In April, I decided our family needed to take a spontaneous trip to the beach. Once Big Daddy and I agreed, I immediately started searching for places with low traffic but lots to do for our large family. I came upon Long Beach, MS and since I had never been there before, I was all in. This would be our first family beach vacation and we were super excited!! The countdown and planning begun and below are our recap and review of our 6-day trip to Long Beach, MS.
Our 6-Day Trip to Long Beach, MS
The Drive to Long Beach, MS from Kentucky
Using some of our best large family road trip tips, this journey was easy peasy. We had our mother-in-law following in another vehicle and one of our kids rode with her, which gave the other ones more room in the back. Beyond that, we only stopped a handful of times to top off the gas, potty, and grab a quick bite to eat. Traveling in the middle of an apparent gas shortage, let me just tell you there was NO shortage AT ALL. In fact, we lost count of how many gas trucks we saw along the way!
We played a few road games and pointed out some cool sights. Traffic was steady and the weather was beautiful. We also had our favorite CDs playing and conversations rolling. This was a great trip through and through.
Arriving to The Oak Gardens Home
Ever since our Airbnb experience in Manhattan, KS, we decided that we’d always choose this lodging option for our family. It just makes sense. With five children, ranging from 1-13 years old, we need more accommodations than a hotel can provide. Not to mention, most hotel suites still aren’t enough to house us comfortably.
When looking through Airbnb’s for our Long Beach trip, I instantly knew the Oak Gardens Home was the one. Not only was it easy to find, but it was also a 3-minute walk to the beach! The neighborhood was nice, clean, and very welcoming. But once we entered the home, we were overwhelmed with emotion. Why? Because this home was IMMACULATE! The pictures on the Airbnb site don’t do it justice.
Despite being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina (they left the old steps as a memorial, which was awesome), this new home is pristine. It has been very well taken care of and it had amenities we didn’t even know we’d need. For starters, the laminate flooring was awesome (especially because sand would definitely be involved) and the openness of the living room into the kitchen provided so much extra space.
They also provided:
- a pack-n-play
- high chair
- bed border (to keep kiddos from falling off)
- first aid kit
- over-abundance of cooking supplies
- beach toys, towels, boogie boards, etc.
- coffee pot
- TVs in almost every room
- and so much more!
They also added an incredible touch that I don’t want to spoil, but if you stay there, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Overall, we HIGHLY recommend staying here or in one of Mindy & Brian’s other Airbnb homes. Check out a walk-through below.
Frequent Visits to the Beach
When visiting the beach, it’s a given that there will be frequent trips to the beach. We hit the sand as soon as we got the van unloaded and everything in the home. The kids had a blast playing in the sand and gulf, building sandcastles, and splashing water on one another. We did have a couple of days of high winds and rain, but we still had a blast and went as much as possible!
A Trip to the Friendship Tree
When looking up things to do, this was at the top of the list and I’m glad we visited. There were several huge trees on the campus and honestly, we thought one of them was the friendship tree (pictured below), but it wasn’t, LOL! Needless to say, when we found the right tree, we all agreed that the other one was much better. The story behind it is pretty awesome as well. We highly recommend taking this Interpretive Nature Trail.
Yummy Food at Shaggy’s
Before visiting here, we didn’t realize Shaggy’s was super popular, but it sure was good. As a matter of fact, Bryan and I visited two days in a row. Their Shaggy’s Famous Cheeseburger, Shroom & Swiss, hot wings, and fried green tomatoes were the bomb dot com (yes, I still say that). We also had several of the beers with the Freemason and Southern Pecan being our favorites. The day before we left, we took the kiddos so they could experiences dining across from the Gulf and munching on some yummy food. The service was also amazing!
Morning Walks on the Beach
Bryan and I had started the habit of walking our neighborhood every morning prior to taking this trip so we wanted to keep it going. We were excited to catch the sunrise a few mornings and took advantage of having my mother in love to take these walks and enjoy some alone time.
Overall Review of Long Beach, MS
Although there were some other things we could’ve done such as the Aquarium, alligator boat tours, and visiting Biloxi…. we actually enjoyed spending the majority of our time near the Gulf (especially being just a 3-minute walk away) and staying close to our vacation rental home. We did experience some pretty cool weather (according to the guy shoveling sand) with high winds and sand drifts, but it didn’t put a damper on our trip one bit.
We actually enjoyed ourselves so much, we decided to stay an extra day – making it a 6-day trip instead of the original five days. With school still being in session, we were also able to enjoy having the beach to ourselves, so keep that in mind as you travel to Long Beach, MS. Mid-May means you’ll have lots of unpacked places!
Stay tuned for more family travel posts!