When my family moved to S.E Louisiana our summer, like many local families included short trips to Bay St. Louis and Waveland, Mississippi. My father worked off shore for several weeks at a time so my mother and her friend would take our families to the coast for quick beach trip.
There were times we would spend the night in a local hotel with both of our families or drive back the same evening. So naturally summer wouldn’t be complete without taking my kids for a few day trips to the area to enjoy the beach during the week.
I love giving travel advice, but sometimes I need to take my own advice! I mentioned to a friend that Bay St. Louis has several museums that are free to the public and a great way to explore the Bay St. Louis and Waveland area. While I love soaking up the sun and cooling off by the beach, the museums available are suitable for adults and young children and is a great way to incorporate education to local families.
Located blocks away from the beach in Bay St. Louis is the Mardi Gras Museum, Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum and the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau. No photographs are allowed in the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum but we found the museum very interesting.
There we learned about Alice Moseley, the folk artist who moved to Bay St. Louis at the age of 79 where she spent her remaining years painting and sharing her love for art with the community. The museum has 45 originals displayed and also includes an antique section of the museum which contains various pottery, glass and other Americana antiques.
The Mardi Gras Museum is located downstairs in the L & N Historic Train Depot just below the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum. The train depot has had exterior and interior renovations following Hurricane Katrina and originally built in 1928. The Mardi Gras Museum is free and home to over a dozen elaborate Mardi Gras costumes. As you can see, the Mardi Gras costumes are vibrant and a definite eye catcher. You can also find several wonderful displays relating to blues singers from Mississippi and a large display featuring the 1966 movie: This Property Is Condemned which stars Robert Redford and Natalie Wood. I’m now determine to find this movie!
Visitors can also stop at the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau also located inside the L & N Historic Train Depot. Ms. Susan greeted us once we entered the train depot and offered some insight into the museums and was quite informative.
I asked her for lunch recommendations nearby before we headed to the beach. She gave us several recommendations and also offered a few coupons including one for Cypress Cafe which is where we enjoyed lunch that day.
The Cypress Cafe is located in historic City Hall Building built in 1905. Visitors can tour the old cells and grounds which was also visited by TAPS & Ghost Chasers of Mississippi. I wonder what kind of secrets they unveiled?!?
I’m thinking the spooky visitors wanted to see what’s on the menu at Cypress Cafe! We tried the Garden State Burger and the Uncle Si Burger which really hit the hunger spot. Guests can find a large selection of panini, sandwiches, burgers, salads, all of which are fresh and made to order.
You can find the beach just blocks away. The kids and I went during the week so we practically had the entire beach to ourselves. I wasn’t prepared as I should have been, and did not have a beach umbrella or beach chairs but we had a great time.
My teen daughter who swore she wasn’t going to get in the water, found herself in the water within minutes of arriving. After a few hours at the beach we dried off and headed back to the car. The sun can really effect your energy level. 2 hours at the beach and we were pooped!
Remember Ms. Susan at the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau? She asked us which direction we were heading home once we left the beach. Since we were passing Waveland, Mississippi she offered us a few coupons to Waveland Pharmacy & Soda Fountain.
We were given 3 coupons for a single scoops of ice cream at Waveland Pharmacy. It’s hot so a little ice cream would cool off the kids in no time! I probably drove past Waveland Pharmacy multiple times and never knew they served old fashion sodas and ice cream. They also offer gelato, banana splits and of course you can order your pharmacy and enjoy a cone while you wait.
The ice cream cone really hit the spot and ended our day trip to Bay St. Louis and Waveland on a sweet note! If you are within driving distance of Bay St. Louis or Waveland, a day trip would do your family good. Why go to the movies when you can enjoy a relaxing day trip and spend less than you would on 3 movie tickets!?!
Editors Note: I want to thank the employees at Waveland Pharmacy! During our visit we unknowingly left one of our Iphone on one of their tables. While we were enjoying our ice cream, we were also playing checkers. We left without realizing our phone was still laying on the table and returned home. After searching frantically for the phone, my daughter suggested we call Waveland Pharmacy just in case we left it there and not at the beach. Luckily for us they had found our phone! Thank you for your honesty and for caring about their customers!