In anticipation of the day created to recognize America’s favorite seafood, National Shrimp Day on May 10, Coastal Mississippi has curated a variety of ways travelers can celebrate all month long. The region, which produces nearly three-fourths the nation’s domestic shrimp, has many unique experiences for seafood enthusiasts, from learning how to find your own fresh catch to exploring the history of the seafood industry.
“It’s always a good time to eat delicious Coastal Mississippi shrimp, but National Shrimp Day and the entire month of May is an exciting time to celebrate our Coastal Mississippi shrimping heritage through our nationally renowned culinary scene, annual events and most importantly, the start of the shrimping season,” said Pattye Meagher, Director of Communications and Engagement at Coastal Mississippi Tourism. “We’re excited to welcome new and returning travelers to the region to jumpstart the summer and experience the best of our premier seafood destination.”
While indulging in Gulf-to-table cuisine, travelers can also visit the many diverse towns along 62 miles of coastline, like Ocean Springs or Biloxi, once known as the “Seafood Capital of the World,” to quaint towns like Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, you’ll find just the right place to celebrate National Shrimp Day in Coastal Mississippi this May:
New and Award-Winning Seafood Restaurants
Fresh seafood is one of the best parts of visiting the Gulf Coast, especially the bountiful delicacy of shrimp. The region produces 69 percent of the nation’s domestic shrimp, and 90 percent of species in the Gulf of Mexico nest in the Mississippi Sound. While there is an endless supply of seafood dining favorites, travelers can consider these new and award-winning locations:
The home of “The Original” surf & turf on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Captain Al’s Steak & Shrimp serves up American Fare, where shrimp and steak reign supreme – even in their bloody marys. Their goal of serving the freshest steaks and shrimp has made Captain Al’s a family tradition since 1993. If you’re feeling adventurous order the Shrimp Blast Bloody Mary (this over-the-top cocktail comes complete with one dozen shrimp).
Beach Blvd Steamer, located next to Island View Casino & Resort, is a shrimp enthusiasts’ paradise. With multiple dishes, including the highly prized Royal Red Shrimp, only caught at depths up to 3,000 feet, it’s no surprise this restaurant has received high praise from their patrons.
Located in Ocean Springs, Bacchus on the Bayou recently opened in March, serving delicious Cajun cuisine with a Mississippi Gulf Coast flair. From handcrafted cocktails, the freshest seafood and oysters to their famous pork chop, Bacchus has everything to satisfy your tastebuds.
For the ultimate toes-in-the-sand experience, look no further than Sea Level in Pass Christian, where the Grilled Blackened Shrimp Tacos are just waiting to be paired with ice-cold beverages.
If you like your crustaceans with a kick, visit Thorny Oyster in Bay St. Louis, where the BBQ Shrimp swim in a delicious broth of lemon, Worcestershire and cracked black pepper. Or you can enjoy their famous bouillabaisse of shrimp, clams, mussels and fry bread.
Blessing of the Fleet and Other Annual Events
May marks the countdown to many of the region’s most awaited annual events – whether travelers are looking for family-friendly events, breathtaking views of the coast’s watercrafts and more, Coastal Mississippi is ready to deliver. The annual events of May, include:
To celebrate Biloxi’s culture, heritage, and legacy, the Annual Blessing of the Fleet, which began in 1929, marks the beginning of the fishing season for shrimp fishermen and invokes a safe and prosperous season. On May 28, a variety of boats will form at the west end of the Biloxi Channel and begin to parade east – creating a breathtaking view of ships for all the coast to see.
For sport anglers who want to experience the best fishing on the Gulf Coast, the 37th Annual Gorenflo’s Cobia Tournament begins on May 20 with cash prizes and fishing experience for all levels.
Catered towards friends and families in its 7th year, the Annual Pirate Day in the Bay is a two-day event starting on May 19 with an adult pub crawl and a scavenger hunt. Then, on day two, families can enjoy a cardboard boat race, kids walking parade, pirate costume contest and more.
For live jazz music echoing over the Mississippi Sound, travelers can grab a seat on the lawn of Pass Christian’s War Memorial Park for Jazz in the Pass and watch four different acts from 12-8 p.m. on May 28. The best part? The event is free for everyone!
To finish off the month from May 31 to June 4, the Annual Jeepin the Coast will take place across the destination. This five-day event invites all jeepers to the Gulf Coast to roam around the beautiful soft sand beaches, experience beautiful views, and attend a weekend full of events, such as live entertainment and scavenger hunts.
Experience the Coastal Waters and History of the Seafood Industry
Taking a trip to Coastal Mississippi isn’t complete without experiencing the fresh air and sunshine of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Visitors will find numerous ways to explore Coastal Mississippi’s rich history and culture of life on the water through informative, fun excursions led by veteran boat captains or by exploring many dedicated museums and cultural centers.
The Biloxi Shrimping Trip allows visitors to partake in their very own shrimping expedition. Passengers are taught the best practices for setting a shrimp net and insights on each sea creature caught in its path. On May 8, Captain Mike Moore’s boat, the Sailfish, turns 70 years old. To celebrate, the Biloxi Shrimping Trip is launching its “70 Days of Giveaway,” where passengers can participate in exclusive prize drawings throughout the summer, starting on May 1.
Established in 1986, The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum’s purpose is to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Visitors will find an array of exhibits, artifacts and an extraordinary collection of photographs that tell the story of Gulf Coast culture.
For a tranquil sail along the Biloxi Beachfront, hop aboard the Biloxi Schooner, a recaptured piece of history with an authentic replica of a Biloxi oyster schooner sailing experience. This unique way of enjoying The Secret Coast can accommodate up to 44 guests with a professional captain and crew.
To learn more about these activities and more happening in Coastal Mississippi, visit their website.
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