Gulf Coast Beaches & Water Activities
Unforgettable is the only word to describe Mississippi Gulf Coast's picturesque beaches! Sixty-two miles of scenic shoreline that includes twenty-six miles of soft white sand outlines gentle waves that dance on the water's surface offering an exceptional view from U.S. Highway 90, aka Beach Boulevard. A chain of barrier islands limits the amount of strong waves reaching the mainland beaches, making the resultant calm gentle waters ideal for water-based activities and children.
Several pullovers provide convenient beach access, photo opportunities, and water adventures for beach goers. Pass Christian and Long Beach, which are just west of the Gulfport/Biloxi area are considered residential areas offering quieter, tranquil sections of beaches for sunbathing, romantic walks, or moonlight picnics. Comfort stations located at Long Beach Harbor, Jones Park, Courthouse Road and the Coliseum offer showers & drink machines as well along serving as bus stops for Coast Area Transit Authority buses.
Several designated areas of the beach provide perfect nesting areas for an endangered bird species known as Least Terns. Visitors are restricted from these areas, but encouraged to stop, take pictures, and enjoy these unique and beautiful birds.
If surf is your priority, take the Ship Island ferry from the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor to our most popular barrier island, West Ship Island. Ship Island Excursions offers seasonal daily passenger ferry service to West Ship Island and Fort Massachusetts (circa 1858), part of Gulf Islands National Seashore. The island is approximately 12 miles offshore from Gulfport offering visitors beautiful Gulf waters for swimming, sunbathing, shelling and more. Mississippi Magazine recently selected the island as one of the top 25 must-see places in the Magnolia State, and USA Today named it as one of the top ten beaches in the United States! Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, as the sun can be fierce. The cruise to the barrier island takes about an hour one way and dolphin sightings are frequent during the boat ride. Food service, chair, and umbrella rentals are available on the island. Ship Island Excursions runs March - October.