One of the most amazing things you can do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is take a trip out to the barrier islands.
The most accessible of the Mississippi’s barrier islands is Ship Island as it is the only one offering a ferry service. The ferry runs twice a day (check the schedule) from Jones Park in Gulfport to Ship Island and makes for a mere one-hour ride.
Personally, for me, there is always some anticipation when catching a ferry. Will there be rough waters? Are there going to be enough seats? Will it be on time? Most of the time, those are never issues with Ship Island Excursions.
The last time I went, I was one of the last passengers aboard and there was still plenty of seating both inside and on the upper deck. The Sound had a light chop, but the ride was still comfortable, and it was smooth sailing on that sunny day. If you’re lucky, the dolphins will also swim aside the boat making for a great photo op (Did you know that Mississippi is home to one of the largest Bottlenose dolphin populations?).
Upon arriving at Ship Island, the first thing you will notice beyond the docking pier is Fort Massachusetts. The brick structure with its flag flying high above the beach dunes was used from 1859-1903 to protect New Orleans from naval attacks. Today, tours are offered through the National Park Service.
Whether you choose to tour the fort or not, the beat always awaits! If you forget sunscreen, sunglasses, or beverages, plenty are available at the island shop. You can also rent out beach chairs and umbrellas for maximum comfort.
After your day of fun on Ship Island, the walk back to the ferry might feel longer. And if so, it’s not because it got longer, but more so, because you just weren’t ready to leave.
For more information on Ship Island, click here.