The thriving, historical downtown area of Ocean Springs draws thousands of locals and tourists to its art, music, and food festivals year-round. Just a short walk from Front Beach Drive, the area immediately surrounding Government St and Washington Ave is at the heart of this vibrant, eclectic commercial district. One of the city’s most popular festivals, “The Peter Anderson Festival” is held in honor of Ocean Springs’s very own Peter Anderson, a locally renowned artist and the founder of Shearwater Pottery. The Anderson family, whose artistic roots go back several generations has had a large impact on the art and culture of the area and Peter’s son Jimmy is still the master potter at Shearwater. Their pottery attracts collectors from all over the world and the family’s creative legacy is celebrated here locally at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, which is named for Peter’s late brother. Walter Anderson was an American master in his own right and their brother James Anderson was also a noted painter and ceramist. The museum showcases much of the three Anderson siblings’ watercolors, oils, block prints, ceramics and carvings.
The Festival itself is one of the largest events of its kind on the Gulf Coast and is held in the center of down town Ocean Springs. It is an event Andrew and I try not to miss. The city of Ocean Springs closes all the downtown streets the entire weekend for the event. Vendors tents are lined up as far as the eye can see in either direction down Government & Washington. Patrons peruse through the offerings of hundreds of artists, while eating delicious local fare or enjoying a cold beverage from one of the many bars, pubs and restaurants that line the streets. Artisans and craftsmen from all over the region come to display and sell their photography, paintings, sculptures, and pottery under the shade of Oceans Springs’ ancient oaks.
On a daily basis, you will find several galleries displaying art by many local artist, as well as clothing boutiques, gift shops, bars, and delicious local restaurants. Also, when it comes to entertainment, there’s a great live music scene nearly every night at places like Mosaic’s, Leo’s and the Government Street Grocery.
The residential area between Government Street and Front Beach Drive is some of the most highly sought after real estate on the entire Gulf Coast. Many beachfront properties sell for well over a million dollars but even some of the properties located blocks off the beach are valued similarly. In this area, when more affordable “move in ready” properties hit the market there is usually a bidding frenzy!
Besides the small residential area of downtown Ocean Springs, there are many other great neighborhoods for retirees, first time home buyers, large families, or buyers looking for waterfront access. One of my favorite residential neighborhood in the Ocean Springs area is Gulf Hills. Unlike most of the flat land you often see here, Gulf Hills offers a winding hilly terrain unique to the Gulf Coast with a golf course and many waterfront properties. The most popular waterfront properties are found on Old Fort Bayou. There many numerous, beautiful neighborhoods touching this body of water including Gulf Hills, Davidson Hills, Seapointe, Maurepas Landing, Windsor Park and more.
Another unique residential location only seen in Ocean Springs is the “true beachfront” property of Belle Fontaine Point. Due to Hwy 90 and Beach Blvd in the Bay/Waveland area, most “beachfront” property on the MS Gulf Coast has a road in-between the beach and the beachfront homes. On Belle Fontaine Drive in Ocean Springs, you can find beachfront property with its own private beach. Yes, some of these properties can be quite pricey but not all of them are million-dollar mansions. There are a few more affordable homes on Belle Fontaine.
There is also a lot of new development happening in the area. Most notably, The Inlet, a $10 million dollar mixed-use development on U.S. 90 broke ground at the end of 2017. It will supply the area with an additional 14,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as approximately 95 one, two and three-bedroom condo units. Completion of the development is expected sometime in early 2019.
For the kiddos, Ocean Springs offers some of the best schools the Gulf Coast has to offer, 12 parks throughout the city, the Mullet Hop Trampoline Park, and of course its gorgeous beaches. It’s no wonder, people of all ages flock to Ocean Springs, “The City of Discovery”.
Ocean Springs Restaurants We Love:
Vestige – Farm to table with a revolving menu and absolutely delicious!
Government Street Grocery – Laid back restaurant with great burgers, a nice selection of craft beers, and outdoor seating overlooking Government Street.
Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant – Fresh local seafood and amazing steaks with a Lebanese influence in many of the dishes, it’s also BYOB so grab a bottle of your favorite wine on the way-delicious!
Leo’s Wood Fired Pizza – Not just one of the best local pizza places but also one of the coolest spots to hang after hours and grab a drink. Open air seating and live music most nights of the week.
Murky Waters Ocean Springs – Delicious BBQ – You have to visit on “Wing Wednesday” when they offer 60 cent wings and great live music!
Vogue Magazine Article On The MS Gulf Coast
Cruisin’ the Coast Annual Event
“America’s Largest Block Party”. “Cruisin’ the Coast” is a festival celebrating classic cars and the nostalgia they invoke. It began in 1996 with only 374 registered vehicles. In 2017, that number has grown to over 8,000 cruisers from 41 states and even Canada & Sweden have participated in Cruisin’ over the years.
Jeepin’ the Coast Annual Event
“Jeepin’ the Coast Topless” is an annual event to benefit breast cancer awareness. The ride starts at the Bay St. Louis bridge and goes all the way to the Ocean Springs bridge on the other end of the coast. Many Jeeps will then hang a U-turn to circle back to Bay St. Louis for the after party. Funds are raised by buying shirts or simply giving what you can.
Ocean Springs Weather
Link to the Ocean springs weather history , calendar, and forecast.
(Be sure to change the history date)
Gulf Coast Map