AOL PICK from our Editors
You’d be forgiven if you forgot you were in Mississippi—the region, you’ll quickly find, identifies more with New Orleans and its French heritage than the more buttoned-down Mississippi you’ll find north of I-10. Carefree as the coast may be, it’s still ruled out of Jackson, however. Nightlife here is fun, but everything starts early and can end a lot earlier than you’d imagine. Of course, you can usually always find something to do at the bigger casinos, even in the wee hours, but most of it revolves around gaming or sitting at a smoky bar next to hundreds of loud slot machines. Whatever your pleasure, here are five highlights.
Neighborhood: Ocean Springs
A firm favorite among locals and hip travelers to the coast, this place is one of the state’s best live venues, more Oxford or Austin, Texas than you’d expect just minutes from the glittering gambling halls just one bridge away. Keep track of the live music calendar, but anytime’s a good time for a first visit to this Ocean Springs gem.
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Neighborhood: Pass Christian / Long Beach
Up above the boats rocking back and forth in the restored Pass Christian Harbor, this indoor/outdoor bar and grill was until not long ago best treated simply as a bar and live entertainment venue; recent developments have been promising though, with a seafood bar opening downstairs, offering an alternative to the fairly average menu upstairs. Ask which Lazy Magnolia beers they’ve got handy; that’s Mississippi’s only—and pretty damn good at that—microbrewery, HQ’d up in nearby Kiln.
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Neighborhood: Bay St. Louis / Waveland
What’s easily one of the hippest coffeehouses in the region becomes one of its better nightlife venues every Thursday, with an eclectic calendar of live music, hamburgers and local beers on tap. The action spills out into the side yard, and sometimes the street as well. A definite must for any Thursday night (7PM-10PM) in these parts. The café repeats the same successful formula during Bay St. Louis’ popular Second Saturday art walk event each month.
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Biloxi without Mary Mahoney’s is like New Orleans without Galatoire’s. Unlike Galatoire’s, however, the food at this old-timey restaurant, housed partly in Biloxi’s oldest house (it dates back to the early 1700s) isn’t really the reason to come here anymore. Though don’t let us stop you. For whatever reason, we much prefer after dinner drinks in the bar, housed in the oldest part of the complex; it’s a nice break from the bells and whistles and bright lights of the Beau Rivage, located just across the street.
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Due to open the week Hurricane Katrina slammed the Coast, what can easily be referred to as Biloxi’s coolest casino resort was decimated by the storm; it took another two years to get the doors open. That’s all history now. Today, the hotel, which features not only a Hard Rock Café but also the popular Hard Rock Live performance venue. This brings in a steady rotation of top acts, and is, for many people, the only place to be on the coast. There’s certainly an argument to be made for this line of thinking; the spa is definitely above average, the rooms are smarter than those at the Beau, and there’s a Ruth’s Chris Steak House on site. The good news is, even if you don’t stay here, it’s just a short clip away from most of the other casinos in Biloxi, and right next door to the Beau. er the place description
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