One of the best tourist spots in the USA is Gulfport, the second-largest city in Mississippi. This city is part of an undiscovered beach town with immaculate white sand beaches and minimal tourist traffic. The clear waters draw a lot of attention, making this a tourist destination all year round. Gulfport is an ideal city for a family vacation as there are a lot of activities people can participate in, like renting water sports equipment, visiting theme parks, and other high-adrenaline attractions available for the daring ones.
Those who want something quiet can unwind on a private sailing trip on these calm waters of the gulf. Model trains, vintage vehicle museums, children’s museums, and tours of the renowned Stennis Space Center are available in the town. Prior to your visit, we advise contacting the restaurants and attractions centers to confirm the most recent opening hours. There are numerous things to do in Gulfport, but here are the 20 best.
20. Enjoy a Fun Family Day Out at Bananas Mini-Golf and Arcade
You and your family deserve fun, and it is only fitting that you bring them to Bananas Mini-Golf & Arcade to participate in some outdoor fun. Due to the friendly competitiveness this mini-golf course encourages, there is a high chance of family and friends getting some bonding time. In case of too much heat, umbrellas and misting stations are available to cool players. Golfers who play in the evening will enjoy playing on a wholly lit course with numerous colored waterfalls. Disabled putters and the entire system are available. Visit their cutting-edge arcade and tiny country-style market while you’re there.
19. Visit the Half Shell Oyster House of Gulfport
Locals in Gulfport constantly gush about the famed charbroiled oysters at Half Shell Oyster House, prepared over an open fire with barbeque, unique herbs, and more. At Half Shell Oyster House in Gulfport serves with New Orleans flair. According to Travellens, visiting this place opens the door to local favorites such as fried shrimp, seafood gumbo, and crab cakes, and the leading cause for the most succulent taste; is oysters. In addition to serving seafood, Half Shell Oyster House also serves a selection of draft beer, martinis, bottled beer, and wine served in a glass. With its gloomy decor and jazz music playing in the background, the restaurant’s casual yet classy environment, which is highly reminiscent of the French Quarter, completes the experience.
18. See the Joseph T. Jones Statue
Gulfport was cofounded by Joseph Thomas Jones, who built a fortune in the oil industry and, through his military resources, managed to explore and invest in the oil pipelines. He did all these despite being paralyzed by his civil war injuries. Through the money he acquired from being the biggest crude oil producer in the US, he and William H. Hardy created Gulfport. Because of this, Gulfport celebrates Joseph Jones with a bronze structure considered one of the most significant attractions in the city. Take a few minutes out of your day to pay your respects to this legend’s statue.
17. Enjoy Shopping at Gulfport Premium Outlets
Shopping is relaxing, and when at Gulfport, it is an excellent idea to take an afternoon out of your vacation and go shopping at the outstanding outlets in the city. The town stores are many, meaning you have different shops to pop into and find other things. The popular stores include Kate Spade New York, Ralph Lauren Factory, and the Banana Republic. The best part about going shopping in the city is that there are indoor food carts that you can rely on to feed you if you get hungry while shopping.
16. Take a Boat Ride
Given Gulfport’s proximity to the Gulf Coast, it seems logical to board a boat when visiting. Numerous enjoyable opportunities for yachting, cruising, and fishing are available to guests. As a result of Gulfport’s prime coastline position, a sailing charter company can take guests on a boat journey. For a local guide service that offers individual charter cruises, the North Star Sailing Charters stands out. All Gulfport tours and charters must be required to depart from Bert Jones Yacht Club Harbor, which is situated adjacent to Jones Park. Go boating and enjoy the emerald waters and atmosphere in the seas.
15. Enjoy a Fun Day at the Altitude Trampoline Park
Gulfport offers you and your family a chance to let your guard down and have fun. If you are traveling with your kids, allowing them to visit this trampoline park is only fitting. This results in invigorating fun as this is not your average trampoline park; it offers wall-to-wall trampolines and other numerous attractions and activities to participate in. Wipe Out is where you can challenge your friends as players must avoid padded arms on a rotating wheel. You can also opt to engage in competition at Battle Beam by attempting to push each other into a huge foam pit.
14. Experience Seeing Friendship Oak
Friendship oak is a tree appreciated by most due to its strength and originality. The tree stands big and extremely old at the University of Southern Mississippi. This tree dates back to 1487 and is more than 500 years old. The 59-foot tall tree has limbs reaching 65 feet, a 19.9 circumference, and 5.75 trunk diameters. According to Vacation Idea, there is the belief that anyone who strolls underneath the shady branches of the tree remains friends for life. The tree has endured all its hurricane damage, including Katrina in 2005. The Friendship Oak has hosted numerous wedding ceremonies and even served as a classroom at times.
13. Place Bets at Island View Casino
Without a doubt, a date night without kids is called for, and it is only fitting that you do something fun and unforgettable. A trip to the well-known Island View Casino guarantees this, as this vast casino can anticipate finding dozens of table games and hundreds of slot machines at your conveyance. The casino is decent enough for everyone as it has a wide variety of smoke-free dining alternatives, including an outstanding buffet, a beignet cafe, an outdoor bar, and a steakhouse, among others. Go spend Time having fun with a chance of winning some money.
12. Tour Crosby Arboretum
With more than 300 types of local grasses, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs, Crosby arboretum is the perfect place to go and meander among this unique nature. Taking a stroll in the arboretum is refreshing as you inhale the pleasant fragrances of the fresh flowers. The arboretum sits on 764 acres of land and is an hour’s drive from the city center. Mississippi State University is in charge of caring for this arboretum which contains native species to the Pearl River Drainage Basin. Here, you can come across aquatic, savannah, and woodland biological systems, among other sorts.
11. Visit the Chandeleur Island Brewing Company
When touring Gulfport, it is customary to tire after a day of sightseeing, which is why you need to relax. The Chandeleur Island Brewing Company is the perfect place to be for a craft beer. Two brothers with a love for craft beer founded Brewing Company in the 1990s. You and your spouse can decide to take a trip to this place as it offers local cuisine and live exciting music. There are kid-friendly things to do if you want to bring your kids.
10. Enjoy Seeing Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum
Train enthusiasts should visit this historic railroad museum to indulge their inner child or occupy their children. Get the opportunity to watch as trains move around the exhibit while learning about railroad history. It is an educational opportunity for all, as railroad history can be traced back 200 years. According to Trip Advisor, the museum is kept up by a dedicated group of individuals who want to preserve Gulfport’s history of railroads and simple lines. Many things will undoubtedly capture your eye if you glance around, and these are memories you will bring home.
9. Tour the Zip’ N Fun Adventure Park
Adventure is of the essence, and Zip’ N Fun Adventure Park is undoubtedly exciting, active, and challenging as it transports visitors to the treetops, where a course of fifty games awaits. Visitors enter the course wearing harnesses and ascend to high platforms where they must navigate obstacles, including tight ropes, shaky rope bridges, hanging logs, and more, to complete this increasingly challenging course. The activities here will keep you focused and challenge your physique.
8. Visit Heritage Museum
The state’s historical endeavors to fly to the heavens and the clouds are chronicled in a museum accessible to visitors and close to the airport. The heritage museum was built to honor the valor of John C. Robinson, commonly known as “Brown Condor,” who fought against Benito Mussolini from 1935 to 1936 in the Ethiopian War. Youngsters can feel right at home as the museum provides them with interactive exhibits to enjoy in addition to the fascinating displays available. People also learn about Gulf coast aviation history.
7. Visit the Stennis Space Center
Are you aware NASA possesses a testing facility in Gulfport? The John C. Stennis Space Center was constructed to assist the main branch by serving as a testing ground for specific rocket kits during the renowned Apollo space project. Stennis has been a crucial testing facility in the US’s extensive space program ever since the complex was first constructed in the 1960s as part of the critical Apollo space program. At the center, you get to learn exciting things about space topics and their history. There is a bus tour always provided to guests interested in the tour.
6. Hang out at the Fishbone Alley
As risky as hanging out in an alley, this alley is worth it as it is pure art. Fishbone Alley is a historic alleyway amid two rows of shops in the center of downtown with exciting artwork. According to Family Destinations Guide, the streets in the downtown area were covered in brick around the beginning of the 20th century. Each brick has the stamp of the Graves Brick Company, which has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. The art here is breathtaking and worth your Time as you appreciate its uniqueness.
5. Tour the Mississippi Aquarium
Take Time to visit the Mississippi Aquarium as it is suitable for all kinds of people interested in learning about the stunning aquatic creatures in view. The 5.8 acres of indoor and outdoor marine environments that make up the Mississippi Aquarium are home to animals. This top-notch facility sincerely commits to educating its visitors by presenting the most priceless ecosystems in the world. It is not just about the breathtaking things for amusement but also a learning spree for those involved.
4. Spend Time at the Beach
When looking for a beach to hang out at, you want someplace clean and easily accessible, and Gulfport Beach is that for you. Taking the Time to spend under the bright sun is essential as it allows you to relax your mind and body. Although swimming and jet skiing are popular pastimes here, the Beach typically provides a calm and laid-back atmosphere. According to Yelp, you can also visit the neighboring Biloxi Beach and the local casinos and tourist sites. When at the Beach, you can decide to hire a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard.
3. Enjoy a Stroll in Jones Park
If you are visiting Gulfport and require some cardio, you can decide to take a run along Jones Park as you enjoy the environment around you. There is ample space for picnics due to the vast grassy area available, which means that you can have a romantic setting for your significant other. Take a stroll in Jones Park and enjoy the water and green surrounding the area.
2. Take Your Kids to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
It is a magical moment seeing your kids heavily indulged in books, and this center offers access to books as there is a library in the museum. According to Gulf Coast, there are six acres of space meant for playing, and since 1998, this center has been offering kids a learning opportunity on more about the history and culture of different people. They have a lot to do and a chance to make new friends.
1. Visit the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
The most remarkable thing about the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is that it is dedicated to works involved in the care of injured and sick animals, together with activities and exhibits that are entertaining. It is sad how marine animals lose their lives due to a lack of proper care, which is why it shows how great this institute is. Marine enthusiasts are at liberty to interact with aquatic animals like dolphins.