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The Mississippi Gulf Coast is definitely underrated in my books. Stopping along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast was the perfect way to break up our road trip from Tampa to New Orleans! Ocean Springs, MS stole my heart.
Adorable boutiques, cute cafes, yummy foodie experiences, and small-town charm. Not only was the place amazing, but the people were just so kind and warm-hearted and friendly, which made the place feel like home.
Ocean Springs, MS is perfect for a weekend getaway. It’s an especially nice change-up from the city life of New Orleans, and just a short hour and a half drive! And just like New Orleans, you’re able to walk around from place to place with your drinks!
Note: Many things are closed Sundays and Mondays, so take that into consideration when planning out your trip! We were here Monday to Tuesday morning and we still found plenty to do.
Things to do in Ocean Springs, MS
1. Explore Government Street
Government Street is the main street in Ocean Springs. Walk up and down this street and you’ll find plenty of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and museums to check out! Many of the restaurants that I list below are located here!
2. Twelve Oaks Nature Trail
This is not the longest nature trail (which is exactly the kind that Remi prefers), but it does have quite a combination of habitats packed in as well as a little observation deck! It’s a little over a half-mile loop that allows you to experience large mossy oak trees in a mixed pine and oak forest, swamps, and a tidal wetland.
Because of this, especially in the warmer months make sure you bring insect repellent!
Tip: You may almost miss the sign, even if using a GPS. It’s tucked back behind a Good Year.
3. Check out the beach
I mean you are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after all! I will admit, coming from Florida I definitely prefer our beaches. We were saving our beach days for Orange Beach, but there are definitely beaches you can check out if you’re hoping to catch some rays or relax! If you’re staying in downtown Ocean Springs you’ll be within walking distance of Front Beach.
Make your beach experience magical with a fun picnic crafted by Coastal Picnic & Co.
4. Head next door to Biloxi
Biloxi was such a short drive from Ocean Springs and the perfect place to spend one of our afternoons! We checked out the Biloxi Lighthouse pier (so pretty), Half Shell Oyster House, and the casinos! There are so many casinos to choose from! We ended up just checking out Hard Rock because it was a quick walk from Half Shell Oyster House!
Another couple of popular ones mentioned to us were Golden Nugget and Beau Rivage. We’re not huge gamblers, but it was still a fun stop to try our luck! We ended up coming out $10 ahead! It’s a fun little warm-up before you hit the big leagues in Las Vegas 😉
Also coming soon to Ocean Springs is an adorable spot called The Collective. It is going to be a bookstore, fitness center, sustainable garden and restaurant, market, community space, and more! If it’s open during your visit it’s worth checking out!
5. Listen to live music at Beer House & Mosaic
Beer House & Mosaic was our first stop once we arrived at Ocean Springs. It was the perfect place to start, as it’s a tapas-style restaurant and we wanted a little nibble before checking into The Roost. Mosaic has plenty of internationally inspired options to choose from.
We had the pulled pork quesadilla, and just WOW. 12/10 would recommend it. It’s topped with a chipotle aioli that just really took it over the top.
You can enjoy patio seating and live music on a nice day, but the bar looked so beautiful we pulled up a seat there. They have quite a selection of beer (45 on tap), wine, and craft cocktails. There were so many delicious drinks so it was hard to choose, but we ended up going with the white sangria and strawberry mojito— both were delicious, but if you’re just going to do one, get the mojito!
6. Do an oyster shooter at Half Shell Oyster House
Half Shell Oyster House is actually located in Biloxi. We stopped here before checking out the casinos and I wish we would’ve had room to get an actual meal. We did a couple of oyster shooters, a cocktail, and some charbroiled oysters. Everything was on point.
The oyster shooters were some of our favorites, they were a little different from the ones we usually do in that they had horseradish added to them. We were huge fans. AND they hook it up with an Old Bay rim (the rim always makes it for Remi).
They had an amazing cocktail menu with plenty of martinis, margaritas, and other mixed drinks to make the decision really difficult. I ended up going with the berry martini after the bartender told us they let the berries infuse in the vodka for a week before serving.
Remi got the margarita, and you know I don’t speak with tequila anymore (besides Casa Tina’s in Dunedin), but this one was so light and refreshing that I enjoyed it! The grilled oysters were a lovely snack, and I would’ve loved to try several items from the dinner menu. So if you can, go hungry.
7. Visit a speakeasy: The Wilbur
First of all, if you know me, or follow my blog, you KNOW I love a good speakeasy! At first, I was disappointed when I saw a door that clearly stated The Wilbur, thinking it was just a speakeasy-inspired place, but do not fret, it is a true speakeasy.
When you walk in, you will notice the bar and a little bit of seating, but you’re going to want to push on the bookcase to enter the hidden lounge. The Wilbur is more than just a cool spot with good drinks though, it brings in historical and artistic attributes that showcase some of the things that make Ocean Springs unique.
My favorite touch was a mural of Al Capone, who had a local estate right in Ocean Springs! Read more about the history of The Wilbur here.
8. Get some Mississippi BBQ at Murky Waters BBQ
Murky Waters BBQ came highly recommended and for good reason. Definitely some of the best BBQ we’ve had in a long time, and I totally get why many consider it one of the best restaurants in Ocean Springs! We got three types of meat (wings, brisket, and burnt ends) and three sides (potato salad, onion straws, and coleslaw). The sauces came on the side, and we enjoyed both the smoky and the sweet.
If you’re wondering what burnt ends are (so was I) they’re fatty parts of the brisket that are left on a little longer and charred more. They don’t always have these, because they sell out pretty quickly. I was put off when they described it as fatty, but our waitress assured me she felt the same way and loved these.
She didn’t steer us wrong. They were delicious and melted in our mouths. I could talk about the food we had here all day long, but seriously, just go for yourself and give your taste buds a treat.
9. Feel like a local at Juke Joint
The best way that I can describe Juke Joint is “your best friend’s house party”. It’s a mix of art, music, and fun. If you’re still not able to picture it, imagine: disco ball lighting, random seating, eclectic décor like sticker-studded poles, string lights, a Barbie hanging from beads out of the ceiling, and Third Eye Blind playing on the jukebox.
This is the place you’ll want to go if you’re looking for a nightcap. It’s a little walk from the main part of Government Street, but it was worth it.
We only had a couple of White Claws here, but it was the people and the atmosphere that made the experience. Some of the locals stepped outside and even popped back in just to ask if we wanted to join them.
You’ll probably notice the raccoon art everywhere, when I asked what it was about the bartender told me “Oh, there’s a family of ‘em that live out back”. I died laughing and fell in love with this place even more. On top of the little indoor stage, there’s also a huge stage area out back where you can tell some great shows have been. On Sundays, a local band brings in extra instruments and allows other locals to play!
10. Grab a coffee from Bright Eyed Brew Co.
You will fall in love with the charm of this adorable little coffee shop. The barista was so knowledgeable and helpful. Not only that, I could truly feel his excitement and warmth when he was helping us decide on a coffee flavor and informing us on some of the local favorite spots.
We got the rum flambé brown sugar with an extra pump of flavor! Their syrups are house-made, and the coffee is so good. You can really taste and appreciate all of the effort that goes into each piece of Bright Eyed Brew Co.
11. Relax at District Coffee Company
Delicious bagels, yummy coffee, and a perfect spot if you want to get some work done! I wish we had time to relax here, but we just popped by as a quick pitstop on our way from New Orleans to Orange Beach. Don’t forget to snap a pic with their fun mural on the side of the building!
Where to stay in Ocean Springs, MS
The Roost Boutique Hotel
The Roost was such a delightful stay. It felt SO homey and cozy. We had the Fern suite. I felt it was equipped with everything we needed— a small kitchenette area, full-length mirror, Roku for the TV, and the comfiest bed ever! Seriously, when we went to our next hotel, I was totally dreaming of this bed and missing it.
The Roost also has the most amazing common areas. Kick back and read a book in a rocking chair outside or get yourself a craft cocktail at The Wilbur— The Roost’s very own speakeasy! More on that below 😉
Aside from the charm The Roost has, the location is perfect— just a little stroll to Government Street where the main spots you’ll want to hit are, and a quick 10-minute drive to Biloxi!
🏨Check out all hotel options for Ocean Springs hereClick herе to search
I hope that you enjoyed this list of some of the best things to do in Ocean Springs Mississippi! It is such a coastal gem full of small-town charm (and great food!). If you get the chance, Government Street Grocery and The Mermaid Dive Bar were also recommended to us and seemed like super fun spots!
Did you know about this cute coastal gem in Mississippi? As always, if you check out any of these spots use #guidedbydestiny on your pics to be featured on my Instagram!