I am a proud native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
When I tell most people that, they tend to have similar responses.
- “That’s cool. I’ve been to the Beau Rivage before.”
- “Why is the water brown?”
- “Do you live close to the Prime Outlets?”
Believe me, I like shopping just as much as the next person (not really, I kind of hate it) and the Beau Rivage is a great spot during the holidays if you desire cheesy family photos, but that’s not what I love about where I’m from.
Let me explain number 2 in detail. The Mississippi Sound, not the Gulf of Mexico, is the body of water directly south of the coastline in Mississippi. The barrier islands surrounding the Sound lead to the Gulf of Mexico. Conundrum: the islands (and the addition of water from the Mighty Mississippi) don’t allow for much circulation to take place near the coastline. While the water doesn’t seem super appealing, the islands have acted as a sort of blockade in past hurricane seasons. We’re grateful for that.
Besides, take the trip to Horn or Ship and you’ll notice that the water actually gets…blue.
What does one do on the MS Gulf Coast? I don’t know about the average inhabitant, but this is what I do when I go visit my favorite place on earth:
- Go to the beach; I’m not sure how long I could stay away from the salt air
- Check out the local shops, restaurants and museums (I recommend Downtown Ocean Springs for the full experience)
- Visit the barrier islands
- Drive down a few back roads for the hell of it
- Listen to awesome music in dives you’ll never hear of unless you’re from the area
- Hang out with family and friends (usually on or around the water)
There’s more than meets the eye. I’m not talking about the new casinos or shopping centers. I’m talking about learning more about the history of the coast. Believe me, some of it’s juicy. I can say that when I left the coast for college, I thought it was for good. Now I realize that no matter where I go, I’ll never truly be home.