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Black Coastal South: Explore Gulfport, Mississippi with Black Heritage in Mind

Black Coastal South: Explore Gulfport, Mississippi with Black Heritage in Mind

Visiting Gulfport, Mississippi in the fall is like an extended summer. It means a continuation of outdoor activities, a friendly climate during the day and night, food and Black heritage fun. It also means in a little more than an hour you can be in Mobile or New Orleans. Or in less time, you can be in nearby Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, or Biloxi, where there is even more fun and heritage to be had. 

Food & Lodging

Visiting Gulfport, Mississippi in the fall is like an extended summer. It means a continuation of outdoor activities, a friendly climate during the day and night, food and Black heritage fun. It also means in a little more than an hour you can be in Mobile or New Orleans. Or in less time, you can be in nearby Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, or Biloxi, where there is even more fun and heritage to be had. 

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In Gulfport, you can stay at the Almanett Hotel & Bistro, a Black owned establishment with a beach view and a bistro that serves great food that includes jambalaya, seafood and lamb chops. 

Ms. Audrey’s collard greens

Black owned restaurants range from southern cuisine and soul food to seafood and Creole. In Gulfport you will find Ms. Audrey’s Southern Kitchen and Catering, Liz & Nomie’s Gourmet Eats (Creole Cuisine and more),  

Dem Dam Burgers Signature Lobster Tail Dinner

If you travel to Biloxi, try Dem Dam Burgers for lunch and carryout. Brick & Spoon is a restaurant and catering company that serves breakfast all day. Adele’s Cafe in Biloxi has a Louisiana-style menu and is casual. In Ocean Springs, there’s Sugar Tribe Sweets And Events Bakery, Nana J’s Soulful Kitchen, and Pleasant’s BBQ

Black Heritage for the Family

Visit the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum to learn about John C. Robinson, the Black aviator who laid the groundwork for the Tuskegee Airmen. The museum also has the Tuskegee Gallery that highlights the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

You can tour the remnants of the Turkey Creek Community, which was founded by formerly enslaved Africans. The Phoenix Naval Stores was largely staffed by African Americans from the Turkey Creek community, and is a restored site. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church is a historic place of worship in the community. It served as a school for residents before the building of Turkey Creek School in 1948.  

Ellen Ellis Lee | Gulfport Arts Center

The Gulfport Arts Center houses the Gulfport Galleria of Fine Art featuring community artists like multi-media artist Ellen Ellis Lee. You can visit the galleria to purchase textiles, pottery, paintings, jewelry and more or shop online

Pleasant Reed House, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi

The Pleasant Reed (House) Interpretative Center in Biloxi is one of the first documented houses built by a formerly enslaved man in the 1880s. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and sits on the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum’s campus.  

Shopping & More

Gulfport Premium Outlets is great for blackbelt shopping name brands at 70 stores and there are plenty of places to eat. 

Robin’s Nest in the Pass in Pass Christian is a gallery gift shop named for Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and owned by her sister Dorothy. The store is 14 minutes from Gulfport and carries art, jewelry, products for the home, and other unique collectibles created by local artisans. 

The beauty of touring the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the water. Visit Gulfport’s ports to view the boats, gaze at the Yacht Club and take a ferry cruise. Bay St. Louis’s Harbor has food and ferry cruises, and they have beaches. Also, if you’re traveling by car, riding through old neighborhoods to look at the grandeur of some of the remaining antebellum and Victorian houses. Lastly, every city mentioned, including Gulfport, has a number of antique shops and antique malls worth exploring. 

And, in November, Gulfport will host Gumbo Fest, featuring Stir Da Roux Gumbo Cook-Off, lots of zydeco, blackwater brass and blues music, family fun and food. 

Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

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Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

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