By Mark Chesnut

Meeting planners looking to wow groups with stunning water views and mouthwatering cuisine will find plenty of options in the southeastern U.S.

The region’s postcard-perfect waterfronts and beaches are a perfect complement to cuisine that ranges from fresh-caught seafood and local specialties to sophisticated menus from the far reaches of the globe.

Here are a few of the tastiest options around the Southern shores.


Mississippi Gulf Coast
Spanning the southern Mississippi counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is dotted with unique opportunities for planners to infuse their programs with tasty food and photogenic water scenes.

“When you visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you’ll discover Southern hospitality at its finest,” said Janice Jefferson, director of sales at Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“The region’s temperate climate, along with its 62 miles of scenic shoreline and astounding natural beauty, makes for the perfect year-round coastal destination,” she said.

There is an incredible amount to do, see and experience across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she added, from outdoor activities such as kayaking, boating, fishing and hiking, to a wide variety of attractions, museums and events.

“When it comes to food, this is the place to be,” Jefferson said. “From coastal seafood shacks to fine dining, we’ve got it all.”

Waterfront venues include The Reef, a restaurant in Biloxi where the Sky Bar offers a scenic spot to dive into locally caught seafood. For culinary events with a cultural twist, consider the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi, where attendees can sample local menus while enjoying views of the Mississippi Sound and exploring maritime exhibits.

And at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, groups can sign up for cooking classes.

Groups looking to head out onto the water along the Mississippi Gulf Coast can consider a 70-minute Biloxi shrimping trip excursion, which can include a shrimp boil, or the Betsy Ann Riverboat, which offers dinner cruises.


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