Grand Bay is a quiet, laid-back rural community located southwest of Mobile County in Alabama.
This census-designated place is also part of the Mobile metropolitan area.
Based on local history, George Cassibry first arrived and settled in Grand Bay in 1853.
By the mid–19th century, there was a growing number of settlers in the area.
Rural Grand Bay became known for its pecan orchards and satsumas before most of them were converted to residential sites.
But the community's watermelon produce remains its trademark, which is well-celebrated during the annual Watermelon festival.
It may seem like there's not much to see in this humbling community, but it does offer some scenic sites and unique businesses that showcase its exceptional features.
Experience the best things to do in Grand Bay, Alabama:
View Different Wildlife at Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an unspoiled pine savanna habitat located in Mobile County, Alabama, and Jackson County, Mississippi.
The refuge was established in 1992 and spans over 32,000 acres of marshes, streams, and swamplands that run from the Escatawpa River.
Its vast area serves as a habitat for many wildlife, fish, fowl, and plant species.
Part of the Refuge Complex includes the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which you can access by boat.
Delve into the natural sights and get to see some rare orchids in the Mississippi Sandhill Crane area.
Named from the French term "Bon Secour," which means "safe harbor," this wildlife refuge area includes some of the state's remaining intact coastal habitats, which you'll see have become a sanctuary for different native species of flora and fauna.
At Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, some species you'll encounter include American alligators, ospreys, the Eastern Black Rail, Gopher Tortoise, the Western Cottonmouth, and the Eastern Glass Lizard.
Enjoy Fun Attractions at the Grand Bay Watermelon Festival
The annual Grand Bay Watermelon Festival is a different kind of 4th of July celebration you'll enjoy at Grand Bay.
The tradition has a long history that started around the early 20th century and was later revived in 1973 after a gap during World War II.
The celebrations are held from July 3 to 4 at the Odd Fellows Festival Park and a baseball field on Grand Bay's west side.
Enjoy and have fun with local music entertainment, rides, and contests.
You'll catch a car show event, arts and crafts corners, lines of vendors, and informative displays from different suppliers.
Of course, the highlight of the Grand Bay Watermelon Festival is everyone gets to enjoy the free Grand Bay sweet variety on the second day.
Buy Fresh Crops at Sessions Farm Market
A local third-generation farm on Grand Bay Wilmer Road, Sessions Farm Market offers fresh crops all year.
They started with corn, soybeans, and watermelons, and the farm has grown to offer seasonal produce to its patrons.
Visit their property and find your pick of plump peaches, juicy cantaloupes, and sweet satsumas.
Are you looking for fresh tomatoes, leafy greens, and Grand Bay's famous pecans?
You can buy them fresh at Sessions Farm Market, along with other products like cotton, meat, and retail items.
Grab Juicy Burgers at Sam's Super Burger
Located on Grand Bay Wilmer Road, Sam's Super Burger is a local burger joint that offers classic all-American favorites.
This establishment has been around for years and is a favorite stop for visitors.
The excellent food and friendly service always give this restaurant a thumbs up from customers.
Try their serving of big burgers, chili cheese dog, and their bestseller, Gulf Shrimp Po'Boy.
Satisfy your appetite with a C.O.B sandwich with homemade jalapeño sauce or Fish Sandwich and Fish Po'Boy.
Sam's Super Burger also has a variety of shakes and ice cream flavors on the menu for little ones to enjoy.
Have a Fun Golf Game at CJ's Par 3 Golf Course
For some fun golf games, you can head to CJ's Par 3 Golf Course on Henderson Camp Road.
This nine-hole Par 3 golf course regularly hosts the local playoffs and special events.
You can play all day with your family and friends or choose to ride the 27 holes with a cart rental included.
If you or your kids are still learning the sport, it's a great place to practice your swings.
For an affordable and well-maintained course, CJ's Par 3 Golf Course is a great place to spend your day enjoying a few rounds of golf.
Go Sightseeing and Birdwatching at the Grand Bay Savanna
The Grand Bay Savanna is a scenic spot for a day of nature tripping.
This complex spans over 5,000 acres and hosts a stretch of coastal marshes, forest areas, and woodlands.
The State Lands Division manages the nature preserve, which serves as a habitat for various plants and animals unique to the area.
The tract is also open for public hunting for those with a valid hunting license and a WMA license.
Have your binoculars and observe an array of wildlife and birds on the wooden deck.
You'll spot the yellow rail, an elusive marsh bird in the Grand Bay Savanna.
Enjoy Seafood Servings at Kitchen of the Sea
Can't get enough of seafood?
Kitchen of the Sea is an excellent place to get plates of these delicious meals.
The restaurant offers seafood dinners, gumbo, and choices of sandwiches and burgers on the menu.
Get a taste of southern homemade specialties to enjoy at reasonable prices.
Have a bite of their Grilled Chicken and Conecuh Po'boy with peppers, onions, and cheese and served with chips.
They also have daily specials like Spaghetti with Meat Sauce with Salad and Garlic Toast.
You can also try the Shrimp and Grits with garlic toast or have some tasty Crab Claws with two side dishes or their Country Fried Steak with Cream Gravy.
You'll surely have your fill at Kitchen of the Sea, situated along US-90.
Get Fresh Pecans at Harper Orchards
If you're looking for fresh pecans, Harper Orchards offers you just that.
This family-owned business sells locally grown pecans that come straight from the orchard.
You can buy your pecans in shells or have them cracked and cleaned.
You can choose from different pecan varieties available in the season, like Jenkin, Davis, and Stuart varieties.
If you're stopping by Grand Bay before the holidays, you can visit Harper Orchards on Potter Tract Road for some pecans to add to your recipes.
Go Camping at Creekside RV Park
Located on Grand Bay Wilmer Road, Creekside RV Park is a convenient location for RV camping with your family.
Whether you're going on a road trip or stopping by Grand Bay, this RV park offers great amenities and a spacious area.
You can use their pool and avail of the WiFi service and laundry room.
They also offer long-term rentals.
The site is a few minutes from attractions near Grand Bay like Bellingrath Gardens, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Snapper Fishing.
Creekside RV Park is also well-maintained and has excellently clean facilities.
Feast on Seafood Platters at Southern Shells
Southern Shells offers hearty seafood combinations you won't be able to resist.
This local restaurant serves fresh crabs, crab claws, and shrimp from the kitchen to the table daily.
Dine with your family to enjoy mouth-watering combo platters like the number two combo, which includes one pound of gulf shrimp with corn, potatoes, butter, and Conecuh sausages.
Try their tasty gumbo or have something different like a Shrimp Salad Croissant.
A meal at Southern Shells is a real treat, especially if you're a seafood lover.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Discover Diverse Habitats at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve offers you many natural sights and unique flora and fauna to explore.
Trek the trail loop starting at the Savanna Trail Boardwalk entrance and discover a variety of plants and animals along the wet savanna trail like longleaf pin trees, wildflowers, frogs, and toads.
Walk along the Savanna Trail Boardwalk that leads to the freshwater marshes where skinks, lizards, and colorful dragonflies roam around their habitats.
Get ready to spot osprey nests and bald eagles present during the winter months.
You'll see other migratory birds like Scarlet Tanagers, Yellow Warblers, and Redstarts at the half-mile Oak Grove Birding Trail, most commonly seen during spring and fall.
Paddle your canoes and kayaks on the calm waters of the reserve's bayous and creeks.
You can enjoy fishing and crabbing in the shallow waters with the free boat launch provided by the reserve.
Experience a great nature trip at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Point, just 10 minutes from Grand Bay.
Visit the Stunning Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Twenty minutes from Grand Bay, the Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a lovely garden attraction.
The 65–acre property was opened to the public in 1932, with tours available all year round.
Tour the 10,500-square-foot Bellingrath Home, considered the most modern of its kind during the 1930s.
Get inside the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain, where you'll see a collection of fine American porcelain pieces.
Visit the Bellingrath Rose Garden, Conservatory, Great Lawn, Live Oak Plaza, and Bellingrath Home Terraces, all beautifully landscaped with colorful blooms and lush greeneries.
Drop by the chapel and relax at the riverfront pavilion and Dwight Harrigan/ExxonMobil Bayou Boardwalk; stroll along the Mirror Lake, Rockery, and pass by the Asian-American Garden.
You can end your visit at Bellingrath Gardens and Home with a lunch meal at The Magnolia Café and purchase gifts and souvenirs at the Bellingrath Gift Shop.
Feed the Gators at Gulf Coast Gator Ranch
For a unique, fun experience, bring your family to Gulf Coast Gator Ranch in Moss Point, Missouri.
You'll enjoy a tour of Moss Point's 105–acre swamp area and catch the sight of alligators, birds, and plenty of marine life in their natural habitat.
You can also explore the ranch on the beautiful walkways and feed the alligators up close.
The tour guides will make sure you'll have an unforgettable experience here.
Have thrilling fun with your family at Gulf Coast Gator Ranch.
Enjoy Picking Blueberries at Blue Moon Farm
Family-owned and operated Blue Moon Farm offers the freshest fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown organically and pesticide-free.
Fifteen minutes away from Grand Bay, this country farm opened in 2005 and has been offering great family trips for flower and blueberry picking.
Even little ones will enjoy seeing birds on the feeders and animals like farm cows and horses.
Enjoy picking different flowers and having them arranged for a personal bouquet.
Blueberry picking, which opens around May, is the main attraction at the farm, with over two acres of organically grown blueberries at their orchard.
You can spend a valuable time with the family at Blue Moon Farm.
See Interesting Artworks at the Mobile Museum of Art
Located in West Mobile, the Mobile Museum of Art features an extensive collection of art pieces from South America, Europe, Africa, and Asian regions.
More than the featured art displays, the building itself is a fantastic work of art that has well become an attraction in the area.
The institution was founded in 1963, then known as the Mobile Art Gallery.
View over 6,400 interesting artworks with various themes of paintings, sculptures, art decors, crafts, and works on paper.
Drop by the Mobile Museum of Art and see fantastic works by regional artists and exhibitions by recognized artists.
Grand Bay is a rural area surrounded by idyllic reserves offering great outdoor activities.
It's also famous for local celebrations like the Watermelon Festival, representing its local produce and tight-knit community.
Local businesses also make this small area a nice place to drop by.
There are also plenty of attractions you can visit nearby
For an enjoyable family-friendly trip, head off to this destination and enjoy this list of the best things to do in Grand Bay, Alabama.