Worth the Drive from New Orleans :: Gulfport Mississippi Beaches

As wonderful as New Orleans is, sometimes you just want to get away with the kids! You’re in luck because we have loads of family travel tips and vacation ideas on New Orleans Mom. If you are looking for longer adventures, check out this list of budget friendly road trips from New Orleans. Gulfport, Mississippi makes a great day trip from New Orleans with kids, and below with share why!

Worth the Drive from New Orleans :: Gulfport Mississippi Beaches

Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of living in New Orleans. If you are looking for an easy and quick getaway, I recommend taking a day trip to the Gulfport, Mississippi beaches for a day of fun in theday trip to Gulfport from New Orleans sun. Gulfport is less than an hour and a half drive from New Orleans, making it a perfect trip with kids for a change of scenery and sense of adventure.

Our family takes a day trip to Gulfport at least once a month all summer long. My kids love to play in the sand and splash in the water. In fact, they have never once gotten bored, argued with each other while we are there or asked to leave, meaning this is basically my happy place where all feels right in the world.

While there are many spots with parking, free public beach access and showers along the beach, our family likes to park at Jones Park. We park by the splash pad, walk across the parking lot to enjoy a day at the beach, then head back to the FREE splash pad to rinse off the sand and use the restroom before getting in the car to come home to New Orleans.

One of my favorite things about Gulfport with kids is that the water isn’t deep and the waves aren’t strong, creating the perfect experience for younger kids. Where we park, even if we go out far, the water never gets deeper than my waist so I feel free to sit in a chair with a good book on the beach and watch from afar while my kids play, knowing that waves aren’t going to knock them over and the water won’t get too deep for them to touch. This part of the beach never seems to get crowded so you can plan a visit knowing you likely won’t be fighting lots of people for a spot.

easy road trips with kids from New OrleansThings to bring to Gulfport, Mississippi ::

-beach chairs and umbrella (if desired)
-flotation devices if you have littles
-cooler with drinks and lunch (unless you plan to purchase it)
-sand toys like shovels and buckets
-outdoor activities such as a frisbee, bocce ball, a football, a kite or cornhole
-change of clothes for the ride home

Other things to do with kids in Gulfport, Mississippi ::

If after a few hours at the beach you want a change of scenery, there are plenty of other family-friendly things to do in Gulfpot! Visit one of Gulfport’s many kid-friendly attractions including Gulf Islands Waterpark, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center or hop on the ferry for an excursion to Ship Island.

Note :: not too far away from Gulfport is the ever popular indoor water park in Biloxi. This can be a fun addition to your day trip as well.

For merely the price of gas and a packed cooler, our family enjoys a change of scenery and an entire day of fun. Bonus: my kids are usually so worn out from all the activity in Gulfport that they sleep or sit super quietly on the way home. Win win because I get a relaxed car ride with a car full of tired and happy kids.

If you are interested in heading to Gulfport from New Orleans for a longer weekend trip, we have tips on resorts and restaurants in Gulfport here

Shannon Mangerchine
Shannon lives in Central City, New Orleans with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading and discussing books with her book club, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog Dinner Done by 9am.


  1. I lived in Biloxi and Gulfport. Those beaches are just nasty. Unless you go out to Ship Island where the water is clean.

  2. As someone who has grown up here and knows the history. Do not make this mistake please. All the sewage is literally dumped here. The big black domes on the water, yes it’s sewer lines. And after the hurricane ot has been worse. Please visit the coast but don’t go.in our water

    • Those are drainage lines… not sewer. Sewer lines would be coming from a sewer treatment plant.

  3. For everyone knocking Gulfport and the comment in the story about “no matter how nice New Orleans is”… Really? No offense to the majority of people in New Orleans but New Orleans is a trashy, dirty overpopulated city, high crime rate, high violent crime rate, high murder rate, horrible roads, horrible traffic. Compared to that, Gulfport is a Utopian city.

  4. The reason the water is so shallow so far out in Gulfport and Biloxi is because after the BP oil spill, those cities got federal dollars to dump lots and lots of sand to create that effect. Allows waves to break long before they come to shore.

  5. My family lives just outside of Gulfport, and we love the beach too. All does feel right in the world here. When it’s not summer, we love celebrating the holidays. I found permanent Christmas light installers in Gulf Port, MS and they’ve made my home feel like the beach, all feels right in the world when I can change my accent lighting to match whatever we are celebrating. And we don’t have to worry about taking them down before our beach trips start, which I love!


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