By: Barbara and Jim Wardowski
The music to Disco Inferno repeatedly played during our 21 rounds of bonus games on a slot machine at Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, Mississippi. The sun-drenched beach casino with floor-to-ceiling windows looks out on the Mississippi Sound. The new $75 million expansion is smoke-free.
Across the highway and accessible by a pedestrian bridge, the North Tower Casino allows smoking. The combined square footage of the property’s casinos gives them bragging rights to the largest casino floor in the state.
The Island View Casino Resort has 970 guest rooms. On a Saturday morning, we checked into a wheelchair-accessible studio suite located in the Beach Tower, a completely non-smoking property. The large room contained two queen size beds, a flat-screen television, mini-fridge, coffee maker and complimentary WiFi. The faux wood flooring proved an excellent choice for accessible guestrooms. The bathroom provided ample turning radius for a wheelchair user and a roll-in shower. The hotel provides valet parking or complimentary self-parking.
After settling in, we walked across the pedestrian bridge to shop at the outdoor Beach Boulevard Market. About a dozen white tents were lined up in front of the resort with vendors selling jewelry, art, baked goods and other handmade items. We enjoyed a complimentary cup of vanilla ice cream covered with fresh strawberries in a balsamic reduction sauce courtesy of the resort’s chef. The market is open every Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m. across the street from Coast Candymakers. The tiny candy store is packed with sweet treats, and you can watch some items being made from scratch.
Using the free My Gulf Coast app, we found a list of museums along coastal Mississippi. We picked the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, which covers 300 years of history and houses hundreds of artifacts. You’ll learn how a shrimp-peeling machine was invented and the impact of hurricanes on the coast. The building provides lovely views of Biloxi Bay.
Needing an afternoon coffee, we returned to the resort and sat outside at Dockside Deli. The wind was fierce, but we enjoyed the view of the Mississippi Sound and the Beach Tower saltwater pool on the sundeck below. There’s another, much larger, pool with private cabanas at the North Tower. Both resort pools are for hotel guests who are 21 and older.
For dinner, we ate at Prime Cut. The restaurant opened last summer during the Beach Tower expansion. We began our meal with the rich crab and cheese bruschetta melt followed by the restaurant’s signature Spinning Salad. Our server prepared the item tableside in a huge stainless-steel bowl. The salad composes lettuce, spinach, bacon, diced eggs, tomatoes and crispy chickpeas covered with a creamy Dijon Parmesan dressing. Of course, beef is a menu staple, but patrons can order locally caught seafood. Be sure to ask for a window seat to enjoy beach views.
After dinner, we headed to the casino. Having never been to Island View, we joined The Insider Players Club. New members receive $15 for slot play and a $15 food credit. The Beach Casino has two bars. Gulf Breeze Daiquiris serves frozen beverages 24 hours a day. The Beach Casino Showbar serves cocktails and beverages. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday there is live entertainment. On the Saturday night we visited, a band stationed on top of the bar performed hits from the 1980s, enticing a few couples to pause from gambling and begin dancing.
Sunday morning, we grabbed coffees and muffins for the road at the Beach Coffee Shop. Our 24-hour visit to coastal Mississippi was over. Next time, we might just need to stay a little longer.
Island View Casino Resort
3300 W. Beach Blvd.
Gulfport, MS 39501
tel 877 774 8439
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