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Free Things to Do Near Gulfport Mississippi

Matt Claiborne
January 22, 2021

Whether you are on a budget, looking for an afternoon's entertainment for the kids, or just looking to get out into nature, there is plenty of fun and free things to do on the Gulf Coast. The area is full of enjoyable activities and diversions. Start by checking out these fun things about Long Beach, Mississippi.

FRIENDSHIP OAK

Friendship Oak

Friendship Oak is a stately, imposing, and spectacular ancient live oak tree. Live Oaks are found all over the South, and with such ubiquity, we often overlook their majestic beauty. But at 59 feet tall and a trunk measuring 19.8 feet around, it's hard to ignore or dismiss Friendship Oak. Over 500 years old, it was already a sapling by the time Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492. It has witnessed all of American history, survived countless hurricanes, and continues to offer friendship to all visitors.

Friendship Oak is located on the Gulf Park campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Students have attended classes and listened to poetry underneath this impressive tree since the school opened. According to the University, the name comes from the saying, "those who enter my shadow will remain friends through all their lifetime.” The tree is a popular spot for weddings and photos.

FISHBONE ALLEY

Fishbone Alley is a neat side trip when visiting the bars and restaurants of downtown Gulfport. This alley used to be a boring, unappealing side street, but it is now a vibrant must-see spot. Here, artists leave their marks by painting murals, panels, and shutters. The bricks lining the alley are over 100 years old. Overhead string lights add to the charm. Surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, Fishbone Alley is the perfect interlude before or after dinner.

Hands molding a clay pottery

SHEARWATER POTTERY

Shearwater Pottery was founded in 1928 by the Anderson brothers. Today, the pottery continues to be a family affair. The artist's workshops are open to the public, and you can see the master crafters at work. Unique items are available in the gift shop for those that love shopping and want a functional and beautiful item.

FONTAINEBLEAU NATURE TRAIL

Fontainebleau Nature Trail is a great way to get out of the city, stretch your legs, and enjoy nature. This well-marked 1.6-mile trail is excellent for bird and wildlife watchers; sandhill cranes are often seen here. Because it’s an easy, level walk, this trail is perfect for the whole family, and leashed dogs are welcome. The trail follows the river and has several overlooks. You'll want to bring bug spray, water, and hats in the summer, and don't forget your camera in case you see an alligator, beautiful flower, or sandhill crane.

WAVELAND GROUND ZERO HURRICANE MUSEUM‍

Sign with information about Hurricane Katrina

The Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum memorializes those that lost their lives during Hurricane Katrina and those that came together to support each other during this horrific event. Tours of the museum begin with an informative video. Volunteers, who lived in the area during Hurricane Katrina, are on hand to answer questions. The museum features before and after pictures. Handmade quilts, created from scraps of fabric found after the hurricane, are on display. Museum curators see the museum as an unhappy or sad collection and a tribute to the community's resilience. The museum serves to thank volunteers and first responders who support each other and rebuild the community.

BEST FREE THINGS TO DO NEAR GULFPORT MS‍

There are plenty of activities to keep everyone happy during your stay on the Gulf Coast. Whether you want a quiet picnic, a trail hike, or a quick peek at some art after dinner, Gulfport is the place to find it.

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