The sweet subject of Jimmy Buffett songs, Mardi Gras celebrations, and maritime history, it’s no wonder Biloxi is considered a hidden gem on Mississippi’s “Secret Coast.” Located only an hour and a half drive from New Orleans, Biloxi has a taste of the Big Easy with endless stunning views of the serene Gulf of Mexico.
Biloxi has “belonged” to six different nations, including France, Spain, and England, over the course of its history, not to mention being the traditional home of the Biloxi tribe, who have inhabited this area for thousands of years. If it isn’t already obvious, the city’s name comes from the Biloxi people themselves.
Hurricane Katrina hit Biloxi hard, but the Magnolia State has shown its resiliency in strides over the last 18 years. Many people moved away from the coast in the aftermath for fear of further hurricanes, but many also stayed to rebuild on her beautiful shores.
Biloxi has no shortage of fun and interesting things to do for intrepid beach-goers.
From historical monuments and nature preserves to flashy casinos and fine dining experiences, Mississippi’s Gulf Shores are a great example of what the American South has to offer in terms of entertainment and cultural experiences. Here are the best things to do in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Aerial image of Beau Rivage Biloxi Beach, Mississippi
Biloxi is home to eight world-class casinos, including the Beau Rivage Casino, Boomtown Casino, Golden Nugget Casino, Hard Rock Casino, Harrah’s Casino, IP Casino, Palace Casino, and Treasure Bay Casino.
It’s often called the “Vegas of the South” for its superb entertainment, dining, and gambling. Biloxi’s casinos contribute a huge chunk of the city’s tourism revenue, drawing gamblers from far and wide looking to get lucky. They host various casino games that guests can indulge in, such as roulette, slots, blackjack, and other table games.
Each casino provides a distinct gaming experience with different gaming options. For instance, those looking for a more upscale option with little expense to spare should consider Hard Rock, IP, or Beau Resort casinos.
2 Visit The City’s Historic Sites
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Biloxi, MS: Maritime Seafood Industry Museum
The area surrounding Biloxi has been inhabited for thousands of years and has seen French, Spanish, and English occupation and the Civil War, among other historical and cultural landmarks.
It’s a great place to uncover the American South’s often mystifying past.
Each historic site is interesting enough to deserve a spot on the itinerary. Tourists should plan their schedule to accommodate a tour of the historic venues.
3 Take The Kids To Gulf Islands Waterpark
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Night scene overlooking the Biloxi area of Highway 90 with the beach and traffic
Gulf Islands Waterpark is among the city’s top attractions and arguably the best place for a family fun day out in Biloxi. Rated among the largest water parks on the Gulf Coast, the venue guarantees guests endless unadulterated entertainment for all ages.
There are at least 10 slides and rides at the waterpark, each offering a unique adrenaline-rushing experience.
Besides the slides, the park organizes live entertainment and fun food events, serving hot dogs, pizzas, and hamburgers.
: $46.99 for 42” and taller, $29.99 for under 42”.
: 10 am – 6 pm but may vary by month
Tourists can visit the Gulf Islands Waterpark website to check the ticket prices for the different rides and operation hours of the planned visitation day.
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Sunset in Biloxi beach, Mississippi, along Gulf Coast shore
While Biloxi Beach is a beautiful strip of sand with tranquil cerulean water, venturing just a bit further afield pays off in dividends.
A popular destination for sunbathers is Ship Island, just a one-hour ferry ride from the main beach.
: Adult tickets are $36 during weekdays and $41 for weekends, while children will cost only $30 during the week and $35 on weekends.
Spring: March 18th to May 12th, Summer: May 13th to August 13th, Fall: August 16th to October 29th.
Unfortunately, vacationers traveling with their canine companions will have to leave them at the hotel as dogs are not allowed on the beach.
5 Attend A Biloxi Shuckers Game
View of the landmark Hard Rock Cafe restaurant and hotel with its guitar logo on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Watching a Biloxi Shuckers Baseball game at MGM Park is an excellent way to spend quality time in the city. Everyone knows that minor league baseball games are more fun than the major leagues, and Biloxi’s AA league, known as the Biloxi Shucker’s, is a blast!
The arena has a 6000-seat capacity, and local fans show up in numbers to cheer on their home team on game day. When not hosting America’s favorite pastime, MGM Park organizes concerts, shows, and other special events.
: Prices vary depending on the seat location, rivals, and day. However, they generally start at $8
Take advantage of guided tours on nongame weekdays to learn more about the stadium; just call in advance to book the tour. It costs $6 per person.
6 Explore Biloxi’s Abundant Nature
Biloxi Pier at sunset.
Biloxi might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of visiting the pristine wilderness. Still, the river delta, brackish marshes, and oak savanna surrounding the “Secret Coast” are unforgettable.
Biloxi was among the worst-hit cities after Hurricane Katrina. The storm flattened its casinos and damaged its iconic lighthouse, with hundreds losing their lives. In 2006, crew members from the Extreme Makeover television show built a 12-foot-tall memorial to honor the lives lost and remember the devastation caused by the catastrophe.
The memorial features a black granite slab with a mosaic wave and a light gray granite mark at the top to showcase the depth of the water in Biloxi at the height of the storm.
8 Learn A New Skill At The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
Biloxi, Mississippi Lighthouse.
The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is an exciting museum that sparks kids’ interest in acquiring new skills. The facility features a 15,000-square-foot exhibit space, with the indoor display comprising an art studio where the little ones use props and costumes to mimic different professions, such as vets and train operators.
Meanwhile, the outdoor exhibit consists of several sunflower structures, a treehouse village, and an interactive space allowing kids to imagine interacting with neighbors. The facility further hosts classes to impart different skills like art and cooking.
: $10 per person
: Open daily, 10 am – 5 pm (Sundays, Noon- 5 pm)
To save a few coins, visit the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for $6 on Sundays or for $3 after 3 pm on weekdays
9 Check Out The Biloxi Lighthouse
Biloxi Mississippi view of lighthouse
The Biloxi Lighthouse is a revered landmark and one of the most visited sites in the city. Completed in 1848, it’s among the first cast-iron lighthouses erected in the South and was run by the locals before the U.S. Coast Guard took over in 1939.
Despite suffering considerable damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it stands as a symbol of the city’s resilience in the face of adversity.
At the lighthouse, travelers can take in panoramic views of the Gulf Coast and learn about the purpose and history of the landmark through the years.
: Adults $5, kids 2-12 $2
: Tours begin at 9 am, daily
The lighthouse hosts a single hourlong tour daily at 9 am, hence vacationers planning to be part of the contingent must arrive there early.
10 Go On A Biloxi Shrimping Trip
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Shrimping Boat off of Biloxi and Ocean Springs Coast with Small dolphin next to left net
Mississippi is famed for its seafood heritage and shrimp is a mainstay in the city’s standard recipe. The Biloxi Shrimping Trip offers first-timers the ideal opportunity for a behind-the-scenes experience of what goes into catching the state’s most popular seafood.
The trip begins with shrimp nets getting cast into the sea with an event-by-event narration explaining to passengers what is happening at each stage.
As this happens, tourists enjoy encounters with varied marine life, with species like Blue Crabs, stingrays, and flounder spottings. This trip is informative, entertaining, and one of the most fun activities in Mississippi.
: Adults $20, Kids $12
11 What Is The Best Time To Visit Biloxi?
Biloxi, Mississippi lighthouse on the Gulf of Mexico
While summers can be swelteringly hot on the Gulf Coast, winter is a great time to visit the “Playground of the South.” November to March is the mildest time of year and is also considered the off-season and the best time to visit.
Temperatures range from highs in the mid-60s to lows in the mid-40 but most of the time, it’s a comfortable 55°-65°.
As temperatures rise from April to October, so do the prices. The start of Spring Break ushers in the high season in Biloxi and much of the Gulf Coast. The heat is on starting in May and into early September, with lows in the mid-70s and highs soaring well past the 90s.
Keep in mind that hurricane season is from August to early November. While it’s not guaranteed that there will be a hurricane, buying trip insurance is a good idea while traveling to Biloxi during this time of year.
The annual Crawfish Music Festival is held every year in April just after the Spring Break season for any who love a good jam session mixed with a low country boil.
Hurricane season is from June to early November on the Gulf Coast but really heats up from August to October. Be wary of traveling to Biloxi during this time and buy trip insurance just in case a storm blows in!
Spring: March through May
Summer: May through August
Fall: September through November
Winter: December through March
12 What To Know Before Visiting Biloxi
Palm trees at sunset in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Biloxi is known for its luxurious casinos, fresh seafood, and sizzling sun.
It’s a fun-loving paradise, a palm tree oasis mostly undiscovered and overshadowed by its neighbors, New Orleans and Destin, making it an excellent getaway for those searching for relaxation or letting down their hair.
But it’s not all fun and games. Katrina and the rebuilding afterward were tough for the Gulf Coast. While many residents left, many also stayed to help rebuild in the wake of the devastating hurricane and came out on the other side all the stronger.
Biloxi is a gambling town, and while family-friendly, keep in mind that party-goers might be a bit raucous near the casinos and bars at night.
Spring break, from March to April, can be especially rowdy as American college students descend on the Gulf Coast beaches in droves, ready to blow off steam from the long school year.
13 How To Get Around Biloxi
Biloxi, Mississippi Beach
There are several ways to get around Biloxi that are as efficient as they are inexpensive. Biloxi is a fairly small city after all, so it doesn’t take long to drive or ride across town.
Even walking is a great option! Here are the best ways to get around Biloxi.
One of the best ways to get around Biloxi, and visit all the nearby casinos, is the Casino Hopper.
The Casino Hopper shuttles patrons between all eight of the casinos that line the ocean promenade. It runs every 25 minutes, 7 days a week.
: Monday-Saturday, 5:30 am – 9:26 pm, Sunday 8:30 am – 7:11 pm.
: $1.50 a ride.
A more quirky way to get around town, the Biloxi Beachcomber is a refurbished, historic trolley that runs back and forth on the beachfront strip to the beach, historic landmarks, and other popular tourist attractions.
: Monday -Saturday, 5:00 am to 8:45 pm.
: $1.50 a ride.
Renting bikes is another great way to get around town quickly, especially considering that Biloxi is a fairly small town.
The best place to rent bikes in Biloxi is from the visitors center.
: Monday-Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm.
: $23 for 2 hours, $23 for 4 hours, or $32 for a full-day rental.
Uber/Lift or a traditional taxi are always good options for those who want to get somewhere as fast as possible.
14 Where To Stay In Biloxi
Pelican near fishing boats in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Biloxi has a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget. From penthouse suites at the opulent Beau Rivage Resort to a humble room at the DoubleTree, lodging options are plentiful.
If gambling is not up to par, it’s always possible to substitute the penny slots for the Mardi Gras Museum or a tour of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art before heading over to MGM Park for a Biloxi Shucker’s baseball game.
End the night dining on the freshest seafood in Mississippi at Mary Mahoney’s Old French House, where they’ve been dishing up southern comfort food for over 50 years.
End the evening by grabbing a nightcap at Fly Llama Brewery for a refreshing Fly Llager or one of their tropical seltzers.
Q: Is Biloxi, Mississippi Worth Visiting?
Is Biloxi worth visiting? Yes! White sand beaches, warm weather, historic experiences, and a ton of fun, Biloxi is a great place to visit! From its festive Mardi Gras celebrations to rival that of New Orleans, to the annual Crawfish Festival, Biloxi has a little something for everybody and no shortage of great things to do.
Q: Why is Biloxi, Mississippi Famous?
Biloxi has a long and storied history that dates back thousands of years. Aside from its rich historical ties, it’s sometimes known as the “Vegas of the South” for world class casinos and entertainment options, but it’s also one of the most beautiful cities in MS.
Q: Can You Swim in Biloxi Beach?
Yes! Biloxi is a great place to swim on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Powdered sugar beaches and plenty of sun mean that Biloxi is a premier destination in the south for swimming.
The Gulf of Mexico is known for being as calm as a lake, unlike its friend, The Atlantic. Relax and float away any and all worries in the salty sea.