This Underrated Destination Is A Must-Add To Anyone's Southern US Beach Bucket List

The city of Ocean Springs is the perfect location for a chilled-out Mississippi adventure as it has something to appeal to every type of traveler, from beach lovers to nature enthusiasts. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, it is a "great little-known winter escape." Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and referred to as the "Secret Coast," it is often overlooked by visitors to this state even though it is a fun addition to any Southern U.S. road trip.

Ocean Springs has even provided inspiration for artists over the years, as famed yet elusive painter Walter Inglis Anderson lived here and his work is memorialized in the local Walter Anderson Museum of Art. This city is a cultural hub for Mississippi and those who vacation here will find plenty to occupy their time. Along the seaside are shops, restaurants, art galleries, and parks so once you've seen those, you can take a trip to one of the nearby islands.

What to do in Ocean Springs

The best thing to do at Ocean Springs is relax on the beach and enjoy the comings and goings of Biloxi Bay. If you want family fun, head to the coast-side Fort Maurepas State Park which has a playground and splash pad as well as a museum and hiking trails. To the South of the beach is the Davis Bayou Coastal Preserve which also has trails to enjoy as well as picnicking spots with a view of the bay. The preserve is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore area, which also has five barrier islands that can be visited on a boat trip, Ship Island in particular is known for its clear waters and white sand.

Despite its relaxed vibe, Ocean Springs has all the trappings of a city, so it is a great place for eating, shopping, bar hopping, or gallery browsing. Every year in November it hosts the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival, the biggest of its kind in the state, named after the renowned potter who was also brother to Walter Anderson. If you stay here overnight, you'll get to experience the nightlife of this wonderful city as well as the beach at its most serene.

Where to stay in Ocean Springs

There are some excellent laid-back yet trendy accommodations available in Ocean Springs. A top-rated hotel on Tripadvisor and winner of a 2023 Travellers' Choice Award is The Roost Ocean Springs which is centrally located in the city. It is a boutique hotel where you can drink coffee in its courtyard or take a dip in its pool.

The nearby Beatnik Hotel has 4.8 stars on Google Reviews as visitors love its floating cabins, complete with outdoor showers. A plunge pool and firepit complete these quirky lodgings, inspired by the Beatnik culture of the 1950s and 60s. Another highly reviewed accommodation according to Google, is Front Beach Cottages with a 4.8-star rating. Set in converted fishing cottages from the 1940s, these lodgings evoke a different time and they're just a short walk from the ocean. They also have tubs, hammocks, outdoor showers, and BBQs for guests to enjoy. Wherever you stay, Ocean Springs is the ideal place to enjoy tranquil views, accompanied by a sea breeze and delicious Mississippi cuisine.