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  1. Million Air
August 24, 2023updated May 24, 2024

Gulfport, Mississippi: What to do ‘Where Your Ship Comes In’

Gulfport is the perfect spot for a weekend escape, whether you’re craving adventure or downtime.

By Elite Traveler

The second largest city in Mississippi, Gulfport sits on the southern edge of the state, right on the Gulf of Mexico. With a location this close to the ocean, it’s not surprising that the beach town has been given the motto ‘Where Your Ship Comes In.’ This is also the location of some major events, including the world’s largest fishing rodeo in nearby Dauphin Island, and the Smokin’ The Sound speedboat races.

One of Gulfport’s biggest events is the annual Cruisin’ The Coast festival. Known as ‘America’s Largest Block Party,’ Cruisin’ The Coast is a celebration of everything retro, including antique, classic and hot rod cars, as well as old-school music. Now in its 27th year, this year’s festival is set to run October 1-8. The area is also home to one of the country’s best golf hubs.

Gulfport and its neighboring cities of Biloxi, Bay St Louis and Ocean Springs were even nicknamed Mississippi’s ‘Golf’ Coast. Named by Golf Digest as one of the Top 10 golf destinations for value, the region is home to courses designed by some of the sport’s greats including Jack Nicklaus, Mark McCumber and Jack Daray.

Next to golf, the Gulf Coast’s biggest claim to fame is the abundance of casinos. Choose from any of the area’s 12 casinos and indulge in a day at the spa and an evening of gaming, as well as gourmet food and drinks. Some local favorites include Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, IP Casino Resort Spa, and the Grand Biloxi Casino Hotel & Spa.

Mississippi sign
The beach town is fondly known as ‘Where Your Ship Comes In’ / ©Shutterstock

Where to sleep

Beau Rivage Resort & Casino was named one of the top hotels in the continental United States and Canada. We recommend booking one of the plush, spacious Cypress Suites, which are 1,200 sq ft each. Amenities include a marble entrance foyer, dining set, wet bar, walk-in shower and separate bath with a whirlpool tub — not to forget the living area, which enjoys sweeping ocean views.

875 Beach Boulevard, +1 228 386 7111,

Where to eat

Housed in an 18th-century French property under the shade of a 2,000-year-old oak tree, Mary Mahoney’s Old French House offers guests fine dining in a picturesque setting. An expansive wine list accompanies a menu focused on seafood and steaks with standout dishes including stuffed flounder, king-size filet mignon and the curiously named Sisters of the Sea Au Gratin, which is composed of fresh lump crabmeat and shrimp cooked in a creamy cheese sauce.

110 Rue Magnolia, +1 228 374 0163,

Where to fly

Million Air Gulfport, a full-service premier FBO at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, is an upscale facility that provides stellar service. FBO services include maintenance, cargo storage, a military briefing room and luxury crew cars. Amenities within the facility run from a theater room and fitness center to on-site customs and immigration offices.

Million Air Gulfport/Biloxi (GPT), Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, 1100 Hangar Street Gulfport, MS 39501;, +1 228 701 0400,

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