The Mississippi Gulf Coast in an RV
We had never been to the Mississippi Gulf coast before and came down 25th Avenue in Gulfport for our first look at the town. We had stopped at the outlet mall for some items on the way in – there’s one right near the I-10. As we got closer to the coast, we could tell that there was still damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
As we rolled down the street it became clear that we were going to see some remains of damage from Hurricane Katrina. There were a lot of vacant lots the closer we got to the Gulf and we passed some small town structures that had some antiques, a pawn shop, tax service, that sort of thing. There was new construction, new landscaping and some buildings that obviously didn’t get any attention. We couldn’t find an interesting enough district to stop and get out but there are food services along this road, including a McDonalds and a Taco Bell if memory is in check.
Down US 90 along the coast is where it is even more evident that this area is still in need of support. The beaches are indeed beautiful, but there are so many vacant lots across from the beach where presumably very nice homes and hotels once stood. It was very sad. And to think this was eight years later. We kept driving until we got to the Cajun RV Park which is across the street from the Gulf and has terrific amenities and we pulled in there for the night.
Cajun RV Park
This is a great place so conveniently located not far from Biloxi and a bit further from Gulfport. If you’re into casinos, this would be a great base and there are trolleys (which we never saw) that pass by the campground to take you to the casinos and there are other trolleys (rubber wheeled ones) that ply the beachfront. There is a shopping mall nearby along with a Walmart. The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library is also nearby and, though we didn’t visit it, from what we could read it would be interesting for anyone interested in history.
At the park there is a pool and usual facilities along with very friendly staff. The sites are mostly parking lot style sites (no landscaping for the most part) and were plenty big enough. There is a restaurant (Hog Heaven BBQ and Blues) you can walk to from here and we patronized it. There were also go carts you can also walk to. It is a great location with the beach across the street.
When we went to Hog Heaven we were the only guests. We were treated perfectly and the beer was cold, the food was great. A few others came in but it was a reminder that this is an area in recovery. Granted we were there not during summer so it was likely considered off season, but it was a reminder that tourism has a way to bounce back in this area.
Biloxi has casinos and some of them also offer some type of RV parking overnight. The actual downtown Biloxi area is still not quite back to normal it appeared though there were a few shops and a few blocks you can walk.
A fascinating old time hardware store is also there and worth a peek into and if you’re able to buy something, do it. Again, the feeling of sorrow remained with me as we walked through the town, having passed block after block of vacant land right on the Gulf. It seemed to go on for miles and I’m sure it was more than that in actuality.
The further east you went on US 90 the more the areas appeared less affected by Hurricane Katrina. Pascagoula was one of those places I always had an interest in seeing – for no other reason that I thought the name was just fascinating. We drove into downtown Pascagoula and would probably have stopped for something to eat here but we really didn’t find much in terms of a restaurant district. There were a few places and some antique shops and a railway line that was fairly dominant in the town.
I would return to the area for its beaches, the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and for some relaxation time. I can’t help but want others to visit just to support the local economy of an area that I would consider still blighted. It was so sad. But I’m glad I visited. Please go if you are able if the area interests you.
Pleasant days on the road to you!