My recent tour of the South had three smaller towns stand out, including Biloxi, Mississippi.
Virtually everyone is aware of the massive destruction which Hurricanes Camille and, more recently, Katrina wreaked upon the Biloxi resort community when they tore through the community in 1969 and 2005, respectively. However, I am happy to report that both Biloxi and its residents have proven time and again to be strong-willed and highly resilient, and, after the expenditure of much money and effort, the city is yet again ready for memorable vacations. Yes, many of the lovely antebellum mansions which previously lined Beach Boulevard are now gone, but other historic structures like Mary Mahoney’s Old French House Restaurant, nearby boutiques further north on Magnolia Street, and the 1847 Magnolia Hotel are still alive and well.
Beauvoir, the 1852 estate of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, has undergone a major restoration, and the adjacent Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum is nearing completion. Biloxi also now boasts the finest municipal visitors’ center I have ever encountered. And, needless to say, there are nine bustling casinos and thousands of quality rooms awaiting travelers.
The area’s premier natural attraction also continues to attract countless visitors with its beauty and cleanliness. Biloxi is the gateway to Gulf Islands National Seashore for boating excursions to Southern Mississippi’s five barrier islands, Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island, and the splendid Davis Bayou Area just east of town. Hopefully it will be many, many years before another hurricane bears down upon the area, but the time is definitely now to include Biloxi in your travel plans.
Biloxi Lighthouse and Visitors’ Center
Beauvoir – Jefferson Davis Home
Magnificent beaches, Beau Rivage Casino Resort