An insider’s guide to the Mississippi Gulf Coast
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Visit Bay St. Louis - Community Guide

Bay St. Louis City Guide - Visit One of America's Coolest Small Towns

Bay St. Louis may not be the biggest city on the Coast, but this quaint seaside town has many reasons to be proud.  Budget Travel calls it one of the coolest small towns in America, and Southern Living named it one of the fifty best small towns in the South.  From buildings that tell stories of coastal Mississippi heritage to friendly locals who make everyone feel welcome, what’s not to love about the city?

Recently, local businesses in Bay St. Louis have also been awarded the best in their categories! These include bed and breakfast Bay Town Inn, flower shop The French Potager, art gallery Smith & Lens, and accessory store Social Chair.  The thriving downtown area features local attractions like art galleries, museums, and historical sites.  And downtown events are held almost weekly, including parades, concerts, and festivals.

If you’re a foodie, you will love exploring award-winning local restaurants like Fields Steak & Oyster Bar, Sycamore House, and Starfish Cafe.  If you want to dance or party the night away, bayfront bars The Blind Tiger and Triple Tails are local favorites.

But be warned: visitors to Bay St. Louis have been known never to leave, as the city is a real estate hotspot for people looking to migrate South.  Bay St. Louis has something exciting for everyone, and it’s just waiting for you.

Bay St. Louis Activities - Fishing

Fun activities include casting, exploring, and learning

There are numerous reasons why Bay St. Louis remains one of the best places to live in Mississippi.  One significant factor is that this small seaside city hosts many fun activities for visitors and residents of every age.

Get up close and personal with nature

The entire family - including your fur babies - can have fun in the sun on the white sand beaches in Bay St. Louis. Similarly, outdoor lovers can enjoy a leisurely game of golf or a charter fishing adventure while enjoying the town’s natural beauty.

If you’re ready to explore the swamps and wetlands home to local wildlife and vegetation, add a swamp tour or a boat ride to your itinerary.

Discover The Bay's historical significance

Bay St. Louis was named as such in 1699 after King Louis IX of France. It is notably known for the Battle of Pass Christian in 1814, Britain’s last naval engagement in the continental U.S. as a foreign foe. If you’re a history buff, you’ll have the time of your life exploring local attractions that showcase the city's history.

You can drop by the Kate Lobrano House, which was constructed way back in 1896. It features Victorian-style architecture and a traditional "shotgun" building design. It houses turn-of-the-century furnishings, Indian artifacts, and thousands of photographs of county life from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Antique pickers will have their hands full

And if you’re into both history and art, you definitely can’t leave Bay St. Louis without dropping by the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum, where Miss Alice’s artwork features life in Bay St. Louis throughout the 20th century. The museum also boasts a variety of Depression glass, Majolica vases, vintage bottles, and other antique everyday items that will transport you to another period.

The Bay St. Louis Historic L&N Train Depot is a mission-style two-story building built in 1928. It houses the Alice Moseley Museum and the Bay St. Louis Mardi Gras Museum, showcasing unique costumes and memorabilia from a bygone era.

Check out the vibrant art scene in BSL

Hurricane Katrina made way for a revitalized art scene in Bay St. Louis. Most of the local art galleries were devastated by the hurricane.  But this fueled local artists to band together and build an even stronger creative community in town. The Arts, Hancock County, ensures that the multiple facets of art remain alive and well by the bay.

Art aficionados can visit downtown art galleries and discover pieces that resonate with their souls. But it’s not entirely about painting, pottery, and photography. Many bars and cafes around town celebrate the musical talent of local performers as well.

Bay St. Lodging - Bed and Breakfast

Indulge in both comfort and opulence

Coastal Mississippi is widely known for its southern hospitality, and Bay St. Louis wholeheartedly lives up to this reputation. Locals go the extra mile to ensure you feel like you’re finally home when you visit this coastal town. From campgrounds to casino resorts, you’ll find an array of accommodations for all flavors of travelers.

Are you looking for a natural escape? Bay St. Louis has a variety of campgrounds and RV parks from which to choose. In need of some rest and relaxation? Check out the quaint bed and breakfast options across town.

And if you’re in town to let loose and let the good times roll? Choose between the city's stunning casino resort properties, namely the 600-acre Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast and the 100,000-sq. ft. Silver Slipper Casino.

Book a casino experience you’ll never forget

Despite the limited number, Bay St. Louis is proud of the two casino resorts in town. The Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast is a waterfront property with a natural atmosphere.  The live entertainment and championship golf tournaments match the excitement of the table games and loose slots.

Alternatively, the Silver Slipper Casino is 100,000 square feet of paradise if you’re after the ultimate gaming experience. Apart from casino activity options spanning over 30,000 square feet, the resort prepares delectable food and provides its guests with the highest level of service.  You'll definitely be coming back for more.

Enjoy slow mornings and calm days

If you’re looking through Bay St. Louis lodging options for something calm and soothing, Bay Town Inn might be the most suitable lodging for your next trip. It’s right across the Marina and the beaches, so you can always take in the scenery. Additionally, it delivers breakfast straight to each guest’s doorstop on weekends.

The Inn maintains ten guest suites with a separate bedroom, living room, and kitchen area (and a full bath to boot!).  Other options include the poolside accessible room and the Lighthouse Room, which sports a private deck to enjoy the Bay's unforgettable view.

Visit Bay St. Louis Cuisine

Taste the ocean and savor the quirky

Are you craving crustaceans? As a waterfront town, Bay St. Louis is a paradise on land for seafood lovers. The Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico provide an unending supply of fresh seafood from right off the coast, so you know the food quality is always superb.

We’ll even let you in on a local secret — if you like crabs, you will love the all-you-can-eat crab feast at Silver Slipper Buffet, available all week.  Let's cover some of the more popular dining establishments that will give you a taste of the cuisine at the bay.

Cuz’s Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill

You can never go wrong by dining at Cuz’s Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill. The family-run restaurant features some of the freshest seafood and coldest beer served with the southern hospitality that defines Coastal Mississippi. If you’re looking for reasonably priced seafood and drinks in a casual setting, this is it!

Field’s Steak & Oyster Bar

Nothing says Bay St. Louis like the food at Field’s Steak & Oyster Bar.  There you’ll find dry-aged beef and fresh oysters that tickle your taste buds here. However, other gourmet options are available if you aren’t up for steak and oysters. Every dish they serve, from seaweed salad and fresh yellowfin tuna to wonton chips and panko-fried cauliflower, feels like a culinary adventure.

Mockingbird Cafe is a local meet-up favorite

Mockingbird Cafe is an art gallery and coffee shop inside a small antique building that has stood since 1868.  Only two blocks from the beachfront, the cafe is a favorite local gathering spot for friends to connect and seek solace and comradeship. The modest cafe shows a lot of love to the community. Hence, it is known as the ‘Living Room of the Bay.’

The Buttercup on Second Street

If you’re wondering where locals like having breakfast and lunch, the answer is almost always The Buttercup on Second Street. Ask the servers about the Betty Special in this quaint breakfast spot, and they’ll heartily tell you about the lovely tribute to a regular customer who ordered the same breakfast until she passed.

Trapani’s Eatery

Trapani’s Eatery is all about the New Orleans vibe.  Well, that and getting a generous serving of seafood, steak, po’boys, muffuletta sandwiches, and so much more.

Live music from the patio adds to the overall appeal.  The steady groove will make you want to spend the whole day soaking up the atmosphere in this legendary dining establishment.

200 North Beach Restaurant Bar

200 North Beach Restaurant & Bar operates in a building that showcases the best of early 20th-century architecture. If that isn’t enough of a treat, you’ll feast on seafood, steaks, and burgers with a glorious view of the bay.

While you’re there, help yourself to a Po’boy.  This divine sandwich concept features fried shrimp, catfish, or oysters on a French baguette.

And this is only a taste of Bay St. Louis cuisine. When you go around town, keep your eyes peeled for other hidden gems you might encounter.

Bay St. Louis Event - Parade

Rev your engines, grab your forks: festivities for all

Looking for things to do and events to visit in Bay St. Louis? From annual events to seasonal activities and everything in between, you’ll never get bored in this small town!

Celebrate Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day like a local

Bay St. Louis and neighboring cities in Coastal Mississippi have mastered the art of celebrating Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day to their maximum capability. Parades, floats, picnics, free-flowing drinks, and good music — you name it, the bay’s got it! Jump into the festive mood by dressing up in theme, too.

You can't miss Cruisin’ The Coast

Do you enjoy checking out classic cars? Well, then, you must attend the annual Cruisin’ The Coast.  The yearly event earned the title of USA Today’s #1 Best Car Show in 2018 and 2020 and #2 in 2019.

During this 30-mile block party spanning the Mississippi Gulf Coast, unique cars, classic convertibles, and hot rod vehicles are showcased stunningly to the backdrop of nostalgic music.

Participate in marathons and golf tournaments

If you enjoy an active lifestyle, sign up for the Gulf Coast Marathon or the Rapiscan Systems Classic. Both are annual events that keep people coming back.

The Gulf Coast Marathon includes half marathons, full marathons, 5K marathons, and kids’ marathons that span a few days and end with a festival that celebrates all participants’ grit, determination, and sense of adventure.  It typically runs in December each year.

Meanwhile, the Rapiscan Systems Classic is filled with pro-am outings, pairing parties, a chef’s dinner, and many other activities showcasing the world's best golfers.  Usually scheduled for late March, this event is the perfect opportunity to stay active, meet the pros, and get involved in the community.

Check out events at nearby cities

You can also check out annual events and festivals in nearby towns, such as the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival in Ocean Springs and the Harbor Lights Winter Festival in the City of Gulfport.

Bay St. Louis Nightlife Drinks

Beats, beach, and booze: nightlife in The Bay

You can't experience Bay St. Louis without visiting the thriving downtown area.  And that includes soaking up the nightlife with some epic bar hopping on Beach Boulevard.  This area is earning a reputation as a New Orleans-style atmosphere, minus the riff-raff.

Tripletails is a sports bar with a magnificent ocean view specializing in nightly live and local acts.  Something is happening on one of the floors in this three-story complex.

If you’re up for a burger and hand-cut fries, enjoy the carefree atmosphere at Buoys. On some weekends, you can bring your towel and catch a live concert right on the beach.

Of course, you're sure to find an all-around good time at the locals' favorite: Dan B’s.

Bay St. Louis Living - Beach House

Affordable, trendy, and popular: a real estate hotspot

With a median income of $45,369 and a median home value of $181,793, it’s no surprise why many people want to relocate to Bay St. Louis.  And home sellers are cashing in on the real estate rush.

The cost of living in this trendy yet cozy community is 18.3% lower than the national average, and the livability factor is also off-the-charts. The small coastal town features tranquil sights, fun outdoor activities, vibrant events, and mouthwatering seafood to keep anyone happy for life.

There’s no doubt why many people have started looking for their new life here.

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