For locals, it’s simply referred to as “The Bay” as if it’s THE one and only. I’m referring to the extraordinary town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
This simple yet exquisite piece of waterfront exists on the western shores of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It’s been a Louisiana-getaway for decades, where New Orleans elite would getaway for a time of relaxation and re-energizing, and over time the destination’s appeal trickled down to the middle class who found an affordable yet very enjoyable vacation spot.
The Story of Bay Town Inn
Nikki Moon was one of those New Orleans residents who often escaped the city life for a getaway to “The Bay.” Her visits became more frequent until she decided that she would retire there and spend the rest of her days in this charming, glorious place.
But living there wouldn’t be enough. She wanted to share the magic of The Bay with others, and so the idea for Bay Town Inn was born.
The setting is just breathtaking. Large oak trees with branches that weave up high and scoop down low adorn the front yard of the Inn. Through the oak trees, the view of the Bay of St. Louis is that of the calm bay waters that spill out into the vast Gulf of Mexico. Boats roll in and out. I could sit and watch this with the cool breeze in my face all day long.
Rooms at the inn are more of a condo with a full kitchen and living area, large bathroom with a soaking tub, and a closed off bedroom. The linens are great quality and the beds are very comfortable. It’s a place one could easily stay long term, although most guests are here for a short stay. All the rooms walk out onto a patio or deck that looks over the courtyard and pool area with glimpses of the bay just over the main house, the main house being where Nikki lives with her two greeters, Mily and Stella, which are of the four legged and furry descent.
Check in is a breeze and arrival in your room includes cookies and a handwritten note from Nikki. You can unpack and unwind in your room, but you will find that this vivacious town draws you out and about.
Nikki is a wonderful host. It’s easy to see that this was her dream. She’s still starry-eyed as she walks you through “her town” introducing you to shop owners, the local bread baker, a few neighborhood residents and restaurateurs. This was my experience when staying at Bay Town Inn.
Restaurants and shops are all within walking distance. Sip some wine and nibble on appetizers at 200 North Beach, then have a nice seafood dinner at Trapani’s. After dinner cocktails can be had at the casual and low key Blind Tiger, where you can watch the sunset from their top deck. (Side note: They have incredible food, too. No freezers in the entire place. Everything is that fresh!) This is all within a block of Bay Town Inn. The next morning, take a walk down Main Street and grab a coffee or latte and daily muffin or biscuit special at Mockingbird Cafe. Visit all the boutiques, antique stores, small art galleries and specialty stores. Finish it up with lunch at Lulu’s on Main and some fresh bread and spreads at Serious Bread, where old world bread is made daily. If you happen to be in town on Sunday, brunch at The Sycamore House is a must, and at some point definitely make it to the Starfish Cafe, where culinary students learn about real food, growing processes, and the ins and outs of the restaurant business while working in a real restaurant under Chef Zac Fillhart. The food is superb!
Kayaking, boating, fishing, and exploring are plentiful here. There are also two casinos nearby, one that hosts a free shuttle service in the downtown area. The Infinity Space Center is just a 20 minute drive, and beaches are easy to find in the area for those that like their toes in the sand. Just down the road, you can take a walk across the Bay St. Louis bridge for breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset.
You can fit in a lot in this town within just a few blocks. Next time you are looking for a getaway or a quick adventure, book your stay at the Bay Town Inn! You won’t be sorry, and you WILL be back!