20 Best Things to Do in Gulfport, MS

Gulfport, MS
Sabrina Janelle Gordon / shutterstock.com

The second-largest city in Mississippi, Gulfport is one of the most enjoyable tourist destinations in the USA.

It's well-known for its crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, which attract a lot of visitors all year round.

Boasting some of the best white beaches, fantastic nightlife, and casinos, this coastal city deserves a spot on your bucket list.

Gulfport is also home to theme parks, museums, and more tourist attractions suitable for tourists of all ages.

With so much to offer, this city is undoubtedly an excellent choice for your next vacation.

Here are the best things to do in Gulfport, Mississippi:

Pay a Visit to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

Gulfport is home to a rich marine biodiversity.

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies attracts many people who are interested in marine life.

A lot of marine animals die without getting any treatment, and for this reason, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has taken it upon itself to bring back these injured animals to health.

You can learn a lot about the background of such animals.

You may even be presented with the opportunity to interact with the dolphins.

Sample Local Beers at Chandeleur Island Brewing Company

Want to unwind and have some beer?

There's a lovely place in this university town: Chandeleur Island Brewing Company.

All the beers on the menu are brewed in-house with local ingredients.

Their craft beers are particularly worth trying out.

Head here after a full day of sightseeing, treat yourself to a pint, and have a relaxing time.

Pop in the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum

Post indicator valve at Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum
Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum is ideal for all train lovers.

It is maintained by a passionate group of people who seek to keep Gulfport's tradition of railways and real lines alive.

There are a lot of model trains and railways that can be found in this museum.

Take a look around, and a lot of things will definitely catch your attention.

The most exciting attraction among them is a lego version of the entire town and its train system.

People usually go crazy for this one!

Take the Kids to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center

One of the most attractive places in Gulfport, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is an excellent place to visit with the little ones.

It also happens to be the first of the many children’s museums that have been built in Mississippi.

With an area of almost 15,000 square feet, the center is filled with displays.

There are a lot of interactive sessions happening within the center, and children often love them.

Do your kids love to read books?

You can also access the small library incorporated inside the museum.

Have a Fun Day at Gulf Islands Water Park

Bring your friends and family to the iconic Gulf Islands Water Park and have one of the best days on your trip.

Adventure-seekers will have great fun with the water slides here.

There is also a wave pool, along with a lazy river to enjoy to your fullest.

Just want to kick back and relax?

There are also a lot of shows that go on to keep you entertained.

See the Joseph T. Jones Statue

Daytime view of Joseph T. Jones Statue
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The great man Joseph T. Jones was one of the founders of Gulfport.

To pay him his due respects, the city authorities constructed a statue of him.

It was this man who saw potential in Gulfport when no one else did.

Jones was the first to notice that it could have a good seaport and funded this idea.

He was also interested in funding the possibility of railroads in Gulfport.

The already existing Gulf and Ship Island Railroad was almost bankrupt, and Jones decided to take things into his own hands and ended the construction.

In a nutshell, this man was responsible for a lot of the important developments that took place in Gulfport.

Have a Taste of Italy in Gulfport

Craving for some Italian food?

Salute Italian Restaurant has been in Gulfport since 2008.

It's been popular since day one because of its ambiance and lip-smacking menu.

The hotel sits on the Gulf of Mexico, and you get to devour some of the best Italian foods at a totally affordable price.

Oysters, shrimps, and tuna are some of the top dishes here.

There is also a bar that opens during the evenings.

Sip on a cocktail, enjoy some of the best views, and relax in the great ambiance.

Go on a Sailing Trip along the Mississippi Sound

Scenic view of Mississippi Beach
Shawndell Linn / Shutterstock.com

When in Gulfport, you need to spend some time on the Mississippi Sound.

If a cruise sounds too luxurious for your liking, you can go on a sailing trip with your friends.

Aerial view of the Mississippi Sound
George Dodd III / Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of companies who organize day trips where you can go sailing on a yacht.

They usually require at least a group of six, so if you are with friends or family, this will make an excellent choice.

Though all the times are suitable for sailing, try to set sail during the sunset, which is when the views are most gorgeous.

Catch Some Races at Gulfport Dragway

Are you looking for some speed in the coastal city of Gulfport?

Mainly the 1/4- and 1/8-mile races occur in the Gulfport Dragway.

If you are a racing lover or are passionate about watching race tracks and beautiful races, Gulfport Dragway is an excellent place to check out.

Tourists love this since it's one of the rarer things to do in Gulfport.

It's also located in one of the most lovely locations in the city.

Apart from drag races, motorbike races also take place here.

Go on a Luxury Cruise

Luxury cruises are among the iconic things to do in Gulfport.

Among the many organizations that offer this service, Sail Away has some of the best yachts and spacious ships where you can enjoy a five-star quality cruise.

Did you know you'll also get a private cabin even on a day cruise?

If you opt for an overnight cruise, you can also enjoy a luxurious dinner in the cabin.

Visit the John C. Stennis Space Center

Saturn 5 space rocket model at Stennis Space Center
Khrystyna_Pochynok / Shutterstock.com

Did you know that NASA has an official testing center in Gulfport?

The John C. Stennis Space Center was established to help out the main branch by acting as a test center for certain rocket kits during the famous Apollo space project.

The rear of Saturn 5 Space Rocket Model Display at John C. Stennis Space Center
Khrystyna_Pochynok / Shutterstock.com

It eventually became one of the official test centers and continues to help out in many essential projects.

You can also check out the INFINITY Science Center, where you'll get to know more about such projects.

Go on a Paddleboarding or Kayaking Adventure

A trip to Gulfport makes no sense if you don’t spend a few hours gliding across its delicate waters.

There are a lot of water activities you can enjoy in this coastal city.

Wut SUP Standup Paddleboards & Rentals knows the best way to explore the smooth Gulf Coast.

They rent out several pieces of equipment that allow you to enjoy the waters with ease.

Paddleboarding is one of the most popular activities in Gulfport.

Wut SUP Standup Paddleboards & Rentals also rents out kayaks.

Check Out the Crosby Arboretum

If you're interested in strolling among wildflowers and spotting native species, the Crosby Arboretum is the location for you.

The place is under the care of Mississippi State University.

Native species of the Pearl River Drainage Basin can be found in this arboretum.

You can come across three different types of ecological systems here: savannah, aquatic, and woodland.

Try Zip Lining and Enjoy Scenic Views of Gulfport

Gulfport is truly the land of adventure.

If you are looking to have some fun while enjoying some great scenes, Zip'N Fun Adventure Park is your destination.

The park has a unique way of treating its visitors to ultimate fun.

Zip lining is one of the most remarkable ways to get a full view of the coastal areas and play some adventurous games.

You'll be given all of the necessary safety gear, and there are almost 50 games you can play while you go zip lining.

Treat Yourself to the Most Delicious Oysters

No trip to Gulfport is incomplete without having some tasty oysters.

The oysters of Gulfport are too good to be true.

For this lovely experience, you have to dine at Half Shell Oyster House.

The seafood menu of this place has been inspired by that of New Orleans.

So, you can definitely expect some special dishes like New Orleans shrimp and chicken.

Whenever a particular fish is in season, the restaurant adds that to its seasonal specialties.

The restaurant exudes Southern hospitality, making guests feel right at home.

See Vintage Aircraft at the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum

At the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum, visitors may learn about aviation history in the Gulf Coast region via exhibits and displays.

Located near the airport, a museum dedicated to the history of the state's efforts to fly to the stars and the clouds is open to visitors.

Established by a group of community leaders, the museum was erected to commemorate the heroics of John C. Robinson, also known as the "Brown Condor," who fought against Fascist Benito Mussolini in the Ethiopian War from 1935 to 1936.

In time, the museum's vision developed to include a location to celebrate Robinson and individuals in Mississippi who had made a significant contribution to aviation.

Additionally, there are several hands-on activities for children within the museum, such as a flight simulator and a theater designed to seem like the cabin of an airplane.

Get Up Close with Marine Creatures at Mississippi Aquarium

Exterior of Mississippi Aquarium
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors of all ages will enjoy Mississippi Aquarium's stunning aquatic creatures.

World-class attractions aren't all this facility has to offer; it also teaches visitors about some of the most critical ecosystems in the world via hands-on encounters.

Hundreds of aquatic species, such as the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and the alligator snapping turtle, may be learned via the aquarium's displays and daily programming.

In addition to sharks and alligators, they'll be able to see a variety of bird species.

To keep their energy levels up in between rides and shows, visitors may stop by the Pelican Pointe Cafe for a quick lunch.

The cafe offers grilled cheese, nachos, and more.

Place Your Bets at the Island View Casino Resort

Exterior of Island View Casino Resort
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is little doubt that an evening spent at the Island View Casino in Gulfport with no kids will be entertaining and memorable.

Visitors to the large casino may expect to find hundreds of different slot machines and table games.

They have an award-winning buffet, an outdoor bar, a steakhouse, a beignet café, and a sweet store that are all smoke-free.

If customers require a cup of coffee, 24-hour coffee shops are also accessible.

The casino's opulent hotel rooms are only a short walk away, with plush beds and exquisite bath supplies.

Have a Fun Family Day at Bananas Mini-Golf & Arcade

Visit Bananas Mini-Golf & Arcade with the entire family for fun in the sun.

It provides a fun mini-golf course in the great outdoors.

While playing the 18-hole system, encourage friendly rivalry among your family and friends.

Misting stations and umbrellas are provided throughout the day to help keep players cool.

Evening golfers will be able to experience a fully illuminated course with a variety of colored waterfalls.

Disabled putters are available, as are all aspects of the system.

While you're there, check out their state-of-the-art arcade and small country-style market.

Final Thoughts

Gulfport, Mississippi, has a rich history, art and culture, seafood shacks, and beautiful beaches.

Visitors may enjoy fishing, kayaking, and simply relaxing on the sugar-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico's warm and tranquil seas.

Whatever your passions may be, Gulfport has something to offer everyone.

Discover More of Harrison County, MS

Free Things to Do in Gulfport, MS

Best Things to Do in Biloxi, MS

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.