By Jennifer Campbell - Just Chasing Rabbits
Planning any vacation can be a daunting task. Have you gotten recommendations from friends? Will you search social media for the best attractions and food? Do you check out the most popular attractions on Trip Adviser? These are all good options for planning out your itinerary, but we found that the Mississippi Gulf Coast offers several ways to simplify trip planning (or playing it by ear!) for their area. Read on to find four ways to make your Mississippi Gulf Coast trip planning super easy!
1. Utilize the Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Website
If you’d like to see what all the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer, the “Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast” website is the best place to see all options including places to stay, things to do, events, and restaurants. The best part is that the site covers all of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s communities.
The Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast website will help you plan a trip if you want to focus on a certain community or see the highlights of each.
Every category on the site is organized so that you can find the perfect accommodations (Would you rather stay at a bed and breakfast or a campground?), activities that fit your interests (Are you looking for family activities? Water activities? Free activities? Historic sites?), or even events that appeal to you (Do you want to celebrate Mardi Gras? Or Christmas? Or just wondering what headliners will be in town during your stay?).
We highly recommend Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast’s site (other than the information you’ll find here, of course!) because it is so very user friendly. You’ll be able to create your Mississippi Gulf Coast bucket list in no time!
2. Download the My Gulf Coast App
Brought to you by Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, you’ll find fantastic organization in the smart phone app similar to that found on their website. With categories like Where to Eat and Things To Do, the best of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is right in your hands. The best part? The app incorporates Google maps, so you get a sense of where everything is located.
The Itinerary Builder is a great way to stay organized and make sure you see everything you’d like to see on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Pick your favorite attractions or restaurants and add them to specific days. You can even add times to keep yourself on schedule, and the app will send notifications to your phone.
While driving around the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you’ll notice interstate signs, but also numbered shrimp signs. The app can show you either of these signs on the map and what is found near each of them.
We noticed an option on the My Gulf Coast app called “Scavenger Hunts,” but, at this time of writing, it was not available. It definitely got our attention and our interest, so we can’t wait to see what the Scavenger Hunts option has to offer!
Find this free app for iOS or Android in the App Store or Google Play.
3. Buy an Attraction Pass
The Gulf Coast Attraction Pass is available from the Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast website and includes entry to seven popular Gulf Coast attractions for only $32 (at this time of writing). Tour the iconic Biloxi Lighthouse, feel small next to a rocket with entry to INFINITY Science Center, learn all about the area’s seafood industry at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, see some incredible art at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Ohr-O’keefe Museum of Art, visit the wildlife of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, and go back in time to the 1890s at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center.
Based on my research, this is actually more than 50% savings, so it’s a great deal to see some of the most popular attractions the coast has to offer.
If your visit will be focusing mainly on the Pascagoula community, you may want to consider a Pascagoula Area Attraction Pass which includes Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, LaPoint-Krebs House and Museum, Pascagoula River Audubon Center, Round Island Lighthouse, Scranton Museum, and Scranton Nature Center. The price of this pass at time of writing is $14. It can be purchased at any of these attractions (except Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve) or the Pascagoula Recreation Center.
4. Stop by the Visitors Centers
Visitors Centers are always great stops for us. The employees are usually really helpful and friendly, sometimes offering tips or pointing us to their favorite local spots or restaurants. Grab some brochures, ask questions, learn a bit about the area, and you may even find some coupons or other deals!
Tip: Use the My Gulf Coast app to find the closest visitors center. There are eight in the Gulf Coast area including two Mississippi Welcome Centers.
We explored the Biloxi Visitors Center, which is the meeting place to tour the iconic Biloxi Lighthouse. Inside the visitors center, we found brochures, a fantastic gift shop, and several interesting displays including a horse made from driftwood, information on the lighthouse and hurricanes, and items from some Southern celebrities.
If you’ve never explored the Mississippi Gulf Coast, or if you haven’t been in awhile, start putting together your coast itinerary now! The area has so much to offer with great accommodations, fantastic seafood, educational museums and tours, and lots of water activities too!
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