Page 120 - Play Coastal Mississippi - Spring, 2024
P. 120

 Picture Yourself
  in Coastal Mississippi
 story by Cherie Ward
If you’ve been here, you already know, and it appears the secret is quickly escaping – the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a great place to live, work, or visit.
Several coastal cities have recently received top national honors, including Pass Christian. With its picket fences, historic cottages, and moss-decked Spanish oaks, The Pass, as it’s affectionately known by locals, has been named one of Coastal Living magazine’s “Best Places to Live on the Coast.” The just-released spring issue made the declaration and it’s the first time a South Mississippi community has been included on the national list.
“Pass Christian is grateful to be selected as one of the Best Coastal Places to live in the U.S.,” said Jimmy Rafferty, Mayor of Pass Christian. “The Pass is a charming city with a picturesque harbor, award- winning charter fishing, and the oldest yacht club in the South.”
Pass Christian landed in the number four slot on the list with the national magazine noting the area’s natural beauty, and called it “a gleaming, sweet place with affordable real estate,” and added it’s a unique place where people can raise a family and embrace the Gulf Coast lifestyle by strolling, kayaking, crabbing, boating, birding and passing time on sunset-grace porches.
“Our city also boasts excellent restaurants, a premier school system, vibrant festivals, hospitality at its finest, and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico,” Rafferty said.
But Pass Christian was not the only Coast city to make a national must-see list. Forbes magazine cited four buzzing Gulf Coast towns with incredible natural beauty and cutting-edge culinary scenes as premier destinations.
Among the hidden gems landing on the Forbes list of “The Best Places to Travel in the U.S. in 2023, According to the Experts” include Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Waveland, and Ocean Springs.
And two of those Coast cities also topped the USA Today list of 10 best coastal small towns. Ocean Springs took the number one spot with Bay St. Louis coming in second. The travel guide magazine stated Ocean Springs, or the City of Discovery, is the perfect place for visitors to relax and enjoy exploring while it noted Bay St. Louis as a quaint seaside escape with a friendly community.
“As a destination marketing organization, we firmly believe that tourism is the front door to economic development,” said Judy Young, CEO of Coastal Mississippi tourist promotion agency for South Mississippi. “Especially for those looking to relocate or retire to a place with a temperate climate, excellent quality of life, and many attractions and amenities. We have all of that in Coastal Mississippi, and now even more people will know just how great the Mississippi Gulf Coast really is.”
And if you are looking to relocate or retire, Gulfport is not only the second-largest city in the Magnolia State, but it’s also the most affordable, according to a May report by The report notes home affordability and states Gulfport has become such a popular place it has experienced an influx of people relocating from Florida, New Orleans, and as far away as California. The city further appeals to vacationers with its countless museums, the Mississippi Aquarium, and a myriad of waterparks, zip lining, and kid-friendly nature activities.
With the combination of these nationwide recognitions, it is clear Gulf Coast cities offer unpretentious and affordable seaside fun without a multitude of crowds, proving that bigger isn’t always better.

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