Ocean Springs, MS, USA

Ocean Springs, MS, USA

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Find the best place to stay — Ocean Springs

Spring to life in Mississippi's home of happy seaside living

Skirting Biloxi Bay on Mississippi's southern shore, laid-back Ocean Springs is a draw for artsy types and beach lovers alike. Shaded by live oak trees, the town's main historic strip, Washington Avenue, is lined with art galleries, shops, and restaurants, including several ethnic options. Originally settled by the French in 1699, today the town is a mecca for art lovers and foodies. An Ocean Springs vacation rental puts you near pristine ocean beaches, thriving nature preserves, and the world-renowned casinos of Biloxi, just a couple miles away across the bay.

Biking and birding on the beaches, bays, and bayous

If you like the outdoors, you're in luck -- your Ocean City vacation rental will be surrounded by it. Cycling enthusiasts should head straight to the Live Oaks Bicycle Route, or to the Davis Bayou Area of the Gulf Island National Seashore, where you'll find outdoor activities galore -- fishing, picnicking, hiking, and ranger-led programs, plus bird and armadillo watching to boot (just to name a few). Deer Islands Coastal Preserve is great for canoeing, boating, and paddleboarding. If all that's not enough, there's plenty of beach time available, not to mention gator tours, shopping, and casinos.

Up close and personal with some of architecture's greats

An Ocean Springs vacation rental is heaven for art and architecture buffs. On top of the countless local galleries in the historic downtown, you'll also find the renowned Walter Anderson Museum of Art, and the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, set on a quirky campus designed by none other than Frank Gehry. For more world-class architecture, check out the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Charnley-Norwood House, dating from 1890. In Biloxi you'll find famous casinos like the Beau Rivage, Harrah's, and Golden Nugget, as well as the 1848 Biloxi Lighthouse and Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library.

Soak up the sultry summer nights down in the bayous

You'll pretty much never have to worry about snow on the Mississippi coast. Highs are in the 60s to the 90s year round. The hottest months are July and August, while the coolest are December to February, when overnight lows might dip into the 40s (so pack layers). Expect to see plenty of rain from November to March. June to September sees things steaming up, with high humidity as monsoon season kicks in. Hurricanes are most prevalent in September and October. But don't worry, rainstorms tend to be quick, leaving plenty of sun for cooling off in the Gulf of Mexico.

So much more than just oceans in Ocean Springs

With a name like Ocean Springs, you'll obviously find plenty of coastline dotted with pristine sand beaches, where you can catch some stunning sunrises and sunsets over the crashing waves. Deer Island just offshore is home to 10 types of endangered species, including several birds. Head inland to the marshes and you'll find ducks, ospreys, turtles, and terrapins. And of course, no swampland would be complete without a healthy population of alligators (if you want to see them up close, stick to the professional tours).