Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast is inviting travelers to experience this year’s winter holiday season in an unparalleled way. The Secret Coast and its 62 miles of scenic shoreline offer an abundance of events, culinary delights, unique experiences, and outdoor adventures year-round, thanks to the region’s temperate climate. The following experiences are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the endless adventure, celebration, and relaxation that The Secret Coast has to offer.
Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival (November 26-December 31)
Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is Mississippi’s largest holiday light show, and visitors to this year’s show will see over 1.5 million lights adorning trees, sculptures, archways, and installations across a beautiful 40-acre expanse in Jones Park, overlooking Gulfport Harbor. Enjoy the “Dancing Trees” show and carnival rides, hop on a train to take you through the magnificent light displays, stroll through Santa’s Village to watch the elves hard at work, and even visit Santa Claus at his Headquarters!
Outdoor Adventure & Nature
For some festive fresh air, take a stroll along sugar-white sand beaches and build your own holiday “sandman,” or explore miles of hiking trails at parks and experience an array of wildlife throughout the region. The Secret Coast’s vast and diverse landscapes offer countless opportunities for outdoor activities year-round.
- For wildlife, walking trails, and a boardwalk, the Possom Walk Heritage Trail offers a 3-mile out-and-back trail, located behind the INFINITY Science Center, leading you through a wooded area and boardwalk before arriving in the Logtown Cemetery. Learn all about the historical significance of the African American and sawmill community that once occupied the land.
- For a national treasure with a unique backstory that is bound to make endless memories, the Twelve Oaks Nature Trail is available for the wandering eye. This short half-mile loop trail winds through a historical area previously known as the “miniature Bellingrath.” The two large oak trees are registered as national treasures. Visitors can experience the remnants of the garden, as well as swamps, and a wonderful view of Old Fort Bayou.
Winter Fishing on The Secret Coast
The Secret Coast’s mild winter temperatures make for the perfect time to enjoy one of Coastal Mississippi’s signature experiences – fishing!
The region’s fertile waters both inshore and offshore, along with its plentiful reefs that can be found just off the shoreline, guarantee a successful fishing excursion year-round. Winter is a productive season for larger fish, so you can expect to catch redfish, black drum and sheepshead, as well as speckled trout and flounder inshore.
- When planning a winter charter, the recommendation is a 6-hour trip. On Team Mega Bite’s charter, travelers can fish inshore and offshore around the barrier islands within the 6-hour window.
- Not only does Coastal Mississippi boast bigger fish that can be found further inshore during the winter months, but several certified “cook your catch” restaurants are also ready to prepare your catch of the day, including Ole Biloxi Fillin’ Station, Shaggy’s in Pass Christian, and Hook Gulf Coast Cuisine.
Visitors to The Secret Coast can also feel confident that they’ll be exploring safely thanks to the Coastal Mississippi Promise of Health and Safety, a destination-wide commitment by tourism partners to apply best practices in health and safety and to help visitors make informed choices when planning their visit.
To learn more or start planning your Coastal Mississippi Getaway, visit CoastalMississippi.com.