In Mobile Bay, Alabama, one of the oldest regions in the United States, you’ll find a mix of traditional and new options for meetings. Seven historic districts lined with antebellum homes blend in with modern venues.
Off-Site Southern Charm
The history of Mobile comes to life at Bragg-Mitchell Mansion (pictured above). Located on the city’s affluent Spring Hill Avenue, this Greek Revival-style home was built in 1855 and is surrounded with azaleas. Inside, find elegant parlors, high ceilings, grand rooms and a circular staircase. The property can be rented for cocktail parties, luncheons and dinners.
Mobile was the site of the Western Hemisphere’s first Mardi Gras celebration. The tradition is immortalized at Mobile Carnival Museum, where some of the most intricate and expensive Mardi Gras costumes have been preserved. The museum accommodates 200 standing and 150 for seated meals, and facility rental includes a tour of the exhibits.
For an experience that really rocks the boat, consider hosting a meeting aboard the USS Alabama. The retired battleship has called Battleship Memorial Park home since 1964. The park has a number of event spaces both on and off the ship. Events can be held inside the ship, outside on the back deck, on the park lawn or inside the 36,000-sq.-ft. Aircraft Pavilion.
Mobile’s long-awaited GulfQuest museum opened in late 2015 as the country’s only maritime museum focused on the Gulf of Mexico. It has 36,000 square feet of interactive exhibits that focus on the history of the region. The facility can hold up to 5,000 people for events. A private room on the top floor can seat 250 for meals and has a balcony.
Historic District Hotels
The 238-room Battle House Renaissance Mobile first opened in 1852 and was fully renovated and restored in 2002. The AAA Four Diamond property has 26,000 square feet of event space in 21 rooms. Its Crystal Ballroom, which still exists today, was the site of the city’s first Mardi Gras Ball in 1852.
Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza is Mobile’s main convention hotel. It has 373 guest rooms and the 10,000-sq.-ft. Bon Secour Ballroom, shared between the hotel and the Battle House. The hotel has 44,000 square feet of meeting space in 23 rooms and is within walking distance of many downtown bars and restaurants.
Across from the Renaissance is Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile – Downtown Historic District. It has 149 guest rooms, and provides free hot breakfasts and On the Run breakfast bags for all guests. Bienville Square, a public park that hosts city functions and festivals, is nearby, and the convention center is a short walk away.