Are you looking to learn a little more about the Gulf Coast, its culture, or its history? Museum hopping is a great way to spend the day, and there's a little something for everyone in the area. Here are a few of the top museums near Gulfport, MS.
SEABEE HERITAGE CENTER & SEABEE CINEMA
Do you know what a SeaBee is? The SeaBees are the construction battalions (CB or "SeaBee") of the US Navy. Formed during World War II, the detachment has been instrumental in wartime conflicts worldwide and disaster relief missions. These troops are expert construction works who are also fully trained to defend themselves against attacks. The SeaBee Heritage Center & Seabee Cinema in Gulfport is the premier location to learn about these heroic service members. The Center's exhibits and memorabilia come from the SeaBee's headquarters in Port Hueneme. Unfortunately, the SeaBee Heritage Center is temporarily closed for refurbishment.
MISSISSIPPI COAST MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM
Train enthusiasts and the rest of the family will enjoy the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. You'll see lots of model trains, including Jurassic Park and Futurama themed displays, plus lots of interactive layouts that the kids can operate. There are also outdoor garden areas and multiple riding trains. The museum is home to Mississippi's largest railroad-themed Lego display!
MISSISSIPPI AVIATION HERITAGE MUSEUM
Looking for a more uplifting experience? Takeoff to the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum. Located next to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, the museum houses a collection of aviation artifacts that tell Mississippi's greatest aviators’ story. The 52,000 square foot facility has airplanes and plenty of interactive displays to keep the kids engaged. It's a hidden gem!
BILOXI FIRE MUSEUM
Located inside the city's original 1937 firehouse, the Biloxi Fire Museum has memorabilia and artifacts from the fire department's 120-year history. The Fire Museum is only open on Saturdays.
MARITIME AND SEAFOOD INDUSTRY MUSEUM
If you're looking to learn more about life by and on the Gulf, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum is the place to go. Exhibits educate visitors about the history of shrimping, oystering, fishing industries, and the local marine ecosystems. There are displays about local boat building and many artifacts from the area's maritime history. The museum also operates two 65-foot Biloxi Schooners. You can charter them for group functions or hop aboard for one of their "walk-on" sails.
COASTAL MARDI GRAS MUSEUM
Everyone has heard of Mardi Gras, but the concept is still a little foreign for many visitors to the area. Stop by the Coastal Mardi Gras Museum to learn everything you need to know about this unique Gulf Coast tradition. The small museum is dedicated to the history of the event and what it all means. There are costumes, videos, and displays; you'll get an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the party.
OHR-O'KEEFE MUSEUM OF ART
The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art is not your typical art museum experience. George Ohr was known as the Mad Potter of Biloxi, a title that suits his creative spirit and innovative vision. Famed architect Frank Gehry designed the museum campus, which is full of unique and striking buildings that are all self-sufficient. The museum also hosts workshops in pottery and ceramics.
BAY ST. LOUIS
ALICE MOSELEY FOLK ART & ANTIQUE MUSEUM
Upstairs in the train depot in Bay St. Louis, you'll find the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum. Miss Alice was a self-taught folk artist who began painting at the age of 65 while caring for her ailing mother. She began selling her work at flea markets, and it quickly gained popularity. Miss Alice spent her last years here in Bay St. Louis, where many tourists came to her home and visited with her. The museum hosts an extensive collection of her work and retains the feeling that you have come to town for a visit with Miss Alice.
WAVELAND GROUND ZERO HURRICANE MUSEUM
Like many beach towns, Waveland is right on the coast and was ground zero for the area's worst natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. The Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum commemorates that terrible storm and the reconstruction and rebuilding that followed it.
VISIT THE TOP MUSEUMS NEAR GULFPORT MS
These museums are fun and inexpensive ways to spend some time learning more about this beautiful area. And if you've worked up a thirst after a day of touring, be sure to check out some of the best Mississippi breweries.