Local Experiences

City of Gautier, MS Nature's Playground

6/6/2017 | Tricia LeAnn

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Gautier by water is located along the Mississippi Sound of the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the West Pascagoula River and winds through waterways and bayous. Gautier by land is located approximately 90 minutes west from New Orleans and 90 minutes east from the beaches in Florida. The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge is a 395 acre park, managed by the city, located in northern Gautier. Going south, the city reaches all the way down to the southern tip of our state. Interstate 10 and Highway 90 both run horizontal through Gautier. This is a huge natural coastal resort community with stately homes, rural roads and historic landmark properties surrounded by bayous and wetlands on three sides offering eco-tourism at its finest.

There is plenty to do in the City of Gautier. Enjoy a boat ride down one of the historic scenic bi-ways with homes on the waterfront. Fuel up your boat by water at the only fueling marina in Jackson County, Mary Walker Marina. Take your pick from three restaurants on the water as a dining destination. Hike a wildlife refuge while learning and caring about Mississippi endangered species.  If golf clubs are in your bag, choose from not one but two pristine championship golf courses. Dine at some of the best hidden foodie spots on the coast picking from fine dress or bayou bum. Spend time shopping at Belk, the only department store in Jackson County.

The incorporation of this coastal city happened in 1986 making the City of Gautier the youngest city on the Gulf Coast. "We are creating our young coastal cities identity by focusing on eco-tourism, natural amenities and original annual events," says April Havens, City of Gautier Grants & Projects Manger. More family fun is offered by the City of Gautier with outdoor activities such as tennis courts and a state of the art soccer complex.

The people who make up this community are excited about growth as a city, the opportunities of nature in their area and they are proud to share it. They stick together and embrace tourism. When asked what a tourist can expect when visiting Gautier, Councilman Casey Vaughan says, "During your visit, fill your days with activities in Gautier starting with a gourmet cup of coffee with pastries, to our unique nature themed splash pad at George Martin City Park, disc golf and archery range at Shepard State Park, a round of golf at Shell Landing or Hickory Hill Golf Course, a game of bowling at Spanish Trail Lanes, or a tour of the Singing River and our serene bayous by Eco-Tours of South Mississippi."  People of Gautier hold some of the oldest names, land and wealth within the state of Mississippi. You would never know it simply because they embrace their natural surroundings and are genuinely kind people.  

Plan to spend the weekend in Gautier with plenty of lodging to choose from at Shepard State Park, Santa Marina RV Park, Indian Point RV Resort, Magnolia Inn, Sun Suites, Mary Walker Marina, Apart/Hotel at Toucei's Fish Camp, Antebellum Condominiums and Hickory Hills Villas are all available with fishing and boating close by. Ice Cream & More, Jelly Doughnuts & Kolaches, Freckles Ice Cream and Bakery, Flower Patch Florist & Sweet Tooth Bakery Est. 1969,Delo’s Heavenly House of Coffee and Ice Cream and More offer tasty local treats.

City of Gautier Annual Events
Mardi Gras Parade (February)
Easter Egg Hunt (March/April)
Earth Day Celebration (April)
Paint the Town Plein Air Art Competition (April)
Autumn on the Bayou (Fall Decorating Contest)
Gautier Mullet & Music Fest (October)
Trick or Treat Gautier (October)
Veteran’s Day Tribute at the Tower (November)
Lights & Lagniappe on the Bayou (December Christmas Festival)

Shepard State Park located in Gautier offers primitive camping with a tent or plenty of RV spots surrounded by Bayou Pierre & Bayou LaMotte. Each spot is large with a grill, picnic table and fire pit giving plenty of shade under live old oak trees. Boat launches are available for boating, fishing, and kayaking. Find the fenced in dog bark park, hiking, bicycling, birding and walking trails, tournament disc golf, archery range, a welcome center,  a general store and more. New for 2017:  From Highway 57, the historical Old Wilson Log Cabin House has been moved and will be the new gateway and visitors center for the state park. SHEPARD STATE PARK, 1034 GRAVELINE DRIVE, GAUTIER, MS 39553, (228) 497-2244, info@shepardstatepark.com
Tricia LeAnn