Monday, October 14, 2013

Field Trip Ideas: Dauphin Island, Alabama


On our recent beach trip, we got to explore Dauphin Island, Alabama.  Dauphin Island is an island accessible by bridge south of Mobile, Alabama.  It's a beautiful place to visit.  The island is only 14 miles long, but has several fun places to visit.  

Fort Gaines

The highlight of the tour is a live blacksmith demonstration.  He is there on Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  It was a great presentation.  Although the weather was very hot and humid, it was actually cooler inside the smithy shop.  He makes one project start to finish during the presentation and walks you through each step.  You can also purchase an ornamental horse shoe or various key chains ($5-$8).  The intricate designs he can shape are amazing!  

Don't visit Dauphin Island without making a stop at Fort Gaines.  They also have the best priced Dauphin Island t-shirts we found on the island.  

Dauphin Island Estuarium 

The day we visited the Estuarium, this great volunteer stood and talked with us about 30 minutes, all about the area and wildlife.  He had all kinds of preserved samples (kinda reminded me of biology class) for the kids to touch and hold.  He had lived on this island for years and shared personal stories with us.  It was fascinating.

In our opinion, this is a great way to spend some time learning about Dauphin Island.  It was a great fieldtrip! 

Bird Sanctuary 

We did not visit during prime migration times, but according to the website April and October are great times for birding.  There are 2 resident alligators, but I'm glad we saw the turtles instead.  Mosquitoes were pretty vicious, so make sure to wear protective clothing or some mosquito deterrent.  

While you're in the area ride the Mobile Bay Ferry over to Mobile and explore:

Battleship U.S.S. Alabama

Mobile Botanical Gardens

Bellingrath Gardens

Any beach is a wonderful field trip in and of itself.  There is always wildlife to study.  We observed tons of crabs as well as dolphins, blue herons and even jellyfish.  We had a great time and can't wait to go back to Dauphin Island again!  

For more Field Trip ideas, visit Hip Homeschool Moms!


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