Settlement in the area now called Ocean Springs began around the turn of the 18th century, under the authority of France's King Louis XIV. Called Fort Maurepas, the settlement was established to make sure the Spanish didn't encroach on French colonial land. The city's name changed in 1854, after Dr. William Glover Austin declared that local springs had powerful healing properties. Ocean Springs became a successful resort town as word spread of its picturesque location and colorful history.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on Ocean Springs. Many shoreline attractions were destroyed by floodwaters, including the Biloxi Bay Bridge, Ocean Springs Yacht Club, and Fort Maurepas replica. However, structures in the city have been rehabilitated.
Today, Ocean Springs is known for its artistic heart and friendly locals. In fact, Ocean Springs was once voted one of the happiest seaside towns in the country. Discover why this city makes so many people smile when you take your next Mississippi vacation.
When to Visit Ocean Springs, MS
Ocean Springs is prone to extreme weather conditions, so you should consider the timing of your visit carefully. The storm season kicks off in late spring and ends in early fall. During this time, thunderstorms are common in the afternoons and evenings. The downpours rarely last long, but they can inconvenience tourists. Hurricanes are also common during this season, and that's to say nothing of the extremely high humidity and temperatures, especially in July and August.
Winters are warmer than in other parts of the country, but the season is still too cold for swimming. Delay your visit until early spring, when you'll enjoy warm weather before heavy rains arrive. Expect highs in the early to mid-70s during March and April.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Ocean Springs, MS:
Ocean Springs, MS: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. rate trends by star rating class in Ocean Springs, MS. Browse these charts to evaluate the cheapest time period to book a room in Ocean Springs for any future trips.
Luxury Hotel Options in Ocean Springs, MS
4 Star Average Prices: $157.29
Ocean Springs also caters for travelers who enjoy the finer items in life. While Ocean Springs doesn't have any five-star establishments as much larger cities do, you'll still feel pampered at several Ocean Springs hotels.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Biloxi-Ocean Springs, MS, is a spacious hotel off Interstate 10. It's easy to relax here, whether you're swimming laps in the outdoor pool or diving into a good book from the onsite Read It & Return Lending Library. All the rooms at the Country Inn & Suites are gorgeous, but for a real treat, book the Whirlpool Suite. With a king bed, full-size bathroom, dry bar, and the whirlpool tub, it's ideal for couples.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Biloxi-Ocean Springs also gives you plenty of space to spread out. You'll love watching your favorite cable shows on the flat-screen TV, soaking in the separate bathtub, and playing video games on request. The buffet breakfast is generous, with omelets, cinnamon rolls, sausage patties, and biscuits and gravy on the menu. Best of all, the all-you-can-eat meal is entirely free for guests each morning. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites also has an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site laundry for your convenience.
Affordable Hotel Options in Ocean Springs, MS
3 Star Average Prices: $99.44
Coastal cities are renowned for high-priced accommodations, but Ocean Springs challenges the trend with several affordable options for travelers on a budget. You'll appreciate the low rates with these Ocean Springs hotels.
Travelodge by Wyndham, Ocean Springs is a sweet hotel ideally located off Interstate 90. Its rooms have a vintage charm with modern conveniences such as microwave ovens and coffeemakers. A small seated area provides space to enjoy the free complimentary breakfast foods including pastries, cereals, and fresh fruit. Wi-Fi is also complimentary for all guests throughout the property. Pets are always welcome. Arrange a pet-friendly room in advance for a 50 percent discount on the animal surcharge.
Studio 6 Ocean Springs helps all guests feel at home with both smoking and nonsmoking rooms available. You can also bring two pets of any size with you for a small surcharge. Studio 6 is close to several local restaurants, but the rooms also have kitchen facilities if you'd prefer to save money and eat in. Friendly service staff and spotlessly clean rooms make the Studio 6 in Ocean Springs a great budget option.
2 Star Average Prices: $75.63
Which Ocean Springs hotels have real discounts?
Some travelers can save big when they stay in Ocean Springs. Branded hotels in Ocean Springs, such as the following, are more likely to extend discounts to certain guests.
Ramada Limited Biloxi/Ocean Springs extends special rates to AAA auto club members, federal and state government employees, seniors and AARP members, and large traveling groups. These discounts help make the hotel's already modest rates more affordable. Those discounts are especially impressive when you consider the Ramada Limited doesn't charge extra for parking, daily newspapers, Wi-Fi, or its continental breakfast buffet each morning. After a busy day of sightseeing, you can unwind by watching TV in your room, working out in the fitness center, or having fun splashing about in the outdoor pool.
Since it's also a Wyndham Group hotel, the same guest groups stand to save you money at the Super 8 Ocean Springs. Its charming rooms are well-appointed spaces, with dressers and small tables to help visitors feel at home. The SuperStart continental breakfast, free to guests each morning, complimentary Wi-Fi, and the sparkling outdoor pool are value amenities. You'll find the Super 8 Ocean Springs ideally located for road trippers off Interstate 10. Since it's a pet-friendly hotel, you don't need to leave any member of your family behind.
Best Value Options in Ocean Springs, MS
You'll feel your dollars going to work for you at the following Ocean Springs hotels. While they aren't necessarily the most affordable hotels in the city, great facilities and complimentary features will make you feel like a valued guest.
Quality Inn in Ocean Springs has a fun tropical feel, with palm trees and an outdoor pool open to guests during the warm weather months. Its rooms aren't too flashy, but with premium bedding, flat-screen TVs, and microwave ovens, you'll feel you have everything you need. Take your free weekday newspaper down to breakfast with you each morning. The breakfast is free too, along with fast Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Days Inn by Wyndham Ocean Springs is another smart choice for travelers. You won't find any hidden charges here, with Wi-Fi, all-vehicle parking, and the Daybreak continental breakfast all complimentary each morning. Families love the outdoor pool and barbecue grills, which make lazy evening meals so easy. Quilted comforters and wooden furniture give the spacious rooms a charming retro appeal. While they're not completely modern, rooms feature all the appliances you need, such as microwaves, TV sets, refrigerators, and a coffeemaker for that early-morning mug of coffee.
Admire the Art in Ocean Springs, MS
Ocean Springs is a haven for artists and art lovers. The Ocean Springs Art Association represents more than 300 local artists who display their works at galleries throughout the city. Admire these artistic offerings at establishments such as Shearwater Pottery, Moran's Art Studio, and the Pink Rooster Art Gallery. Local artists come together at The Art House, the longest running art cooperative on the Mississippi Coast. Expect to see paintings, clay works, glass art, jewelry, photographs, and other art forms at this fascinating establishment.
Ocean Springs also has a few much larger galleries. Don't miss the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, which pays tribute to the late artist recognized as one of America's most important painters of the 20th century. His works celebrate the people, animals, and plants of the Gulf Coast. Browsing the museum's collection provides insight into Anderson's creative process and artistic vision. The museum also showcases the works of Walter's brothers, Peter Anderson and James McConnell Anderson.
The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education is another essential destination for visiting arts lovers. Housed in a historic public school building, the cultural center celebrates all forms of art relevant to the local area. Its Duckett Gallery doesn't have a permanent collection. Instead, it hosts short-term exhibitions from local artists, so the center is worth returning to visit regularly. The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education also stages musical performances, lectures, movie screenings, and more.
Given its standing in the arts community, it's not surprising that Ocean Springs hosts Mississippi's largest fine arts festival, the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival. The event raises awareness of local artists and stores through art exhibitions, demonstrations, and workshops for all ages. Musical performances and food vendors add to the fun. The Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival takes place on the first weekend of November, although the festivities start earlier than November. Kickoff events, pre-parties, and the famous Blue Moon Art Project contest are all part of festival season, which begins in late August.
Ocean Springs is a small city that's big on personality. Given its small city status, local hotels are limited, so book yours early to secure the best rates.