Find the Best Things to do in Fort Morgan, Alabama

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There are lots of fun and educational things to do in Fort Morgan, Alabama in the beautiful Mobile Bay, a must-visit destination for history lovers, nature enthusiasts, and beach aficionados.

Located in Baldwin County, Alabama, this historic area has a lot to offer visitors of all ages and interests. Fort Morgan makes a great day trip from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, or Mobile. Whether you’re traveling solo or with your family and furry friend, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see in Fort Morgan, Al.

fort morgan historic site

This post is sponsored by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism – Visit Alabama Beaches. All opinions are mine.

Learn even more about taking an Alabama Beach Vacation at my sponsor, GSOB Tourism.

fort morgan

If you’re planning a trip to Fort Morgan, on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, you’re in for a treat! There are many fun things to do on this western most tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula. When you get hungry, stop by Sassy Bass for some delicious eats. And for a truly unique experience, take a tour of Navy Cove Oyster Farm. You won’t regret taking a day trip to Fort Morgan during your Alabama Beach Vacation.

Things to do in Fort Morgan, Alabama on a Day Trip from Gulf Shores

And if you’re up for a little adventure, hop on the Mobile Bay Ferry for stunning views of the bay and a chance to visit Dauphin Island. You can also reach Fort Morgan quite easily via ferry from Dauphin Island. The Mobile Bay ferry takes you directly to Fort Morgan. It’s easy to get to and definitely worth the visit!

Located at the very tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula, Fort Morgan is a short drive along Fort Morgan Road from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Fort Morgan is both a community with a lot of fun things to do, and a state historic site, from which it gets its name.

Fort Morgan Historic Site is located about 30 minutes west of Gulf Shores, Alabama, at the end of State Highway 180, Fort Morgan Road. That makes it a great distance for a day trip from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

It’s also a good day trip from Mobile, at just about a 1 ½ hour drive from Mobile, Alabama. To get to Fort Morgan from Mobile, head east on I-10 and cross the Jubilee Parkway Bridge. Then just follow the signs to Fort Morgan on Highway 180. 

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Instead of making Fort Morgan a day trip, you can also stay here! Fort Morgan also offers a whole host of accommodation options, making it the perfect place stay, if you would like to get away from the busier areas of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach instead of just driving in for the day.

brick arches at fort morgan historic site

Explore the Rich History of Fort Morgan State Historic Site: A Must-Visit for History Buffs!  

Fort Morgan is a National Historic Landmark located at the mouth of Mobile Bay in Fort Morgan, Alabama. This historic military site played a crucial role in the War of 1812, the Civil War, and was also active in the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. 

It took 15 years for the fort to be built, between 1819 and 1833. And it has changed a lot as the years passed. It’s now a tourist destination, popular with history buffs and military enthusiasts. Even people who are just curious about US History will enjoy touring the beautiful Fort Morgan

cool doors at fort morgan state historic site

Spending time at Fort Morgan is an immersive experience, rich with history and significance, and provides a unique glimpse into the past.

If you’re curious, you can learn about the strategic importance this key coastal defense post played in keeping the US safe. You can take either a self-guided tour or a guided tour and immerse yourself in the captivating stories that have unfolded at this spot when you take either a self-guided tour or a guided tour. 

Part of the Civil War Trail, many visitors head to Fort Morgan to learn about its role in the Battle for Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Attributed to Admiral David Farragut the famous saying, “Damn the Torpedos! Full Speed Ahead!” comes from this famous battle which ended in a Union Victory with Farragut defeating Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan. It closed the port of Mobile to blockade runners and helped President Lincoln win re-election.

hiking path at fort morgan

Walk Through The Historic Fort & Grounds

Even if you’re not curious about the history, prepare yourself for a stunning walk instead. You’ll see stalactites and stalagmites as you walk through the many brick arches and tunnels, as well as artifacts, moats, steep stairs, and more.

Think you might even spot a ghost at this old place on the national register of historic places? I can neither confirm nor deny, but I heard lots of stories about their existence! Fort Morgan is rumored to the most haunted places in the entire state of Alabama.

fort morgan state historical site museum

Visit the Fort Morgan Museum

Buy tickets for Fort Morgan

The historic site is more than just the physical fort however. There’s also an onsite museum that houses more artifacts and tells the longer story of the fort. 

Related article from the National Park Service: Fort Morgan and the Battle of Mobile Bay (Teaching with Historic Places) Use this information to add a deeper educational element for your tweens and teens if you want!

old brick paths at fort morgan state historic site

Take A Walk Along the Old Brick Roads

If you venture of the beaten path, you’ll find old brick road ways all around the fort that now serve as trails. These grounds have been designated a Globally Significant Area for Bird Migration, so it’s a great place for birding too!

alabama pelican with open mouth
Photo by Chantal Wilford, Meander with Us

Birding on the Pier

As part of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, there are lots of places to watch migrating birds in Fort Morgan. We enjoyed the pelicans on the pier right outside Fort Morgan. Owned by the Alabama Historical Commission, this 500-foot long pier was recently renovated and reopened. It’s great for fishing and there are two boat ramps there as well.

Safety Concerns at Fort Morgan

While visiting Fort Morgan, be aware that there are steep, uneven steps and walkways with no railings. If you bring young kids, you’ll want to keep a close watch on them! 

I might even go so far as to recommend leaving precocious young kiddos at home. I know I would have been completely preoccupied with my kids trying to fall off ledges and down the stairs to really enjoy this area when my kids were young. But that decision is up to you!

Also, wear comfortable shoes and stay away from fire ants. Much to my regret, I stepped in a small pile of fire ants and it hurt! Make sure to bring sunscreen and wear a hat. There’s very little shade at the fort itself once you’re finished meandering through the tunnels.

It should also go without saying, be respectful of the historic site’s artifacts and leave everything better than you found it.

fort morgan artifacts

Take a Ride on the Mobile Bay Ferry

Take the Mobile Bay Ferry to Dauphin Island, a barrier island located three miles south of the mouth of the Mobile Bay. Sit back and relax on the six-mile , 40 minute ferry ride, from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island, and enjoy the scenic beauty of Mobile Bay, the beaches, and the wildlife. If you’re lucky, you might spot dolphins playing in the water or surfing in the ferry’s wake, and sometimes you might even see sea turtles! 

It’s a car ferry so you can bring your car or walk-on.

Once you get to Dauphin Island, you might want to visit The Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Estuarium which features aquariums and a living marsh boardwalk. Of course, you’ll also head out to another Civil War fort, Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island too!

Tickets cost $6 per person and $15 per car. Kids under 3 and furry friends are free.

bon secour national wildlife refuge

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is another place to visit when you head out to Fort Morgan. Located on some of the last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat in the US, your family will enjoy exploring this incredible animal refuge.

This 7,000-acre natural preserve is home to diverse ecosystems, including swamps, dunes, forests, and beaches. You can hike, bike, or take guided tours to discover its rare flora and fauna, such as sea turtles, migratory birds, and carnivorous plants. 

If you’re curious, Bon Secour is French for “safe harbor,” and that’s exactly what this refuge is. It’s home to an array of local species like red foxes, bobcats, wild pigs, alligators, nesting sea turtles, more than 350 migratory bird species, and the elusive Alabama beach mouse. We looked all over for this little mouse and never did find one. Hopefully you’ll have better luck!

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is open year round during daylight hours. If you visit, you are encouraged to hike, fish, observe wildlife, take photos, and study nature. So don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars!

Learn about tours and activities available at Bon Secour NWR!

Go to the Bon Secour Visitor’s Center

When you arrive, stop in at the Visitor’s Center for a quick orientation of the area and to learn about the hiking trails. Some trails are still being repaired after Hurricane Sally, so you’ll want to get up-to-date information when you arrive. 

Bon Secour Visitor’s Center is located at 12295 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

jeff friend trail bon secour national wildlife refuge

Jeff Friend Trail

On our trip, we took a short walk on the Jeff Friend Trail, a boardwalk trail with a lovely view of the Little Lagoon – which we thought was not so little! You can find fishing and crabbing spots on the Jeff Friend trail too.

When you visit Bon Secour, you’ll experience the magic of the great outdoors and gain an appreciation for the importance of preserving our precious natural habitats.

Bon Secour NWR is spread out in different locations. You’ll find the Jeff Friend Trail at

13900 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, across Al-180 from the Visitor’s Center.

dog friendly beach at fort morgan state historic site

Bask in the Sun at Dog-Friendly Beaches

If you’re traveling with dogs, you’ll want to know about the dog friendly beach located just steps away from the fort. While dogs are not allowed on the public beaches at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Fort Morgan Historic Site Bayside Beach is dog-friendly beaches simply paw-fect for dogs. 

Bayside Beach is the perfect place for your dog to enjoy white sand beaches and the beautiful turquoise clear blue waters Gulf Shores is so famous for.

You’ll need to keep your dog leashed and make sure you clean up after your buddy! We saw lots of dogs at this beach having a grand time with their humans.

If you’re looking for another place your dog can swim, check out the Dog Park at Gulf Shores where dogs can play in Lake Shelby. 

Read all the details in this post: 29+ things to do at Gulf State Park.

The address for the dog friendly Fort Morgan Historic Site Bayside Beach is

51 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL, US, 36542.

Go Golfing in Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan is also a popular destination for golfers! Here are couple of popular golf courses you’ll find at Fort Morgan.

Kiva Dunes Public Golf Course – Designed by former U.S. Open Champion Jerry Pate, Kiva Dunes is considered to be one of the top public golf courses in the entire state of Alabama!

Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club– located next to Bon Secour, Peninsula Golf Course is “rated 4 ½ stars by Golf Digest and selected as one of the ‘most memorable and enjoyable’ courses in the southeast.”

I’m not a golfer so you’ll want to head to both websites and learn about these scenic golf courses for yourself. 🙂

tour navy cove oyster farm fort morgan

Tour Navy Cove Oyster Farm

On your way out to Fort Morgan Historic Park, you’ll drive right by Navy Cove Oyster Farm without even realizing it. If you’d like to learn about the fascinating process of how oysters are grown and harvested, consider a tour of Navy Cove Oyster Farm. 

You can wade right out to the rows of oyster crates to get a first hand look at how the farmers at Navy Cove are building a foundation for sustainable oyster farming. If you’d like, you might even get to taste freshly shucked oysters!

Tours last 1-2 hours and cost $35 per person, children under 10 are free. Tour guides recommend that you wear wading shoes and clothes that you won’t mind getting wet as you get an up-close and personal look at their boutique oyster farming operation!

There’s also a Fort Morgan Oyster Fest in February. Sounds like a fun way to spend a day.

Reservations are required so call 225.933.1005 or email navycoveoysters @ gmail.com to reserve a spot.

sassy bass amazin grill fort morgan

Fort Morgan, Alabama Restaurants

Fort Morgan does not have the restaurant variety that you’ll find in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but you can find local restaurants on the Peninsula. Here are a few restaurant options in Fort Morgan!

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Sassy Bass Amazin Grill

And top of the list restaurant we highly recommend heading to Sassy Bass Amazin Grill, a restaurant known for its delicious seafood and Southern cuisine. They have several locations around the Gulf Shores area, but we like their original location in Fort Morgan. They call it unfussy, adventurous, and original. 

Sassy Bass at Fort Morgan also has a small Market Place and liquor store if you need to pick up groceries while staying in a rental home in the area.

Try their signature dishes such as fried shrimp, crab cakes, and po’ boys. Plus, they serve Navy Cove Oysters harvested just up the road! Their daily specials are cooked from scratch and absolutely fabulous. We don’t think you can go wrong enjoying a good meal and live music at Sassy Bass in Fort Morgan.

The address for Sassy Bass Amazin Grill is 5160 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Look for the school bus pictured above on the side of AL-180 to help you locate it!

Two Restaurants at Kiva Dunes Resort

Two more restaurants in Fort Morgan are Kiva Grill and Kiva Beach Club Restaurant. Both are located at Kiva Dunes Resort which also features Kiva Dunes Golf Course, vacation rental homes, pools, tennis and more!

Note: Kiva Grill is open for breakfast and lunch to the public, but Kiva Beach Club Restaurant is only open to resort guests.

Tacky Jacks 2 Fort Morgan

There are several Tacky Jacks location in the Gulf Shores area, with one option close to the historic fort. Tacky Jacks offers waterfront dining with views of the Mobile Bay. I haven’t eaten there, but many friends highly recommend the Trash Can Nachos and they’re on my list of food to try!

Tacky Jacks’ Fort Morgan address is: 1577 AL-180 Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

The Bar & Grill at Peninsula

Located out at the Peninsula Golf & Racket Club, The Bar & Grill at Peninsula is open to the public seven days a week. They serve breakfast and lunch and have a full bar as well. They also offer Grab & Go options for people on the go!

The Bar & Grill at Peninsula address is: 20 Peninsula Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

If you don’t want to eat in a restaurant, you can also pack a lunch to enjoy at a picnic area out at Fort Morgan Historic Site or Bon Secour. You’ll find lots of picnic tables in Fort Morgan!

fort morgan vacation rental homes

Where to Stay in Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan has plenty of lodging options to suit your preferences and budget, from cozy cottages and RV parks to luxurious condos and beachfront hotels. They also have a lot of family-friendly vacation rental homes.

Some popular choices include the Beach Club Resort and Spa, the Fort Morgan RV Park and Campground, Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf, and the Royal Palms condos. These properties offer top-notch amenities, such as pools, gyms, spa treatments, and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Find the perfect Fort Morgan Vacation Rentals here.

Or, stay at one of the many lodging options in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach

Beachfront condos are a great way to go especially if you’re with your family and would like a kitchen and laundry facilities. Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach has a lot of great options!

If you can’t find a beach-front condo, we recommend the Courtyard by Marriott. It was centrally located and close to everything we did on this trip.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly hotel, we recommend Hilton the Lodge at Gulf State Park. It’s a LEED certified beachfront hotel located in a state park.

Is Fort Morgan safe for swimming?

The Fort Morgan area features a very long beach strip that rarely gets crowded. However, beach safety is always something to keep in mind. Because Fort Morgan is unincorporated, they don’t have the beach flags and warning signs that you’ll find in Gulf Shores.

Be sure to watch the weather forecast, use you best judgement, and avoid swimming in rip currents. Always stay vigilant and follow the safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable beach experience in Fort Morgan.

How Long to Spend at Fort Morgan Historical Site?

Fort Morgan historic site is hands down one of the most historic sites in Alabama, and visitors can spend as much time as they want exploring during business hours of 8 am – 5 pm. 

The tour of the fort usually lasts about two hours, and we recommended arriving early to give yourself plenty of time to explore!

Can you have a campfire on the beach in Fort Morgan?

Read current rules at the FortMorganCivic.org website, but fires are generally not permitted on Fort Morgan beaches.

Is camping allowed on beaches in Fort Morgan?

No, none of the Fort Morgan beaches allow camping.

If you liked this post on things to do in Fort Morgan, Alabama, you’ll like these too:

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Orange Beach & Gulf Shores Restaurants 

29 Family-Friendly Things to do at Gulf State Park (+where to eat, where to stay!)

Amazing, Adventurous Things to Do with Teens in Gulf Shores, Alabama

3 Day Teen Approved Itinerary – Orange Beach & Gulf Shores (Family Activities)

Official Tourism Website for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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