Friday, May 25, 2012

Exploring Ocean Springs, Mississippi

This is a beautiful area and Ocean Springs is a wonderful town...There are pretty shops and cute boutiques. There's a great old drugstore called Lovelace's Drugstore. It has an old fashioned soda fountain and cool booths, not much stock and inventory for anything else on the shelves, but there was a pharmacy there. Didn't have time for a soda, but it sure brought back memories of growing up in the fifties! We had a place near my childhood home called Mary's Cupboard. We'd go there as a special treat when we passed a swimming class "grade" and have cheeseburgers, fries, coleslaw and green rivers, a lime phosphate drink. We looked forward to that simple reward more than anything and worked hard to pass the "grades" in swim class at the local high school. With three brothers coming behind me, and all of us taking swim lessons, we got to go fairly often to Mary's Cupboard.
It's fun to see these places still in existence....
There are cool looking shops and restaurants lining the streets of Ocean Springs...
There's a great Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center in Ocean Springs that is an old railroad station depot. At one end, is a gift shop that sells the artist, Walter Anderson's creations. They are beautiful. There is a museum in the area celebrating his artwork and background. He suffered from major depression and struggled with it all his life. He left his understanding family and lived in solitude for many years on one of the area islands, living in all kinds of weather with minimal supplies and possessions, often sleeping under his boat. Quite a story behind this man....a sad existence but a remarkable artist.

On one list of ten things to do in Ocean Springs, there's not much mentioned as far as actual places to go see, but Biloxi is just over the bridge two miles from Ocean Springs and there's more going on there than you could possibly have enough time to do and see it all!  Hurricane Katrina damaged so much in this area, that much of it has been rebuilt and remodeled. Everything looks clean and new, but every once in awhile, you see the relics from the storm-- a partially sunk boat, the empty vacant lots between the new apartments and houses, the remains of someone's home. Mississippi is the poorest state in the U.S., so they are struggling mightily state wide, but you can't tell in the Ocean Springs area.

Here is a sample suggestion from a local brochure of ten things to do while in Ocean Springs-- besides go to the beach, which is a given!

Pitcher plant
1. Enjoy the year round display of the pitcher plants, black eyed susans, daylilies and more...
2. Take a stroll under the magnificent live oaks...
3. Pick up a visitor's guide at the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street--then shop at over 150 shops and galleries.
4. Gig for flounder by moonlight..."Gig"...hmm-m-m..that sounds intriguing..I'm assuming it means go fishing!
5.Watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
6. Visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art
7. Take in a live performance at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for Arts and Education
8. Explore the bayous and river tributaries by kayak. Sparky has already checked that out and can see getting lost VERY easily. Not sure she is going unless it's a straight shot out and back. All the curves and inlets and marshes look the same out there!
9.  Pedal your way around the city's bike route. There are over 20 miles of cement path right in town plus lots more miles outside of town. But it's awfully hot for that this next couple of days, temps around 90.
10. Picnic at the beach at the beautiful Fort Maurepas Park or check out some cool mosaics right by the bay bridge to Biloxi--the Ocean Springs/Biloxi Bay Bridge. These were done by four local artists and artist, Elizabeth Veglia arranging the placement and installation. The mosaics are 550 square feet of beautiful tile designs of the Ocean Springs beach area. Gorgeous!

As Sparky is not much of a shopper, we spent more time down by the bridge and the waterfront park. There's a protected walker's lane on the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Many people were out this evening walking the bridge for exercise. You could bike it, but the incline is steep and most people choose to walk. It's a beautiful, new bridge.
view from underneath the bridge
We explored the waterfront and marina by car.....What's with the pink dredging equipment? Don't know, but it's cool!
We liked this sign at the dock....In case you can't read it, it says, "Size Does Matter".....

We enjoyed our exploratory little trip around the town of Ocean Springs. It's truly a place to kick back and a vacation destination! The Mississippi Crane Wildlife Refuge is very close by and there are many other wonderful places to see and things to do. We could see spending a couple of weeks here and more, especially since our RV park is 8.00 a night, but we only have two and a half days. We'll definitely come back. And look what's across the water in Biloxi!..There are lots of casinos in the Biloxi area. Plenty of places to eat cheap, have a little fun, and the competition for the tourist dollar is tremendous along with lots of top notch entertainment begging for your buck.  As a matter of fact, tomorrow is the grand opening of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi...We're going to check it out! See you there!


  1. If you like shrimp or oyster po-boys, that's the place to be. :)

  2. I have been trying to get there for the past two years. That's for the brief peek. What a cute soda fountain. I'm sorry to see no one in there though. Without patrons, it might close before I can get there to have a chocolate malt, heavy on the malt.