BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - This time last year, Memorial Day on the coast was anything, but normal. With the BP oil spill changing life on the coast, tourism was affected as well. Now that the oil disaster is behind us, the beaches are ready for visitors again.
Melinda Wilson traveled to Biloxi with her husband and son for the first time from Atmore, Alabama to see what the coast had to offer.
"This was our spot we had picked out. We wanted to see how, you know, everything had changed since Hurricane Katrina, because we had not seen it. And it's beautiful. A beautiful spot to come," Wilson said.
The Wilson family had many beaches to chose from for their vacation, but they decided to take a chance on the coast, and they're glad they did it.
"It is worth the while to make the trip up here just for the beaches, and that's what we came up here for, for the beaches," Wilson said.
"I've not been to Biloxi, this is my first time," said George Helms of Dothan, Alabama. "I really like the ocean, and I've heard a lot of great things about Biloxi, so I came here."
The Jones family said they can definitely tell they aren't in New Orleans anymore. And they like it.
"It's nice, different. Different from New Orleans because we don't have any beaches in New Orleans. It's nice though. I like the setup and everything."
Beachgoers said they're glad to be here, and local businesses are just as glad to have them here.
"It's better, because last year we had the BP thing. We had everybody running around trying to find tar balls, and if they couldn't find them, they were very disgusted," said Richard Carter, owner of Beach Bumps in Biloxi.
"There's been a lot of people from Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, of course, Mississippi, Texas. We've had people from New York, Cincinnati. It's been a complete turn around from last year," said Beach Bumps Manager Caleb Heartfield.
So regardless of the setbacks the coast may have faced, the important thing is that we survived it.