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The Ultimate One Day Coastal Mississippi Itinerary - What to do, see, and eat

When we started planning our trip to Mississippi, we really had no idea where to go or what to do. All we had ever seen of Mississippi were the stereotypes… fried foods, small towns, and country music. Don’t get me wrong… I love all of those things! In fact, it’s not far off from how I grew up! But we were hoping to find the Mississippi beyond the stereotypes... the hidden gems… the local secrets… the places that make you say... “This is Mississippi?!”. And that is exactly what we found in Coastal Mississippi! Or as they call it, the Secret Coast. Made up of 12 unique coastal towns, with a combined 62 miles of beautiful beaches which includes the nation's longest man made beach, Coastal Mississippi is the definition of a hidden gem! For this itinerary, we’ll be road tripping across the state from west to east, starting our day in the perfect little harbor town of Bay Saint Louis, and ending our day in one of the most idyllic southern beach towns you could dream of, Ocean Springs. Enough talking about it though!

Scroll to the bottom of the page for your FREE PRINTABLE itinerary!

Also, if you would like to see our experience in Coastal Mississippi, you can watch our “24 Hours in Coastal Mississippi” travel vlog

Let’s dive in!

8:30am: Breakfast at Mockingbird Cafe (110 South 2nd Street, Bay St. Louis)

We kicked the day off with a light breakfast at the adorable Mockingbird Cafe. The coffee is excellent, the chai tea is to die for, and the breakfast muffin is… well… just trust us, you’ll want to get it! It’s a biscuit meets muffin with an entire egg cooked into the middle! So good! If you’re looking for something a little heartier, Mockingbird has you covered with an impressive full breakfast menu, including Pulled Pork & Grits and Chicken & Waffles! Needless to say, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

9:30am: Explore Downtown Bay St. Louis

  • Angel Trees in Bay St. Louis

  • Ruth’s Roots Community Garden

Once you’ve gotten your caffeine fix, you’ll want to head over to Ruth’s Roots, a community garden that serves as an enrichment program to the Hancock County troubled youth. Visually, it’s more of an art display than garden, but when you look beyond the colorful planter boxes, painted “yellow brick road”, and fascinating folk art, you realize that Ruth’s Roots is truly a marvel. In the garden where you’ll find seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, as well as a chicken coop, a rabbit pen, and honeybees! Much of the produce, honey, and eggs are donated to another local non-profit. Beyond the produce, you’ll find a little library and a blessing box. Grab a book, sit in the garden and take a load off! The blessing box operates under the motto: “Take what you need, leave what you can”. If you couldn’t tell already, Ruth’s Roots was a highlight of our time in Bay St. Louis!

Now, you’ll go check out the Angel Trees before heading east. I could try to explain what they are and the amazing story behind them, but I would be sure to mess it up, so I’ll just give you exactly what the placard states…

“In the early 1900’s Ovenia de Montluzin looked out her kitchen window and saw workers starting to take down this oak, a sapling at the time, to clear a way for de Montluzin Avenue to be constructed. She asked them—successfully—to stop, because the young tree was an oak and would be beautiful one day.

At that time, this tree stood 225 feet west, down de Montluzin Avenue.

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina bore down on the de Montluzin family home, a turn-of-the-century villa which had become the Bay Town Inn. Of the seven people in the Inn that morning, four made it through the water and were rescued in the afternoon.