Ocean Springs named nation’s ‘best coastal small town’

Residents can soon expect to see celebratory posters and banners strung throughout the city.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Ocean Springs was recently named the best coastal small town in the country by USA Today.

The city landed the spot by popular vote in an online contest.

“Because we’re known for our shopping, our dining, our art and nightlife, we don’t have anything like a casino or anything like that. So, it’s really cool to be noticed for just the authentic self that Ocean Springs is,” said Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the chamber of commerce.

Residents can soon expect to see celebratory posters and banners strung throughout the city.

Olivia Brown, local business owner of La Sauce Style, was one of many people who casted a vote in the race.

“I think we are really one of the best coastal towns,” she told WLOX. “I love Ocean Springs, and I am a huge advocate for people, you know, kind of taking notice that we are, you know, a really eclectic city, especially in the state of Mississippi.”

The City of Discovery boasts 150 shops and restaurants, along with 13 festivals each year.

It competed against nine other seaside communities across the country with populations less than 25,000.

“It’s the idea of a small town but also a small town that’s growing,” long-time resident Daniel Thomas said. “So, like, just the art and the vibe, the music, people.”

“There’s nowhere like it in Mississippi, for sure,” District Coffee Co. owner Mitchell Hibbard added.

“Moving here, it’s our forever home. It’s comfortable. It’s wonderful for the kids. It’s got a great community,” resident Michelle Leddy said.

However, it’s not the only award South Mississippi has to celebrate.

Bay St. Louis also placed second in the nation.

“I think it’s really cool that Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis is number one and number two,” Sutton said. “They are our bookends. So, it’s really cool that we actually won that award in partnership for, I would say, the unique but very similar ways that we are.”

Ocean Springs was also listed fourth in the nation for best small town cultural scene.

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