Gautier is a city of 18,000 people (2019) in Jackson County (Mississippi). Gautier is a bedroom resort community surrounded by bayous and wetlands on three sides. The natural environment of Gautier offers many opportunities for recreation and eco-tourism.
The Gulf Coast region, of which Gautier is a part, has been considered a relatively high growth area of the state; however, the loss of houses and jobs after Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 led to outmigration in 2006.
The town takes its name from the Gautier family that originated in Lyon, France. Fernando Upton Gautier (1822–1891) was born on a cargo ship as his parents were emigrating to New Orleans. In 1867, Gautier established a spacious homestead at the mouth of the Pascagoula River, which still stands. He established a lucrative sawmill business in the area, and the town grew up from it. The home, known by locals as "The Old Place", is owned by the descendants of Fernando Upton Gautier and his wife, Theresa Fayard Gautier (1828–1911), and is used for private and public events.
U.S. Route 90 passes through the center of Gautier, leading east 4 miles (6 km) into Pascagoula and 13 miles (21 km) to Ocean Springs. Interstate 10 passes through the northern part of the city limits, with access from Exit 57 (Mississippi Highway 57) and Exit 61 (Gautier Vancleave Road). I-10 leads west 30 miles (48 km) to the Gulfport area and east 42 miles (68 km) to Mobile, Alabama.
- Take an eco-tour through the bayous to see egrets and white pelicans.
- You can fish for brim from the City Park pier, and maybe see some alligators.
- The 400-acre Shepard State Park has modern amenities and activities including hiking, birding, disc golf, a dog park, boat launch, and competition-level archery range.
- The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge offers guided crane tours and hiking tours of the wet pine savanna.
Gautier’s town center offers coffee shops, and restaurants preparing fresh local fish.
- Huck's Cove, 3000 Oak Street, ☏ +1 228 497-4309. Tu-Su 11AM-11PM. Winner of the Coast Observer Covey Award for 3 years in a row.
Check out the waterfront restaurants for live local music.
- Siegel Select Gautier, 3491 Dolphin Road, ☏ +1 228-202-2461. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Offers guests a seasonal outdoor pool and free high-speed Internet access in all rooms.
- Shepard State Park has spots for RVs, campers, and tents.