Of all the beautiful cities along the MS Gulf Coast, I am particularly fond of “The Bay.” It is one of two places I spent most of my childhood. Every time I visit, I am reminded of my days in middle school and sitting at “The Dock of the Bay” restaurant in Old Town, sipping virgin Pina Coladas…
When I think of Bay St. Louis, I think of VIBRANT ART, LIVE MUSIC, BEAUTIFUL BEACHES, GREAT FOOD, and FUN! Downtown BSL, also known as “Old Town,” is bright, inviting, lively, and a little quirky. Many Old Town residents are second-home owners from the New Orleans and Metairie Louisiana areas. You will find a strong New Orleans influence in the music, food, and art throughout the town. With a less than 1-hour proximity to New Orleans, gorgeous beaches, and an abundance of canal, river, and bayfront properties, many second/vacation home buyers from all over find their way to the area.
Bay St. Louis locals are typically laid back, relaxed, and well-versed in life’s simple pleasures. Great food, good cocktails, and fishing culture that attracts sportsmen to the area from all over the country make BSL a truly unique place to get away for a weekend, a vacation, or a lifetime. While people here are not exactly “no shirt, no shoes, no problem,” you likely won’t find most of them in a suit and tie anytime soon!
Bay St. Louis truly is a hidden gem. Unlike many beachfront communities in other states that are overrun with high-rise condos, you can drive down Beach Blvd in Bay St. Louis and many other MS Gulf Coast communities and enjoy unobstructed views of the beautiful white-sand beaches. Many visitors and tourists visit BSL every year but don’t let that scare you; compared to many other Gulf Coast locales, the traffic is quite manageable. There are a few large annual events and car shows such as “Cruisin’ the Coast,” “Scrapin’ the Coast,” or “Jeepin the Coast” that increase the traffic flow, but aside from that, you probably won’t even notice the tourists.
For anyone considering a move to the area, it’s interesting to point out that BSL was recently named one of the top 10 most affordable beach communities in the U.S. by several well-known websites and magazines, including Realtor.com. However, not all BSL property fits that description, the Old Town area especially. With its many historic homes, some dating back to the 1800s, Old Town has some of the highest prices per sq. ft. of any real estate on the MS Gulf Coast. Of course, with all its charm and character, and considering most of the homes are not in a flood zone and are walkable to the beach, harbor, shops, restaurants, and bars, it’s easy to understand why it’s a little more pricey than a lot of other areas on the coast. When compared to other, similar beachfront communities, in the southeast especially, BSL wins hands down.
Old Town is also known for its many festivals throughout the year, but one of the best-known things for “Second Saturday” happens every month. On the second Saturday of the month, art galleries take their art to the streets, restaurants offer food and drink specials, and the air is filled with live music from many local bands playing throughout the area. The community is filled with shoppers and visitors browsing, eating, and drinking. These people know how to enjoy life!
Unfortunately, Old Town only makes up a few square blocks of the city, making it highly sought after and very difficult to find a “deal.” On the bright side, one fun fact about Bay St. Louis is if you don’t or can’t buy property in the Old Town area; you can still get there via golf cart! Golf carts are street legal in Bay St. Louis as long as you don’t cross over Hwy 90.
-Brittany S Geotes
Old Town Bay St. Louis
Every second Saturday of the month, Old Town celebrates “Second Saturday.” You can find live music, food, and art all along the streets of Old Town. Grab a drink from one of the local bars and pop around the shops and restaurants. There are also many antique shops and art galleries to view!
Bay St. Louis Yacht Club
Bay St. Louis does not have its own elementary school. Children go to Waveland Elementary School, then Bay Middle and Bay High School. Below is a link to the public school district, but there are also private school options in Bay St. Louis.
Bay St Louis Restaurants We Love:
Vogue Magazine Article On The MS Gulf Coast
Cruisin’ the Coast Annual Event
“America’s Largest Block Party.” “Cruisin’ the Coast” is a festival celebrating classic cars and the nostalgia they invoke. It began in 1996 with only 374 registered vehicles. In 2017, that number has grown to over 8,000 cruisers from 41 states, and even Canada & Sweden have participated in Cruisin’ over the years.
Jeepin’ the Coast Annual Event
“Jeepin’ the Coast Topless” is an annual event to benefit breast cancer awareness. The ride starts at the Bay St. Louis bridge and goes all the way to the Ocean Springs bridge on the other end of the coast. Many Jeeps will then hang a U-turn to circle back to Bay St. Louis for the after-party. Funds are raised by buying shirts or simply giving what you can.
Outdoor Fun In The Bay
Rentals and Sales: Kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, golf carts, and more.
Link to the Bay St Louis weather history, calendar, and forecast.
(Be sure to change the history date)
Gulf Coast Map