TAKE A DRIVE ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST FOR
BEAUTIFUL VIEWS AND DELICIOUS FOOD ALL ALONG THE WAY.
Meet Me in Mississippi
Written by WHITNEY DURRWACHTER
FROM CHARMING BAY SAINT LOUIS to the little town of Pascagoula, each coastal
community in Mississippi has its own identity and character, strung together by ocean
views, perseverance, and a pride of place. The seaside cities along the stretch of Mississippi
Gulf Coast have been shaped by their origins in the hardworking seafood industry and their
fight to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in 2005. These Gulf-front towns
are now thriving, and locals are thrilled to welcome visitors to their walkable beaches,
diverse cuisine, and inviting, laid-back communities.
Bay Saint Louis
A wonderful place to start a journey along the Mississippi
Gulf Coast is the quaint town of Bay Saint Louis, often
referred to as Mayberry by the Sea. It’s the kind of town
where you can park your car and leave it for a while,
venturing on foot through the many shops, art galleries,
and restaurants dotting its streets. Only about an hour
east of bustling New Orleans, the atmosphere here is a
welcoming and relaxed breath of fresh waterfront air.
The perfect way to start the day here is at Mockingbird
Café (mockingbirdcafe.com). The breakfast menu
includes flavorful omelets and frittatas, biscuits and
homemade preserves, and a nice selection of coffee and
espresso drinks, in addition to lunch and dinner offerings.
The thriving and growing food scene in New Orleans
influences Mockingbird’s menu and Mississippi Gulf
Coast cuisine as well, and chef Julie Ragusa is always
bringing exciting new flavors to their menu.
Because the arts are an integral part of this community,
it’s only natural that the restaurant’s walls are lined with
work from local artists. Owner Alicein Schwabacher says
the local love in Bay Saint Louis is strong, and that the
community coming together to rebuild after Hurricane
Katrina made them stronger. “Good things came out of
that hard time,” she says. “It made us all thankful.”
A short stroll down the street in Old Town Bay
Saint Louis will take you to Serious Bread Bakery
(seriousbreadbakery.com), selling handcrafted artisan
breads. Formerly an oceanographer, Al “The Breadman”
Jensen spent a lot of time traveling abroad during his
career, and it was a challenge to find the high-quality bread
he loved back in the states. Near the end of his career, he
took classes and learned about starters and sourdoughs,
beginning his craft of making small-batch, chemical-free
breads. Al and his wife, Vivian, take the art of bread making
seriously, and guests can taste the difference in their wide
variety of loaves, ciabatta, focaccia, scones, and more.