On the same block as the Exploreum, is the History Museum of Mobile. We did not have time to check it out, but several people said it was interesting. Lots of marine/naval stuff since Mobile is on the gulf.
Then, across the street, is the site of Fort Conde.
This is not the original fort, but parts of it reconstructed – the structure here is only a recreation of 1/3 of the original structure, and is built 4/5 scale. The original Fort Conde took up 11 acres, but this recreation takes up less than a city block. While it is not the original structure, it is still a great place to visit and learn about the history of the fort.
The fort is open 7 days a week from 8:30 to 4:30, and admission is free.
This structure was opened to the public in 1976, and given a face-life starting in 2010.
The upper level has several canons lining the wall.
The fort has a nice visitor’s center,
and a great little museum! It had some fun exhibits, including a recreated jail room.
Phew! Joel’s finally where he belongs! Now the rest of us can check out the fort in peace! 😉
Lots of displays that showed what things were like in the century that Fort Conde protected the bay.
The fort was built in 1723 by the French, then later occupied by the English, and then Spain, and finally the US. By 1820, the fort was obsolete, and was demolished and all signs of the fort removed within a few years.
After touring the upper level, we went in one of doors that led into the ground floor level, and found a wonderful, winding museum. This is a model of the original fort…
complete with soldiers, supplies, and animals…
We enjoyed touring the fort, and loved the museum. It had activities for the kids, and was interesting and informative.
You can find out more about Fort Conde on this webpage, which is actually on the History Museum of Mobile website. There is also another historical location that is also offered free; the Phoenix Fire Museum.
These stops are great for rounding out a visit to the Exploreum, or even their own day trip if you are located nearby. Parking is free behind the fort (there is a guard shack, but they are to make sure that parking is saved for visitors), or you can pay to park in the fort parking lot (I would not recommend the meters as they have a 2 hour limit). The area is not big rig friendly, but there are Walmarts, and a Bass Pro Shops if you are just on your way through and want to drop your toad for the day (we overnighted at BPS).
The museum area is a great place to get out and check out a little bit of Mobile – across the street is a fun downtown area that features little eateries and specialty shops.
If you are able to visit Mobile, don’t forget about the USS Alabama, and plan to spend some time at the Exploreum too! Lots to see and do when you visit Mobile, Alabama!