Looking for the best and most fun things to do in Ocean Springs MS? Situated east of Biloxi, this charming seaside city is part of Jackson County on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Known for its rich history and artsy vibe, Ocean Springs is often called the “City of Discovery” due to French settlement in 1699.
With a mix of art galleries, shops, and a bustling atmosphere, the city offers a great stay. Beyond artsy attractions, Ocean Springs has urban and natural spots to explore. Dive into its numerous attractions, enjoy festivals, and experience the city’s lively vibe.
Ocean Springs, a Mississippian gem, is famous for its history, arts, and small-town charm. Its walkable downtown area hosts over 200 independent stores, galleries, and eateries. The city’s beautiful beaches, like Front Beach, are popular for events. Whether you’re into natural beauty or artistic wonders, Ocean Springs has plenty of places to explore.
Here are the best things to do in Ocean Springs MS:
1. Fontainebleau Nature Trail
For those seeking natural beauty, including a visit to the Fontainebleau Nature Trail in your Ocean Springs, MS itinerary is a wonderful choice. Extending over a mile, the trail provides stunning water views and is easily accessible for cyclists and hikers of all skill levels.
Aside from strolling along the trail, visitors can spot various bird species, especially water birds. Birdwatching enthusiasts can indulge in this activity at numerous observation areas on-site. If you’re interested in woodland birds, explore the forested areas or keep an eye out for them around. This attraction is a fantastic spot to immerse yourself in nature in Ocean Springs, MS.
Address: Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
2. Fort Maurepas City Park and Nature Preserve
For a nature-filled and enjoyable experience, consider heading to Maurepas City Park and Nature Preserve. This spot offers various facilities, including a splash pad for kids and an outdoor stage for events. What makes it even more exciting is its proximity to the beach.
Explore the bronze statue of Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d’Iberville, a ship playground, a stone wall marking the footprint of the last fort, a pavilion, and accessible toilets. It’s an ideal destination for a fun-filled visit and should definitely be on your list of enjoyable things to do in Ocean Springs MS.
Address: 499 Front Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
3. Walter Anderson Museum of Art
Ocean Springs has lots of museums to explore while strolling around, and one standout is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Dedicated to celebrating the 20th-century artist known for his nature-themed artwork, visiting this museum is one of the top things to do in Ocean Springs MS. The museum found its home on Washington Avenue in 1990.
Nowadays, the museum serves as a hub, bringing artistic individuals together in a friendly and beautiful setting. Besides showcasing the artist’s paintings and murals, you’ll find other artworks, including pieces related to the museum’s namesake and sculptures. The museum is open daily, and you can easily buy tickets online. Take a leisurely walk through the museum or opt for a guided tour.
Address: 510 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
4. Shearwater Pottery
Make sure to visit Shearwater Drive to discover the fascinating art and history at Shearwater Pottery. With a history dating back to the 1920s, Shearwater Pottery features a variety of ceramic pieces and pottery crafted from two types of clay. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused significant damage, leading to extensive restoration, and since then, it has been operating smoothly.
During your visit, explore different beautiful art pieces and wares, with the option to make purchases of anything that catches your eye. The staff at the destination is friendly and welcoming. While the workshop doesn’t provide shipping services for pottery, you can contact their staff to make arrangements for your purchase.
Address: 102 Shearwater Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
5. Reel Southern Charters
Embark on a fishing expedition with Reel Southern Charters to test your angling skills – just make reservations for a boat session with them. The company provides various fishing services, guiding tourists through local waters to ensure a successful catch. Regardless of your fishing expertise, you’ll receive the attention you need and pick up some tricks during the adventure.
The company offers boat rides lasting a minimum of four hours and extending up to 10 hours. Expect to catch fish like redfish, grouper, and snapper. Additionally, if you reel in a catch, it can be packaged for you to take home or prepared by the captain. Easily reserve your boating session through their website.
Address: 1320 Harbor Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
6. Charnley-Norwood House
Due to Ocean Springs’ rich history, numerous historical sites exist, including the Charnley-Norwood House, showcasing Prairie School architectural style. Originally a summer retreat for Chicago lumber baron James Charnley in the 1890s, the house underwent renovations in the 1980s.
Despite damage from Hurricane Katrina, it reopened in 2011, maintaining its original design. Accessible on East Beach Drive, the cottage welcomes visitors, though it’s advisable to call for ideal visiting hours. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty and history of this enduring summer retreat.
Address: 509 E Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
7. Crooked Feather Sculpture
One of the notable things to do in Ocean Springs MS, is exploring the Crooked Feather. This captivating sculptural woodwork, dating back to 1976, has evolved into a significant attraction and now stands as a historical landmark. Crafted by Peter Wolf Toth from a 2000-year-old cypress log, the impressive 30-foot sculpture depicts the head of a Native American.
This iconic piece, the 17th creation by the artist, is painted red and has faced natural deterioration over the years. Despite the original artist’s passing, a new talent emerged to recreate a similar sculpture, offering visitors a chance to capture its beauty through photography. You can find this remarkable artwork along Bienville Boulevard.
Address: 300-398 Bienville Blvd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
8. Wild Flier
Formerly recognized as Paddles Up Paddleboard & Kayak Rentals and Sales, The Wild Flier has undergone a name change and transformation. The once paddle board shop has evolved into a retail store, now offering a diverse range of accessories and items for exploration.
Beyond retail, this attraction stands out by providing visitors with yoga services, personally led by the owner, along with additional events and retreats. With its varied offerings, The Wild Flier ensures a fun experience for all who come to visit.
Address: 1018 Government St, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
9. Twelve Oaks Nature Trail
Explore the abundant natural sites in Ocean Springs for a delightful connection with nature. Don’t miss the Twelve Oaks Nature Trail, offering a thrilling nature experience with a history dating back to the 1880s. This site, previously under different ownership, has evolved into a place that intertwines nature and religion.
During your visit, discover the remnants of Elizabeth Logan’s Garden, where the landlord, renowned for designating two oak trees as national treasures, planted an array of flowers. The land also provides scenic views of Old Fort Bayou and Bayhead swamps, making this nature attraction a must-see.
Address: 2695 Bienville Blvd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
10. Trent Lott Performing Arts Theater
Discover the lively side of Ocean Springs, MS, by making sure you catch live entertainment at the Trent Lott Performing Arts Theater. From musical festivities to comedy events, this theater, located at the Mary C O’Keefe Cultural Arts Center, is a must-visit.
With 383 seats, it hosts a variety of performances, making it a key attraction among things to do in Ocean Springs. Be sure to include a visit to this nearly 100-year-old theater, situated in historic downtown Ocean Springs, on your checklist for a vibrant local experience.
Address: 1600 Government St., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
11. GI Museum Inc.
Explore military history enthusiasts’ haven at the GI Museum Inc. in Ocean Springs—a top recommendation for those keen on military history. Delve into the rich history of dedicated military personnel through artifacts, clothing, and vintage items showcased in the museum. Conveniently located along Richer Road, accessing this historical gem is easy.
For an immersive experience, consider booking a tour through their website. The museum not only offers a glimpse into the past with its exhibits but also hosts events celebrating local heroes. Whether you have a passion for history or not, the diverse features within the GI Museum Inc. are bound to capture your interest.
Address: 5796 Richter Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
12. Fort Bayou Brewing Company
Discover the culinary delights of Ocean Springs, with Fort Bayou Brewing Company standing out as a must-visit. Indulge in their excellent craft beers, draft beers, stouts, and mouthwatering dishes. What sets this Brewing Company apart is its captivating pavilion, offering visitors scenic views of the area.
Accessing Fort Bayou Brewing Company is a breeze—simply take Rose Farm Road and head towards The Cypress Taphouse Bar & Restaurant. For those not inclined towards liquor, the diverse menu features delectable options like tasty prawns and crab rangoon. Whether you’re a foodie or a beverage enthusiast, the added bonus of live music on-site makes the experience even more delightful.
Address: 6616 Rose Farm Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
13. Spring Arts Festival: Herb, Garden & Art
Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of flowers and plants by attending the Springs Arts Festival: Herb Garden and Art—an exceptional activity in Ocean Springs, MS. Taking place every last weekend of March, this festival is a prime opportunity for nature enthusiasts. As it coincides with the celebration of spring, you’ll encounter a diverse array of plant species.
Beyond the botanical wonders, the festival is a showcase of indigenous artists’ diverse works. Explore various art pieces available for purchase from vendors and delight in multiple shows. Embark on an adventurous experience as you partake in the festivities of this spring celebration.
Address: Ocean Spring, MS 39564, United States
14. Davis Bayous Area; Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Davis Bayous Area encompasses portions of Gulf Islands National Seashore land and distinguishes itself by its convenient vehicle accessibility, setting it apart from other locations within the National Seashore. Offering a range of nature tours and recreational activities, Gulf Islands National Seashore provides visitors with abundant options for a fulfilling experience.
Engage in various activities such as fishing, camping, boating, and picnicking for a delightful time in the area. Explore the visitors’ center, featuring exhibits that delve into the local history of the region. While certain activity areas adhere to specific schedules, visitors have the flexibility to embark on hiking or camping adventures at their convenience.
Address: 3500 Park Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
15. Coastal Magpie
Coastal Magpie showcases a diverse collection of high-quality antiques and eclectic knick-knacks. Beyond the captivating array of antique items, the store boasts an impressive selection of artwork crafted by local artists and handmade gifts.
Explore an array of paintings and craftworks as part of the store’s predominantly artistic displays. Whether you’re drawn to captivating historical pieces or seeking a charming trinket as a souvenir, Coastal Magpie offers a multitude of options for every visitor.
Address: 918 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
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16. Treetop Adventure
Elevate your excitement in Ocean Springs, MS, with an exhilarating ziplining adventure – a must-try among the many things to do in Ocean Springs MS. Thrill-seekers gravitate towards the Treetop adventure, soaring 50 meters above ground level.
This activity not only provides breathtaking views of unparalleled wetlands and woods but also enhances your experience of Ocean Springs. If you’re on the lookout for an adrenaline boost, ziplining is the perfect activity for a full-fledged outdoor family adventure during your visit.
Address: Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
17. Gulf Hills Hotel & Resort
Built in 1927, the Gulf Hills Hotel & Resort served as a secure retreat for infamous gangster Capone, who used laundered money from criminal ventures. Despite the absence of Elvis Presley’s favorite cottage, the resort remains under the stewardship of investors with plans for renovation.
The rooms, though, remain intact and comfortable. Conveniently located a short distance from downtown Ocean Springs, the Gulf Hills Hotel & Resort invites you to explore, unwind, and soak in the scenic views by the expansive swimming pool.
Address: 13701 Paso Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
18. 1699 Weekend of Discovery
Ocean Springs hosts various festivities throughout the year, and one notable event during your visit is the 1699 Weekend of Discovery. Established in 1971 to preserve local history, this festival takes place in April, offering a diverse range of activities and sights.
Organized by the 1699 Historical Society of Ocean Springs, the event includes highlights such as a captivating historical reenactment show. Beyond that, attendees can enjoy a firsthand experience of the parade or participate in a five-kilometer marathon. The 1699 Weekend of Discovery stands out as one of the premier events in Ocean Springs, making it a must-add to your list of top things to do in Ocean Springs MS.
19. Maison De Lu
Maison De Lu offers a charming family dining experience in a French restaurant known for its cozy ambiance and unpretentious interiors. The menu features delicious sandwiches, seafood, soups, steaks, and homemade desserts, all infused with a French touch.
Guests have the option to relax in the back courtyard with a fireplace or on the inviting front patio. The restaurant caters to unique dietary preferences, providing options like gluten-free foods. Don’t miss out on Chef Luann Ellis’s signature dish and the enticing Center Cut Bone-In Pork Chop du Jour – both must-try culinary delights.
Address: 626 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
20. My Happy Place Gallery of Art
Discover the freshness of a recently established modern art gallery in downtown Ocean Springs, showcasing a dynamic array of changing exhibits. The Gallery features unique and exquisite artworks, predominantly crafted by local artists, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of the city.
Delve into the narratives behind each piece as you explore. Periodically, the Gallery hosts special events to enhance your appreciation of the beauty of art. Take a moment to visit and be captivated by the stunning works of art on display.
Address: 1209 Government St., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
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21. Bright-Eyed Brew Company
If you’re searching for enjoyable activities in Ocean Springs, MS, exploring Bright-Eyed Brew Company is a must. This family-owned establishment is renowned for crafting top-notch coffee using homemade roasted beans, ensuring a fresh and delightful experience.
Their 24-hour brewing process results in a coffee with increased caffeine, rich chocolate flavor, and remarkable smoothness. Unlike many regular coffees, Bright-Eyed Brew offers a 65% less acidic option, guaranteeing a consistently smooth taste. Moreover, their exceptional staff-to-customer relationship adds to the overall delightful visit.
Address: 623 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
22. Front Beach
Front Beach stands out as a hidden gem in Ocean Springs, attracting those seeking a serene stroll and a picturesque sunset. Feel free to bring your pets along, as they are welcome on-site. Engage in crab hunting along the water and sand while taking in the breathtaking views of Biloxi and Deer Island.
For a marine-themed experience, venture to the nearby Biloxi Bay Bridge adorned with a mosaic mural. Just beneath the bridge, discover a fishing pier offering a close-up encounter with marine life. Relax on the sandy shores, basking in the sun and enjoying the tranquility of this less crowded beach compared to others in the area.
Address: Front Beach Dr., Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
23. Chasing Dots
For fishing lovers or those who simply love the sport, embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure with Chasing Dots in Ocean Springs, MS. This establishment is more than just a fishing company – it’s your guide to a complete fishing experience.
With years of expertise in catching fish and conducting fishing tours across the Gulf waters from Alabama to Louisiana and beyond, this establishment invites you to explore the stunning hideaways of the Gulf Coast.
Address: Ocean Springs, MS 39564, United States
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Ocean Springs MS stands as a captivating destination, seamlessly blending history, arts, and small-town charm. As the “City of Discovery,” its walkable downtown area and beautiful beaches beckon exploration.
With over 200 independent stores, galleries, and eateries, there’s no shortage of things to do in Ocean Springs MS. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, vibrant arts scene, or the allure of its scenic landscapes, this destination gem promises an unforgettable experience.
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