AOL PICK from our Editors
Biloxi itself isn’t a large town—less than 50,000 people; you’ll find approximately 250,000 people living along or near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Shopping in the area is, with a couple of notable exceptions, of the small town variety. Ocean Springs is the place for arts and you could spend a day shopping galleries and boutiques there. In Gulfport, there’s the Outlets with dozens of stores you’ll find at any American mall. And all along the coast on the beachfront road, you can find a number of stores with the usual beach kitsch—hermit crabs, tacky towels, 5 t-shirts for $10 and a shot glass.
The largest mall in the region has a whole new look and feel after a post-Katrina rethink; expect the usual—Dillard’s, American Eagle Outfitters—along with the less usual—a rock-climbing wall, the temporary location and gift shop of Biloxi’s Seafood Industry Museum. If you’re hungry, there’s an outpost of the Bonefish Grill located onsite.
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One of the biggest attractions in Southern Mississippi, this nicely-designed outlet mall just off of Interstate I-10, is usually visited at least once on any Biloxi vacation. There are more than 60 stores here, including outlets for brands like Coach, J. Crew, Ann Taylor and Polo Ralph Lauren. There’s also a food court if you’re hungry and considering it’s right on the interstate, it’s a great place to hit on the way out of town if you’re driving.
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Neighborhood: Ocean Springs
From homemade cream soda at the Lovelace Drug Store to the inspired sweet potato donuts at the Tato-Nut and much more, you can come to Ocean Springs just to eat your way through the charming downtown. But there’s plenty of serious shopping too, in what’s easily the most upscale downtown on the coast. Ladies in particular are well-provided for here, at traditional favorites such as Bayou Belle, as well as hipper spots like Karma, which offers a frequently-changing selection, hip help and a fun atmosphere. Down the street, Kathleen’s Fiber Arts features hand-woven handbags and scarves, while next door, a seemingly non-essential card shop, Party Girl, conceals a vast selection of Vera Bradley gear (it’s a Coast must-have). Quite popular with the ladies is an annual July sidewalk sale in which most local businesses participate.
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Neighborhood: Ocean Springs
This campus tucked away along the coast not far from downtown Ocean Springs is a piece of American arts & crafts history, albeit one that was all but washed away by Hurricane Katrina. Founded by Peter Anderson, son of a New Orleans merchant—and brother to artist Walter Anderson—the pottery has a slightly different feel now, though it is most certainly back in business and open to visitors. Stop by the workshop near the entrance—it’s open every weekday from 9AM-4PM—before heading down to the showroom (open seven days).