola and experience the attractions of the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle:

Book Your Dauphin Island Vacation Rental Today

After your Alabama day trip, return to your Dauphin Island vacation rental with Boardwalk Realty. We offer over 40 vacation rentals ranging from two to six bedrooms to accommodate groups of all sizes. Save on your Dauphin Island getaway with our vacation specials, and plan your trip to the Gulf Coast today!

Are you looking for romantic getaways in Alabama off the beaten path? Look no further than Dauphin Island, a small Gulf Coast island known for its white sand beaches, beautiful sunsets, and abundant wildlife. Choose Boardwalk Realty to host your getaway and find the perfect vacation rental to host you and your special someone! 

Spend Time at Dauphin Island Beaches

No romantic getaway in Alabama is complete without spending time at our Dauphin Island beaches! Spend your days swimming, suntanning, and strolling along the beach at sunset. If you want to explore our Gulf Coast waters, we recommend renting watersport equipment with SaltyDog Watersport Rentals.

Embark on a Romantic Sunset Cruise

Embark on a romantic sunset cruise at Dauphin Island Marina for a fantastic evening on the water. Watch a relaxing sunset, meet some marine life at the built-in touch tank aquarium, and keep an eye out for dolphins. If you want a private sunset tour, we recommend signing up for a trip with Finatics Fishing Charters

Learn About Marine Life and Birds

Dauphin Island is a paradise for wildlife lovers. Visit the Alabama Aquarium and learn about the coastal habitats of Alabama, featuring a living marsh boardwalk, visual exhibits, and interactive experiences. Then head to the Audobon Bird Sanctuary and enjoy fantastic birdwatching on Dauphin Island. 

Take the Mobile Bay Ferry for More Adventures

Dauphin Island offers a convenient gateway to even more Alabama adventures on the Mobile Bay Ferry. The ferry takes you from Fort Gaines to Fort Morgan at Mobile Point, offering the fastest access across Mobile Bay. Spend a day exploring the towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

Enjoy Dinner with Beautiful Sunset Views

Enjoy dinner with a sunset view at Islander’s Restaurant & Bar, Pirate’s Bar & Grill, or watch the sun paint the sky while enjoying a glass of wine at The Carriage. Or pick up a delicious meal at Dinner’s Ready, bring it back to your vacation rental, and enjoy the sunset from your own private deck.

Book Your Romantic Getaway in Alabama Today

Book your Alabama romantic getaway on Dauphin Island with Boardwalk Realty today! Our one-bedroom DI Time property is ideal for couples visiting the island, offering everything you need for your stay. Or gather a group and stay in one of our larger Dauphin Island vacation rentals that can accommodate up to 20 guests. 

Please contact us with any questions about booking your Dauphin Island getaway with Boardwalk Realty!

Although most of your time on Dauphin Island will be spent at the beach, there are plenty of other things to do during your vacation. Explore the Dauphin Island shopping scene and find the perfect souvenir for your Alabama getaway with Boardwalk Realty. Whether you are looking for Dauphin Island merch, locally made gifts, or original art, there is something for everyone!

Beach Planet

Visit Beach Planet for all your beach and souvenir needs! Their souvenir collection includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, hats, and much more.

Dauphin Island Heritage & Arts Gallery

Shop for local art at the Dauphin Island Art Gallery, including painting, photography, pottery, printmaking, and fine jewelry. The gallery represents more than 40 local artists, along with books by local authors and handmade gift items. 

Dauphin Island Sea Lab Gift Shop

After learning about the key habitats of coastal Alabama at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, visit the gift shop! Shop from various gifts, including t-shirts, jerseys, jewelry, reusable drinkware, backpacks, bags, patches, stickers, and plush animals. 

The Happy Octopus

Stop at The Happy Octopus, a locally owned beach boutique with something for everyone! Find apparel, accessories, and shoes for your unique style here. 

The Hippie Fish

The Hippie Fish is a new boutique on Dauphin Island, offering trendy clothing so you can look your best on vacation. They also feature jewelry, trinket dishes, ornaments, and paintings made by local artists. 

The Sandbox

The Sandbox has been providing Dauphin Island souvenirs for nearly 50 years! Stop in and bring a piece of Dauphin Island home with their decor and apparel. 

The Silver Pearl

The Silver Pearl is an independently owned gift shop offering home decor, apparel, and local art. Their t-shirts feature artwork designed by the owner and operator, along with cutting boards, notecards, matted prints, and more!

Plan Your Dauphin Island Getaway Today

Explore the Dauphin Island shopping scene and find the perfect souvenir for your Alabama getaway. Stay with Boardwalk Realty and choose from our Dauphin Island vacation rentals ranging from one to six bedrooms. Save money with our vacation deals and book your Dauphin Island vacation today!

Along the Gulf Coast of Alabama, you will find beautiful Dauphin Island, a popular destination for both vacationers and migratory birds alike. As a Globally Important Bird Area, Dauphin Island is among the top places in the country to witness fall and spring migrations! Boardwalk Realty invites birders to visit our coastal paradise and discover the diverse habitats that entice hundreds of species to the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary. Pack your binoculars, grab your birding checklist, and start your birdwatching adventure today!

When to Go Birdwatching on Dauphin Island

Birdwatching can be enjoyed on Dauphin Island year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall migrations. 

The fall migration usually runs from mid-September through October and is a great time to see shorebirds. But, if you want to make the most of your birdwatching adventure, we recommend visiting in the spring, when neotropical birds fly across the Gulf of Mexico and seek shelter on Dauphin Island. This season lasts March-May and allows visitors to see more than 300 bird species during one visit. 

Take a look at this field checklist of birds of Dauphin Island before your visit!

Audobon Bird Sanctuary

The Audobon Bird Sanctuary is a 164-acre nature sanctuary and the best birding spot on Dauphin Island! The sanctuary is home to diverse ecosystems, including maritime forests, marshes, dunes, lakes, swamps, and beaches. Stroll through these ecosystems on the 1,000-foot-long boardwalk and keep an eye out for the neotropical migrants on Galliard Lake. Please read this brochure about the trail systems and bird sighting checklist before you visit the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary. 

More Birdwatching Spots in Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island is also part of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and offers several more fantastic birdwatching spots on the Bayou La Batre Loop

Plan Your Dauphin Island Birdwatching Getaway Today

Dauphin Island, Alabama, stands as a true haven for birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers! Plan your getaway and spend time at the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuary, checking off birds from the checklist. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a newcomer to the world of birdwatching, Boardwalk Realty has the perfect vacation rentals for your getaway!

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