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Old 05-30-2022, 04:18 PM
 
365 posts, read 273,382 times
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Yesterday I was on the road and decided to take an alternative route and drive along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and up through Hattiesburg, Laurel, and Meridian. Here's what I saw:

Bay St. Louis - Good lord, Bay St. Louis couldn't be more beautiful.

The bay below downtown was packed with boats glistening in the sun with families enjoying the beach on a bright, sunny day. The bars and restaurants downtown were booming. I cruised along the beachfront down to Waveland. The beach was packed with families and the area has recovered with beautiful new homes (mostly white, high up on stilts, and in sort of a coastal, almost New England cottage style..couldn't be more beautiful).

It's an interesting alternative to a beach vacation in Destin or Gulfshores. The appeal is being in a quaint, historic coastal town that is ideal for walking, biking, and eating and drinking downtown, versus the traffic and concrete high rises in Destin and Gulfshores. You're on the Sound rather than the Gulf, but an upside is safety for children due to the lack of large waves or undertow and how shallow it is.

For overall charm, places like Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara, CA, while clearly larger and far richer, are not any cuter or happier than Bay St. Louis. It seems to be in a sweet spot at the moment of being both discovered and undiscovered, i.e. bustling but not overcrowded, and thriving but not obscenely soaking in money.

Pass Christian - What can you say, it's straight out of a postcard. Pass Christian couldn't be more elegant and picturesque. The drive across the St. Louis Bay bridge is breathtaking and I love seeing the beautiful homes on the Pass Christian side all along the bay waterfront. Magazine beautiful.

Ocean Springs - Their beachfront functions as an impossibly quaint and bustling community park, with people jogging, walking biking, playing volleyball, etc. The downtown is as beautiful as ever and booming with restaurants.

Hattiesburg - I didn't stop in Hattiesburg but passing through on the interstate what jumped out at me was the pretty rolling, intensely green and wooded terrain. It always feels more hilly than I remembered. Hattiesburg really does have an ideal setting for a city in terms of location, landscape and terrain. I didn't drive out Highway 98 west, but it always comes off as suburban highway sprawl that somehow manages to feel clean, new, and bustling. If they ever convert Highway 98 into an expressway with overpasses, plus doing an extreme makeover of Hwy 49 and Hardy Street, and Hattiesburg could be a premier place to live in the country.

Laurel - Good lord, Laurel is more beautiful than ever.

The tv show there has clearly propelled the city forward. The downtown has definitely accumulated a good base of cute new stores, many of which appear on the show. They are currently reconstructing the roads downtown to improve the aesthetics which was badly needed.

I wondered how Laurel can support these nice downtown stores and I'm guessing that people must be coming from Hattiesburg and maybe even down from metro Jackson and perhaps up from the coast to enjoy Laurel on weekends with nice weather. Once the construction is done, I'd say in another 5 to 7 years downtown Laurel will be fully transformed and adorable.

The residential neighborhoods have always been beautiful but since the show, they definitely look more manicured than ever. The fact is that Highland Park in Dallas would be happy to have historic Laurel's elegant homes, giant live oaks, nice sidewalks, historic street lamps, and lush green lawns. Laurel is also blessed with charmingly rolling terrain throughout town which adds tremendously to the happy vibe. I'd say Laurel has crossed over from a small town with potential to a place where people from across the country will want to live.

Meridian - I was eager to see the newly renovated, just opened Threefoot Marriott Hotel in the Art Deco tower downtown. It looks beautiful. The historic downtown is absolutely huge and in size is on the scale of cities such as Greensboro and Winston Salem, NC, remarkable for a town of 38,000 people.

The city is currently doing an extreme makeover of the main road connecting the interstate to downtown. They just opened several new museums along with the historic hotel. Whereas Laurel feels like a town, Meridian feels like a city, which means it has a dramatically larger historic downtown to work with, but also they have much further to go to get it renovated and cleaned up. That goes also for the historic residential areas with sit in hilly, wooded terrain north of downtown.

I'd say Meridian is really in the beginning stages of its renaissance, but they have gotten a remarkable start and the potential there is significant.
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Old 05-31-2022, 12:59 PM
 
233 posts, read 390,285 times
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What show are you referring to? I didn't realize there was one filming in the Southern Miss area of the state?

That sounds absolutely gorgeous, Brickpatio. It's always nice when people appreciate the natural beauty of the state. Mississippi truly is abundant in beautiful cities. I even include Jackson and the metro area in that.
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Old 05-31-2022, 01:40 PM
 
Location: The South
7,209 posts, read 5,362,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popquez87 View Post
What show are you referring to? I didn't realize there was one filming in the Southern Miss area of the state?

That sounds absolutely gorgeous, Brickpatio. It's always nice when people appreciate the natural beauty of the state. Mississippi truly is abundant in beautiful cities. I even include Jackson and the metro area in that.
This one, good show.

https://www.hgtv.com/shows/home-town
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Old 05-31-2022, 02:11 PM
 
233 posts, read 390,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern man View Post
Thank you. I'm curious, so I'm going to check it out.
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Old 05-31-2022, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Texas
4,616 posts, read 3,033,926 times
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I was deployed to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Based in Laurel. Some real good people there.
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Old 05-31-2022, 07:55 PM
 
1,182 posts, read 1,434,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern man View Post
On Saturday, I meet an older couple from Staten Island. They came south in large part to visit Laurel. Lovely couple.

Last edited by viverlibre; 05-31-2022 at 09:18 PM..
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Old 07-18-2022, 06:04 PM
 
4,788 posts, read 2,562,594 times
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As they say, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. We lived near south MS for 35 years. The beaches are considered by many to be inferior to those in Orange Beach, Destin, Navarre, etc. I don’t like what the casinos have done to the Gulf beach towns.
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Old 07-19-2022, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of TN, AL and FL
1,620 posts, read 1,512,224 times
Reputation: 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizap View Post
The beaches are considered by many to be inferior to those in Orange Beach, Destin, Navarre, etc.
What gave you this idea?

It's amazing to me that people still make this comparison. Nobody in their right mind even considers MS for beach tourism, nor are they even attempting to compete with East Alabama and Florida Pandhandle beaches for beach tourism. The 'beach' in MS is a thing that is there to add a little ambience to the area.

So all that said....stop using that to run-down the Mississippi Coast. It's a different animal than AL/FL beaches.
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