Rather than split hairs between the adorable small towns that make up the Coastal Mississippi region in the southern part of the state, I’ll just mention a bit about each of them. Then, you can decide which one tickles your fancy.
Bay St. Louis
Bay St. Louis is the furthest west of the region towards Louisiana, a charming little area on the Gulf Coast that offers great eateries, cute boutiques and a lovely beach. Shopping at Fleurty Girl, with all things New Orleans-inspired, is a must, as well as visiting the other unique shops.
A look at the restaurants and shops in Bay St. Louis from the waterfront. Photo credit: Melody Pittman
Next comes Pass Christian, with a killer coffee shop (Cat Island), chartered fishing tours and epic sunset views from Shaggy’s.
Best known for the excellent casinos (think Hard Rock, Beau Rivage, Island Vibe and more), but the fishing and beaches are also big draws in Biloxi. It is also home to the Native American Cueva Indians. Be sure to try the great biscuits from Greenhouse Biloxi while you are there, and the kids will love a boat ride to Ship Island or touring the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum.
What makes Gulfport popular? It has the Gulf Islands Waterpark, Mississippi Aquarium and Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, one of Mississippi’s best children’s museums. Technically, both Gulfport and Biloxi have a larger number of residents to be classified as a small towns, but since they are in the area, you might as well visit both of these powerhouses, too.
In my opinion, Ocean Springs is the most upscale part of Coastal Mississippi, and with a darling downtown you won’t want to miss. It is a small town with a big city feel, minutes from Alabama. Boutique shopping is on point in Ocean Springs—you’ll find store after store of treasures. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is an excellent stop for beautiful artwork and education before getting sweet treats from The Candy Cottage and toy shopping at Miner’s Big Stuff Doll & Toy Store.
The Mississippi Aquarium is uniquely built with part of the exhibits inside and out. Photo credit: Melody Pittman
Discover Southern Traditions in the Magnolia State
A state of Mississippi road trip was a visual and tasty delight. It afforded my family a chance to experience Southern hospitality and friendly people who are grateful to share their history and towns with you. I’m sure you will discover a little something special in each of these Mississippi small towns.