Visiting Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, was like discovering a rare and beautiful treasure. It’s a lively Southern town. I mean that literally, brightly colored cottages line Main Street while storied architectural buildings line the streets of Blaize Avenue, Depot Way, South Second Street, and others. I’m a lover of #shopsmall and #momandpop stores, which are the backbone of America, and Bay St. Louis is dripping in both. (Updated on 6.10.2020)
Bay Saint Louis: Beyond the Gulf Shores
Bay St. Louis sits on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. This year due to a bacteria outbreak, locals let me know the bacteria-filled water coming from a spillway out of New Orleans, Louisiana. As an aside, we, as travelers, need to start showing our disapproval of cities that think it’s OK to release toxic water damaging waterways near and far. Figure it out already; pollution doesn’t draw travelers!
Honestly, it’s up to us to start voicing our opinions with our wallets. Why support a town monetarily if you don’t like its environmental policies. Tourism, just like any industry, is driven by profits. When “we the people” stop opening our wallets, it seems politicians listen better. Just sayin’
OK, enough of my rants, the following beaches are now open
- Waveland Beach
- Buccaneer State Park Beach
- Pass Christian West Beach
- Pass Christian Central Beach is closed due to algae blooms. 😡
The beaches in Bay St. Louis are gorgeous, but a few have been closed for now due to algae blooms. While I didn’t get into the water or even walk on the beach, I found many other wonderful things to do beyond the beaches. If you like “pilfering,” as my new southern bestie Rhonda says, then Bay. St. Louis is a beautiful place to find unique and affordable one-of-a-kind treasures. Expect friendly, welcoming shopkeepers who are knowledgeable about their inventory and eager to help. How refreshing and hospitable. Big cities, take note; this is how it’s done.
Bay Saint Louis – Ahh the Shopping!
California Drawstrings, 216 Main Street – It’s a wonderful boutique if you’re looking for eco-friendly flax fashions. Plus, when we visited, they had a sale buy one and get the second 50% off. Their inventory is a bit pricy, but this isn’t fast fashion, and flax clothing lasts for decades. It’s worth a stop.
Social Chair, 201 Main Street – This is a fun, eclectic store, and we had the best time chattin’ it up with the store manager; her name escapes me, UGH! She was so helpful and so much fun. I felt like I had made a new friend. And, of course, she suggested we come back on another day. Tip: Mondays aren’t the best days to visit as many stores are closed.
Antique Maison, 111 2nd Street – This antique store was deceptively large. It covered an entire block. Make sure to go past the checkout area when you visit and head to the back of the store. This is where you’ll find collectible vinyl albums, cast iron pans, and more. I walked away with a gorgeous set of African beads for only $4.00. I kid you not. Again, everyone was so helpful. Honestly, you could spend a few hours and not see everything.
220 Main – 220 Main Street – It’s a colorful Art Deco building built-in 1929; I fell in love instantly. Art Deco, need I say more? It was once a grocery store; now, it’s an artist’s co-op. It was closed when we were in town. 😢Plus it’s rumored to be haunted. Oh-so-me!
bijoubel, 136 Maint Street – My friend and I had grown weary from all of our pilferings, but bijouble, with its lush gardens and welcoming front porch, was calling us. So glad we stopped. The boutique had so many fun pieces. From purses to accessories and, of course, fun fashion finds. The store clerk must have known I’m a sales shopper. She pointed me to the pack of the cottage alerting me to the Joan Voss pieces, which were only $20. Shop Joan Voss at Neiman Marcus and pay upwards of $125 and up. I’ll be back.
A brand new beautiful home furnishings shop, Sassy Bird Interiors, opened in the historic building the, Shops of Century Hall on Second Street in Bay St. Louis. Here you’ll find entertaining essentials, furniture, art, and unique gifts. To be transparent, I’ve not been here yet, but I can’t wait to go.
Time to Eat
We’d been walking for hours, and our stomachs started growing. One of the best things about Bay Saint Louis is it’s a walking, biking town. I don’t know about you, but walking is one of my favorite things to do while visiting a new place. You get the vibe of the area. Off we went, walking to the waterfront for a sip and supper.
The Blind Tiger
As we headed up to beach road, I spied The Blind Tiger; it certainly had the look and feel of a local’s place and was just noisy enough to be fun on an early Monday evening. Of course, it was AWESOME. The bartender fed me $3.00 margaritas while my friend happily sipped on a Bushwacker, a frozen ice cream drink made with rum, Kaluha, coconut rum, and vanilla ice cream. And then we stuffed ourselves with all kinds of fried stuff. Yeah, and I wonder why I can’t lose weight! 😂All food is prepared fresh daily—a wonderful find on the waterfront.
P.S. There are so many other places to eat, but since I didn’t experience them, I can’t comment. 🙂
Bay Saint Louis + Angel Trees
While our food was prepared, we ventured outside to enjoy our cocktails and the balmy weather. I spotted this tree out of the corner of my eye. I went over to investigate and saw carved angels emerging from the tree trunk. As I read the story about the Angel Tree, this tree had been a safety net for several locals as the eye of Katrina roared. I started to tear up. If we’d stop for a moment when we travel, we’ll see how we’re all connected: people, Mother Earth, her creatures, plants, and trees. This tree saved people during the wrath of Katrina. WOW. Now that’s a story to behold and praise. Many Angel trees can be spotted along the Gulf Coast, all in service to humans. I was honored to have come across this beautiful angel tree.
Bay Saint. Louis – I Will Return
There is so much to see and do in this southern town. I was impressed by the many treasures that await around every corner. It could be the architecture from the late 1800s, a colorful cottage beckoning you to stop and shop, and the area is oh-so walkable. It’s no wonder Vogue Magazine, Glamour, Thrillist, and dozens of other news outlets have featured this charming southern city.
Pleeese, there is so much to do beyond the beaches.
Don’t let a little bacteria and overblown media reports stop you from visiting the charming town of Bay Saint Louis. The shop owners need our support. Plus, you’ll be glad you visited, just don’t get into the water. OK!
Happy Summer, and do comment if you visit Bay Saint Louis, as I know I missed so much, and your comments will help other visitors find what I missed! Appreciate YOU,
My trusted travel writer friend, Nancy Brown, allowed me to share her travel blog on the area. Read more on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast to help you, plan a fabulous getaway.