Most have heard of New Orleans or the sugar sand and emerald waters of the Alabama and Florida panhandle beaches, but I’m willing to bet you are not aware of the natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and the serene atmosphere of the best kept secret on the U.S. Gulf Coast – Mississippi. Yes, Mississippi! You may have actually heard of our mini-Vegas called Biloxi or the monster hurricanes to have walked or stormed across our land in your lifetime – or perhaps not. We are so much more. Let me paint you a word picture in four parts.
I have not spent much time in Pascagoula (the name means, “Bread eater”). It is located on one of the best hunting/fishing locations in our nation, with thousands of unspoiled acres.
(2) Traveling west on U.S. Highway 90, the next important stop is the quaint, walking town of Ocean Springs. Home of the Anderson family of artist; Walter I. Anderson and the famous Shearwater Pottery Works. The Walter Anderson museum is a must see. The town has unique shops and restaurants galore. The first weekend of November is the Anderson Art Festival with easily 100,000 visitors annually.
Continuing on our westward trek, one must cross the Biloxi Bay and enter Casino Row in Biloxi, MS. The greatest concentration of casinos on the Mississippi with a few dotting towns further west in Gulf Port and Bay St. Louis.
There are a few deep water channels from which ships can enter the coast, the deepest is at the port of Gulf Port. The coast is sheltered by islands between our coast line and the deep, warm waters of the gulf. Most of these islands can be seen from the shore. Mississippi doesn’t have the emerald waters of the deep waters of the Alabama and Florida Panhandle coast because we have the mighty Mississippi River flowing closely into our gulf waters and because our area of the gulf is shallow.
Even without the emerald waters, you won’t find a more beautiful or quiet respite along the U. S. Gulf Coast. U. S. Highway 90 covers the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast. Driving west past Gulfport, these is not the traffic or the tourist stops or dozens of traffic lights. On the left side is sugar white sand beaches dotted with palm trees and sea oats. On the right are centuries-old Live Oak trees and wonderful historic homes for miles. You will still find many empty lots and foundation slabs left from hurricane Katrina.
To Be Continued. . .