Located along the Gulf Coast, Mobile is the region's largest municipality and is Alabama's third biggest city with a population of 195,111. The city possesses a variety of historic neighborhoods including De Tonti Square, Campground, Church Street East, Ashland Place, Midtown, Lower Dauphin Street, Toulminville, Spring hill, Oakleigh Garden and Leinkauf. Along with a number of modern developments, the city offers a wide selection of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and multi-family houses.
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Mobile was colonial French Louisiana's first capital city and was colonized by France, Britain and Spain before it finally joined the United States in 1861. The city is the only seawater port in Alabama, and the Port of Mobile has been a central location for trade. It has consistently been an important piece of the regions economy. In the 20th century, Mobile's economy and population grew with the arrival of manufacturing, and the industry remains an important piece of the modern economy. Today, Mobile's most prominent industries also include retail, steel, shipbuilding, construction, services and aerospace. The economy has experienced extensive growth since 1993, and Mobile is easily accessible by car, train and plane.
The city also serves as a cultural hub for the area, and its roots stem from a number of different influences including Creole, French, Spanish, British and African. The city is host to a number of annual Carnival and Mardi Gras activities including balls, parties and parades. The city also houses a number of art and entertainment venues including the Mobile Museum of Art, Saenger Theatre, Mobile Symphony Orchestra, The Mobile Civic Center and the Mobile Theatre Guild. The BayFest, a three-day music festival, is held in Mobile and features 125 different artists. There are also a number of museums available to both locals and tourists. Attractions include Battleship Memorial Park, USS Alabama, the History Museum of Mobile, the Old City Hall, the Oakleigh Historic Center, the Mobile Carnival Museum and the Gulf Coast Exploreum Center. The city is also filled with historic architecture, which includes influences from Italiante, Greek revival, Creole cottage and Gothic revival. The National African American Archives and Museum, the University of South Alabama Archives, the Mobile Municipal Archives and the Mobile Public Library house a number of historical artifacts and provide a number of community programs. Students in the area are able to attend a range of public and private institutions, and there are a number of colleges and universities located in the city including the University of South Alabama, Faulkner University, Spring Hill College and the University of Mobile. With a rich history, Mobile offers a number of culture and arts opportunities along with many educational options.