The sleepy Gulf Coast town of Biloxi became a gambler's paradise in the early 1990s after casinos were legalized in Mississippi. The area suffered a setback in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed nearly all of the casinos but bounced back quickly afterwards. Several casinos and hotels now dot the beach along the Gulf of Mexico.
Two main varieties of hotels exist along the casino row in Biloxi -- casino resorts and chain hotels. Chains with locations here include the likes of Sheraton, Hampton Inn. Ramada and Holiday Inn. Casino resorts on the gulf include Treasure Bay, Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, Grand Casino, Isle of Capri and Palace Casino. Biloxi's other casino hotel -- Imperial Palace -- is on the Back Bay.
The chain hotels generally offer basics such as pools and free continental breakfasts. Some, such as Hampton Inn, offer other amenities such as a spa and fitness center. The casino hotels tend to offer more extras. The Beau Rivage, for example, includes a salon, plenty of fine dining options, plenty of shoppes and a large pool area with cabanas that can be rented for the day. Hard Rock features a nightclub and concert hall with frequent live entertainment.
If you plan to gamble while in Biloxi you might find staying at a casino hotel more convenient since you do not need to leave the premises to hit the slots or trade bluffs in the poker room. Unlike the Strip in Las Vegas, for example, casinos and other attractions are quite spread out along the beach on Highway 90 in Biloxi, making a car a necessity if you plan to do some touring.
The Biloxi Lighthouse near Beau Rivage became a symbol of the resilience of the area when it remained relatively undamaged by Katrina (and was subsequently featured on Mississippi's license plates.) Beauvoir, the retirement home of Jefferson Davis, suffered major damage from the hurricane but has since been restored. The beach in Biloxi proves to be a popular place for a stroll, but the water is not very clean, and you rarely see people swimming here.
- "American Casino Guide 2010 Edition"; Steve Bourie; 2009