Along the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi shore lies the beautiful city of Biloxi. One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Biloxi was settled in 1699, when sailors reached the Mississippi Sound. Today, Biloxi still retains its authentic Southern charm with miles of beautiful beaches, lots of outdoor recreation, championship golf courses, historic sights and 24-hour casino resorts. Did I mention award-winning seafood restaurants, where much of the fish comes from straight out the back door? It doesn’t get much fresher than this.
What to Do
Climb to the top of the Biloxi Lighthouse for expansive views as far as you can see. Tours are offered daily. Sail with the two replica Schooners along the Biloxi coastline. To learn more about the fishing industry, head to the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum for exhibits on boatbuilding and seafood-processing. For a hands-on experience, try the Biloxi Shrimping Trip and go out on the water to see how they net the fish.
WUT SUP is the place to go for outdoor water sports, including waverunners/jetskis, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and bicycles. Captain Dan navigated his pontoon boat through Gulfport Lake and pointed out amazing wildlife and unique bird species. Learn about the various eco-systems along the Pascagoula River at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. Go on a swamp boat ride and discover a diverse range of plants and animals as you speed through the water.
The city has restored many historic sites, including Beauvoir, the estate of Confederate president, Jefferson Davis and the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.
Where to Eat
How can you miss “Slap Ya Momma’s BBQ Smokehouse” right on Beach Blvd.? This local favorite serves up wood-smoked meats, Southern side dishes like potato salad made with sour cream and cold brews, all in a funky, colorful joint. Dine at the Half Shell Oyster House for upscale-casual Southern seafood serving oysters, Po’ boys and steak. For a taste of authentic Cajun, try the Cajun Crawfish Hut with fried seafood and other delectable Cajun dishes at this informal eatery on stilts.
Photo courtesy of Tate K Nations, Half Shell Oyster House
Beau Rivage – Enjoy Warm, Southern Hospitality
Photo courtesy of Beau Rivage
As you drive up to this stately hotel, you’re welcomed by a lovely outdoor “floral sign” heralding the season. But Beau Rivage, which means “beautiful shore,” is designed with the same elegant gardens inside as well. This iconic AAA Four Diamond beachfront resort and casino, part of MGM Resorts International, has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as one of the country’s top resorts. And for good reason. Standing 32 stories high, the hotel features 1,740 rooms and suites, fine dining, casual restaurants, a buffet and coffee bar, luxury spa, pool with glorious views of the gulf and a championship golf course, Fallen Oak, about 15 minutes away as well as a bustling convention center. The 85,000 foot casino includes 83 table games, almost 2000 slot machines and a luxury high-roller salon. Beau Rivage brings top-notch entertainment like Jay Leno, Tony Bennett, B.B. King and The Beach Boys to the venue. Or hear live music in the bars. What I really enjoyed were the special classes like floral design, crafting cocktails and cooking classes with wine pairings. My suite faced the water with exquisite views of the pool and beach, beckoning me to come down and explore. But first, I had to stop at the shopping corridor where I brought home some great Beau Rivage gifts.
Shopping Promenade at Beau Rivage. Photo courtesy of Beau Rivage
Biloxi is a city where you can spend a lot of time soaking up the sun, enjoying wildlife and water, trying your luck in the casino or learning more about U.S. history. For more information, visit the gulfcoast website.