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Since Hurricane Katrina basically wiped Coastal Mississippi off the map in 2005, the nine beach communities along this shore of the Gulf of Mexico have undergone a dramatic makeover. What has emerged is a vacation destination that’s garnering rave reviews from vacationers from all over the world. With 62 miles of white-sand beaches, this might be the perfect place for your next girlfriend getaway.

Whether your idea of fun is a private rental where y’all won’t see another soul or fun, funky, artsy towns with something popping every night of the week, Coastal Mississippi offers world-class casinos, museums, shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars, parks, festivals, and tons of fun on its rivers, lakes, bays, and the beautiful gulf itself.


Picture this. You and your girlfriends show up to your own private, fine-dining experience right on the beach, complete with a bonfire, solar-powered lights, and a sound system. Belly Up Beach Chairs in Ocean Springs can make it happen at Or book a ferry out of Gulfport with Ship Island Excursions at MSShipIsland. com. Enjoy some dolphin spotting as you travel 11 miles out into the Mississippi Sound and set up your beach chair on one of America’s last undeveloped barrier islands.

Enjoy kayaking, pedal boating, or birdwatching on the Pascagoula River through The Pascagoula River Audubon Center at Take an airboat ride and feed alligators at the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch at Or rent jet skis, paddle boards, or aqua cycles at You can even book a 70 minute group shrimping trip through


Is there an art lover in your group? Plan a trip to The Walter Anderson Museum of Art in beautiful, walkable Ocean Springs or The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art on the waterfront in Biloxi. Take a group pottery class there then make a trip to Peter Anderson’s famed pottery studio, Shearwater. Or stroll Old Town Bay St. Louis and pop into Gallery 220 featuring the art of 25 inspired local artists. Visit WalterAndersonMuseum. org,, and for more information.


With its proximity to New Orleans (an hour west), Coastal Mississippi takes its cuisine seriously. Whether you’re enjoying finger food from food trucks or fine dining in a restaurant, you’ll find fresh-off-the-boat seafood at every turn. Coastal Mississippi is home to two James Beard semifinalists, Austin Sumrall of White Pillars Restaurant in Biloxi, and Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs. Both chefs embrace locally raised and sustainably sourced ingredients and gulf-to-table menus. and

For glamorous dining, try the Hotel Legend’s Sapphire Supper Club reminiscent of supper clubs of the 30s and 40s. Or let your hair down at Jourdan River Steamer, which features lobster, royal reds, crab legs, and a breathtaking view of its eponymous river. Check out and for more details.


You might want to bring along an extra suitcase because a trip to Coastal Mississippi is sure to include a lot of shopping. The nine communities are home to a seemingly endless number of boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops, and antique shops. There’s also an outlet mall in Gulfport and “the world’s biggest” flea market-in Pass Christian.


If you’re interested in a little nightlife and especially live music, Coastal Mississippi does not disappoint. In any one of the beach communities, you’ll find bars, clubs, cocktail lounges, juke joints hopping with live, local talent, and the casinos pulling in national acts. Or book a sunset cocktail cruise at


Coastal Mississippi was a playground for New Orleans families with summer homes for centuries. Many of the homes that escaped Hurricane Katrina have been converted into B and Bs. Or if you’d rather be in the thick of things, consider Pearl Hotel in Bay St. Louis. Right on Beach Boulevard, the family-owned and operated boutique hotel lands you in the heart of the idyllic beach community with a perpetual breeze off the bay and shopping, dining, and nightlife just outside your door.

That’s just a taste of all Coastal Mississippi has to offer. Visit to discover award-winning spas and salons, nationally ranked casinos, golf courses and Top Golf, the Mississippi Aquarium, and dozens of seasonal festivals. Hey, save a beach chair for me!


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