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The Biloxi Destination consists of multiple notable cities such as Pascagoula, Gulfport, Lacombe, Mandeville, Covington, and Biloxi, which is the destination’s namesake. The region is comprised of two states: Louisiana and Mississippi. Biloxi is located along the Gulf of Mississippi, and its name is said to mean “first people” after the Native Americans who first inhabited the land. Over 46,680 people make up the population of the destination, with the two top demographics being white, comprising 70.01% of the population, and African American with 20.24%. Attractions in the area include Biloxi Lighthouse, Biloxi Bay Bridge (which connects to Ocean Springs), Betsy Ann Riverboat, Finishline Performance Karting, and Hurricane Katrina Memorial Wall. When visiting the destination, it is suggested that the best time to visit is between March 5th to May 6th due to relatively ideal weather conditions. The region’s weather is most often described as humid, with the most humid month being December. The hottest time of year for the area is between the end of May to the end of September, with an average high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Flora of the area flourishes in the area’s climate; common plants in the region include live oaks, pines, fruit trees, magnolias, and pecan trees. Wildlife located in the destination include deer, wild turkeys, migratory birds, bares, and pumas; however, the latter two are rare to find in current times.
The Biloxi Destination is located in two southern states in the United States: Mississippi and Louisiana. The namesake of the destination, Biloxi, is one of the more popular cities in Mississippi, being located along the coast. Biloxi derives its name from the Native American people who once inhabited the area. “First people” is presumably the meaning of the name. Biloxi and Gulfport, a neighboring city, are the co-seat of Harrison County. Other notable cities, specifically in Mississippi, that are in the destination, include Pascagoula, Wiggins, and Picayune. Covington, Mandeville, Lacombe, Slidell, Bogalusa, and Madisonville are other cities located in the Lousianna part of the region.
The city of Biloxi currently has a population of 46,680 people and was the third-largest city in the state of Mississippi before Hurricane Katrina struck the southern coast of the U.S. The natural disaster resulted in refugees fleeing the city; Biloxi is now the fifth-largest city. Along with Gulfport and Pascagoula, Biloxi is located along the coast with multiple beaches that are common tourist spots in the destination. Biloxi Beach is made up of 26 kilometers of white sand beach. Other attractions in the area include Biloxi Lighthouse, Biloxi Bay Bridge (which connects to Ocean Springs), Betsy Ann Riverboat, Finishline Performance Karting, and Hurricane Katrina Memorial Wall. The monument is 12 feet tall and is a tribute to those who died during the fatal hurricane. Other notable attractions in the Biloxi Destination include visiting Olde Towne Slidell Main Street, Camp Salmen Nature Park, and Palmettos on the Bayou.
A relatively large attraction in the area includes De Soto National Forest. The forest was named after Hernando de Soto, a 16th-century Spanish explorer. Pine forests make up the 518,587 acres of the area and are said to be “the most important protected areas for the biological diversity of the Gulf Coast ecoregion of North America.” Over 60 miles of hiking trails can be found in the forest, including the Two National Recreational Trails, namely the Black Creek Trail and Tuxachanie Trail. The national forest is located from Hattiesburg to Gulfport, Mississippi. When visitors are looking to visit these attractions or the destination, it is recommended they come between Marth 5th to May 6th due to the “ideal weather” during this time.
The Biloxi Destination is located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, along with Pascagoula, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, Lacombe, and Mandeville, all of which are other cities in the region. The destination covers Mississippi and Louisiana, both of which are southern states in the United States. Close proximity to the coast has led to multiple natural disasters throughout the years, specifically hurricanes. One of the most well-known hurricanes to affect the whole destination is Hurricane Katrina. The fatal storm struck the Louisiana and Mississippi coast on August 29th, 2005, with a 30-foot storm surge. Destruction was left in the path of the hurricane; the governor at the time, Haley Barbour, commented that “the destruction of the Mississippi coastline by Hurricane Katrina looked like an American Hiroshima.” Buildings such as churches, casinos, libraries, and homes were destroyed, displacing residents in the area. Since 2005 plans have been implemented to make a hurricane-protection zone.
The weather in the Biloxi Destination is often described as humid, with “temperatures feel[ing] nice most of the year, excluding some hot weeks in the summer.” The most humid month of the year is December, with an average of 73.1% humidity, while October has the least humid month sitting at 63.9%. The hottest time of the year for the region is from the end of May to the end of September. During that time, the average high temperature is about 84 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low temperature of 46 degrees between December to March. Overall, January is said to be the coldest month of the year. The wet season in the area falls between June to September, with a 40% chance of rain on any given day.
Mississippi’s wetter climate and rainfall create an environment that enables the growth of various plant species and animal life. Such plants found in the area include live oaks, pines, fruit trees, hardwoods, oak, and hickory. Magnolia and pecan trees are said to be two of the favorite trees in the state. Wolves and pumas were once a part of the wildlife in the area; however, farming and hunting led to the extinction of those animals in the area. Bears and bobcats can occasionally be located in the area but are said to be rare. Common wildlife in the region includes deer, wild turkeys, and migratory birds such as bald eagles. Aquatic species in the destination include catfish, shrimp, oysters, and crawfish.
One of the prominent cities in the Biloxi Destination, Biloxi was initially inhabited by Native American people but was later discovered by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, who planted the “French flag across Biloxi Bay at Old Biloxi.” A unique aspect of Biloxi’s history is that it has been “under the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the West Florida Republic, the Confederacy, and [currently] the United States.”  Before Louisiana (also a part of the Biloxi Destination) and Mississippi gained their current state borders, the Louisiana state capitol was located in Biloxi from 1720 until 1723. It wasn’t until 1817 that Mississippi became a state which resulted in Biloxi and other coastal cities in the region becoming a summer resort area for many southerners. The city played a role in the Civil War through the production of Biloxi Rifles used in the 3rd Mississippi Infantry CSA.
Biloxi also served a purpose during another war fought by the United States. Keesler Air Force Base was built during WWII as a basic training site and a place for aircraft maintenance. “The Biloxi economy boomed as a result, attracting new residents and businesses.” Another contributor to the area’s economy is the casinos that date back to the 1940s. The gulf of the destination became known as the “Poor Man’s Riviera.”
The Civil Rights Movement influenced some African Americans in the area to protest against racism and segregation. Gilbert R. Mason and some other black friends led a series of protests called the Biloxi Wade-Ins, after being kicked off a beach by a local police officer due to the color of their skin. Soon after these protests, Mississippi witnessed the “worst racial riot” in its history, where ten people died. The protests and riots were successful in desegregating the beaches of the area.
The history of the Biloxi Destination includes a handful of hurricanes that have come through the area. Some of the reported largest hurricanes include those that occurred in 1722, 1893, 1915, and 1947. Two of the most notable recent hurricanes are Hurricane Camille on August 17th, 1969, and Hurricane Katrina on August 29th, 2005. Each of these hurricanes resulted in immediate reconstruction. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Biloxi was the third-largest city in Mississippi; however, the storm resulted in a decrease in the population, making it currently the fifth-largest city in the state. The population of Biloxi is presently 46,680 people and is steadily growing at an annual rate of 0.34%. Those living in the city are mostly White, making up 70.01% of the population. African Americans make up 20.24%, and Asian people comprise 5.05% of the population.
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