Many people have yet to discover the incredible travel experiences on offer on the Gulf Coast. On one hand, this is a crying shame, but on the other it means that for those of us who are in the know, it can be a whole lot easier to plan a vacation. Vast swathes of unspoiled nature and picturesque ocean views make this a haven for wildlife lovers, while charming architecture interspersed with the freshest of seafood make even the most urban of travelers feel at home. Here are a few places to kick off your own exploration of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Experience the Barrier Islands
The barrier islands run right along the coast from Florida to Mississippi, forming a sort of floating barrier between mainland North America and Mexico. Seven of these islands, as well as natural parts of the mainland, are protected, providing staggeringly beautiful sites where wildlife can flourish. If you really want to see the Gulf’s nature at its wildest, then head to Ship Island.
Most of the Gulf islands are, unsurprisingly, located quite a way offshore. However, the Davis Bayou area is located just east of downtown Ocean Springs, making it easy to visit for just an afternoon or longer if you fall in love with it, of course. There are all the facilities that an RV holidayer could want, including water, electricity hookup, shower and toilets—all charged on a per night basis. The ornithologists amongst us will also enjoy hundreds of bird species, including some majestic Great Blue Herons and the adorable Snowy Plowers. If you’re lucky enough to be the owner of a boat, then you can take advantage of the boat launching facilities.
Whoever you are, bring a pair of shoes that you can wander a couple of miles in, as the trail through coastal forest and over a couple of bayous is a must. Whether you decide to bring a book, a picnic, fishing rod or your binoculars, be sure to take some time to reconnect with nature.
Stay at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
If you’re looking for somewhere picturesque to stay, then Beau Rivage could be the perfect option for you. This resort is on Biloxi island, a stone’s throw from Davis Bayou and the picturesque town of Ocean Springs. Just a 10-minute drive across the handy Biloxi bridge, this enormous building provides all of the luxuries even the most discerning traveler could want, with the added benefit of ocean views in every direction. Architecture enthusiasts will be interested to know that it is the tallest structure in the whole state, but not only that, it really is beautiful. Walking down the tree-lined avenue up to the grand entranceway, you’ll feel every inch the celebrity.
Once inside, it’s clear that no expense has been spared on the glamorous communal areas, as well as the breezy, fresh decor of the bedrooms. Another bonus, particularly for those who enjoy playing on American online casinos, is that Mississippi is one of the 18 states where land-based casinos are legal. So, MGM has not messed around when it comes to the enormous casino on offer at the resort. Whichever your favorite online casino game is, you’re guaranteed to find its real-life equivalent here. More than 100 table games and too many slot machines to count will keep anyone busy; particularly handy if the weather isn’t on your side.
Catch and Eat Your Lunch in Bay Saint Louis
Bay Saint Louis is a picturesque town along the coast, where there’s plenty on offer. The beach is white sand and the artsy town is charming and full of opportunities for souvenir shopping, but one of the most exciting tourist attractions available is charter fishing. It’s a rare thing to be able to fish for, and hopefully catch, your own lunch, an activity that people of any age will enjoy. Shore Thing Fishing Charters is a great local company to go with if you want the opportunity to catch flounder, speckled trout and redfish. You can hire any of their eight boats, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Of course, if you’re feeling like lunch without the hard work, then Trapani’s Eatery is a spot you should try out. Trapani’s has weathered 20 years on the Gulf Coast and is a firm favorite with locals. They specialize in fresh as-you-like seafood, with their flounder stuffed with crabmeat being a true Bay Saint Louis delicacy. Pull up a table, look out over the Gulf and congratulate yourself on a vacation well spent.