Looking for a happy place to warm up? Look no further than Ocean Springs, Mississippi, the little seaside escape that racks up awards year after year for it’s welcoming experience that just hits all the right notes with visitors and locals alike.
Located along the Mississippi Sound on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Ocean Springs is a mesmerizing waterfront town bursting at the seams with world-class food, art, boutique shopping and outdoor activities. All with a slower pace that makes it a perfect getaway.
Many of our top picks in downtown Ocean Springs made our Mississippi List, plus we’ve thrown in a few “insider” bonus tips that aren’t on the list – but if you’re in town, certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Stay at one of the beautifully appointed guest suites at the historic Inn at Ocean Springs, located in the heart of downtown. Each uniquely decorated guest suite offers luxurious bedding, organic amenities and an unbeatable location.
- Start your day at The Greenhouse on Porter with one of the best homemade biscuits we’ve found anywhere topped with the “fluff of the day,” their proprietary “spread” to replace butter and jam – and that alone is worth the price of admission. A recent favorite of ours was the King Cake Biscuit, but seasonal specialty offerings are created daily, and if you get there early enough, a gluten free option is also available.
- For lunch, cover your shirt with a napkin, plan to lick your fingers and dig in for lunch, live music and craft brews at Murky Waters BBQ.
- Power thru the afternoon by splurging on a decadent dessert or pastry – and a latte at the People’s Choice for Best Bakery on the Mississippi Coast, French Kiss Pastries.
- Make reservations for dinner at Vestige, Ocean Springs’ fine dining restaurant known for it’s modern farm-to-table creations. Chef Alex Perry is religious about his food sourcing – all local, all the time.
- Plan ahead for your nightcap by including Maisano’s Fine Wine & Spirits on your shopping route. Maisano’s specializes in offering a tremendous variety of wines along with professional service that will walk you thru pairing your tastes and wine interest level from amateur to expert to the perfect bottle or bottles. If that’s not enough, Maisano’s is earning quite the reputation as one of the top bourbon sources in the region. His hand select bourbons are highly acclaimed by experts and sought after by his (ever growing) loyal following.
- Burn off those calories by enjoying the nature that saddles up to Ocean Springs, Mississippi’s quaint downtown area. Paddles Up Paddleboard & Kayak Rentals is located downtown, but they’ll deliver a board or kayak to the nearby waterfront where you can take to the water to explore Deer Island just a short paddle away, a state-owned nature preserve open for public enjoyment.
- Shopping: Don’t make a trip to Ocean Springs without taking in – and buying – some local art. Our top picks are Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Shearwater Pottery and Hillyer House.
- On your way out of town, grab a dozen Tato-Nut Donuts for the road. These melt-in-your-mouth donuts have an international following demonstrated by the never ending line out the door most days. The good news? They’re crazy fast at managing that line!
With this itinerary in mind, you’ll discover why Coastal Living magazine named Ocean Springs, Mississippi among it’s top five “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns” in 2015 and why Smithsonian.com included Ocean Springs on its “20 Best Small Towns to Visit for 2016” list.