One local initiative that you need to check out during your vacation to Gulf Shores is the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This organization's mission involves marine science education, research, and coastal zone management. Offering a variety of programs, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab seeks to educate the public and strive for excellence when conducting research. And its prime location on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island allows for easy access to the northern Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay, and Mississippi Sound. When you visit the sea lab, you will discover the incredible Estuarium, a fantastic aquarium. Or, you can sign up for educational programs to learn even more about the marine life of the Gulf. Here is what you need to know before visiting the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Discover ocean life firsthand when you stay at one of our Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals properties right on the beach. Browse our shorefront properties, and then select which one will work best for your Gulf Shores getaway!
How Do I Get To the Dauphin Island Sea Lab?
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located on the eastern end of a 17-mile-long barrier island. About three miles from the mainland, the 35-acre campus is bordered by Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. To get to the barrier island, you will have to take the Fort Morgan ferry! Offering quick access across Mobile Bay, this 40-minute ride is easy to catch. Just check the ferry schedule before your trip. Hours are usually early morning through sunset, varying by season. En route to Dauphin Island, you will be able to take in some stunning scenery. Birds soar overhead, often landing aboard and cruising along with passengers. And gorgeous views surround the vessel as it cruises through the waters!
Once You've Landed...
After arriving on the barrier island, you will marvel at the massive Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus. You'll want to be sure to take the kids to the Estuarium, the exciting and educations public aquarium that highlights the four key habitats of coastal Alabama. Exhibits explore the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, Barrier Islands, and Northern Gulf of Mexico. The Estuarium includes a 10,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 7,000-gallon stingray touch pool, and Living Marsh Boardwalk. All in all, the Estuarium features 31 aquariums totalling over 30,000 gallons and 100 species. Wow! That's a lot of sea creatures to see up close and personal. Admission to the Estuarium is $11 for adults and $6 for children or students with an ID.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is known for its fantastic educational programs. School year programs for elementary school through high school are popular along with summer programs. Teacher resources, ROV programs, and undergraduate and graduate programs are also available. In fact, more than 15,000 students participate in these programs each year!
Experience the Beauty of the Ocean at Our Beachfront Properties
You'll love getting to experience the beautiful beaches and plentiful marine life of Gulf Shores during your visit. And when you book one of our beachfront homes, you'll be right there to soak it all in! There's nothing better than waking up and going for a walk along a quiet morning beach on the Gulf. You'll run across a variety of wildlife and plantlife- and it's all right outside your door! Then, in the evening, relax to the sounds of the surf lapping against the shore as you fall asleep. We hope to see you soon in Gulf Shores!