Local Spotlight: Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Consider yourself a seafarer? If you do, then set sail to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a nationally-protected string of islands off the beautiful Mississippi coast. There, you’ll find peace—and maybe even a new piece of yourself!

The Seashore

Set up by Congress in 1971, the Gulf Islands National Seashore offers a chance for sailors to explore and land lubbers to try out their sea legs. The national park boasts breathtaking views throughout its string of islands. With many of these islands located off the Mississippi coast, boat travel is almost a must.

Davis Bayou Area

Attached to mainland Mississippi, the Davis Bayou Area rests three miles east of downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The bayou features a visitors’ center, campground, fishing pier, hiking trails, and a boat launch. If you want to spend a day on the water—without that much boat travel—the Davis Bayou is a good place to start.

The Islands

Stretching the coast of Mississippi, the islands of the Gulf Islands National Seashore are protected, virtually untouched bastions of beauty. Cat, Horn, Petit Bois, and West Petit Bois islands all answer the call of the wild, with wilderness and wildlife as their defining features.

If you have reservations about that level of remoteness, Ship Island offers a friendlier landscape. A swim beach, pier, snack bar, picnic pavilions, and historic fort all call its shores home. From mid-March to October, a ferry travels from Gulfport to Ship Island.

What to Do

Adventure seekers, history buffs, beach bums—people of all stripes can find something to enjoy at the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

You can camp, fish, bike, swim, set sail, or boat. You can hike around or hunt waterfowl. Need to beat the heat for a bit? Wander through the visitors’ center or explore a fort. There’s plenty to do out on the shore—or in the historic halls of this national park.


Sometimes, the sea just calls. And we have to answer. The Gulf Islands National Seashore allows us to do just that.

You know what else calls us? Home. We’d love for you to call us home at Maison D’Orleans. Check out why we’re the coastal life you’ve been craving. Interested in learning more about living local? Browse through our blog!