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October stay in mississippi on coast?

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london
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October stay in mississippi on coast?

My son is going to USM Hattiesberg on a year's exchange program and we have booked flights to come and see him end of October. We are spending a week in the area and I am not sure of the best place to stay with our other 3 teenagers.

We love the coast and are happy to make the 1.5 hour drive to Hattiesberg, but reading the reviews it sounds like the beach is not great. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to stay and nice hotel/condo?

We are not particularly interested in casinos, but the kids like a good pool, fitness centre, shopping and activities on and around the ocean.

Thanks

C B
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1. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

I'm from the ms gulf coast. I live three cities over from Biloxi in a small city named Pass Christian. The hotels can be pretty pricey. In my opinion Hard Rock or Imperial palace are the two best. There's a Four Points (by Sheraton) down the street close to "casino row". It's also across the street from the beach. The beach isn't that bad its not Florida water but it's still water. There's a new hotel close by Veterns ave. I'm not sure the name but it's pretty nice. It's actually on the beach side. As far as things to do. There plenty of charter boats, a new goofy golf course on Veterns ave. but don't expect much. If you go towards Gulfport you can plan a day at Ship Island via "The Ship Island Excursion" it's a big ferry boat that will take a group to the island much cleaner beach/water. Look it up online. D'Iverbille has a new shopping center with tons of restaurants, movie theater,bowling,batting cages, laser tag. It's maybe a 8-10 min ride. If you want a more easy going laid back area. There's a holiday inn express in long beach that has a pool and is right by the beach and in my opinion closer to better restaurants. Less touristy attractions but more food,better people. In pass christian you can take those boys to an indoor shooting range "Gun Ho" and rent guns and ammo on site. Make sure you vist Pirates Cove in the pass or shaggys in the harbor. Or Steve's marina in long beach. Hope this helps. Get those boys in at a decent time and they'll stay out of trouble.

Meridian...
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2. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

I agree with CB on the IP or Hard Rock, however, they are both casino Hotels. They do offer some nice amenties, on the beachfront, and close to Ocean Springs with some funky shopping opps. I tend to like the Pass and Long Beach for the quiet though myself, but you will have to drive a little to get into the 'hustle and bustle' of the Gulf Coast. My recommendation is to do some research on the area and determine where best to stay based on your family's interests, opportunites for leisure & rec, and travel time to USM. Staying in Biloxi or Gulfport gives you easier access to Highway 49 to Hburg so that may help. Another option may be to stay at the Marriot or Hilton Garden Inn at the airport to allow you to be close to food, shopping and interstate access to other nearby cities. Just some suggestions; hope y'all have a safe trip and good luck to your son from a fellow USM alum....

Colorado
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3. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

If you are spending the time and money to come all of the way from London, I would not stay out at the airport. I would stay near the beach. The Beau Rivage would be my first choice of hotel. Even though it's a casino, it has great restaurants, shops, and pool, as well as a great location. And, you really don't even have to go in the casino if you don't want to.

I definitely would take a trip out to Ship Island. The beaches are nicer there and there is some history to take in out there as well. Your kids might also enjoy a deep sea fishing trip. Here's a link to a great company. The captain and crew are top notch and lots of fun. www.finsandgrinscharters.com

Colorado
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4. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

A few more things I forgot to mention... If you would prefer to stay in a condo on the beach (might give you more room for the family), South Beach has is a very nice complex right on the beach in Biloxi. www.sbbiloxhotel.com

Also, you might also want to consider looking at the beaches in south Alabama. It's not a bad drive there from Hattiesburg. Just take hwy 98.

And one more thought on some activities while you are in the area, if you have never been to New Orleans, you should probably consider at least spending a day there. Maybe even try to take the teens on a Swamp Tour.

london
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5. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

Hi C B, Sclero and Rachel,

thank you so much for all your suggestions and advice.

I am leaning towards renting a private condo or house so that we have more space - I've got some good offers from Legacy, Beau View and Sienna on the Coast. Do any of you know these? Also seen a really cool house in Ocean Springs, but my husband is worried that it is a bit isolated.

Ship Island and the Swamp tour sound perfect!

Personally I like to stay right on the ocean in as unspoilt a setting as possible, as this is such a treat coming from London.

Meridian...
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6. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

It sounds as though you have done some proper planning and these condos could suit your family well. They should offer some amazing views of the Gulf if your looking for that. The house in Ocean Springs would probably be a cool option and as far as being isolated its just over the bridge and your back in Biloxi. However, that may not be what your referring to but OS is really a cool little city with a culture of its own. Keep doing your research because it seems like it is paying off, and take some advice from Rachel and spend some time to see New Orleans. Just took my wife and daughters over a few weeks ago for the day to go shopping and walking around the French Quarter and it was a great time. The Gulf Coast has so much to offer that it will benefit your family to keep researching and planning....

Colorado
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7. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

Any of those condos are great, and I think your teens would probably rather be there than in the house, since they would have a pool in the condos.

For lots more ideas and info on the Swamp Tours, check out the New Orleans forum on TA.

london
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8. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

Thanks everyone. I've opted for Sienna on the Coast. Hope it'll be nice.

Looking further into the Swamp Tours I would like to try the quieter flat bottom boat type. Do you have any recommendations for the best tour company?

Also we would love to see a professional sports game - ideally football. I'm drawing a blank on that at the moment. Is there anything we could try and get tickets for?

My son left for MS yesterday and I'm missing him already!!

Colorado
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9. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

I think you would enjoy either a Saints football game (professional) or an LSU football game (college) for a exciting time. USM also has college football games, but the experience is not the same as at LSU. If you go to a college game you will get to enjoy Tailgating before the game, so you might enjoy that a bit more than a pro game. But, there is really nothing like spending game day in New Orleans for a Saints game. This would be tough to choose.

Gautier, Mississippi
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10. Re: October stay in mississippi on coast?

Sienna is a beautiful condo property! Their pool has one of the best views, I think. I'd also suggest you look at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport as an activity -- they offer dolphin encounters for just $90 per person (US $$). INFINITY Science Center north of Bay St. Louis is a new attraction that has some cool space and science focuses. Unique shopping can be found in downtown Ocean Springs, Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, especially if you are looking for more art-focused things. There are a few options for river tours -- the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, EcoTours of South Mississippi and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. Personally, I'd lean towards the first two because they focus on the Pascagoula River which is one of the longest remaining free-flowing river systems in the United States.

And a Saints game ALWAYS rocks!!!

Also happy to offer great local restaurant suggestions, too!