Welcome to Biloxi, Mississippi, the Gulf Coast’s most progressive and exciting community. Established in 1699 by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville as part of French Louisiana, Biloxi boasts over 300 years of colorful history, making it one of the oldest established cities in the country. Although it has been a territory of both Britain (1763 – 1779) and Spain (1779 – 1798), the French influence on the character of the city is especially evident.
With Ship Island’s capture by Union forces at the beginning of the Civil War, Biloxi did not play an important role or suffer any significant damage. Following the Civil War, it became a vacation spot for those in nearby New Orleans and enjoyed a new influx of immigrants who helped shape the current seafood industry.
Keesler Air Force Base was established in Biloxi during WWII, bringing with it even more diversity. KAFB is now the largest employer in Biloxi with an annual economic impact of well over a billion dollars
In 1992, legalized gaming came to Biloxi, transforming a small tourist and seafood town into the first-class gaming destination it is today. Biloxi is home to nine of the twelve casino resorts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!
Myriad attractions tell the story of Biloxi’s historically rich past. Be sure to visit Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis and the only President of the Confederacy; the Biloxi Lighthouse, built in 1848 and one of the most photographed attractions in the south; Fort Massachusetts, located on beautiful Ship Island and part of Gulf Islands National Seashore; the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, where you can see unique pottery by turn of the century artisan, George Ohr; and the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, which traces the story of how Biloxi once reigned as the Seafood Capital of the World.
Spend a day relaxing on 26 miles of beautiful beach or take a trip on a local charter boat where you can catch over 200 varieties of local fish. If golf is your game, the Mississippi Gulf Coast boasts golf courses designed by some of the best in the business: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Davis Love III, Mark McCumber, Jerry Pate, and Tom Fazio.
Parades celebrate every event from Mardi Gras to Christmas. Enjoy the Blessing of the Fleet, Christmas on the Water, or visit one of the casino resorts for top-rated entertainment. The choice is yours!
20 Interesting FACTS about Biloxi
1. There is only one city named Biloxi in the United States.
2. The word ‘Biloxi’, which means “First People”, comes from the Biloxi Indian tribe,
whom the French encountered in 1699.
3. Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, in command of a French expedition
to find the mouth of the Mississippi River, landed on the shore of Biloxi on February 13, 1699.
4. Biloxi has served under eight flags: French, English, Spanish, West Florida Republic,
Magnolia State, Confederate, Mississippi State, and The United States.
5. Biloxi was the capital of the Louisiana Territory from circa 1719 to circa 1722.
6. The historic old Spanish trail, which is a 20th century creation, runs through Biloxi as Highway 90.
7. Fort Massachusetts was not a civil war fort. It was the result of the efforts of the
U.S. Congress to fortify all major harbors and ports along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
Construction began in 1858. The fort was never actually finished.
8. “Beauvoir” near the Coast Coliseum, was the last home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.
9. Biloxi is the home of the Magnolia Hotel, oldest hotel still standing on the
Mississippi Coast, constructed in 1847.
10. “Biloxi Bacon”, a fish called mullet, helped to save people from starvation during the civil war.
11. In the 1920’s, Biloxi was known as the “Seafood Capital of the World.”
12. Biloxi and Harrison County have the longest man-made beach in the world, which is 26 miles long.
13. Biloxi is the birthplace of Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise.
14. The mast of the “USS Biloxi”, World War II cruiser, proudly stands at Guice Park,
located in front of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor on Highway 90.
15. Mardi Gras was first celebrated on March 3, 1699 in the New World by d’Iberville and his men.
16. Queen Ixolib (Biloxi spelled backwards) and King D’Iberville rule over the Biloxi Mardi Gras.
17. Keesler Air Force Base, the largest electronics training center in the world, is located in Biloxi.
18. Biloxi has been a tourist destination since before the Civil War.
19. Biloxi is also known for the cultural diversity. Our ethnic groups
keep our foods, celebrations and customs alive.
20. The cast iron Biloxi lighthouse has survived 21 hurricanes since its erection in 1847.