The summer season is heading into its final weeks, but there’s still plenty of time and sunshine waiting for travelers to plan a budget friendly summer getaway to Coastal Mississippi.
With 62 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, including 26 miles of white sand beaches and 12 coastal communities, there’s experiences for travelers of every age. From popular outdoor experiences like kayaking, hiking, birding, and golfing, to seasonal events and sports outings, the Gulf Coast is the perfect place to wind down the summer season. This hidden coastal gem also offers fewer crowds than other destinations, creating an ideal getaway for any last-minute summer trips.
“We’ve curated a large list of experiences and itinerary ideas that travelers can squeeze in before the summer season ends,” said Judy Young, CEO of Coastal Mississippi Tourism. “With attractions, hotels, and restaurants to please every budget, our destination is perfect for travelers still looking to fit in one last trip before the summer ends – without the big-ticket prices and crowds.”
Gulf Coast Wildlife & Waters:
The Tri-County coastal region of Mississippi offers travelers an abundance of wildlife and waterfront experiences to choose from. From resource centers to trails, beaches and more, here are a few must-see stops for summer 2023:
Visitors can experience birding and botanizing at Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve & Coastal Resource Center. While you’re there, keep your eyes peeled for aquatic and marine mammals such as river otters and bottlenose dolphins.
For magnificent views of the Mississippi coastline, barrier islands, and marine life, visitors can join Captain Jim and Captain Chris on the North Star Sailing Charters for a day on the water. The charter offers morning, afternoon, and sunset charters of two and a half, four and six hours in length.
Located right off the coast of Biloxi, Deer Island Coastal Preserve offers travelers the opportunity to boat, canoe or paddleboard. Visitors can find white sand beaches and explore the 400-acre island home to ten endangered animals and plants, such as the Mississippi Sandhill Crane, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Gopher Tortoise.
For extended trips on Coastal Waters, Eco-Tours of South Mississippi offers interpretive tours ranging from two to eight hours across natural habitats, such as cypress swamps and salt marshes of the lower Pascagoula River or the coastal barrier islands. Additionally, travelers can book a two-hour sunset cruise to truly take in the scenery Coastal Mississippi offers.
Travelers looking for a waterfront experience on the wild side can visit Gator Ranch & Airboat Swamp Tours in Moss Point. At Gator Ranch, travelers can experience anything and everything from finding some of the oldest and largest gators, hand feeding gators up close and personal, viewing the abundant bird life on the Gulf Coast and more.
New Locations & Experiences:
Travelers to Coastal Mississippi can find a host of different eateries offering fresh gulf-to-table seafood and prime sunset views of the Mississippi Sound and Back Bay. A few new must-see options include:
In Long Beach, travelers can now visit a new outpost recently opened this summer, The Juicy Caboosy, which brings snacks and drinks to beachgoers. The location, literally built inside the caboose of an old railway train, features sips and bits from cocktails and cold-pressed juices to burgers, acai bowls and more.
Located on Highway 90 in Pascagoula and just opened this summer, Heladeria La Frescura offers visitors a refreshing, unique way to experience desserts from crepes, ice creams or a duro preparado plate. The colorful Mexican ice cream shop is a must-see stop for any dessert lovers.
An ultra-lounge offering live entertainment that has long been a crowd-favorite in Biloxi, Martini’s, has recently launched their new “Bar Bingo Nights” on Tuesdays. Savvy visitors can pair this with happy hour specials from 4-6 PM on weeknights and brunch on the weekends for a perfect summer stop.
For a unique dining experience with dishes featuring fresh ingredients and authentic recipes, travelers can visit the Lucky Noodle located within the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis. This restaurant, which opened in late April this year, features traditional Vietnamese dishes prepared by expert chefs, from pho to specialty noodle soups and banh mi.
Ideas for Sports Enthusiasts:
In Coastal Mississippi, the weather stays warm all year round, but in the summer, sports enthusiasts can truly take advantage of all the coast has to offer:
Want to hit the links? With over 12 golf courses, there is something for every skill level. Two of these include The Oaks Golf Club, an 18-hole course offering over 7,000 yards named “Best Courses You Can Play” by Golf Week Magazine many times, and Grand Bear Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus-designed layout widely considered to be among the South’s most spectacular courses.
For pickleball lovers, or travelers who want to give the sport a go, various locations across the Gulf Coast offer play-in opportunities. The Popp’s Ferry Recreational Area in Biloxi offers 12 outdoor courses for visitors, Broadmoor Park in Gulfport offers an outdoor course available for play-in every day, and War Memorial Park Courts in Pass Christian offers two lighted courts open for play-in games. For all course information, please see the link here.
Located on the scenic Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, MGM Park, who’s home to The Biloxi Shuckers, offers visitors a popular yet budget-friendly outing with 4,500 seats, 12 suites, two open-air party decks and a luxury club. Fans and visitors to Coastal Mississippi can find games throughout the summer to watch the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Hottest Events of the Summer:
One-of-a-kind events are happening every day across Coastal Mississippi’s 12 communities, from live musical performances to museum specials and more. Here’s a few highlights for summer’s end:
Events are better when they’re free, which is why the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport started the “Free Friday Nights” event for guests from 5-8 PM. Families can visit the 15,000 sq. ft. children’s museum for interactive exhibits, outdoor play areas and more.
At Ground Zero Blues Club, co-owned by legendary actor Morgan Freeman, travelers to the Gulf Coast can attend the “Musicians With a Mission” event on July 16 to help support Back Bay Mission. The musical acts at Ground Zero include live blues from The Chitlins, Hank Berumen and Royal Horses.
On July 21, the Downtown Pascagoula’s Block Party will host its third Friday celebration on Main Street with a festival-style event featuring live music, children’s activities, vendors, and restaurant specials from local businesses.
On July 29, Gulfport will celebrate its 125th anniversary with games, bounce houses, food trucks, and more. Starting at 5:30 PM, guests can join the community parade, then find live entertainment preceding the event and fireworks to cap off the summer night.
On July 21, Ocean Springs will host its Annual July Sidewalk Sale, hosted by the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, from 10 AM – 5 PM throughout the downtown area. At the event, visitors can find upwards of 100 local businesses with deals, drinks, food and more, including BOGOs and up to 70% off.
Hosted by Moss Point Main Street at the Waterfront Café, travelers can enjoy food trucks and vendors, live music and entertainment from local acts in the region. Events will occur throughout the rest of the summer months, and guests can join the fun by boat, car, or simply by bringing a chair. For more information, visit the link here.
With experiences for every traveler, Coastal Mississippi will surely delight year-round, but especially before the summer’s end when other destinations may be flooded with crowds. Travelers can start planning their final 2023 summer getaway at CoastalMississippi.com.