We left Atlanta and headed west, stopping for a night in Ocean Springs, MS, a posh and bustling little beach town full of eating and drinking establishments. It’s a quainter alternative to larger Biloxi across the bay. The main commercial area was buzzing on a pleasant Sunday night, and we were surprised to see people tootling around town in golf carts. Apparently the golf carts are good for tourism, and they’re eco-friendly and easier to park downtown.
We stayed at the Davis Bayou Campground, a NPS-run campground within Gulf Islands National Seashore. It’s on the edge of town, with trails, a fishing pier, picnic areas, and playgrounds, and if you have bikes you can ride from the park into town along quiet neighborhood streets.
The trails were badly banged up by Hurricane Zeta in late 2020, and most were still closed in early 2021. But you can still run or bike along the park roads and get a nice view from the pier. The trail to the CCC overlook is open but despite the name, there’s no view!
This pretty park is popular with snowbirds and fills up in the winter, so plan ahead! We recommend our campsite, #38, for privacy and easy access to the bayou. Bring your kayaks!
Exploring Ocean Springs
The center of Ocean Springs is at Government St and Washington Ave. Park your car or golf cart near that intersection and explore the many shops, bars, and restaurants. Because of the pandemic, we stuck to places with patios:
A cocktail on the patio at Mosaic. It’s a big, shady, dog-friendly patio, but it’s also the smoking section, so be warned. The cocktails on the list were super sugary. But we enjoyed sitting there!
Beers at a picnic table at Craft Advisory Brewing, also dog-friendly, with fewer people and a couple food trucks. The taco truck had fish and shrimp tacos! But they weren’t open. I had a Cajun pickle sour beer that was very interesting. Kind of like drinking pickle juice. Does that sound good or terrible to you?
Ocean Springs has a beach, too! But, no offense, we thought it was ugly, with views of the Biloxi casinos across the water. But it’s a beach, and it’s dog-friendly!
Overall, we liked Ocean Springs as a quick stopover, and especially liked the campground. We’re always looking for interesting places to stop between Atlanta and Austin, and this was a good one. The next stop, however… not so much.