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Explore unique towns, history along Mississippi’s Secret Coast

CR Rae
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The Chronicle Express

It’s the longest man-made beach in the nation but also Mississippi’s Secret Coast — 26 miles along the Gulf of Mexico.

Traveling Highway 90 in the Magnolia State takes sun and fun seekers along the beach, crossing two beautiful bay bridges and passing historic sights. Interesting towns await road trippers.

• The city of Waveland is unique in the fact that it prohibits commercial buildings on the beachfront. Buccaneer State Park has small-town beach camping, nature-based things to do like crabbing, birding and kayaking, and a beachfront waterpark.

• Bay St. Louis has been named one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel and as a top 10 small beach town by Coastal Living Magazine. Its historic buildings make for a unique city, with walking, biking or driving tours along with golf, fishing, boating, casinos, fine dining and more.

• Visiting Pass Christian along Highway 90, travelers pass historic homes and magnificent oaks. This coastal town is laid back, friendly, casual and carefree. A great place to find a treasured antique or special gift. After doing a little shopping, enjoy a coffee at Cat Island Coffeehouse, which offers a fantastic view of the Mississippi Sound.

• When it comes to scenery and finding that perfect Southern getaway, Long Beach is the place to be — a bicycle-friendly town with an incredible view of the Mississippi Sound. It is the kind of place to relax on the beach, enjoy some unique eats with a view or rent a kite to fly with the kids.

• Stopping in Gulfport on Highway 90 will lend itself to fun and plenty of entertainment options. It is a place to enjoy many parks and the water. This city offers marine life, zip-lining, dining, fishing and more. The Mississippi Aquarium opens in Gulfport this year, and boat excursions are available to Ship Island.

• Biloxi was once known as the Seafood Capital of the World and offers a great avenue for relaxation, jet-skiing in the gulf, a shrimping excursion or sailing into a beautiful sunset aboard a Biloxi schooner. Play on the white sand beaches during the day and in the casinos at night. Sit back, relax and taste-test some local cold brews while enjoying the beautiful views of the Mississippi Sound.

• The City of Discovery, Ocean Springs is a historic coastal town that offers a place to relax and a variety of experiences. This community is known for its arts and festivals. More than 200 independent shops, galleries and restaurants line the streets.

• Pascagoula is Mississippi’s Flagship City and offers visitors a 300-year history of pirate Jean Lafitte, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Zachary Taylor and Jimmy Buffett, who have all considered it home. Visit La Pointe-Krebs House, circa 1718, which offers a panoramic view of Krebs Lake. Spend the afternoon at Scranton Nature Center at I.G. Levy Park, featuring a variety of exhibits. Relax with a picnic at Beach Park for the day, overlooking the Mississippi Sound.

• The community of Moss Point is home to beautiful and unique habitats. It is perfect for any wildlife watcher. Located along the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 is the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. Discover the amazing world of Coastal Mississippi’s abundant native flora and fauna by kayak or on a river, marsh or bayou boat tour.

Whatever your idea of fun is, find it during a drive along Coastal Mississippi’s Highway 90. Visit coastalmississippi.com for places to stay and eat, hours and availability of attractions.