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Why Fly to Gulfport?
Gulfport is the second largest city in Mississippi. It rests along the Gulf of Mexico and, along with nearby Biloxi and Pascagoula, makes up a single metropolitan area. The city sustained serious damage in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. However, much rebuilding has been done since that time to restore it to its original glory. Because of its location along the 62 miles of Mississippi shoreline, the Gulfport area is a popular site for travelers who enjoy the beach and various aquatic activities, including boating and fishing. In fact, Harrison County, where Gulfport is located, boasts the longest stretch of man-made beach in the world. Family travelers will find that there's no shortage of kid-friendly attractions in the Mississippi Gulf region. Popular activities include miniature golf, sunset cruises and nature tours. Tourists can also try their luck at one of the area's casinos. The Island View Casino Resort features nearly 2,000 slots, 49 table games and live entertainment. Another popular attraction is the Ship Island Ferry, which transports travelers to Ship Island. This small stretch of land about 10 miles off the Mississippi coast, boasts one of the top beaches in the country. It's also a popular location for picnics and surfing. Dining in Gulfport is a unique experience. The area claims some of the best coastal cuisine in the U.S., serving up such seafood staples as shrimp, snapper, flounder, tuna and grouper. There are also a number of beachside bars where visitors can enjoy a nice cold daiquiri or pina colada. You can book reservations at Gulfport hotels along the coast and find low-priced flights using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Gulfport?
The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) serves both Gulfport and Biloxi. The facility receives flights from several domestic carriers. You can search for discount airfare from Dallas on American Eagle. Or buy cheap plane tickets from Houston on Continental and Vision Airlines. You can also compare flights from Atlanta and Memphis on Delta and Vision Airlines. US Airways also flies to Gulfport from Charlotte.
Popular Gulfport Flight Routes
Gulfport Flight Tips
Alternatively, you can also search for flights to New Orleans, which is only a little more than an hour's drive from Gulfport. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) receives flights from AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue Airways, Southwest, United and US Airways. Or compare airfare to Mobile, which is only 75 miles from Gulfport. Or find cheap flights to Baton Rouge, which is a little more than two hours from Gulfport.
Quick Travel Guide to Gulfport
As a major tourist destination, Gulfport and the surrounding Mississippi coastal region offers visitors a variety of entertainment options. If you're a fan of beach bumming, head to Beach Boulevard. This main thoroughfare spans the entire Mississippi shoreline and boasts miles of white sandy beaches. Here, tourists can splash around in the warm Gulf waters, play a game of beach volleyball or just catch some rays. There are also a number of charter fishing boats that shove off from the nearby harbor. If you'd rather not head out onto the water, you can always cast a line off of one of Gulfport's fishing piers. If fishing isn't your thing, then take a cruise. A variety of cruises are offered that leave from Gulfport and other nearby destinations. Cruise options include tours of Mississippi's five barrier islands as well as diving trips. You can also catch a ride on a shrimping boat and learn the art of catching shrimp.
For a fun-filled day trip, take the Ship Island ferry from the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor to West Ship Island, Mississippi's most popular barrier island. The cruise takes about an hour one way. The small island is about 12 miles off the Mississippi coast. Here, travelers can enjoy some of the most beautiful beachfront in the country. It's a perfect place for families to swim, sunbathe and collect seashells. The island also features food vendors as well as chair and umbrella rentals.
If you're traveling with children, you'll find no shortage of kid-friendly activities. The Center for Marine Education and Research, located in Gulfport, is a state-of-the-art interactive museum that highlights the region's native marine life. The educational institution boasts life-size replicas of marine animals, saltwater aquariums, marine-inspired art and a touch pool where visitors can interact with actual wildlife. Or head to the Gaston Point Splash Pad. The 1,500-square foot aquatic park is ideal for small children. The facility, which is free, features a handful of water-spraying structures and a lawn area where parents can relax and enjoy the warm weather.
Or explore the art scene by visiting the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. Located in the nearby community of Biloxi, the museum has received international acclaim, thanks to the Frank Gehry-designed buildings that make up the institution's campus. The museum claims a large collection of works by local artist George E. Ohr, a renowned ceramics artist. The museum also boasts a Gallery of African American Art, and a Center for Ceramics is slated to open within the next couple years.