The grey and white seagulls lined up at attention on a pylon, facing west. There were dozens of them, not scanning for abandoned picnic scraps, but soaking up the setting sun. Nearby, sand mounds sprouted beach grass, at least five feet high, providing the backdrop, their silver fronds swaying in time to the sound of the waves on the shore, illuminated by the sunset.
That was my welcoming committee to Biloxi, Mississippi.
In Biloxi, the restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers tower above the north side of Beach Boulevard, allowing for unobstructed stretches of the lapping Gulf waves and white sand. Later I learned that it’s Biloxi’s topography, specifically the small barrier island called Deer Island, that attracts wildlife. It’s not just seagulls, but also roseate spoonbill — a pink bird that looks like a cross between a pelican and a flamingo — hellbender salamander, pelicans, dolphins, and in the summer, even manatees will lumber through nearby rivers and bays.
With the sun beneath the horizon, my greeters flew away, and Biloxi’s lazy beach vibe effortlessly morphed into a late-night party scene accented by a string of casinos. When beach time ends, indoor entertainment begins, often with a pull on a slot machine and a cocktail in hand.
Such is Biloxi’s appeal with bountiful casino buffet portions balanced by the rarity of seeing a roseate spoonbill. Whether you’re headed here to take in the salt air or try your luck at the tables, you can experience it all with a stay at one of these Biloxi beach hotels.