Whether you’re cruising east to west or west to east, the Mississippi Sound has much to offer beyond nature preserves on the pristine barrier Gulf Islands National Seashore and antebellum treasures such Jefferson Davis’ mansion, Beauvoir, onshore.
Biloxi Casino Marina Hop
Now considered a top gaming destination complete with marina dockage and provisioning, a dozen luxurious casinos line coast from Bay St. Louis to Biloxi offering world-class entertainment and fantastic cuisine. As we observe the seventh anniversary of Katrina on Aug. 29, the hurricane’s best legacy, if there actually is one, is that she ushered in an era of land-based gaming on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, forever changing its landscape.
Two titan boater friendly resorts are served by Biloxi’s newly revamped and centrally located Small Craft Harbor, directly next to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and just two blocks from the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino. These swank hotels offer luxurious accommodations, dance clubs, chic clothing boutiques, swimming, spas, massages, and beauty salons.
The Beau and Hard Rock, alone, are reason enough to tie up in the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. This marina has a fuel dock, 124 slips accommodating vessels up to 55-feet with a 10-foot draft, live and dead bait, and inshore and offshore charter fishing boats. Transient dockage rates are $1/foot for the first three nights and 50-cents/foot on the fourth night. Best of all, this marina is on a protected waterway with nearby Deer Island just a quarter mile away.
The Hard Rock is home to the delectable Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlor, and the Hard Rock Café. You’ll marvel at costumes like Elton John’s Pinball Wizard and Madonna’s wedding dress from Like A Virgin, just a poker chip’s throw from the Wheel of Fortune, should you care to take a spin.
The Beau’s all-you-can-eat buffet is legendary among the locals, as is its famous steak restaurant, The Memphis Q.
The Beau and Hard Rock present a Grammy winning concert line-up that is over-the-top, week after week, year in and year out, for audiences of every taste and generation. Darius Rucker. Earth, Wind, and Fire. Alice Cooper. Air Supply.
Hollywood Undead. Lynyrd Skynyrd. Gladys Knight. Cirque du Soleil. Willie Nelson. Kelly Clarkson. Ted Nugent. Duran Duran. Meatloaf. BB King. Tony Bennett. There’s a different headliner every single night.
Biloxi Casino Marina Hop #2 – Head to Point Cadet Marina
When you’re ready to depart the Small Craft Harbor, set your course due east and cruise about one mile to one of the 243 slips at Point Cadet Marina on Biloxi’s eastern tip. You can walk to Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel for a shrimp boil or across Hwy. 90 to The Grand Casino and Hotel where’s there’s a live dance band. Point Cadet has fuel docks, a ship’s store, and accommodates vessels up to 120-feet with a 9-foot draft.
If you care to venture about a half a mile north from Point Cadet, you’ll hit The Palace Casino and Resort, which distinguishes itself with a smoke free facility and 26 floating docks. The Palace and its gourmet restaurant, Mignon’s, is about a quarter mile south of the new Margaritaville, located due south of The Boardwalk, another casino with a full service marina scheduled to debut on the east end of Biloxi’s Back Bay in 2013.
Naturally, all of these casino-hotel resorts are approachable by car and you can also take a taxi or the trolley up and down Hwy. 90 if you don’t care to drive. Other brand new destinations within hopping distance include the new Biloxi Yacht Club, Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, Biloxi Visitors and Convention Bureau, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, and the renovated iconic Biloxi Lighthouse. A Katrina Museum chronicling the Gulf Coast’s greatest disaster (and recovery) is scheduled to welcome visitors in 2013. These sundry venues are right on the beaten track of Hwy. 90, all within two miles of each other, facing the world’s longest beach.
The latest additions to a completely reinvigorated Mississippi Gulf Coast clearly involve more than gambling and southern hospitality. If you avoided this region during 2010 and 2011, fearful of the effects of the oil spill, it’s time to head back. Take a chance on Biloxi and enjoy a cheeseburger (dressed with crayfish étouffée and hollandaise sauce) in paradise.
Biloxi Casino Marina Hop #3 –
PARROTHEAD ALERT: MARGARITAVILLE BILOXI
The Gulf Coast’s newest casino, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Biloxi, debuted May 22 with 20,000 guests and 5,000 margaritas served within the first 24 hours of the throw-down grand opening.
Margaritaville, the first casino built in the United States since 2010, brings hometown boy Buffett full-circle, providing 1,000 new jobs to the city that launched his now legendary singing career back in the 1960s.
Located on the eastern tip of Biloxi’s Back Bay just north of The Palace, Margaritaville’s Marina is a great place to toss anchor. This waterfront casino’s massive glass interior provides a stunning view of the post-Katrina Biloxi Bay Bridge. The marina offers free transient dockage for weeks on end, a gift shop, and wildly, whimsical restaurants and bars with live entertainment and Gulf Coast cuisine.
If you didn’t know better, you’d mistake Margaritaville for a yacht club. It’s all reflective of the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett and there’s no reason to actually wait until it’s 5 o’clock to hit the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar located on the casino floor. Margaritaville’s marina provides a small, sand beach volleyball area, four food trucks serving fried chicken and fast foods for barefoot boaters, and an outdoor concert venue.
Rumors of a volcano in Biloxi are absolutely true, and yeah, there really is a woman to blame. It erupts four times daily and ejects a mermaid down a shoot into a pitcher of margaritas below suspended seaplanes. The most coveted tables in the Volcano Bar and Restaurant are genuine sport fishing boats, complete with flybridges and outriggers. It’s enough to put a smile on the face of any son of a son of a sailor.