BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLBT) - Headlines of Mississippi’s coastal beaches closing due to the algae bloom are sparking questions for tourists. True, the water is off limits, but the sand is not.
If there is a silver lining for not allowing folks to get into the water, it may be that more folks will discover the hidden gems that they wouldn’t have even tried to seek out before.
Bay St. Louis was recently named the Best Hidden Gem Destination in Mississippi by Yahoo. Nikki Moon operates the Bay Town Inn.
“We get so many folks that are coming in from just a few hours away that they like this escape,” explained Moon.
A mix of live oaks and palm trees dot the quaint streets and offer a draw away from the shoreline.
“We’ve got museums," added Moon. "We’ve got great galleries. Local art is phenomenal. Our restaurants are the best. They’re all within 2 to 3 blocks. Everything is so easy here.”
But let’s say you want to get the full-on beach experience, water and all there’s still a way to do it with Ship Island Excursions.
“You can go to ship Island," noted Ship Island Excursions CEO Captain Louis Skrmetta. "You may not be able to swim along the mainland but you can swim at ship Island. The national Park service is monitoring water quality out there every day.”
Down the beach highway in Biloxi, the Beau Rivage offers an escape for those who aren’t ready to put the sand between their toes.
“It’s a full-service resort destination. So people can come, park their car and never have to leave all weekend. You’ve got a beautiful hotel, of course casino. You’ve got incredible nightlife and shopping, spa, of course the tropical pool.”
Lunaro is a cirque style production that will run at the Beau till August 7 and gives families another entertainment option.
The coast has dealt with hesitation from tourists before, after both Katrina and the BP oil spill. They want you to know they’re open for business.
“Yes, the water is closed in many areas but again that gives us the opportunity," explained Coastal Mississippi Marketing Director Karen Conner. "The doors open. So many people really are not aware of all the offerings we have here.”
For more information and ideas about activities and attractions along the Mississippi Coast, click HERE.