Top 10 Beaches in Mississippi

Published on July 27th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Mississippi?

From its shimmering gulf coast to its wooded inland lakes, Mississippi is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the south. And with a nickname like “The Hospitality State,” you’ll enjoy a warm welcome wherever you travel. Let’s dive into all the beachy details!

Top Beaches in Mississippi

1. Bay St. Louis

2. Henderson Point Beach

3. Gulfport Beach

4. Ship Island

5. Biloxi Beach

6. East Beach

7. Horn Island

8. Ross Barnett Reservoir

9. Old Bridge Beach

10. Sardis Lake

Mississippi Beaches

Here are 10 Mississippi beaches you definitely don’t want to miss.

1. Bay St. Louis

A gorgeous body of land on the edge of St Louis Bay. You can see piers along the shore line as well as a river that runs through the town.

The first area of Mississippi Gulfshore-line beaches you’ll encounter if you’re driving into the state eastward from Louisiana, Bay St. Louis is both a gorgeous stretch of sand and a small town known for its funky, eclectic atmosphere. Quieter and often less crowded than some of its more famous local counterparts (which we’ll get to in just a second), Bay St. Louis is the perfect place to head if you’re looking for a calm, serene day of untouched shores and gently rolling waves. It’s a popular spot for catching a one-of-a-kind Mississippi sunset or simply soaking up some rays.

Things to do near Bay St. Louis: Just east of Gulfport, Bay St. Louis is a haven for travelers (and residents) looking for a quieter, less-tourist-filled taste of the Mississippi Gulf coast. In need of some thrilling nightlife to counterbalance those long, lazy days? Check out the Hollywood Casino & Resort Gulf Coast, the perfect place to have some drinks and try your luck. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

2. Henderson Point Beach

beach scenes on west boulevard in pass christian and henderson point

Also known as Pass Christian Beach, Henderson Point Beach is known as the south’s birthplace of yachting — but you don’t have to be a serious boater to seriously enjoy your visit here. Soft, golden sands are spread wide, offering ample opportunities for laying out a towel or constructing sand castles, and volleyball nets dot the horizon for those looking for a more heart-quickening beach passtime. At night, locals often host bonfires here to light up the night and brighten their gatherings. In any case, the sweeping views alongside a thriving small beach community make this beach well worth a place on your to-visit list.

Things to do near Henderson Point Beach: Nearby Henderson Point Park offers a different taste of the landscape of this part of Mississippi, with fun, family friendly developments like a playground and picnic pavilions. Rickey Levy Memorial Harbor Park is another well-kept local green space that beckons to families, young couples, and solo travelers alike. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for the trip!

3. Gulfport Beach

beach scenes on west boulevard in pass christian and henderson point

If you’ve only heard of one beach in Mississippi, chances are it’s this one — and for good reason. A wide swath of soft Gulf shore sand dotted with recliners and beach umbrellas, this beach is great for a well-earned day of relaxation while also offering all the amenities families need to enjoy a waterside day with their kids. The shallow waters make it accessible for even young swimmers still working up their strength, and those in search of an adrenaline-pumping day on the water can find jet ski rentals and fishing areas not far afield. The sands are guarded by a specialized Sheriff’s Beach Patrol, leading to one of the cleanest and safest environments in the area. All told, it’s a win for a wide variety of beachgoers.

Things to do near Gulfport Beach: Gulfport is the second-largest city in Mississippi after the state capital of Jackson, and as such has plenty to offer to visitors eager for something to do. While this, as many other Mississippi towns, offers some great casinos, there are also some more family friendly opportunities to look into, like the Mississippi Aquarium and the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider — and campgrounds to bring them to!

4. Ship Island

ship island seashells

As if the mainland shoreline wasn’t enough to draw you in, Mississippi has another ace up its sleeve: a series of beautiful barrier islands that line the coast in the waters of the Gulf. Ship Island is just about due south from Biloxi and accessible via ferry, from which passengers often spy dolphins jumping playfully through the surf. Along with its rugged stretches of sandy shore, ship island also offers beautiful hiking trails and access to historic Fort Massachusetts, originally constructed in the late 1800s as a defensive fortification as a way to ward off the British. Today, part of the island is preserved as Gulf Island National Seashore, which is maintained by the National Park Service.

Things to do near Ship Island: Given its situation an hour’s boat journey away from the Mississippi mainland, there’s not very much to do near Ship Island itself — its off-the-beaten-path location is part of its charm. But there’s plenty to see and do along the mainland shore between Gulfport and Biloxi, which is known for its gambling opportunities as well as shops, restaurants, hotels and more. Here are some local RVshare rentals to stay in on your trip — and area campgrounds to stay at!

5. Biloxi Beach

Biloxi Beach, Mississippi

Perhaps even more famous than Gulfport Beach — or at least tied for popularity — Biloxi Beach is the kind of shoreline where you can see the cityscape towering over you even as you relax and enjoy the natural sounds of the water hitting the sand. However, despite its fame and beauty, this beach often has only minimal crowds, offering a relatively quiet and relaxing opportunity for families, solo travelers, groups of friends, and couples. Because the water closest to the shoreline is relatively shallow, calm, and warm, this beach is a good one for bringing the kids along to learn the ropes (or pool noodles, as it were). Meanwhile, the bright lights and soft sounds of the city of Biloxi lay behind you, just waiting to be explored.

Things to do near Biloxi Beach: Known for its casinos as well as its first-class seafood restaurants, Biloxi is a uniquely Mississippi destination that’s well worth putting on your must-visit list — even if you’re only passingly interested in the beach. Not a partier? No problem: attractions like the Biloxi Lighthouse draw in history buffs and curious families. Here are some local RVshare rentals and campgrounds to browse.

6. East Beach

Sunset in Biloxi beach, Mississippi, along Gulf Coast shore

Just east of Biloxi, you’ll find the slightly smaller (but no less fascinating) city of Ocean Springs, which is home to a variety of beautiful beachfronts. Our favorite? East Beach, which is known for its soft sands and ample opportunities for everything from lazing in the sun to putting in your kayak to head for deeper, fishable waters. It’s a smaller stretch of sand than some of the others we’ve listed here, for sure — we prefer the term intimate — but for that reason, it’s also often less crowded and quieter than some of the other Mississippi Gulf beaches, most popular amongst locals than the tourists who flock to the general area in droves. Plus, area amenities like splash pads, fishing piers and volleyball nets make it easy to spend a whole day, or even a whole weekend, on the water without getting bored.

Things to do near East Beach: Ocean Springs is noteworthy for its many well-maintained parks and green spaces, including Fort Maurepas City Park and Nature Preserve, the family friendly Little Children’s Park, and the sweeping Davis Bayous Area Gulf Islands National Seashore. There are plenty of great RVshare rentals to choose from in this area, and some excellent area campgrounds to take them to.

7. Horn Island

Ruins of an abandoned structure on Horn Island of the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi

Another of Mississippi’s barrier islands, Horn Island offers a different remote beachscape to enjoy: designated alongside with its neighboring island, Petit Bois, as the Gulf Islands Wilderness, this is truly an out-there beach adventure unlike anything you’ll find on the mainland in Mississippi (or elsewhere in the south, to be honest). Because you’ll be far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities along the coastline, you’ll be able to really hear — and enjoy — the sound of the water gently caressing the shore, the seabirds flying overhead, and undoubtedly the sounds of your family’s laughter and happy chatter as you take in some unforgettable quality time together. Do be aware this island is only accessible via private boat, and there are no facilities on the island once you get there. Be sure you’re prepared!

Things to do near Horn Island: Located southeast of Biloxi and off the coast of Pascagoula, Horn Island offers visitors all the attractions of a truly remote destination while still being within relatively easy reach of big-city resources and amusements. While you’re on the mainland, check out Round Island Lighthouse, whose spiral stairs you can climb to the top for a small fee. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

8. Ross Barnett Reservoir

Jackson, MS - USA / December 2, 2018: Pearl River and Ross Barnett Reservoir with autumn trees in Mississippi

As epic as Mississippi’s Gulf coast is, not all of the best beaches are there — the state also boasts some worthy inland lake beaches worth checking out, too. Located in the town of Ridgeland, a suburb of the capital city of Jackson, the Ross Barnett Reservoir is a popular beach getaway for those who live in Mississippi’s interior and maybe don’t have the wherewithal to drive all the way to the coast, but still want a water-filled getaway. This reservoir’s sprawling 33,000 acres are surrounded by a variety of nature preserves and access points, including Old Trace Park on the southwestern shore and the Pearl River State Wildlife Management Area up north. Beautiful flowing cascades complete the scenery of this unique Mississippi body of water.

Things to do near the Ross Barnett Reservoir: Given its proximity to Jackson, there’s no shortage of exciting things to see, do, explore and eat near this inland lake, from the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science to the Jackson Zoo. As always, here are some of the best local RVshare rentals to consider — and our favorite Jackson-area RV parks to stay in!

9. Old Bridge Beach

A snowy egret meanders the shore of Bay Springs Lake

Offering an oasis of white sands and turquoise waters fully 350 miles from the Gulf shore, Old Bridge Beach lies along the southern end of Bay Springs Lake, which reaches leaf-like into the wilderness of northeastern Mississippi. Just a few miles from the Alabama coast and not much futher from Tennessee’s border, Old Bridge Beach punctuates its beautiful natural landscape with developments like picnic shelters, grills, playgrounds, volleyball courts, restrooms, outdoor showers, and more. In short, it’ll make you feel like you’ve journeyed to a tropical destination rather than simply taking a good ol’ southern lake weekend — and you’ll avoid the crowds of the famous shorelines, too!

Things to do near Old Bridge Beach: Just about 45 minutes northeast of Tupelo, Old Bridge Beach is off the beaten path while still being close enough to major cities that you can find the resources you need pronto. It’s also close to a variety of other wildernesses, such as nearby Tishomingo State Park or slightly further out Lake Lamar Bruce State Park. Here are some local RVshare rentals to peruse!

10. Sardis Lake

Stairway To The Lake On An Overcast Evening At Sardis Lake In Mississippi

Our final beautiful Mississippi beach destination is another lakeside attraction, this one located a bit further west than Old Bridge Beach. Sardis Lake has long been considered a premier beach destination for inland Mississippians, not to mention others who travel in from Tennessee, Arkansas, and further afield. A property of the larger Tallahatchie River, Sardis Lake is surrounded by preserved wildernesses and access points, including John W Kyle State Park, which is well known for its soft sand beaches (and a multitude of other amenities, including an 18-hole golf course and on-site RV camping). Along with its opportunities for swimming and sunbathing, the lake offers great opportunities for licensed fisherfolk to reel in largemouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and white bass. Yum!

Things to do near Sardis Lake: Only a few miles from the town of Oxford, known for the University of Mississippi, Sardis Lake is simultaneously quite remote and within an easy drive of well-populated areas. It’s also right in the shadow of nearby Holly Springs National Forest, which means there are plenty of other camping opportunities in the area. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your trip.

Planning an RV Trip to Mississippi

While Mississippi’s beaches are one-of-a-kind, they’re far from the only reason to visit this storied state. We’ve got everything you need to make the perfect RV trip happen, from the best rental rigs in the state to guides to the best state parks and campgrounds to see and stay in. We’ve also penned guides to Jackson and Vicksburg for you city slickers — so what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!

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