Think long, sparkling strips of white-sand beaches for miles along the heart of Mississippi's Gulf Coast and boats along the harbor, their masts bopping along the watery horizon behind rows of palm trees. It's an image that doesn't ever go obsolete, never seems better on a screen and provides so much more than just a pretty view. Those who visit Gulfport do so largely because speed boating, fishing and kayaking in the bayous are all year round. On dry land, the casino industry is booming and there are tons of great golf courses from which to catch a calming view while practicing swings.
Gulfport itself shares a rich and storied history and culture with its geographical cousin, New Orleans. Its history of hurricanes proves its resilience, and the cultivated dishes of crawfish, shrimp, catfish and jambalaya can be found all over Gulfport.
Photo by marttj/Flickr.
This southern American fun-zone comprises a unique seafood restaurant, a steakhouse, one of the best buffets on the coast, an impressive amphitheater with an indoor and outdoor bar and lounge and a hot schedule of up and coming acts, 565 rooms and suites, and 83,000 square feet of gaming. That's a lot of fun and few reasons to go outside. Oh, but here's one: a professionally designed 18-hole championship golf course spanning 6,600 yards which includes a driving range and practice facility, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Island View Casino Resort is a destination all on its own for those looking for an exciting time, a relaxing escape, and a place for adults to play – any way they want.
Known far and wide as Mississippi's oldest golf course, this nine-hole course dates back to 1910 as an addition to the Great Southern Hotel. In the last century, this little golf course overlooking the gulf has attracted great names of golf like Walter Hagen, Buck White, Henry Cotton, and even great American figures like Woodrow Wilson, who played the Great Southern Golf Club every single day through the Christmas holiday of 1913. But here's why players today still think it's the cat's pajamas: sprawling greens with stupendous views of the Mexico and Mississippi Sound, a huge and luxurious 4,800-square-foot club house, recent updates to keep it at PGA standards, and of course, the lingering feeling that when one putts on these greens, they are in the company of American legends.
The first children's museum in Mississippi, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, is composed of 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, six acres of outdoor play space, and space for workshops, camps and parties. Their playscape seeks to enhance educational and social skills with hands-on exhibits about history, diverse cultures and science. Kids get to check into the Mississippi City History Hotel and learn more about Mississippi City in the 1890s, discover the wonders of steam locomotives in their Dolan Avenue Depot or play around in the child-sized TV newsroom as a wetlands Investi-Gator or wander around their outdoor Solar Sunflowers. There's no funner place in Gulfport than the Discovery Center!
Photo via their official FB page.
When bakers are picky with their ingredients, it doesn't take much else to make their final product beautiful – just some tasteful arrangement and shaping. A fresh strawberry dipped in sugar doesn't need much gussying up, after all. So the idea behind Fleur De Lis is just as simple: fresh fruit, quality ingredients, and only Belgian chocolate go into their cakes. Of course, the artists behind these cakes happen to be experts at it, having poured years, up to decades of their lives into crafting delectable edibles. Visitors to Gulfport looking to sink their teeth into soft, pillowy, six layers of yellow cake and ganache ought to head on over to Fleur de Lis Gourmet Bakery.
Photo via their official FB page.
The Almanett Hotel and Bistro fuses all of the intimacy and whimsical decor of a bed and breakfast with the top-quality amenities of a luxury hotel. Within their elegant complex, six ornately outfitted rooms along with a private cottage feature Juliette balconies, fireplaces in some, and views overlooking the gulf. Their bistro serves expertly executed New Orleans-style cuisine, a gorgeous patio and occasional live music. Perfect for a romantic weekend or a festive family stop-over, the Almanett Hotel & Bistro is the perfect Gulfport inn!