Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Gulfport, MS

  • Published 2022/12/08

Gulfport’s sun, sand, and sea are only some of the best assets of this city.

The heart of Gulfport is its waterfront recreation opportunities, including its world-renowned casinos and water parks.

Within the Gulf Coast, this city is the second largest within Mississippi in Harrison County.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find your place in this vibrant city’s streets, seafood shacks, and parks.

Its diversified city has come a long way from its industrial past back in its incorporation in 1898.

By 1902, the county seat of Harrison County had moved to Gulfport.

Whether you go to downtown Gulfport or along its less downtrodden streets, its interesting past and accompanying culture shine through.

To help you get a taste of this city’s best-kept secrets, here are free things to do in Gulfport, MS:

Appreciate Art at Fishbone Alley

Sculpture at Fishbone Alley

SeanRhinoPhotography /

Downtown Gulfport is a shining gem because of the presence of Fishbone Alley.

Described as a funky street destination, this alley is a concealed spot between 13th and 14th Street.

What was once an abandoned spot for trash and maintenance has evolved into an art-fused corner where live entertainment is guaranteed.

Strolling down this alley, you’ll come face-to-face with painted murals and dazzling fairy lights when an event comes up.

Its backstreet is also a common spot for public festivals and concerts.

If you’re lucky, you might catch this alley when everyone is celebrating and join in on the festivities.

Fishbone Alley is your best choice for a subtle and creative hangout spot you can visit alone or with friends.

Marvel at the World’s “Largest Rocker”

The World’s “Largest Rocker” is a larger-than-life sculpture of a rocking chair outside the Dedeaux Clan Furniture LLC store.

Standing at 35 feet, this white sculpture features the words “World’s Largest Rocker, Since 1965” painted at its backrest.

In 2015, Hurricane Katrina knocked it off its spot, but after much restoration, this roadside attraction stood tall again.

This attraction represents Mississippi’s love for craftsmanship and a good show.

If you come by Canal Road, don’t hesitate to pull over and take a picture of the World’s “Largest Rocker.”

Pay Your Respects to Gulfport’s Greatest Benefactor with a Visit to Joseph T. Jones Statue

Have you heard of Joseph T. Jones Statue?

A significant part of Gulfport’s thriving past is the notable people who have strived to make this city stand out and become the city it is now.

One such person is Joseph T. Jones.

He co-founded the city and helped oversee the railroad terminals that ran across the city.

Though he died in 1916, his legacy lives on, and Gulfport never forgets about his contributions to the city’s economy.

On 21st Avenue, his bronze statue stands on top of a granite monument.

Joseph T. Jones’ Statue faces the harbor the man himself built and stands surrounded by trees and a forest backdrop.

Learn More about the City’s History at the Gulfport Museum of History

It’s time for a historical mission when you visit the Gulfport Museum of History.

Situated in Union State Depot on 27th Avenue, this museum takes you back centuries past through its available exhibitions.

Managed by the Historical Society of Gulfport, it highlights some permanent and temporary collections.

Look through artifacts and documents detailing the life of John C. Robinson, as well as the legacy of the Brown Condor.

If you have time, don’t hesitate to drop by the Gulfport Museum of History for a much-needed history refresh.

Snap a Photo of the Mississippi Blues Trail – Broadcasting the Blues Marker

Gulfport’s music scene is as booming as its historical and cultural industry.

The Mississippi Blues Trail helps elevate the city’s blues history through Broadcasting the Blues.

After World War II, rhythm and blues became a huge hit in Gulfport.

However, in 2000, it found a new change with the fame of radio as the medium for information and music dissemination.

The Broadcasting the Blues marker is more than just a marker.

Built in 2007, it’s a commemoration of the blues history and a celebration of fine music.

The Broadcasting the Blues marker is number 24 along the Blues Trails and is on Southpark Drive if you want to come by and take a photo.

Chill by the Pier at Jones Park

Welcome sign of Jones Park

Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Gulfport’s most prominent landmarks is the 60-acre multifaceted Jones Park.

This park on the south end of Highway 49 in Jones Park Drive is a signature spot for Gulfport.

It’s most likely known for its label as the “Front Yard for the State of Mississippi.”

Though it experienced a downfall after Hurricane Katrina, it reopened its gates to the public in 2012 and has come back stronger than ever.

Its wide array of amenities and facilities is great for a whole family bonding experience.

There are large pavilions and a playground for your kids to explore.

A replica lighthouse also stands within the property.

But for that summer fun, bring your children to Jones Park’s splash pad for a refreshing time.

Its tropical theme comes with diverse water movements, including jetting and misting.

Walk Down the Boardwalk Trail at James Hill Park

If you’re looking for an outdoor area suitable for the whole family, including your dogs, visit James Hill Park.

This dog-friendly park brings together an array of amenities for every family member.

Challenge your loved ones to a friendly ball match at the field and two tennis courts.

The playground within the area is perfect for children of all ages.

Spend time at the boardwalk trails and greet the surrounding trees and shrubbery.

Find James Hill Park on Switzer Road, and prepare for an afternoon of fun amid nature.

Study Woodland Birds at the Clower-Thornton Nature Area

The Clower-Thornton Nature Area is a free-for-all preserve ideal for birdwatching and wildlife exploration.

Located on East Railroad Street, it’s also an excellent migrant trap.

With over 200 recorded woodland birds coming by during migratory periods, it’s no wonder this place is a famous site for coast birders.

Walk along dense trees and discover the beauty of a southern-mixed hardwood forest.

Its 1.3 miles of trails and pathways go over wooden bridges, ideal for recreational hiking.

Clower-Thornton Nature Area doesn’t disappoint, so you should add it to your itinerary!

Let Your Kids Play at West Side Splash Park

West Side Splash Park is the ultimate summer destination on West Beach Boulevard.

This park provides a rubberized walking track that extends to 1/4 mile.

With the park’s playground equipment and a play structure resembling a pirate ship, your little ones can play to their heart’s content.

On top of this, there are water rings that they can walk through.

They can also have fun at the splash pad, especially in the summer heat.

Pavilions are also available for rent at West Side Splash Park.

Celebrate Life at The Gulfport Peace, Love, and Pride Festival

Gulfport’s celebration of identity, love, and life culminates at The Gulfport Peace, Love, and Pride Festival.

This annual festival aims to offer everyone within the community the right resources for a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Gulfport Peace, Love, and Pride Festival’s offerings include healthcare and testing, resources for the LGBTQ+, art, and other forms of entertainment.

Listen to live music while you flit around and go through the booths open for everyone.

If you wish to become part of this festivity, all you have to do is come in your best outfit to Gulfport Casio and Beach!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Had enough of Gulfport and everything it has to offer?

Here are more activities you can do within nearby cities that still allow you to stay within budget:

Take a Picture with Your Friends at the Friendship Oak Tree

Daytime view of the Friendship Oak Tree

Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’re in for a memorable excursion in the city of Long Beach.

Within this place, an approximately six-minute drive from Gulfport, is the Friendship Oak Tree.

It’s a historic point of interest situated within the campus of Southern Miss Gulf Coast and was one of surviving attractions after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

Large branches of Friendship Oak Tree

Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This live oak tree has been around since 1487 and is one of the most pictured attractions on the Gulf Coast.

Countless friends and lovers walk beneath this tree and say their most solemn vows.

Standing 50 feet in height, the Friendship Oak Tree is one tourist spot you shouldn’t miss on your trip.

View the Ocean Springs Bridge Mosaic Mural

If you want to feel inspired by public art, visit the Ocean Springs Bridge Mosaic Mural.

Located in the nearby city of Ocean Springs, this mural stands as the longest mosaic in all of Mississippi.

With a remarkable length of 120 feet, it demonstrates the charm of the Gulf Coast with its colorful bayside lifestyle portrayals.

Its four huge panel pieces feature the creativity of local artists, including Ching Walters and Patt Odom.

Elizabeth Veglia handled the arrangement and overall layout of the mural.

Ocean Springs Bridge Mosaic Mural on Highway 90, a mere 25-minute drive from Gulfport.

Admire the D’Iberville Town Clock at Central Avenue

Only 22 minutes away from Gulfport, the D’Iberville Town Clock is a fascinating attraction that you don’t need to travel far to see.

Situated on Central Avenue in the city of D’Iberville, this centerpiece attraction immediately catches your eye.

It’s a four-sided clock placed atop three levels of a granite base.

With the centerpiece’s benches, you can lounge around and watch as cars pass you.

See the Hand-Carved Carousel at Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi suffered a huge loss, and Waveland was Ground Zero.

However, the townsfolk did not let this disaster dampen their spirits, and only a few years later, they managed to restore Waveland Elementary School, which was then transformed into Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum.

Situated in a restored historic school, the place is also home to various exhibits and a specially handcrafted carousel.

Waveland’s Ground Zero Hurricane Museum is a testament to the unbridled hope that the devastated people of the city continued to live by.

This museum is on Coleman Avenue, approximately half an hour from Gulfport.

Discover Unique Folk Art at Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum

It’s never the wrong time to discover folk art and find the inspiration amidst all the masterpieces.

Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum is a dedicated museum showcasing the artwork of the artist it’s named after.

Originally situated in the artist’s Blue House on Booker Street, the museum moved locations in 2013.

It resides on Depot Way in the quaint city of Bay St. Louis.

On top of Alice’s artworks, other memorabilia you can expect inside this museum include antique objects, vintage bottles, and other ancient glassware.

Come and feel invigorated by the massive display of art everywhere.

You only need to come by yourself because there is no admission fee!

Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum is a 25-minute drive from Gulfport.

Final Thoughts

Gulfport’s outstanding tourism is best seen in its diverse attractions and cultural sites.

From roadside attractions to art-filled avenues, Gulfport has every kind of entertainment for locals and tourists alike.

To take things up a notch, some of the most enjoyable attractions come without a fee!

Which is your favorite among this list of free things to do in Gulfport, MS?

Discover More of Harrison County, MS

Best Things to Do in Gulfport, MS

Best Things to Do in Biloxi, MS

© All rights reserved.