Turkey day in mobile?
September 26, 2009 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Should I go to Mobile, AL for thanksgiving? (more inside)

My dad has taken a contract to work in Mobile for the next few months. I've never been to "the south" so I'm leaning towards flying there (from Seattle) for thanksgiving. But, the flights I'm finding aren't cheap. Is it worth going there for a couple of days? I'm an outdoorsy type, so I'm mostly interested in the natural environment - not cultural attractions. Also, I get along fine with my parents, so this isn't a thanksgiving drama question...
posted by shrabster to Travel & Transportation around Mobile, AL (10 answers total)
Sorry about the double "more inside" - it's my first question!
posted by shrabster at 4:34 PM on September 26, 2009

Oddly enough, I went to Mobile for thanksgiving ten years ago. We stayed in a house on Mobile's tallest mountain, and I remember it being a really lovely, woodsy area. Maybe it was outside of Mobile though, because my quick jaunt through Flickr sets for Mobile says otherwise.
posted by zoomorphic at 5:16 PM on September 26, 2009

Hey, it's close to nice beaches and a stone's throw from Pensacola. I think it's worth doing (I used to live in P'cola.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:17 PM on September 26, 2009

Check out flights to Pensacola or Gulfport - they're both about 45-60 min from Mobile and usually have cheaper flights. As for "worth going there for a couple days" - wellllll... I'd say no. Mobile has the Botanical Gardens and the Bay along with easy access to the Gulf, but not much else for a transient person who doesn't really want to see the cultural stuff.

It's the South in sorta-winter - lots of locals' kids headed home for de facto reunions, not so much greenery, some hunting to be had around points north, not a whole lot of fishing to be had, but I guess if you really wanted to.

It all comes down to "Do I want to spend time with my parents?" If so, check out Pensacola and Gulfport. If not, enjoy your time elsewhere, I'd say.
posted by squorch at 5:18 PM on September 26, 2009

(Mobile native here, btw)
posted by squorch at 5:18 PM on September 26, 2009

I lived for 8 years in Mobile. Probably my least favorite place I've lived. I don't mean to put the area down. I enjoyed my time there. But for a couple of days I wouldn't fly across country for Mobile.

However, if you like beaches, you're an hour away from Gulf Shores and Pensacola. And New Orleans is 2 hours away.
posted by justgary at 5:38 PM on September 26, 2009

yes it is the south, but the beaches in November are still not very warm... I've made a number of trips to the area (mostly to gulf shores, a few miles east). "outdoors" activities might be hard to find if you're not hooked up to someone with a boat that can cruise you through the intercoastals or take you out on the gulf....

personally, unless you want to see your parents, it's probably not the trip of a lifetime!
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 PM on September 26, 2009

Oh, God, some friends of mine had a horrible, horrible experience trying to get there over some holiday last year. I think it was Easter, so the conditions would probably be kind of similar -- not as much volume as Christmas, but still a very specific day of travel. It involved a delayed flight in Atlanta, which I think stretched into at least one overnight and then a four-hour car ride with the last rental car in town when it was clear that they wouldn't be able to get home any other way. And then they were forced to return the car to Atlanta even though they still had valid tickets from Pensacola to Atlanta or whatever their connection was.

After all was said and done, what was supposed to be a four-day visit was less than 36 hours. They missed most of the family experiences that had prompted the visit in the first place. I felt HORRIBLE for them.
posted by Madamina at 5:56 PM on September 26, 2009

Traveling at the Thanksgiving is a really, really miserable experience, even if you're committed. So if you're just thinking about it? Eesh.

Mobile is still a lovely place, though. I'm not sure what all nature you're into, but the Bellingrath Gardens are really stand-out beautiful.
posted by jefficator at 6:01 PM on September 26, 2009

Thanks guys! My parents live in the Seattle area too, so I normally see them once or twice a month. So I think I might have a relaxing thanksgiving at home instead of travelling to Mobile.
posted by shrabster at 6:42 PM on September 26, 2009

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