The Gulf Coast region of America spans several different states, with the Mississippi portion curving into the coastline between Louisiana and Alabama. A long-time favorite destination for family beach holidays, the area has also gained popularity in recent years for its concentration of sparkling casino resorts on or near the water. Lodging choices are as varied as the communities themselves, with more than 12,000 rooms stretching from Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis through the larger cities of Biloxi and Gulfport, and all the way to the colorful small town of Pascagoula.
Though challenged by hurricanes and oil spills from offshore rigs, the Gulf Coast region is resilient, with visitors rarely abandoning its shore for very long. Hotels in the Mississippi portion of the Gulf run the gamut from mom-and-pop motels to moderately priced chain hotels, historic bed-and-breakfast inns and five-star luxury resorts. Many are either on or very near the sandy beaches, piers and docks, with easy access to local fishing expedition opportunities. The largest concentration of lodging is in Biloxi and Gulfport, which are lively, thriving beach communities known worldwide for the wild Gulf shrimp pulled daily from dozens of boats into local harbors and sold directly to visitors and locals alike.
Casino Resort Hotels
Of the eight casino resorts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, seven of them are in the city of Biloxi. Most are perched directly on Beach Boulevard, which parallels the ocean, with a trolley running between the casinos and various shops, restaurants and tourist attractions. The 32-story Beau Rivage towers over the Gulf of Mexico and the Back Bay with Spanish and Grecian marble floors, original art and top headline entertainment. The Grand Biloxi features an 18-hole championship Jack Nicklaus signature gold course, while the IP Resort caters to families with an elaborate arcade full of motorcycle-riding, car driving and shooting games.
Bed and Breakfast Inns
For individually owned properties that are tied to the local history or culture of Mississippi, try the bed and breakfast inns located in Long Beach or Pass Christian. The Red Creek Inn in Long Beach, built in 1899, is a three-story French cottage surrounded by ancient live oak and Magnolia trees and wrapped across the front with a 64-foot wooden porch and wicker rocking chairs. The historic 1920 Oak Crest Mansion in Pass Christian sits on 12 acres with a chapel, gazebo and pergola. Its five suites are filled with antiques, named for famous Mississippians like William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams.
Properties owned or operated by national corporations are numerous in Biloxi and Gulfport, catering to the thousands of tourists who choose not to stay in the casino resorts. Economy choices include a Super 8 and two Econo Lodge properties, one of which is near the Premium Outlets shopping center. For extended stays, Value Place has a location on Highway 49 in Gulfport with low weekly rates. Mid-range and upscale hotels include two Hampton Inns, the Four Points by Sheraton and the Fairfield Inn by Marriott.
- gulf coast at dusk image by palms from Fotolia.com