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Mississippi Gulf Coast Tour
The Magnolia State’s Southern Coast
Enjoy a relaxing, fun, and oft-historic drive along southern Mississippi's coast. Cities like Moss Point, Biloxi, and Gulfport are excellent stopping points, as they yield full days of fun. From the historic attractions, to the excellent outdoor recreation along the water's edge, Mississippi's coast is a must-visit at any time of year.
This tour of coastal Mississippi will see you start off in Moss Point. Only a few miles inland from the waters of the Gulf, Moss Point is easily accessed from Interstate 10. Alternately, State Route 10 runs north and south directly through town.
Moss Point features several bodies of water within it's boundaries, including McInnis Lake, Bounds Lake, O'Leary Lake, and the Escatawpa River. Travel around Moss Point and discover some local highlights like the Sue Ellen Street Park, Bellview Park, and the Jackson County Ski Area – launching point for summer water skiing on O'Leary Lake.
Because you'll be so close to the coast, you'll have a wealth of bird watching chances. One of the destinations within Moss Point you simply cannot miss is the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. As the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, Pascagoula is headquartered north of downtown Moss Point, just off of I-10 along Frank Griffin Road.
Whether you're an experienced birder or just getting into it, you'll no doubt have a blast during your visit to Pascagoula River Audubon Center. You'll find elevated boardwalks and trails, ideal for spotting many of the native and resting fowl. There are Rain Gardens, aquarium displays, on-site demonstrations, and the Fine Art Nature Gallery.
Less than seven miles south from downtown Moss Point is the Old Spanish Fort Museum. Make this your next stop as you explore the city and surrounding attractions. You'll find it just inland from the shore of Krebs Lake, right on Lake Avenue and Fort Street. Built in 1721, this historic landmark is also known as LaPointe-Krebs House. It is known to be the oldest structure found within the Mississippi River Valley.
Before you depart from Moss Point on to your next destination, be sure to explore the always fun Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Established in 1999, Grand Bay NERR seeks to provide informed thoughts on the state of the Grand Bay, and the entirety of coastal Mississippi, through education, training, and research.
Some of the popular activities within Grand Bay NERR include nature photography and bird watching, paddling, boating, and fishing. Be sure to enjoy a stroll along the Oak Grove Birding Trail, and check out the free public boat launch found at the fishing pier near the end of Bayou Heron Road.
The middle portion of this road trip through coastal Mississippi will have you exploring Biloxi. The seat of Harrison County, Biloxi is less than 30 miles west of Moss Point. Your best bet for the drive will be I-10. Though a more scenic route might just be Highway 90, which will offer better views of the Biloxi Bay and Horn Island.
Biloxi can yield days filled with snake eyes, royal flushes, and 777 jackpots – there are many casinos you can visit in the area like the Beau Rivage Casino, and the nearby Boomtown Casino. Not to worry if gambling isn't your game – there's plenty to see and do in Biloxi.
One of the truly can't-miss sites in Biloxi is the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. This coastal Mississippi museum is dedicated to showcasing the ceramic works of George E. Ohr, better known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi." You'll find it located along Highway 90, near the Biloxi Yacht Club.
Plan your visit to the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art and check out many, if not all, of the installations and exhibits – some of those include the Mississippi Sound Welcome Center, the IP Casino Exhibitions Gallery, and the Gallery of African American Art.
The Biloxi Lighthouse is one of the state's most iconic and important landmarks. It's also your next destination within Biloxi. You can find this lighthouse south of downtown along Hwy 90. It's adjacent to the Biloxi Visitors Center, and the Old French Cemetery. The Biloxi Lighthouse was first lit in 1848, and is known for being kept and maintained by female keepers longer than any other lighthouse in the U.S.
This cast-iron lighthouse, the first of its kind in the South, offers daily guided tours. There's a small admission fee for adults, and a smaller one for kids, with discounts available for groups.
One of the premier outdoor destinations in all of Mississippi is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Enjoy the short and scenic drive along Hwy 90 heading east, or catch one of the many ferries transporting loads of visitors back and forth on a daily basis. The Gulf Islands National Seashore encompasses more than 135,000 acres.
Maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, Gulf Islands NS has much to see and do. Start your day at Gulf Islands with a tour of the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center, then head out for a full day of adventure – hiking trails, beaches, more bird watching, and fishing are all part of the fun at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
You're rounding third and heading into home – it's the last stop on this coastal Mississippi road trip. You've seen some of the very best attractions southern Mississippi has to offer, and things are only about to get even better. You'll venture west from Biloxi along Hwy 90 just 13 miles to find Gulfport. Living by its motto, "Where your ship comes in," Gulfport really is the most ideal place to end this trip.
Especially great for those families traveling with young kids, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is truly a can't-miss attraction in Gulfport. Open every day of the week except for Monday, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is 15,000 square feet of fun for the kids – cooking classes, art exhibits, and other edifying experiences!
Don't miss the action at Lynn Meadows – you can find it located east of downtown Gulfport along South Railroad Street, between Church Avenue and Tegarden Road. the WINGS Performing Arts series allows kids to interact with the performers, and there's also the Bear Book Club, and many different Girl Scout Badge Workshops.
Racing fans flock to the Gulfport Dragway, the premier race venue along the Mississippi coast. The Gulfport Dragway is a quarter-mile strip, where, throughout the year, you can find a whole host of exciting racing events. Found further inland along Racetrack Road and Canal Road, the Gulfport Dragway hosts the weekly series King of the Hill Wednesday Test & Tune. And each March, usually the third weekend, they host the King of the Coast Bracket 1/8 Mile Race.
Be sure to travel with your clubs during this trek through coastal Mississippi – you'll want to book a tee time at the Great Southern Golf Club. Found along Hwy 90, this course is truly exceptional. On top of yielding some of the most stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, Great Southern Golf Club offers fun and unique challenges for all skill levels.
18 holes and a par of 71 help make Great Southern Golf Club a premier outdoor destination in Gulfport. Open to the public, this course plays to a max length of 6,214 yards from the back tees, and features a slope rating of 124, with a course rating of 70.4. It's also one of the oldest courses in the state, having been opened in 1908.