Page 29 - Play Coastal Mississippi - Spring, 2024
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 Jackson County
Ocean Springs
As another designated “One of the Coolest Small Towns in America,” there’s a lot to love about Ocean Springs. It’s home to the vibrant national art event, the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival, and the renowned Walter Anderson Museum of Art. And the artistic perks don’t end there, the canopied downtown is bursting with funky boutiques, quaint shops, and top-notch award-winning eateries. At more than 300 years old, the town is loaded with history and teeming with charm, making it easy to see why it’s known as the “City of Discovery.”
Moss Point
Nature enthusiasts will find plenty of outdoor activities in the “River City,” but there’s one destination that shouldn’t be missed: the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Situated on 18,000 acres, the reserve is home to pine savannas, salt marshes, salt pannes, bays, bayous, and terrestrial habitats. As you explore the rest of the city that’s rich in heritage, you’ll discover the spirit of Moss Point in every street, storefront, and smiling face.
When you want to get in touch with forested woodlands and wildflowers, “Nature’s Playground” is the perfect destination. Shepard State Park might be one of the Coast’s lesser-known parks, but it’s got a lot to offer, including the Mississippi Coastal Birding Trail. But if nature is not your favorite thing, Gautier is set to open The Sound, a world-class amphitheater later this year with the intent of attracting music lovers and national touring acts.
This unassuming town is one of America’s most extraordinary hidden seaside gems despite constantly making headlines. It’s known as the spot where the Pascagoula River sings, aliens made landfall in the ‘70s, and Mr. Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffett, first strummed a guitar. But it’s so much more. The “Flagship City” has endless parks and campsites, locally- owned eateries with secret generational recipes, and countless perfect waterway spots to watch the waves roll in from the Gulf. Spring 2024 PLAY COASTAL MISSISSIPPI 29
  Pascagoula River Audubon Center

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