By: Thrillist Travel


Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi, Mississippi

Population: 45,968
Folks wrongly assume Biloxi's nothing more than a bunch of casinos sitting on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. And, yes, the city's skyline is dominated by the IP, Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, and others. But beyond the gambling, this small city is easily the best tourist destination in Mississippi. While it's not typically considered part of the American paradise that is the Redneck Riviera, the beaches here boast the same white sand and calm waters as their Florida and Alabama neighbors, with a fraction of the people. But just swimming in the ocean only nets you half of the experience; an afternoon spent on a shrimping boat or an oyster schooner is the best way to ensure you bring fresh fish to one of the dozens of area restaurants that'll cook it up for you.

During the summer, hit the Hard Rock for an afternoon pool party. It's not going to be like Rehab in Vegas, but that’s part of the charm. Coming to Biloxi is seeing the real South... and the young professionals and party people who visit for the weekend make this as much of a cultural experience as a vacation. You'll find the same when you go out at night, where casual bars like Adventures and The Ole Biloxi Fillin' Station are filled with friendly Mississippians happy to tell you all about life on the delta.

Must eat & drink: Gumbo at Mary Mahoney's Old French House, a Bloody Mary at Ole Biloxi Fillin' Station, a fried shrimp po-boy at Rosetti's Café in Quality Poultry and Seafood

Don't leave without: Going out on a shrimping boat. Or, if you'd rather not work so much, just take a Biloxi oyster schooner at sunset. -- Matt Meltzer
MORE: Discover why the "Redneck Riviera" is an American treasure


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