Water-based activities dominate in Fort Morgan, a small, unincorporated gulf-front community of Gulf Shores City on the southern edge of Alabama.
Fort Morgan sits on the western end of a 36-mile long, sickle-shaped peninsula wedged across half of the eastern mouth of Mobile Bay.
Southward of Fort Morgan, there’s nothing but the vast waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Technically, some may even label the Fort Morgan peninsula as an island in Baldwin County.
This is so because it is part of Alabama’s hanging southern bottom sliced from the mainland with the construction of the Intracoastal Waterway.
With Fort Morgan just a short drive from the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange in the east, this community has become a coastal playground brimming with resort facilities and accommodations.
For this reason, Fort Morgan, along with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, unofficially counts as part of the Emerald Coast, a region that extends across the western panhandle of Florida.
The pristine beaches on both its northern and southern flanks are not only the prime elements driving visits to Fort Morgan.
For a full itinerary on the fun things to do in Fort Morgan, check out the list below.
Go on a Self-Guided Tour of the Fort Morgan Historic Site
Twice-a-day guided tours of this historic port are available in June and July, but you can always skip this option.
A self-guided tour of Fort Morgan, also known as the “Guardian of the Bay,” may even be more enjoyable.
Informative signs have been installed at specific points of interest in this fort built between 1819 and 1833.
This fort guarding the mouth of Mobile Bay is at the exact site of Fort Bowyer, an older military installation that figured in the War of 1812.
Fort Morgan, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, is a pentagonal bastion of robust masonry.
This fort had a significant role in several military conflicts throughout the history of the United States, including those in the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, and the two World Wars.
A glimpse of Fort Morgan’s might can be had in its Battery Duportail gun emplacement active between 1809 and 1923 as the most powerful battery of this post.
Catch Pompano and Whiting at Fort Morgan’s Fishing Spots
Fort Morgan and its immediate vicinity offer many inshore or surf fishing spots.
You can even fish right at the Fort Morgan Historic Site, and for this, you’ll just cast from the concrete pilings on the waters off its parking area.
This spot already promises catches of whiting, pompano, speckled trout, redfish, and bull redfish.
The east bank of Gator Lake in the Fort Morgan area is another promising fishing spot, where you can catch speckled trout, redfish, largemouth, catfish, and bluegill.
Explore the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
While here at Fort Morgan, you may want to tour Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to commune with Mother Nature.
One of the four units of this national wildlife sanctuary is located just a short distance east of the Fort Morgan Historic Site.
This wildlife refuge is home to 370 bird species that thrive in Bon Secour’s protected scrub forest, beaches, dunes, uplands, as well as in fresh and saltwater marshes and swamps.
The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in the Fort Morgan peninsula features the Little Lagoon, ideal for kayaking and fishing.
With minnow-imitation plastic jigs as bait, you can catch speckled trout, white trout, redfish, and flounder in this lagoon.
Check Out Fort Morgan’s Unique Nature Trails
The acreage of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is home to three fascinating trails.
One of these is the one-mile loop Jeff Friend Trail that leads to Little Lagoon and meanders across the maritime forest, freshwater marsh, and open water.
The trail has a handicapped-accessible observation deck for birdwatching, where you'll see ospreys, swallows, and owls during the year.
At the Centennial Trail of Bon Secour, other birds can also be spotted, such as warbler species.
Another trail connected to Centennial Trail, the four-mile Pine Beach Trail, offers the enchanting experience of seeing transitions from pine forest to the maritime forest to dunes.
Midway through this trail, you will find the saltwater Little Lagoon on one side and the freshwater Gator Lake on the other, a feature most unique among Alabama’s trails.
Paddle around Fort Morgan’s Waters
Paddling a kayak or a canoe is one of the best ways to enjoy a visit to Fort Morgan.
Weather permitting, you can launch a kayak at the Fort Morgan Public Boat Launch to explore the Gulf of Mexico’s near-shore waters.
This boat launch, which provides parking for trailers, has two double ramps and four slips primarily designed to launch large vessels like motorboats.
If the Gulf waters become too rough for a canoe or kayak, you can turn to other calmer paddlers’ destinations very close to Fort Morgan.
These choices include Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park, Oyster Bay, and the Bon Secour River.
Single or tandem kayaks are available in local rental shops like Go Go Kayaks, providing related equipment like life vests.
Test Your Leg Power on the Fort Morgan Road Trail
From the Peninsula Boulevard in Fort Morgan, you can hike or bike along the Fort Morgan Road Trail eastward up to the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.
This paved, 11-mile trail runs parallel north of Fort Morgan Road's namesake.
The initial stretches of this trail from its western end on Fort Morgan are flat and easy to negotiate.
You will encounter a few gentle climbs as you approach the trail’s section ending on Gulf State Park.
Along the way, you will pass the picturesque scenery of the Fort Morgan peninsula and its quiet tree-lined neighborhoods.
With much energy left, you can extend the trail adventure beyond Gulf State Park.
From this park, you can shift to the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trails, a route of more than 15 miles comprised of seven trails that meander across six distinct ecosystems.
Camp at Fort Morgan RV Park
If you’re touring south Alabama aboard a camper, the Fort Morgan RV Park is one promising site to camp.
This RV campsite is easily accessible via Pleasure Point Road northward from Fort Morgan Road.
Lush canopies of trees shade the six acres of the Fort Morgan RV Park and its 34 campsites.
The park’s grounds spread directly on the southern shore of scenic Mobile Bay, and campers can choose from either bayfront or bay view sites.
The guests of Fort Morgan RV Park have access to its 200-foot pier for fishing or catching crabs.
Stay and Enjoy at Kiva Dunes Resort
This resort, accessible from Fort Morgan Road via Plantation Lane, spreads within a gulf-front conservation area.
It provides vacation rentals, with choices ranging from fully-furnished condos to coastal homes.
The amenities of this resort are bannered by its 18-hole public golf course rated as one of Alabama’s best.
This par 72 championship course offers 7,092 yards of play from its longest tees and poses a 73.9-course rating and 132 slope rating.
The resort also boasts of its Kiva Beach Club, featuring a saltwater swimming pool, a pavilion, and a full-service restaurant.
Special events, such as live music and food specials, are also hosted by the Kiva Beach Club.
Play at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club
Golfers visiting southern Alabama find good reasons to play at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club.
In its 27-hole layout that spreads next to scenic Mobile Bay, golfers have three distinctive nines to pick from: Lakes, Cypress, and Marsh.
Golf Digest gave a 4.5-star rating to this course set over 800 acres of lush oaks, cypress, and verdant natural vegetation.
Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club also boasts eight tennis courts and a private beach on the bay.
This area called Cabana Beach is great for swimming, and it also features a pier for fishing and crab-hunting.
A restaurant, a fitness center, and nature trails are also among the amenities at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club.
Ride the Mobile Ferry to Fort Morgan
Coming from the west, you can conveniently go to Fort Morgan via the Mobile Bay Ferry, which accommodates motor vehicles and pedestrians, as well as bike and motorcycle riders.
This ferry service across scenic Mobile Bay connects State Road 193 at Dauphin Island on the west side to State Road 180 at Fort Morgan in Mobile Point on the east.
Motorists regularly using the Mobile Bay Ferry consider this route as “the Gulf Coast’s Most Scenic Drive.”
The bay crossing via this ferry takes about 40 minutes and helps visitors cut travel time as well as save on fuel costs.
The ferry’s passengers can also enjoy the views of the bay waters and two historic forts: Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan at Mobile Point.
The ferry runs two vessels—the Fort Morgan and the Marissa Mae Nicole—with at least one of them operating year-round and both at work during the high season of summer.
Build Sand Castles Like a Pro on Fort Morgan’s Beach
There is a service provider called Sand Castle University operating in Fort Morgan, as well as Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, offering lessons on building sandcastles.
All you need to do is set a booking for the meet-up and training session at your beach of choice.
There is no age restriction in this learning activity wherein you can learn to build the traditional details of sandcastles.
The Sand Castle University lessons also include a group activity on making sand sculptures of an octopus, turtle, or dolphin.
The instructor will provide all the tools for this fun and creative activity.
Try the Seafood Specialties of Tacky Jacks
Tacky Jacks Fort Morgan is one of the three locations of this restaurant along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
The Fort Morgan restaurant, established in 2005, draws patrons not only because of its seafood specialties but also its waterfront dining with exquisite views of Mobile Bay.
Located just minutes away from the Fort Morgan Historic Site, Tacky Jacks serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
One must-try at Tacky Jacks is its fried and spicy crawfish tails, a Cajun treat promising a kick in flavor and taste.
Besides fresh seafood, this restaurant is also popular among diners for its chicken and steak dishes, hearty appetizers, salads, wraps, and burgers.
See the Endangered Alabama Beach Mouse at Perdue Unit
Animals in the area still make Fort Morgan their home, even though it is occupied by humans nearly every day.
Take a look at the ground, and if you're lucky, you could spot an Alabama Beach Mouse.
It's the only place on Earth where you can find this particular species.
Unfortunately, the beach mice of Alabama rarely get the recognition they deserve for their contributions to beach preservation.
Carrying the seeds of sea oats and other plants back to their burrows promotes the spread of those plants to new areas.
These plants help hold the sand in place and create the dunescapes.
Aside from being backgrounds for family photos, the dunescapes serve as a vital buffer protecting the rest of the land from daily wind erosion and powerful tropical storms.
If you find one, take snaps of these friendly rodents, don't harm them!
Hop in Fort Morgan After Dark Ghost Investigation and Historical Haunted Tour
Join the Second Sight Paranormal TV crew as they conduct a paranormal investigation in one of the state's most haunted locations: Fort Morgan.
The former barracks are said to be the most haunted part of Fort Morgan.
A convicted criminal committed suicide in the fort's barracks by hanging himself in 1917.
Many others claim to have heard him sobbing in the middle of the night since then.
But the most famous ghost locals have allegedly encountered is that of a young woman.
Legend has it that a lady attacked in Fort Morgan in the 19th century may still be prowling the grounds in search of her assailant.
The group provides ghost-hunting gear, but you're welcome to bring your own if you'd like.
Explore the Flavors and History of Matt's Ice Cream
History enthusiasts should head to Matt's Ice Cream on the Boardwalk for a sweet treat and an even more remarkable tale.
This landmark was once a Fort Morgan hospital in the late 19th century and is now home to Matt's Ice Cream.
As the population of Fort Morgan continued to decline in the 1920s, the decision was taken to float the structure up the Bayou, set it up on tree stumps, and use it to feed anti-prohibitionists.
Thanks to modern conveniences, even a historic retail center now serves a nice scoop of ice cream.
Choose from its various flavors, including butterscotch, red velvet, pecan, and coffee!
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit the Gulf State Park
The Gulf State Park, some 20 miles east of Fort Morgan, offers many exciting points of interest within its 6,500-acre expanse.
Easily accessible via Fort Morgan Road, this park in the city of Gulf Shores features three freshwater lakes: Lake Shelby, Middle Lake, and Little Lake.
Water-based recreational activities also abound in the park’s 2.5 miles of pristine white beaches.
The park also features nature trails and an 18-hole golf course, and it is also home to a concessionaire operating a zip line and paddleboard and kayak rentals at Lake Shelby.
Additionally, the Gulf State Park provides a modern campground with 496 sites for tents and RVs.
Get an Adrenaline Rush at Waterville USA
This waterpark on Gulf Shores Parkway is only 20 miles east of Fort Morgan, offering some adrenaline-pumping rides for kids and adults alike.
One sample of this experience is Waterville’s Jet Stream slide through a transparent and nearly vertical shaft.
For a more relaxed mode, you can turn to the waterpark’s North Shore Pool Wave or the family-friendly tube ride Gold Rush.
Out of the water, there are more to enjoy at Waterville USA, such as mini-golf, an arcade, an escape house, and go-kart racing.
Have Family Fun at Adventure Island
This amusement park in Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach is about 27 miles east of Fort Morgan.
Adventure Island offers thrilling rides for a family’s total enjoyment.
Laser tag games, go-karts, and bumper boats are some of its offerings.
As enjoyable are the adventure golf, arcade games, and paddleboat rides in this amusement center.
Here, you will also experience a simulated volcanic eruption complete with fire and sound.
Explore the Bay and Catch Fish in Style with Nicole Fishing Charters
Nicole Fishing Charters, a seven-minute drive from Fort Morgan, is a local institution with decades of expertise in the sport fishing sector.
In the beginning, Nicole Fishing Charters was only a tiny charter boat.
After many years of dedicated service, the company became a significant player in the fishing industry.
A 30-foot console center designed by Grady White, helmed by Walter on the Knot Working and the illustrious Chris on the Jus Chillin, ensures year-round touring for the business.
Capt. Colin leads near-shore excursions there, and visitors may marvel at the area's famous fish species, both huge and small.
Nicole Fishing Charters also only employs licensed captains that have been hand-picked from across the world with the blessing of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Explore Underwater with Down Under Dive Shop
Down Under Dive Shop, a 29-minute drive from Fort Morgan lives up to its name by providing excellent diving excursions in the Gulf Shores area, so be sure to put it on your list of things to do in Fort Morgan.
Gorgeous Gulf Shores dive excursions are among the most important businesses in Fort Morgan, Alabama, since they are among the best places to rent diving equipment in the city.
Tourists to Gulf Shores may choose from various diving charters, including coastal cruises, deep-sea expeditions, and several offshore adventures.
The 46-foot Newton Dive Special, also known as the Down Under, inspired the boat's moniker.
Down Under Dive Shop is fully equipped with a luxury yacht's comforts to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable voyage.
Fort Morgan is a getaway spot with few rivals in Alabama, given its rich mix of points of interest.
An entire day may not be enough to fully enjoy the many delightful sights on the entire length of its peninsula.
Fill into a travel itinerary a few of the attractions in nearby Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, and you truly will have your hands full on the things to do in Fort Morgan.