|Dauphin Island's white sand beaches|
A short road trip out of state landed us in Alabama's Dauphin Island, a barrier island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Vacation hotspot for locals more so than tourists, you won't find any shopping outlets or putt putt golf here, but rather quiet neighborhoods overlooking the bay and expansive, white-sand beaches. Unless, of course, you visit during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the largest fishing tournament in the world.
|The island's residential side|
|Trails through Shell Mound Park|
With hiking on our mind, we ventured farther down the island to the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. Miles of walking trails cut across 164 acres of land protecting one of the best places in the country to view migrating birds. A boardwalk leads past pines and live oaks to an overlook at Galliard Lake. Continuing on, you eventually emerge back at the beach's sand dunes.
|Historic Fort Gaines|