MoonPies Are Food Of The Gods
Best Part About Mobile?
If southern culture is something you can see yourself embracing Mobile might be the next city for you. The original home of Mardi Gras (they call it “The Little Easy”), the city knows how to throw a party to celebrate its southern history, and their resident World War II battleship the USS Alabama and the Spanish moss lining Mobile’s buildings year round are just two visual introductions to how they honor their past even when the party isn’t going. Mobile’s politics also tend to swing right, another more modern southern staple that Mobile sticks to.
Here's a transplant's pov on living here: I’m from New York originally, and have lived all over, including Europe. We moved here in July (after a brief stay in Dothan, AL). We live in Midtown, and we like it a lot. We like the older homes, the live oaks, and the walkability (although the ancient, buckled sidewalks will straight up kill you, if you’re not paying attention). We pay only a little bit more for a 3 bedroom apartment here than we were paying for a crappy one bedroom in Colorado. It does seem to be a peculiarly Southern thing to let your pets roam down here (not that everyone loves that—there are plenty who don’t). It’s a cool, quirky little city with a lot of history, and I just love the old buildings—and that we can walk to the river. We’ve taken the ferry across the bay (a bit of a drive there), and we’ve seen dolphins each time.
For more reviews of Mobile from locals check out: The Buzz
Worst Part About Mobile?
The biggest challenge Mobile faces is improving the school system. Cities that aren't too far away including Madison and Huntsville have much higher rated schools and pull families from Mobile. This impacts the tax base and the cycle spires downward. Families that have the resources will often send their kids to the expensive religious private schools.
Here's a local on the school situation: Yeah fixing schools would go a long way for the city. The problem is it’s just so tough to do. Politicians don’t like tackling it (more than lip service at least) because it takes years to truly see results and often takes more than just throwing money at it to fix. Whoever can fix our schools will be a Saint forever in my book though.
Lifestyle of Mobile
Downtown Mobile is lined with a mix of small businesses, art museums, and great seafood restaurants. Being right on the Gulf of Mexico is great for more than just seafood, however. A plethora of beaches sit waiting on one of Alabama’s many hot and humid days, and fishing is a popular pastime in nearby streams, lakes, and the gulf. Mobile is known for feeling more like a small southern town than a city with a population hovering around 200K. It’s a tight knit community that supports each other, which can be a good or bad thing depending on where you fit in with that community. Residents in Mobile are notoriously stubborn about transplants from pretty much anywhere else other than the south.
If you want to see what happens in Mobile check out the calendar of events: https://www.mobile.org/events/
Workstyle of Mobile
Not to beat a dead horse here, but the economic situation in Mobile has been heading in the wrong direction in recent years. It’s definitely not a bad idea to have a job offer in the bag before deciding to move to the area. As for the specifics, there isn’t a industry that rises to the a notable level in Mobile. Infirmary Health is both one of the largest healthcare companies in the state and one of the largest employers in town. Austal is another large employer that designs, constructs and supports commercial and defense vessels.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
If You Crave A Red-ish City
There aren’t very many metropolitan areas in the U.S. that swing right politically. The pandemic drove many a conservative from liberal big cities to more conservative towns and if that's your thing and you appreciate saving some dough in the process take a look at Mobile. Caveat, makes sure you already have a job lined up in the area or are a WFH'er, before loading up the u-haul.