Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Coastal Mississippi; however, all opinions are my own as we had a great experience and lots of fun on our trip.
Why Your Family Should Visit Coastal Mississippi for a Weekend Getaway
Having lived in Southeast Louisiana my entire life, many memories were made on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi … from camping at Buccaneer State Park and going to the wave pool as a child to attending the many shows and concerts at the local casinos as an adult.
So when the opportunity arose for us to take a weekend trip to the coast, I couldn’t wait to relive some of those memories as well as create new ones with my own family. When I received the itinerary for the weekend, I was excited to see that all of the attractions listed were new to us and was looking forward to checking them all out!
Here are four reasons why you and your family should visit Coastal Mississippi ::
If your family is looking for a quick weekend getaway that’s not too far from home but allows you to escape everyday life, look no further than Coastal Mississippi! Just about a two hour drive, depending on where you live in Southeast Louisiana, you can load the kids in the car and head that way after school and work on a Friday and be home in time to prepare for the week ahead on Sunday evening!
Coastal Mississippi arranged for us to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott – Gulfport Beachfront Hotel for the weekend. It was conveniently located on East Beach Blvd in Gulfport not far from local restaurants and attractions. After our adventures each day, we were able to cross the street for a leisurely walk along the white sandy beach.
Kid Friendly Fun
INFINITY Science Center
I don’t know how many times we have passed the INFINITY Science Center and said “we should visit there one day” so I was excited to see this was the first stop on our way to Mississippi. The first floor holds the Earth Gallery which features a Hurricane Prediction Lab, Deep Ocean Explorer and Inundation Station, just to name a few. On the second floor, you’ll find the Space Gallery with Apollo Era space suits, the main engine parts of a space shuttle and even moon rock! We are planning to head back to the center this summer to check out the NASA Stennis Space Center Bus Tour and catch a showing at the X-Sphere-Ience Theater. (Note :: the INFINITY Science Center is closed on Sundays so make sure to schedule this at the beginning of your trip!)
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
Many friends have recommended the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center to us over the years, and I’ll admit I’m kind of sad we just now made time to check it out. Their indoor exhibit is two stories with 15,000 square feet of fun for all ages. My seven year old had to try out EVERYTHING and jumped from “The Little Pet Vet” to “The Market” to “It’s a Matter of Science,” but the one exhibit she kept coming back to over and over again was the WLMDC – TV exhibit. She had a ball pretending to host a talk show, participate in a game show, and report the weather!
Ocean Adventures Marine Park
When they say “choose your adventure” at Ocean Adventures Marine Park, they aren’t kidding! We spent Saturday afternoon touching the stingray in their 12′ deep ray pool, feeding parakeets in the Tweeter Post, and watching the sea lion and dolphins interacting with their trainers. They even host birthday parties! They are open 7 days a week, rain or shine from 9am – 4pm, with ticket sales closing at 2pm.
Biloxi Shrimping Trip
Before heading home on Sunday, Coastal Mississippi arranged for us to experience a shrimping expedition with the Biloxi Shrimping Trip. The crew was both informative and entertaining sharing fun facts about the shrimping industry and local marine life and how to operate the trawl correctly while TJ the Boat Dog delivered drinks to everyone on board. It’s important to note that five customers are needed for the boat to sail and cash is the only accepted form of payment.
We found ourselves in Downtown Ocean Springs on Saturday morning strolling through the farmer’s market, which is open each Saturday from 9am-1pm, rain or shine. We enjoyed chatting with the local vendors, learning about their trades, admiring the fresh produce, and tasting the homemade egg rolls and pralines. Along Washington Avenue, you’ll also find local boutiques with unique merchandise including The Candy Cottage, Blessons Boutique (the owner is from Louisiana!), Two Dogs Dancing, and more!
There is certainly no shortage of delicious restaurants to choose from while visiting Coastal Mississippi. And as we found out, sometimes the best meals can be found off the beaten path. On Saturday morning, we headed to breakfast at Greenhouse on Porter in Ocean Springs. There, we were greeted with a smile and enjoyed the best sweet and savory biscuits for breakfast with pour over coffee. For lunch, we dined at Eat, Drink, Love, which is located in the same building as The Roost Boutique Hotel. They not only serve lunch, but they also sell take and bake meals and cater brunch and lunch events around town. The charming Mockingbird Cafe in Bay St. Louis is another brunch option where their motto is “Happiness is Homemade” from the coffee to the biscuits to the chips that come with your sandwich!
One of our favorite meals on our trip was at Sal & Mookie’s in Biloxi. If you can imagine an ingredient on a pizza, it is on their menu! With so many options to choose from, we ended up ordering a half and half split with the Ragin’ Cajun and the Bobby Flay! They also offer local and regional craft beers on tap and ice cream for dessert!
Know Before You Go
- Coastal Mississippi is the official regional tourism entity representing Mississippi’s
three coastal counties (Jackson, Harrison and Hancock). Twelve cities, including Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Ocean Springs, make up these three coastal counties.
- My Gulf Coast is a free travel app that helps users locate attractions, restaurants, shopping,
and other points of interest that can be found at each Shrimp Sign posted along Highway 90.
Download for iOS and Android users today!
- Find itineraries, lodging options, attraction information and more by visiting their website HERE
or call Coastal Mississippi toll-free at 1-888-467-4853!