Mobile is unsurprisingly the seat of Mobile County. You may not know, however, that Mobile is the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and St. Petersburg, Florida. In fact, over 400,000 residents live in Mobile, which was the first state capital of Louisiana. Mobile is also famous for being a Gulf Coast cultural hub. the city boasts the oldest organized celebrations like Carnival and Mardi Gras.
Tourism plays a major role in the Mobile economy. At Battleship Memorial park you can tour the USS Alabama battleship from WWII and Korean War submarine the USS Drum. The Mobile Carnival Museum offers Mardi Gras history and memorabilia like floats and costumes. A number of historic antebellum house museums like the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion from 1855 can be found in Mobile as well. A few of the other exciting attractions to which tourists flock consist of the Gulf Coast Exploratoreum, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Mobile Botanical Gardens that earn the city's nickname the "Azalea City."
Mobile is known nationally as a hub for business. Mobile industries include steel fabrication and building, aerospace, retail, medicine, manufacturing and transportation. The Alabama State Docks recently underwent a $300 million expansion project that provided new jobs. Additionally, Mobile's Austal USA shipbuilding company will be trusted with constructing U.S. Forces vessels after winning another multi-billion dollar defense contract with the United States Government in late 2010.