This small Mississippi coastal town has a special place in my heart. I grew up in a nearby suburb but historic “Old Town” was always a short drive away. The best thing about this quirky little area is that there isn’t much more to do than eat, stroll and laze. No busy itinerary to keep you on the go. You basically have no choice but to relax and take things slow. If not, you’ll be in and out far too quickly.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, the miles of beach are welcoming to anyone who wants to catch some rays. However, I strongly suggest you take the small walk inland to dip in and out of the antique shops and art galleries. Whether you’re a paying customer or just browsing, chances are you’ll hear some lively stories from the shop keepers who will be more than happy to assist you in what to do during your visit to the Mississippi Coast.
The type of southern hospitality you’re always hearing about actually exists in bounds in this quaint town.
My husband proposed to me on a pier in the area which has since been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Several years ago during a visit, I saw a postcard with a picture of the pier in a small shop and when I told the owner my story he took my number, contacted the photographer and called me later that evening with an 8X10 print. I am moved by his kindness every time I think of that photo hanging proudly in my home
For your own small town experience start with a stroll through Magnolia Antiques (200 Main Street). Afterwards, grab a something to read at Bay Books (131 Main Street) before heading over to the Mockingbird Cafe (110 S. 2nd Street) where you can grab a good cup of coffee and gaze at local art adorning the walls of this 1868 building.
When your tummy starts to growl The Buttercup (112 N. 2nd Street) is just a short walk away. On any given day you’ll find dogs obediently lazing beside their owners on the lively patio hoping for a biscuit to clumsily fall from the table.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during the second Saturday of the month be sure to check out the town’s Art Walk where everyone comes out to enjoy food, music, and local the creations of local artisans.
Bay St. Louis’ motto is “A Place Apart” and you’ll see why when you come for a visit. It may not have the glitz and glamour of the nearby casinos but you’ll find yourself yearning to come back for a glass of sweet tea and friendly conversation with the locals. You’ll see.