Ocean Springs, Mississippi Vacation

Day 1

After spending 4 days on a houseboat in the bayous of Louisiana we traveled to Ocean Springs, Mississippi to explore this little known gulf town. We stayed at a private guest house within a 10 minute walk to downtown Ocean Springs from March 9-13, 2023. More on this rental nightmare at the end.

Ocean Springs is a cute little main street community 2 miles east of Biloxi with very few high rises to be found . There are many bars and restaurants and unique shopping opportunities along Government Street. It’s the perfect place to go shopping and bar hopping. It is well known as an artsy community and hosts several arts festival throughout the year.

Day 2

There are several parks to visit near Ocean Springs. One of them we visited was Gulf Island National Seashore, Davis Bayou Area. The entirety of the Gulf Island National Seashore park covers both Mississippi and Florida. There is no access to the beach from the Davis Bayou portion of it in Mississippi. This park was disappointing. It was run down and unkept. Many of the trails and boardwalks were closed because they had fallen apart. Do not waste your time going here.

We also visited Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. There are three units of this refuge you can visit. The first one we went to was the Fontainebleau Unit. This was much nicer than the Gulf Island National Seashore Park. It has clearly been maintained and improved regularly.

When we got back to Ocean Springs we walked along the shoreline and explored the public beach area.

Day 3 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

One of the main modes of transportation in Ocean Springs is by golf cart. Many of the locals own them and they can be rented (for a hefty price). We decided to rent one for the day. The rental facility will give you a map on where you can and can’t go. Make sure you follow the boundaries and don’t cross over them as the carts are equipped with GPS systems and they will take your cart away from you.

As we were driving around Ocean Springs we noticed quite a few bachelor and bachelorette parties. The amount of drunk people golf cart driving was impressive and somewhat scary. After spotting a bride’s novelty sash along the road we found the party it belonged to and returned it. I was given shots for its safe return.

The remainder of our day was spent bar hopping and eating. There are bars everywhere in Ocean Springs and you will find them in surprising places like hidden in the back of an “old lady store” called Poppy’s. If you get a chance try a shot of Cathead Vodka made in Mississippi.

Day 4

The second area of Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge we visited was the Gautier Unit. The visitor center is located here but it was closed. They had a lot of really nice trails with interpretive signs. we started up one of the trails and heard thunder so we had to leave. This is where you are most likely to see the sandhill cranes especially during breeding season. We would have liked to have stayed longer. I would recommend this park to visit while you’re staying in Ocean Springs.

On the way back from Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge I checked my Roadside America app and found the site of a supposed UFO siting. We took a short detour to check it out.

Day 5

We had some time to kill so on the way to the airport we stopped at Fort Beauvoir, the last home of the confederate president, Jefferson Davis. I was surprised how large the property was. We took a guided tour of his house and explored the grounds. There was also a new building with a presidential library and museum which we walked through. It was actually quite impressive.

House Rental Issues in Ocean Springs

There were some issues with the house we rented. I had originally booked it through VRBO. A month or so later I got a message from the owner stating she was leaving the platform and offered me the option to rent from her directly. I paid her directly through PayPal minus the VRBO fees. A week before the rental date, I had not heard from the owner even after emailing her. I then decided to ask for my money back through PayPal assuming I had been scammed. I received a “refund denied” back.

My last ditch effort was finding her on Facebook and messaging her and some of her family members. I did hear back with the response that I was given the code to get in through text messages. Even after giving her my phone number I never got any text messages from her. She did end up giving me the code through Facebook messenger. If I hadn’t had Facebook I would have never gotten into the house. Pay the extra fees through VRBO and DO NOT rent directly from anyone. On the positive side, the house was very nice and we were quite pleased with it.

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