topmenu

2013 SATW Convention Mississippi Gulf Coast: A Short Trip to the Deep South

View from my room on the 25th floor of the Beau Rivage Biloxi

View of the Gulf of Mexico from my room on the 25th floor of the Beau Rivage Biloxi

In the fourth grade, I did my State Report, a rather long and involved project for the time, on Mississippi. I didn’t know when I’d have the chance to visit The Magnolia State until I received an invitation to speak on the Social Media panel at the 2013 SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) Convention on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi. So here was my opportunity to visit the Deep South, y’all. My 44-hour stay (from Monday late afternoon to Wednesday at noon) was short but sweet. And full of shrimp.

The lobby of the Beau Rivage reminded me of the Bellagio Hotel (in the same MGM family). Loved the white pumpkins and the pink floral Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon!

The lobby of the Beau Rivage reminded me of the Bellagio Hotel (in the same MGM family). Loved the white pumpkins and the pink floral Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon!

My stay was short and sweet (just under 48 hours) but I got a feel for the Southern hospitality they moment that I was met at the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport by Taryn of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. She gave me and fellow social media panelist Martin Stoll of Sparkloft a great little tour on the way to the hotel. She showed us the most photographed site in Mississippi – the Biloxi Lighthouse, which is the only lighthouse in US (and probably the world) to sit in the middle of a four-lane highway. She also pointed out Marlin Miller’s numerous wood sculptures — the artist turned the remains of Oak trees damaged by Hurricane Katrina into fish, birds and other animals.

After a long day of travel from NYC to Biloxi, I was ready to lie right down on my bed at the Beau Rivage Biloxi!

After a long day of travel from NYC to Biloxi, I was ready to lie right down on my bed at the Beau Rivage Biloxi!

We arrived at our hotel, and I was immediately impressed by the Beau Rivage. Owned by MGM group, the hotel’s massive, garden-like lobby did remind me of the Bellagio. As a Halloween fanatic, I especially liked the white pumpkin displays. But really, it was all about the view from my room on the 25th floor – simply incredible! And the bed was very inviting after a long day of travel from NYC to Biloxi…

There was barely any time to rest before it was time for the big SATW gala at the IP Casino.  It was a really fun event — a band, two Gulf Coast Shrimp stations, great decorations — and a good opportunity to meet a lot of the SATW members. It was also where I was reunited with fellow Social Media panelist Carrie Finley-Bajak of CruiseBuzz.net. We were both part of the #FollowMeAtSea Alaska Princess Cruise, and had an amazing time sailing among the glaciers. We hadn’t seen each other for over three years but it was like we were right back on that ship.

Dedicated to the "mad potter" George Ohr, The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi has some impressive Frank Gehry buildings.

Dedicated to the “mad potter” George Ohr, The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi has some interesting Frank Gehry architecture.

The next day, I wanted to fit in some sightseeing before the Social Media Panel from 2—5:30pm. This was going to to be my only real chance because the following day (Wednesday), I had a flight at noon. I can’t stand to be in a place and not check something off the list, so I caught the Casino Hopper bus to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. The museum is devoted to George Ohr, “the Mad Potter of Biloxi,” and I enjoyed seeing his eccentric pottery. Ohr was ahead of his time in many ways, including his clever marketing of himself and his creations. Devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the museum is in the process of being rebuilt in Frank Gehry’s vision of brick and steel. The Pleasant Reed House, an African American home circa 1887 that is part of the museum, has already been completely rebuilt true to its original design and material.

Then it was back to the Beau Rivage for lunch — more shrimp! And finally, my reason for being traveling to Biloxi: the Tuesday afternoon SATW Social Media Panel, moderated by SATW president Lillian Africano.

Mary Mahoney's is the most famous restaurant in Biloxi. That's the Shrimp and Lump Crabmeat Melba.

Mary Mahoney’s is the most famous restaurant in Biloxi. That’s the Shrimp and Lump Crabmeat Melba.

 

After the panel,  Martin, Carrie, Jason Clampet of Skift and I headed to Mary Mahoney’s for a celebratory dinner. My friend Maryeliza, who grew up in Gulfport, said it was the place to eat if you’re visiting Biloxi. Set in an elegant New Orleans style home that French colonist Louis Frasier built in 1737, Mary Mahoney’s has been serving very Southern cuisine since 1962. It’s as famous for documenting its flood lines as it is for its seafood specialties. I had the Shrimp and Lump Crabmeat Melba, which was broiled jumbo shrimp and sautéed lump crabmeat served on a bed of cheesy, creamy angel hair pasta. It was very good, and marked my third meal of shrimp in 24 hours. I’m a big shrimp fan and fresh Gulf Coast shrimp is worth the trip alone — even if you only have 44 hours!

13 Responses to 2013 SATW Convention Mississippi Gulf Coast: A Short Trip to the Deep South

  1. Taryn October 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Great meeting you! So glad you got to experience some of the Gulf Coast!

  2. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    October 28, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I’ve never been to Mississippi, but any place with Gehry and shrimp would be a hit with me!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Spain Snapshots: My Camino de Santiago, Video Style

  3. Penny Sadler October 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    What a coincidence – I remember drawing a big magnolia as part of my grade school project on Mississippi. Cool! Very timely as I am now writing a post on Mississippi. :)
    Gotta check out that restraurant!
    Penny Sadler recently posted..A Walk Around Cesena, Italy

  4. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    October 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    what a lovely view, and a fun town! i’d love to visit.
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Halloween Memories and Donut Muffins

  5. Val-This Way To Paradise October 29, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    Very nice…I’m originally from the South myself…the shrimp and crab melba brings back memories!
    Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted..Consumerism In America: How Your Stuff Is Killing You And You Don’t Even Know It

  6. Theodora October 29, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Wow. Not how I’d have thought of the Deep South at all — I have pictures of plantations, and grand houses. Honestly surprised it’s so modern…
    Theodora recently posted..Pizza, X-Rays and the Waiting Game

  7. Hannah October 31, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Nice photos of Mississippi! Definitely a good place to travel!
    Hannah recently posted..How to get from Hopkins Village, Belize to Placencia, Belize by bus

  8. Terry at Overnight New York November 1, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Biloxi sounds great. What a hoot to have a lighthouse in the middle of a four-lane highway — beaming out light to prevent accidents? Like its postage stamp, too.
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..Yotel New York: On Your Bikes

  9. Marina K. Villatoro November 1, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    I have always wanted to visit Mississippi. Even the name sounds like it will be smooth like a song!
    Marina K. Villatoro recently posted..Star Wars Convention in Antigua, Guatemala

  10. Gabi (The Nomadic Family)
    Twitter: nomadfamtravels
    November 2, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Very lovely place!!! I like it.
    Gabi (The Nomadic Family) recently posted..Heroes, Angels, and Friends: Georgina and Ed- Thank God for Little Gifts- Singapore

  11. Larissa
    Twitter: changes_long
    November 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    I’m down with all the shrimp, y’all!
    Larissa recently posted..What are kolaches? Hint: There’s lots of butter in them

  12. The Barefoot Nomad
    Twitter: barefootnomads
    November 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    I agree with @Theodora – Biloxi definitely is not what I would have expected from the deep Souh. It looks quite lovely, nonetheless.
    The Barefoot Nomad recently posted..How To Travel For Free And Save The World: Crowdfunding

  13. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Twitter: GreenGlobalTrvl
    November 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Looks like you made the most of your time in Biloxi. The Gulf Coast is full culture and adventure.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: TIES Founder Megan Epler Wood on the Evolution & Future of Ecotourism

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge