What is there to do in Biloxi besides gamble? Apart from a beautifully-clean beach, watching gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, and enjoying the laid back vibe, there’s plenty. From museums to dining to where to go for beautiful views, here’s my list of the coolest best, and fun things to do in Biloxi with kids.
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Coastal Mississippi for hosting me this past spring. I was given lodging, meals, and complimentary Gulf Coast Attraction Passes to give you fine folks the scoop on fun things to do in Biloxi with kids. All opinions are my own!
If I can just side track my list for a minute, I have to share with you my military brat story. In the early 1960’s, my father was stationed in Biloxi, MS. And for as long as I can remember, he talked about the lighthouse, the beach, and the good times had. So, Biloxi and Coastal Mississippi have been on my bucket list.
And while his tales and places visited definitely differ from mine compliments of Hurricane Katrina pretty much obliterating the area nearly 15 years ago, the rehabilitation for both beach and land is absolutely impressive.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN BILOXI AND OCEAN SPRINGS, MS
While you might have scheduled a visit to Biloxi to hit the casinos (they are impressive, after all), you’ll definitely want to explore the city and what else it has to offer. Here are my picks, whether with kiddos, solo, or as a couple.
1. DISCOVER THE HISTORY OF THE BILOXI SHORE
I’m all about the family backstory for this post, but as a gal that was born in New Brunswick, Canada, on the East Coast, the maritime way of life is ingrained in me. My grandfather was a ship corker and our home was decked out with maritime decor.
If you love learning about the history of a city (including how it persevered), then you’ll dig the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. It’s three floors of culture and history for Biloxi and the surrounding area, but what really resonated with me was hearing 911 calls from locals when Hurricane Katrina hit. Goosebumps, for sure.
2. GET SOME ART AND CULTURE IN A COOL SETTING
Take an art museum, add a few additional rooms that look like spaceship pods, put a ceramic studio on property, and you’ve got Ohr- O’Keefe Museum of Art. Named for Mississippi Master Potter, George Ohr, you’ll definitely want to carve out a few hours to visit.
3. LEARN THE STORY OF MARDI GRAS IN BILOXI
I’m all about glitz and glamour and Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum is both of those with the cool history of Mardi Gras in the area. If you’re not familiar with the holiday, krewes create and build parade floats and each krewe has a court. These courts have balls and they are nothing short of magnificent.
Each year, krewes’ court costumes are worn only once and many are donated to Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum so we can check out the intricate details including the crowns and scepters. You can also see photos from previous years and learn a ton about the revelry leading up to Ash Wednesday.
4. TAKE A BILOXI SHRIMPING TRIP
If a leisurely, calm boat ride along the Biloxi Shore sounds up your alley, a 70-minute ride on The Sailfish with Biloxi Cruise Company is what you’re after. The tour guides are witty and knowledgeable, making the time on the boat fly by. But trolling the water with a shrimping net and finding what’s caught is fascinating.
During my time on the boat, we were able to hold crabs, see shrimp, and learn the backstory of the Mississippi Gulf Shore. The boat offers two stories (one indoor, one open air) so you can choose if you want to take in the sun or stay in the shade.
5. VISIT THE GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE
Across the bridge in Ocean Springs, the Gulf Islands National Seashore is ideal for beautiful photos and calm beach areas, particularly Davis Bayou area. There’s a cute visitors center, a boat launch area, and a beautiful picnic spot.
Davis Bayou is open from 8am to dusk, so you’ll find plenty of opportunities for sunset photos.
6. SEE BEAUTY MADE FROM TRAGEDY
If you’re heading along Highway 90, particularly from west to east, make sure to look for the Katrina Tree Sculptures. Dozens Live Oaks that were once beautiful and lush have been turned into carved art masterpieces. Of course, if you’re driving the opposite way you’ll see them just fine, too, but you’ll have to cross over the median to park.
Using the coast as inspiration, the artists sculpted marine animals and objects into the wood and they’re worthy of a stop. On a side note, I love the fact that Highway 90 has plenty of free parking along its beach area.
And just in case you can’t make it in person, you can check the Katrina Tree Sculptures out virtually with Google Maps.
7. WANDER THROUGH A MUSEUM MADE FOR A LOCAL ART HERO
If MoMA and a marine museum had a baby, it would be the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Located in Ocean Springs, the WAMA gives props to the South’s most elusive artist. And by elusive, I mean rowing himself across the gulf to a deserted island type of elusive.
While his backstory is undeniably fascinating, his art is just as much. It has an earthy, almost tribal look and feel and his attention to detail was impressive. The multi-room museum was made for moseying and I found myself wandering from space to space and back again.
WHERE WE STAYED FOR OUR VISIT TO BILOXI, MS
Sure, you can stay in one of the lovely casinos in Biloxi when you visit, but there are other lodging options. And one of the coolest, The Roost in Ocean Springs, is just across the bridge and away from the hustle and bustle.
Each room is decorated similarly, but still with its own look and feel, and the property is calm and soothing. But, how so, you ask? It has a common outdoor area on the upper level to hang out and drink complimentary coffee. Our king bed was absolutely lovely and comfortable. Then, add in the fact that there’s a cat mascot (you know me, crazy cat lady) and I’m always on board.
As for its location, it was practically in the middle of everything we wanted to see and do. It’s a few-minute’s drive to Biloxi and to the Gulf Shores National Park so it was ideal for this road tripping duo.
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