Monday, February 8, 2016

Ultimate Guide To Experiencing The Mississippi Gulf Coast, The Pearl In An Oyster


Spanning a total of 12 cities along the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is like a glistening pearl inside an oyster that has yet to be discovered. While each of these cities has its own unique characteristic - from the charming Bay St. Louis to the beachfront Biloxi - one thing about the Mississippi Gulf Coast remains consistent across all cities: its perfect blend of natural beauty with exhilarating activities and genuine Southern hospitality will make you want to visit the region over and over again.

How to Get to Mississippi Gulf Coast

How to Get to the Gulf Coast
Located between Mobile and New Orleans, Mississippi Gulf Coast can be best reached from the nearby Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, the hub for those traveling from afar. The airport serves three major airlines including American Airlines, Delta, and United with direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Houston. You can also take a scenic, 1-hour drive along the coast from New Orleans to the west or Mobile to the east.

Where to Stay on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Suite-style lodging at the South Beach Biloxi Hotel & Suites

Suite-style lodging at the South Beach Biloxi Hotel & Suites
Sonheim Photography
While there are several casinos and mega hotels lined up along Beach Blvd. in Biloxi, opt for the cozy yet spacious South Beach Biloxi Hotel & Suites for a suite-style, family-friendly lodging. As Biloxi’s only hotel located directly on the beach, this all-suite hotel offers a breathtaking, panoramic view of the gulf from the balcony where you can watch the sun rise or catch a sunset. Some suites are also equipped with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and other amenities to provide a feel of being at home.

What to Do on Mississippi Gulf Coast

Revive the rich history at Beauvoir

Revive the rich history at Beauvoir
J.D.R. Hawkins
A former home of Jefferson Davis, the only President of the Confederate States of America, the beautifully restored Beauvoir is a majestic, 51-acre estate that features a rose garden, confederate soldiers’ cemetery, nature trails, and the Presidential Library. Revive the rich history of the American South by visiting the gulf-facing, National Historic Landmark where Jefferson Davis once wrote his memoirs.

Discover the coast from a new perspective withPaddles Up

Discover the coast from a new perspective with Paddles Up
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced paddle boarder, you can be at one with the water when you take a stand up paddle boarding or a yoga session with Paddles Up, which offers lessons, rentals, and retail in stand up paddle boards and accessories. Row out to the gentle gulf on a paddle board, where you can test your balance and strengthen your core, all the while discovering the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast from a whole new perspective.

Tour a craft brewery at Chandeleur Brewing Company

Tour a craft brewery at Chandeleur Brewing Company
Started by twin brothers Cain and Cam Roberds, Chandeleur Brewing Companyoffers tour and tasting at its brewery located in downtown Gulfport. With the purchase of a ticket, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at craft brewing and sample delicious beers made using the freshest malted barley, hops, and local ingredients. Try a sample of Surfside Wheat Ale, which has an interesting flavor profile of spicy Germany hops and fresh pineapple juice, or Curlew’s Toasted Coconut Porter, which is infused with a touch of coconut.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Deer Island

Enjoy the natural beauty of Deer Island
Bask in the natural beauty of Mississippi Gulf Coast by taking a quick boat ride or kayaking toDeer Island, which is located just a quarter mile away from the shore. Boasting rich resources and wildlife with beautifully conserved walking trails managed by theDepartment of Marine Resources, Deer Island recently welcomed a new, 170-foot pier on its north side to expand public access to the island and to promote eco-tourism on Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Learn about the Sea Life at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

Learn about the Sea Life at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
With the mission of preserving the maritime history and heritage of Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and photographs that focus on the wealthy sea life in the region. The newly built, three-floor museum features an array of exhibits that ranges from charter boats to shrimping to net making, as well as valuable artifacts like the original Ship Island lighthouse lens and the U.S.S. Biloxi bell.

Get pampered at Senses Spa and Salon

Get pampered at Senses Spa and Salon
IP Casino Resort
Rejuvenate your mind and body at Senses Spa and Salon at the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi. Indulge in spa treatments inspired by nature, including a full body massage based on traditional Swedish techniques of long strokes that soothe muscles and increase blood flow. Additionally, the spa offers a complete facial, manicure, and even a special treatment designed for men. You can also enjoy a relaxing sauna or work out at its state-of-the-art gym before your treatment.

Where to Dine on Mississippi Gulf Coast

Sweet and savory biscuits at The Greenhouse on Porter

Sweet and savory biscuits at The Greenhouse on Porter
The Greenhouse on Porter, a quaint cafe on the quiet west end of Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs, specializes in delectable, homemade biscuits (plain or sweet potato) with a rotating menu of special biscuits, such as onion biscuit roasted with cheddar and mushrooms or Louisiana strawberry biscuit with ricotta and citrus marmalade. Top it off with various fixin like pimento cheese, seasonal fruit jam, honey butter, or goat cheese fluff, and add a cup of pour over coffee for the perfect way to start your morning.

Innovative blend of cuisines at Corks & Cleaver

Innovative blend of cuisines at Corks & Cleaver
A Gulfport native, Chef David Dickensauge of Corks & Cleaver has worked at highly acclaimed restaurants across the country - from New York to Chicago to Miami - before packing his knives back to his roots to introduce the Deep South to his culinary ingenuity. Sourcing only the freshest ingredients, Corks & Cleaver highlights a creative menu with items that seamlessly fuses cuisines from around the world, including tuna poke over a bed of seaweed and edamame salad with kimchi puree and duck confit beignets with bok choy kimchi, smoked date marmalade, and cayenne powder sugar.

Seasonal menu with local ingredients at Vestige Restaurant

Seasonal menu with local ingredients at Vestige Restaurant
Featuring a constantly evolving menu that highlights local, seasonal ingredients,Vestige Restaurant in Ocean Springs serves modern American cuisine with a Southern flair. Start your meal with a couple small plates to share, including the tender, slow cooked pork cheeks over local rice risotto or house-made orecchiette pasta with garlic cream and parmigiano-reggiano. Highlights from the main course includes juicy, sous-vide pork chop with seasonal vegetables and pan-roasted fresh catch of the day with purple sweet potatoes.

Upscale dining in a historic house at Mary Mahoney’s

Upscale dining in a historic house at Mary Mahoney's
Located in the historic Old French House built in 1737, Mary Mahoney’s provides an upscale dining experience in one of the oldest homes in the U.S. Satisfy your hunger with the ultimate surf and turf menu of stuffed snapper, lobster, and filet mignon while enjoying the elegant ambiance of high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and open fireplaces. Don’t forget to leave room for Mary Mahoney’s famous bread pudding with rum sauce.

Island-style, patio dining with gulf view at Shaggy’s

Island-style, patio dining with gulf view at Shaggy's
With three locations across Mississippi Gulf Coast, Shaggy’s is a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. This family-friendly, beachfront restaurant offers fresh seafood, burgers, and drinks on a colorful patio with a stunning view of the gulf. Enjoy shareable appetizers like fried green tomatoes topped with house-made remoulade and crab meat or blackened shrimp or a platter of boiled, cajun-spiced crawfish. Beach tacos with an assortment of seafood or meat selections like blackened mahi, fried oyster, or pulled pork enhance Shaggy’s lively, island ambiance.

Finger-licking, authentic Southern barbecue at Murky Waters BBQ

Finger-licking, authentic Southern barbecue at Murky Waters BBQ
Get ready to use all 10 fingers while enjoying authentic, Southern barbecue at Murky Waters BBQ. Murky Waters smokes everything from tender brisket to fall-off-the-bones ribs for an ultimate BBQ experience. Try three different types of homemade BBQ sauces, including regular (sweet), spicy, and vinegar, and mix + match different sides like baked beans, fried okra, and sweet potato fries to create the perfect meal. The restaurant also hosts some of the south’s most renowned Blues musicians.