Alabama Coasting 2019 - Page 32

OTHER SOUTH MOBILE COMMUNITIES Worth Checking Out! ST. ELMO THEODORE St. Elmo is a strong farming community that earns its name from the book writ- ten 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 cy- press trees. The community of Theodore’s claim to fame is the deliciously popular pecan. Theodore is the site of the Alabama Pe- can 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 Gar- dens and Home. Trees line the road in St. Elmo. IRVINGTON Irvington is a peaceful farming commu- nity located along U.S. Route 90 on the western side of South Mobile County. Ir- vington is home to many beautiful trees and plants that grow wildly along the southern plantations found here. Irving- ton also boasts its popularity through its Mobile International Speedway, that hosts many stock car races throughout the year. Mobile International Speedway in Irvington. Watermelon Festival in Grand Bay. 32 ALABAMA COASTING’S DAUPHIN ISLAND LIFE Bellingrath Gardens and Home. GRAND BAY Grand Bay is an area located several miles inland of the Mississippi Sound and is well known for its watermelon, al- though a lot of the land features pecan, peach and satsuma trees. The Grand Bay Watermelon Festival is held each 4th of July. Another unique feature of this area is the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Es- tablished 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. 2019 Shrimp boats at rest in Bayou la Batre. Photo by Tad Denson, BAYOU LA BATRE & CODEN 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”, the “Taste of the Bayou” and “Kayak the Bayou.” Be sure to spend your time bird- ing, fishing, and boating, and don’t miss a ride down scenic byway 188 to see cen- tury-old oaks.