Ocean Springs is a small city of about 18,000 people (2018) in Jackson County, on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Ocean Springs is the home of nationally recognized painters and potters which has promoted the cities aura of an artistic community. More than 100 unique shops, museums, and galleries showcase Ocean Spring's artistic heritage. The famous live oaks shade the very walkable and window-shoppable downtown.
Four major airports are within reasonable driving distance of Ocean Springs: Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT IATA), Jackson International Airport (JAN IATA), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY IATA), and Mobile Regional Airport (MOB IATA). Additionally, Ocean Springs Airport (5R2) can accommodate small private planes.
Highway 90 and Interstate 10 are the most common roads taken to get into the city.
From New Orleans, take "Interstate 10" east toward Slidell for 88 miles. Take exit 50 and merge onto "Highway 609" south for the last three miles. Travel time from New Orleans is typically about an hour and a half.
From Mobile, take "Interstate 10" west for 46 miles. Take exit 57 and go south on "Highway 57". Take the first right onto Ocean Springs Road. The travel time is typically about an hour.
While the best way to get around Ocean Springs is to drive, or walk if you are in the downtown area, other options are available.
Coast Transit Authority (CTA) provides a very limited service with five stops within Ocean Springs. Fares are $1.
Yellow Cab, Biloxi City Cab, and Gulf Coast Checker Cab service Ocean Springs. ☏
- Beaches: There are two public beaches in Ocean Springs. Front Beach, with sugary white sand and shallow depths, is more popular for sunbathing and water activities. Anchored at one end by the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bay Bridge (US90) and at the other by Ocean Springs Harbor, there are two public piers for fishing and crabbing. There are spectacular, scenic views of the Mississippi Sound, Deer Island, the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bay Bridge and Biloxi's casino skyline as well as of the local pelicans, fishing fleet, and sunsets. East Beach is a more residential beach dotted with piers. Beware, while the water is safe for swimming, it is brown and murky with occasional clusters of oysters a hazard for swimmers.
- Washington Avenue: Full of unique little shops and restaurants, regarded as the most beautiful downtown on the Mississippi Coast.
- Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial[members.tripod.com/psysim/msvn.html]: This memorial lists all the names of Mississippians that died in Vietnam as well as a helicopter used in the war.
- Crooked Feather: Famous sculpture by Peter Toth carved from a 5 by 11 foot cypress log. It can be seen on the south side of highway 90 near the Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge.
- TatoNut: A small, charming donut shop at the heart of downtown Ocean Springs. One-of-a-kind and with a warm atmosphere, TatoNut offers an interesting take on the traditional donut - potatoes! 1114 Government Street.
- Ocean Springs Museum of History, 1600 Government St., ☏ . Tu – F 10AM–6PM, Sa noon-4PM. Donations accepted.
- 1 Walter Anderson Museum of Art, 510 Washington Avenue (from Hwy. 90, turn south on Washington Ave.; from I-10, take exit 50 and drive south three miles, cross Hwy. 90 and continue past the second stop sign; WAMA will be on your left), ☏ , ✉ WAMA@WalterAndersonMuseum.org. M-Sa 9:30AM to 4:30PM, Su 12:30-4:30PM. Adult $10; AAA, military, senior $8, child (5-15) $5.
- The GI Museum, 5796 Ritcher Road, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Open every Wednesday and the first and third Sunday of each month. No charge, but donations are welcomed.
Ocean Springs is host to a good number of attractions available throughout the year.
- Gulf Islands National Seashore: Located on Davis Bayou, this nature reserve has beautiful views of wildlife natural to the marshes of the area. It offers camping, nature trails, ranger programs, a picnic area with pavilions, boat ramp and fishing pier.
Ocean Springs holds festivals throughout the year. A full calendar is available at the Ocean Springs|FUN website.
Major special events
- Mardi Gras: Ocean Springs traditionally hosts the first parade of the Mardi Gras season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
- Renaissance Festival: St. John's Episcopal Church hosts an annual two-day Renaissance festival complete with jousting, a medieval village, a petting zoo, puppet shows and more.
- Art Walk: Art Walk showcases the area's talent for arts and crafts.
- Cruisin' The Coast: The annual Cruisin' The Coast event showcases over 3,800 rare and classic automobiles.
- Peter Anderson Festival: This festival features over 300 vendors and lures more than 100,000 people to browse and buy the arts and crafts presented.
Local art and pottery. Shearwater Pottery is the most famous (and expensive) pottery shop, and Local Color is a great place to pick up some local art.
If you're shopping for a unique souvenir or gift, the shops along Washington Avenue are your best bet.
Local favorites include:
- Phonecia... Mediterranean meets Gulf Coast.
- Manhattan Grill Steaks, burgers, and seafood.
- BB's Po-boys The best po-boys on the coast.
- Aunt Jenny's Fried catfish, served family style.
- The Shed BBQ.
- Chef Scott Sushi
- Tato Nut quite possibly the best do-nut in the World.
- Kenny Wards Prime Steaks and Seafood
- Al Fresco. Charming Italian eatery with indoor and patio seating.
- Government St Grocery Drinks and live music.
- Bayview Gourment, 1011 Robinson Street, ☏ . 7:30AM-2PM. Pannini sandwiches, fresh pastries, local seafood, fresh ingredients!
|Routes through Ocean Springs|
|New Orleans ← D'Iberville ←||W E||→ Mobile → Pensacola|
|New Orleans ← Biloxi ←||W E||→ Mobile → Pensacola|