Alabama Coasting 2018 - Page 23

OTHER SOUTH MOBILE COMMUNITIES Worth Checking Out ST. ELMO THEODORE BAYOU LA BATRE & CODEN St. Elmo is a strong farming community that earns its name from the book written by Augusta Evans Wilson. The town was once served by the L&N railroad and drew in many visitors through its passenger depots. Today the community remains charming and quaint along U.S. Highway 90 lined with live oaks and cypress trees. The community of Theodore’s claim to fame is the deliciously popular pecan. Theodore is the site of the Alabama Pecan Festival, each November, featuring music, arts and crafts and the signature sweet southern nut prepared and served in a variety of ways. Theodore is also home to the beautiful Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Known in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a resort town with medicinal spring water, historic Bayou La Batre is now renowned for its fresh Gulf seafood and is often called the “Seafood Capital of Alabama.” Bayou La Batre heralds the region’s fishing industry with annual events such as the “Blessing of the Fleet” held each May, Kayak the Bayou in August, and September’s “Taste of the Bayou.” Be sure to spend your time birding, fishing, and boating, and don’t miss a ride down scenic byway 188 to see century-old oaks. Trees line the road in St. Elmo. Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore. IRVINGTON GRAND BAY Irvington is a peaceful farming community located along U.S. Route 90 on the western side of South Mobile County. Irvington is home to many beautiful trees and plants that grow wildly along the southern plantations found here. Irvington also boasts its popularity through its Mobile International Speedway, that hosts many stock car races throughout the year. Grand Bay is an area located several miles inland of the Mississippi Sound and is well known for its watermelon, although a lot of the land features pecan, peach and satsuma trees. The Grand Bay Watermelon Festival. Mobile International Speedway in Irvington. Another unique feature of this area is the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1992, this 10,188- acre refuge helps protect one of the largest remaining expanses of wet pine savanna habitats on the Gulf Coast, and partially overlays the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Together, they protect nearly 18,000 acres of relatively undisturbed wildlife habitat. Shrimp boats at rest in Bayou la Batre. Photo by Tad Denson, Watermelon Festival in Grand Bay. ALABAMA COASTING’S DAUPHIN ISLAND LIFE 2018 23