The Mississippi Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful beaches, exciting casinos, world-class entertainment, and fine dining options. There are many attractions and hotels in Long Beach, MS, making it a great place to spend a vacation. While the area is known as a southern tourism hub now, how did the area become what it is today? Learn more about the Mississippi Gulf Coast with these Long Beach Mississippi fun facts!
- Coastal Mississippi was first colonized by the French in 1699 when French explorer Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville discovered it.
- Named Fort Maurepas initially, modern-day Ocean Springs was the capital of French Louisiana in the 1700s.
- The “Singing River” in Pascagoula has a haunted history of a war between two lovers and ended in a group suicide.
- Schooner factories hosted quite possibly the nation’s first Grand Prix with races for prizes in the 19th century.
- Dog Key Island and a few estates in the area were known for smuggling liquor during the Prohibition era.
- Barq’s Root Beer got its start in downtown Biloxi, MS, in the late 1800s.
- When it was founded, Long Beach was a mostly agricultural town known as the “Radish Capital of the World” in the early 1900s.
- Mary Mahoney’s Old French House, a New Orlean’s style eatery, is located in the Historic French House built in 1737.
- Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, the Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs is touted as the first Modernest home ever designed.
- The Port of Gulfport has been an active seaport since 1902.
- Mississippi joined all of the states in the lower 48 by allowing small breweries to sell beer onsite—starting on July 1, 2017.
- The Mississippi Gulf Coast is the longest human-made beach in the U.S.A. It spans from Biloxi to Henderson Point.
- Hancock County was the first county to allow dockside gambling in 1990, which lead the way to the area’s many casinos.
- The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2016. It’s the highest honor a museum can receive!
- Coastal Mississippi’s famous Cruisin’ The Coast event attracts car enthusiasts from 44 states and international visitors from countries like Australia, Canada, and Germany. The event had over 8,000 cars registered in 2018.
- Coastal Mississippi has six barrier islands, including Ship Island and Deer Island. Ferries run seasonally to Ship Island and is a popular beach hangout.
- In 1904, Biloxi was crowned as the Seafood Capital of the World.
- The Mississippi Gulf Coast is responsible for producing about 70% of the nation’s oysters and shrimp.
- The Friendship Oak, located on the campus of Southern Miss-Gulf Coast, is more than 500 years old.
Pop Culture Facts
- Elvis was known to frequent the hotels and shops in the area from 1951-1957.
- Several famous celebrities are from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including Football Hall of Famer Bret Favre, news anchor Robin Roberts, and Jimmy Buffet.
- The 1966 classic film, “This Property Is Condemned,” was filled in the area. The movie starred Natalie Wood and Robert Redford.
- The 100 Men Hall DBA has hosted prominent blues performers, including Etta James, Guitar Slim, and Big Joe Turner.
Visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the Holiday Inn Express
We hope these Long Beach, Mississippi fun facts give you an in-depth look at the area’s rich history and culture. Now, it’s time to visit! Book a room at the Holiday Inn Express in Long Beach, MS, and be close to all the attractions, events, and entertainment options the Mississippi Gulf Coast offers.