When they want to escape the daily grind, Americans everywhere head for the coast. Often, that means a trip to California or Florida; a jaunt to Georgia, the Carolinas or the Cape; or a holiday in Maine, the Jersey Shore or Long Island. Instead of east or west, however, groups that want to experience something different should consider steering south. There, surprising seashores abound -- including those in coastal Mississippi.
Although the Mississippi Gulf Coast might not be the first place that comes to mind when someone suggests a sandy getaway, the Magnolia State’s unique take on the traditional coastal retreat can be a refreshing change of pace for meeting and incentive groups that like to do business near the beach. That's because in addition to the typical sun-kissed perks -- cool cabanas, frozen umbrella drinks and chic swimming pools -- the region’s 62 miles of scenic coastline offer an amenity few beach destinations possess: Las Vegas-style gaming.
For beaches by day and table games by night, bet big on one of these coastal Mississippi gaming resorts:
• Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi. From fishing charters and museums to historic sites and landmarks, Biloxi is full of things to see and do. This Gulf Coast city is best known, however, for its casino resorts, one of which is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, which has 325 guest rooms and 19,401 square feet of meeting space, as well as a spa and salon, a 24-hour fitness center, a pool with cabanas, a live-music venue, and nine restaurants and bars.
• Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi). Another Biloxi mainstay is MGM Resorts International’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, which was built in 1999 and renovated in 2017. Along with 1,740 guest rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, the waterfront property has an outdoor pool and pool deck, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, a spa and salon, a shopping promenade, a video game arcade, several restaurants, a 1,595-seat entertainment venue, two bars and an 85,000-square-foot casino.
• IP Casino Resort Spa (Biloxi). A third property that’s worth a look in Biloxi is IP Casino Resort Spa, whose 32-story hotel includes 1,088 guest rooms and 65,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as two fine-dining and three casual-dining restaurants, a resort pool, a spa, a fitness center, a 70,000-square-foot casino, an arcade, an entertainment venue and a “Vegas-style ultra-lounge.”
• Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort (D’Iberville). Of course, Biloxi isn’t Mississippi’s only coastal destination. Another is D’Iberville, located due north. There, groups will find Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, which opened in 2015 with 300 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, two 18-hole miniature golf courses, an onsite boutique, six restaurants, a bar with a 144-square-foot entertainment screen, and a 68,000-square-foot casino.
• Island View Casino Resort (Gulfport). West of Biloxi and D’Iberville is Gulfport, whose go-to gaming destination is the Island View Casino Resort. Along with 970 guest rooms and 14,000 square feet of meeting space, there are two tropical pool areas, 13 restaurants, live entertainment, an 18-hole championship golf course, a spa and a 126,000-square-foot casino -- the largest on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.