Life’s a Beach in Mississippi

When you think of Mississippi, you never really think of beaches now do you? Well you should. The Magnolia State has some of best beaches in the United States. In total, there are 62 miles of beaches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including the world’s longest man-made beach — a whopping 26 miles long. And considering Mississippi’s relatively low population, they’re pretty much uncrowded too.

Mississippi Gulf Coast beach

But that doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of things to do. If you’re researching family beach vacations, add the Mississippi Gulf Coast to your shortlist. Here are some reasons why.

The Wildlife

Gulls Ship Island Mississippi

Despite some recent setbacks (we’re looking at you Hurricane Katrina) the area is recovering nicely and wildlife is abundant once again in the area. Cranes, pelicans, gulls, and playful bottlenose dolphins are some of the critters you’ll have no trouble spotting. For an added treat, check out the The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport and their “Take a Dip with a Dolphin” program. If you’re not up for getting wet,  they also offer dolphin petting and dolphin feeding programs suitable for all ages.

The Water Sports

Beach in Mississippi Gulf Coast

Whether it’s kayaking, parasailing, stand-up paddle boarding, or just renting a beach chair so you have some place to rest up between swims, a variety of beach vendors along the coast have got you covered. If you’re in the market for a more unique water sport — alligator spotting — then look into an excursion with Gator Ranch & Airboat Swamp Tours. It’s home to the oldest alligator farm in Mississippi.

The Attractions

Sometimes even on the best planned Gulf coast vacations you’ve just got to pack up the sunscreen and head inside. For those few rainy days, there’s plenty to keep the kids (and the adults too!) entertained. The newly opened INFINITY Science Center at NASA’s Stennis Space Center is a 30 million dollar interactive attraction designed to make learning fun for all ages. Its focus is on the role that math and science place in exploration throughout history.

If you’ve wanted to learn everything there is to learn about shrimping, well there’s a museum for that too. Located in Biloxi, The Maritime & Seafood Museum boasts interactive exhibits on Mississippi’s shrimping and oystering industries, as well as displays demonstrating the importance of the wetlands.

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