Biloxi is a Mississippi Gulf Coast city and most famous for its beaches, casinos and tourist attractions. Whether you’re traveling to the area for a family vacation or are interested in a romantic getaway, you’ll find several resorts, hotels and bed and breakfasts to settle into in this busy tourist destination. Biloxi still has many French colonial attractions and destinations that have stood the test of time. It continues to be a popular summer resort destination for travelers from around the globe, and is quickly becoming an attractive tourist hotspot for honeymoons, weddings and family reunions.
Biloxi’s history can be traced to the early 18th century. The word Biloxi means “First People” and it was named after the local Native American tribe that was discovered by d’Iberville and his fellow explorers. Biloxi was taken over the Spanish in 1783 but maintained a lot of its French influence. It wasn’t until several years later that Biloxi became a part of the Republic of West Florida, and soon the entire region became part of the Territory of New Orleans.
Biloxi’s boomtown days took place during the 1820s when the area served as an attractive summer resort for New Orleans residents who wanted to escape from the summer heat. The city wasn’t officially incorporated until 1838 and soon became one of the major resort towns on the Gulf Coast. It wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that people started heading to Biloxi to enjoy the lively nightlife scene and enjoy the healing waters.
Biloxi boomed during the early twentieth century as industrialization took hold of the area. A paved highway was built along the beaches of Biloxi in the 1920s, making it easier for visitors to explore the area and access other sites around Mississippi. Many hotels and resorts were built shortly afterwards, and tourism boomed. Biloxi experienced another major boom during World War II with the development of a new air force base.
Even though Hurricane Katrina destroyed many key sights and places of interest around Biloxi, the area is still rebuilding itself and many people are coming to the area simply to see some of the ruins and historic attractions.
Today, Biloxi is still an attractive destination for travelers who want to learn about America’s rich history in the Deep South, enjoy some delicious food, and explore some famous Mississippi sights around the Gulf Coast. Whether you’re visiting the area with a large group, heading here on a romantic getaway, or are interested in exploring the area solo, you’ll be treated to many interesting sights and destinations around Biloxi, Mississsippi.
Biloxi Weather and Best Time to Visit
Biloxi’s coastal location makes the city an attractive destination for summertime getaways and you’ll find plenty of things to do around the waters during the spring through fall months. Peak season in Biloxi runs from May through August, while the off-season runs from November through April. If you’re looking for a great deal on hotel and resort packages, plan to travel during the shoulder season or in the off season to get the best rates. Biloxi does host a number of holiday celebrations and special events over Christmas, and this can be a busy time of year. Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations also attract hundreds of revelers from the south and can be a major draw to the area. You’ll find some great deals on hotels during September and October, and the weather is typically warm and more comfortable than other times of the year.
You won’t encounter snow when you visit Biloxi during the middle of winter, but it can be much cooler and you may be limited on outdoor activities. Still, the winter season can be a great time of year to explore the museums and visit some of the indoor attractions around the city.
The easiest way to get around Biloxi is to rent a car and drive along US-90 on the beach, and I-110 that connects Biloxi to other destinations around the coast. Taxis and buses are available, but they may not offer the most comfortable or timely transportation services. It’s fairly easy to get to the major attractions, casinos and hotels around Biloxi, and traffic is manageable even for those who are new to the area.
You will find that a handful of attractions are closed from the 2005 hurricane season, but there are still dozens of other points of interest and places to explore throughout the area. One of the major draws to the area is the casino. Biloxi is home to dozens of casino resorts and nightclubs that stay open into the late night hours and you’ll find plenty of things to do at these destinations day and night. The casinos are not only attractive destinations for gaming, but can also a great place to enjoy a delicious meal and drinks.
Shopping opportunities abound, and you’ll also find some chain restaurants and gourmet eateries around the shopping districts in Biloxi. If you’re traveling to the area with young children, don’t miss the chance to take a boat tour around the area, visit the discovery museum or jump aboard a shrimp boat to see the dolphins swimming around the waters.
One of the great things about visiting Biloxi is that you’re also within easy reach of several other Florida destinations and New Orleans hotspots. These are all easily accessible from Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 49, and are an easy drive for intrepid road travelers. De Soto National Forest is just a 30 minute drive north of Biloxi, and Destin is about an hour east of the city. Mobile, Alabama is about an hour east along I-10, while New Orleans is about an hour west on I-10.
Whether you plan on settling in at the casinos for a few hours of gaming, want to relax on the coast, or are interested in taking a boat tour around the area, you’ll find plenty of things to do and enjoy around Biloxi, Mississippi year round. Consider taking a road trip to other area sites and paying a visit to New Orleans to make the most of your experience.