This travel tip from Biloxi, Mississippi is another small stopover here, before I will enjoy a few days in New Orleans and arrive in this lovely city right into the sunset.
I had never heard of Biloxi, until I got a tip from Discover America Norway, that this was a city I just had to visit. I'm glad I took the hint and checked out this little gem an hour from New Orleans. Their beautiful beaches, together with an interesting history, show that even with great destruction such as during the hurricanes, i.a. in 1969 and 2005, they quickly rise again! Biloxi, is located in the state of Mississippi right on the Gulf of Mexico and has the same beautiful sandy beaches that can otherwise be found on this huge coastal strip. The first thing that struck me when I drove into the city was the beautiful housing development that I was greeted by on the way to the visitor center for tourists, which I usually start with in new places.
At The Visitor Center they also had a small museum that tells the history of the town. Biloxi was settled as early as the 17th century by the French, and it was part of the Louisiana Territory before Mississippi became an independent state in the 19th century. Already at this time, the beautiful beaches attracted the tourists of the time and have been a favorite resort ever since.
Once you are at the visitor center you can take maps and brochures with you, watch a video from Biloxi and get answers to the vast majority of questions you have about the city. Here you can also book a guided tour of Beloxi's old lighthouse, which is one of the most frequently photographed attractions along the entire Gulf of Mexico.
The lighthouse in all its splendor and with all its history.
On March 3, 1847, the US Congress authorized the construction of a lighthouse in Biloxi. The United States Department of the Treasury entered into a contract dated October 15, 1847, with the Henry R. Hazlehurst foundry in Baltimore for the construction of a lighthouse foundry as it was called. The lighthouse was built separately, and the tower was completed and put into operation in 1848.
During a storm in 1860, some of the sand beneath the lighthouse eroded and caused the building to tip. It is said that a little later sand was removed from the opposite side to correct the slope, with success. Local authorities ordered the extinguishing of the lighthouse which almost caused a fire on 18 June 1861. At the time the tower was painted with coal tar to protect it from rust and it was this tar they were afraid would catch fire.
The few damages that occurred were repaired and the lighthouse was put into operation again15. November 1866. Then in 1916 the lighthouse was damaged by a hurricane and again the light went out. The following year, the jetty and boathouse were destroyed by a storm. It was a big day when the lighthouse was electrified in 1927. The tower is now owned by the city of Biloxi and serves as a navigation aid for private boaters and other local traffic. Then in 2005 the fire was again damaged, this time by Hurricane Katrina. A painstaking restoration was completed with a ceremony on 19 February 2010. The Americans are otherwise very good at presenting local history from the time around the Civil War and when they were established as the United States. You can also visit Beauvoir, which was the last home of Jefferson Davis, a key figure during the American Civil War. In the same area you will find "Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier" and "Civil War Museum".
The image is borrowed from Wikipedia. It was so much better than what I had just from the memorial stone.
Another tip is to set aside time for Ship Island, 19 kilometers south of the city. If you are interested in nature, fishing, animals as well as sun and swimming, this is a great place. Many of the people I spoke to recommended this as a nice day trip.
Short description from Wikipedia.
Ship Island is a barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, one of the Mississippi–Alabama barrier islands. Hurricane Camille split the island into two separate islands (West Ship Island and East Ship Island) in 1969. In early 2019, the US Army Corps of Engineers completed the first phase of a project restoring the two islands and recreating one Ship Island.[1 ] Ship Island Iceland is the site of Fort Massachusetts (built 1859–66), as a third system fortification. Part of the island is included in the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Here is a link to the ferry, with prices and departures, (pictures)
Also take a trip to the Old Biloxi Cemetery, a memorial to Hurricane Katrina as well as the tombstones of Biloxi's founders and Civil War soldiers from the 19th century. As always in the US, the easiest way to get around is by car. Although they have been ravaged by several hurricanes with the storm surge causing the water level to rise nine meters above normal, they have always quickly got back on their feet. The ravages of the last two hurricanes "Camille" and "Katrina" cost many hundreds of lives.
I also met five "happy boys" down on the beach, who willingly told me that they were now free from all the fuss and stress and that they had a good time in their city. They could meet down on the beach and have a chat and meet nice tourists, like you, adds one. Now you can get our smile, since the pandemic is over and that will be good enough, I got the answer when I asked about the names. They said that everyone who came here on the beach took lots of pictures and that the history of Biloxi is strongly in the minds of the vast majority of Americans. As I said, one of them repeated, everyone is always very nice, strikes up a conversation and sometimes even gives us a dollar or two for a beer. They didn't take credit cards, so all they got from me was a big, - thank you!
Another guy of those I spoke to says, when we got into the hurricanes; "We know we are exposed to hurricanes and we live with this, but it should not ruin our everyday lives," he continues. "Now I'm going home and changing and then I'm going to the Casino, eat a bit and maybe play a few rounds", then he smiles slyly and waves to have a good time! (He also did not want his name or face in print)
Biloxi is also known for its many casinos, but you can read more about that with one of my partners,Magzine Reis .no
Right next to the lighthouse stands this monument that celebrates the legacy of NASA astronaut Fred Haise. He was the pilot of the Lunar Module on Apollo 13, and one of only 24 people to have flown around the moon.
Fred Wallace Haise Jr. is an American test pilot and astronaut. Haise completed pilot training with the US Marine Corps in 1954. In 1964 he was a fully trained test pilot at the USAF Aerospace Test Pilot School. In the meantime, he had also completed an aeronautical engineering degree.
Apollo 13 was an American expedition to the moon, part of the Apollo program. The launch took place at 13:13 CST on April 11, 1970 from LC-39 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
As I said, this was only a short stop for me, but it would have been nice to spend the night and get to know the city better, but I have an appointment in New Orleans. So for me the journey continues and I hope you have a great experience when you stop by this little gem.
Thank you for the experience in Biloxi because now the next stop is New Orleans, a trip of about one hour and thirty minutes by car.
Biloxi is a city in Harrison County in Mississippi in the United States. It has a population of about 50,644. The city suffered widespread destruction on August 29, 2005, from Hurricane Katrina. The city is a regional center for gambling and the casino industry is an important source of income for the city.