I Am Not Supposed to Like Mississippi

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Driving Over the Biloxi Bay Bridge

Driving Over the Biloxi Bay Bridge

Biloxi, MS

Seriously. I am not supposed to like Mississippi.

I have the same predetermined judgments as most people I grew up around... and in the United States. The state of Mississippi is dangerous, deadly, racist, oppressive, poor, backward, not progressive, and a host of other words that are not positive. Don't get me wrong, some of the things political leaders do here will make you pull your hair out, and the fact that the state is at the bottom of every poll from health, wealth, lifespan, education... you name it, the state is probably there, does not help the branding.

Crazy enough, I grew up in Alabama, and most people don't have positive things to say about my home state. Of course, a lot of this comes from the days of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement. Basically, a lot of dead people lost their lives in the name of those who love some good ole fashion racism.

And no, I have never visited Mississippi before.

But after spending my first few hours in Biloxi driving along the coast and a quick mosey to Ocean Springs looking for live music... I think I like this place. And I am trying to figure out if that is allowed. LOL

Biloxi feels like how beach living is supposed to be.  Boardwalks and sidewalks right on the water, so you can jog or walk for miles and miles. Seafood restaurants are actually on the beach with real outdoor seating, not the open air places with plastic windows (tons of that in Florida). A coastline not littered with towering and overpriced condos. Parking so you can pull up anywhere and watch the sunset. Homes that are reasonably affordable within walking distance of the beach. Stores, restaurants, entertainment, and just good outdoor living. It is almost the exact place I would want to live in. 

Yeah... hurricanes are a thing here, and you can still see some of the effects from Katrina back in 2005.

Biloxi does have its French colonial, antebellum, and confederate roots on display at every turn. I am trying to decide if I want to tour the home and presidential library of Jefferson Davis. I wonder if my love of learning about history can overcome my skin crawling... hmmmm.

When we went to Ocean Springs, it had French colonial vibes. It reminds me of what New Orleans would be like without Bourbon Street and the drunken tourists if it had a baby with Charleston, SC.  The town is cute, homey, full of charm, historic, outdoor dining, and live music on every corner, it seems. People will say that the hipster kids took over, but it does make me like whoever decided to make the town the way it is because this is the perfect small town. And it is a plus that it is so close to the water.

Now, the area does not have the pristine emerald cost like in Panama City Beach or the wealth being slapped on your a$$ like Santa Rosa Beach, but there is a cool charm once you look beyond the casinos and take walk to touch some sand. BTW... this place is retiree central.

So, back to the dilemma. I have always had a negative image of Mississippi and most states in the deep South. It is pretty much well-earned if you ask me, but it seems if you have some money, living on the coast and the beach in any of these places can make quite a few of the negatives go away. Funny how money changes so many things. 

Am I seriously about to add this place to my list of future retirement locations???? Oh boy, this road trip is challenging my views in the best of ways.


Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In