The friendly, small waterfront community of Gulfport has been celebrating its weirdness since before it was cool to do so. It’s also been a long-time haven for the LGBTQ+ community. The city’s eclectic collection of artists, writers, musicians and small business owners along with its walkable downtown and sparkling bayfront make this a must-visit place.
Video Time: Check Out Gulfport
Watch this video of quirky, colorful Gulfport - and then make a plan to visit here soon.
Things to Do
Spend the day wandering along Beach and Shore boulevards, popping in and out of shops and galleries, sampling delicious food and taking in local history as you walk past charming old buildings. It’s likely that you’ll hear live music coming from Art Village Courtyard or Caddy’s Gulfport as you pass by.
Stroll to the end of Beach Boulevard to check out the historic Gulfport Casino. Set on the water’s edge, it’s a casino in the old-school sense of the word - an event venue where you’ll find swing-dancing and tango classes as well as other entertainment. Stroll to the back to see the tomb of Morris the Cat, the beloved feline who became the city’s unofficial mascot (and whose spirit is said to wander near the casino). Walking tours of the downtown are offered by the Gulfport Historical Society (check out the museum, too, while you’re in the area).
Looking for some fun on or near the water? The beach here isn’t huge, but it’s quiet and relaxing, and its volleyball courts are a popular spot. Nearby, the massive playground and skate park near the Gulfport Recreation Center is popular with families. If you want to get out on the water, check out the City of Gulfport’s Municipal Marina, where you can find boat tours or rent a kayak to take a tour of Clam Bayou Nature Preserve.
Events & Festivals
Gulfport is renowned for its events. GeckoFest jubilantly marks the end of summer over Labor Day weekend with live music, more than 200 vendors, kids’ activities and more. The city’s First Friday Art Walk draws locals and visitors alike in search of handcrafted treasures. There’s the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market for local produce and flowers. And on any given day of the week, you might spot an impromptu parade marching by to celebrate (or protest) any number of things.
Gulfport may have a reputation as a laid-back village, but there are plenty of watering holes here.
Where to Eat & Drink
A good meal is never far away in Gulfport. Stroll through the small downtown area or check out the restaurants that line the waterfront here. It's a great place to mingle with the locals who love this tiny town.See All Dining in Gulfport
Places to Stay
Gulfport’s laid-back indie vibe carries over to its accommodations. With its friendly staff and waterfront views, Sea Breeze Manor on Shore Boulevard is an inviting option. The Historic Peninsula Inn, a dog-friendly boutique hotel built in 1905, is in the heart of downtown and offers a phenomenal restaurant, Isabelle’s, named after the inn’s friendly ghost.