Ocean Springs, MS
Ocean Springs is known for its more than 300 years of history, live oaks, art, award winning festivals and national community awards and designations, such as “One of the 50 Best Small Towns”, “Bringing Back the Beauty Award,” a certified “Cultural Corners Programs,” a “Preserve America” community, “Tree City USA” and “Travel Treasure” and is just a stone’s throw from Biloxi’s casino row. This little town has been quoted as a destination to check out!
A Feb. 21 article in the Washington Post gave DC residents some alternatives to the cold winter weather by suggesting to visit either Anaheim, CA or Ocean Springs, MS. The article stated: “Just across the bay from Biloxi is a thriving arts community in the small Mississippi Gulf Coast city of Ocean Springs. Known as the City of Discovery because the French established a settlement there in 1699, it has a historic, tree-filled downtown area that’s home to scads of art galleries, arts and crafts shops, ethnic restaurants and historic churches dating back to the 1800s. There’s also a load of natural beauty to enjoy, and you can go fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, biking and birding in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which stretches to Florida. Finally, should you have a hankering to hit the casinos, just follow the flashy lights to Biloxi.”
Southern Living recently wrote about Ocean Springs, “With its cottagey storefronts, streets lined with live oaks, and an eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants and shops, it is a great place to stroll, chill and chat up the locals. The old community attracts lots of artsy types, making it both charming and hip at the same time.”
And Preservation in Print also commented on the creativeness of the community: “The city we now know as Ocean Springs is the oldest community on the Gulf Coast, having been founded by Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville in 1699…All over Ocean Springs you will see reminders of the (Walter) Anderson’s influence. From banners hanging from lamp poles, to murals painted on exterior walls of buildings…There is so much more here than initially meets the eye.”
Ocean Springs is filled with more than 100 shops, most of which are within walking distance from the Chamber-Main Street-Tourism offices in downtown, as well as overflowing with more than 100 restaurants and bars.
Over the past year, Ocean Springs has seen a number of changes thanks to the City and federal grants. The downtown revitalization plan is well underway with the completion of upgrading the four major intersections in downtown which includes additions of lighting, brick walkways and landscaping. The depot lot, home to the Saturday Fresh Market and starting location for most of the monthly festivals, has received a facelift complete with new lighting, landscaping and a complete redesign of the lot.
Bicycle markers have been added to help those cycling through town, a blueways trail has been designated to help encourage locals and visitors to take advantage of some of Ocean Springs’ natural beauties, its bayous and gulf waters, and a new site dedicated to the numerous restaurants and bars called OceanSpringsEats.com has been created. Monthly events are held celebrating everything under the sun from the arts to nature, St. Patrick’s Day and food and wine.
Of course, every town has its story, and ours is not perfect, but we think it is a jewel! We are blessed with a beautiful downtown, downtown neighborhoods that shadow the large live oaks, colorful art on almost every corner, and a seaside community filled with a mix of local characters.