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Overview

Stretching along 26 miles of white sandy beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast is totally different from the rest of Mississippi. Dominated by gigantic casinos, seafood shacks and traffic cruising up and down the highway between Gulfport and Biloxi, the coast is all about fun, salt air and relaxation. Hard hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and much forgotten about in the shadow of New Orleans, the area bounced back with surprising speed. Most of the "floating" casinos that were almost totally wiped out have been rebuilt. Back are the kids in their sunhats building sandcastles on the beach; back are the Vietnamese fishermen ...

Stretching along 26 miles of white sandy beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast is totally different from the rest of Mississippi. Dominated by gigantic casinos, seafood shacks and traffic cruising up and down the highway between Gulfport and Biloxi, the coast is all about fun, salt air and relaxation. Hard hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and much forgotten about in the shadow of New Orleans, the area bounced back with surprising speed. Most of the "floating" casinos that were almost totally wiped out have been rebuilt. Back are the kids in their sunhats building sandcastles on the beach; back are the Vietnamese fishermen heading out in shrimp boats; and back are the city slickers in town for a weekend of gambling. Even the four offshore barrier islands that compose the Gulf Islands National Seashore are back to their glistening selves. The area is replete with tacky tourist shops, funky little museums, neon-lighted casinos and luscious golf courses. It is a fun place that never takes itself too seriously.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The Gulf Coast has pleasant weather year-round, with spring and summer the busiest times of the year.