Beauvoir#5 in Best Things To Do in Biloxi
Beauvoir was the retirement home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and it's a must-see for Civil War enthusiasts. The main residence – a Louisiana-raised, cottage-style plantation with a smaller, single-room east cottage – has been lovingly cared for by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. And Beauvoir has had several different uses after the Davis family moved on, first as a Confederate Veterans retirement home, then as a memorial to its most renowned owner. Sharing the 52-acre property is an additional Civil War museum, a historic Confederate cemetery, a botanical garden and a presidential library. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark.
Although the grounds are open year-round, battle re-enactment fans should visit in mid-October to catch the annual Fall Muster festival, where actors carry out everything from a battle to a memorial dressed in period clothing. Recent visitors said the grounds have been impressively restored after the Hurricane Katrina damage, adding that the site oozes with history. Many said they enjoyed touring the library, the Confederate cemetery and the on-site museum with memorabilia, plus patrons said the tour guides are knowledgeable and informative.
The Beauvoir grounds are located right off of the city's beach on Beach Boulevard. The grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter, with extended hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer. Tours cost $12.50 for adults, $10 for seniors and military, and $7.50 for kids ages 6 to 18. Head to the property's website for more details.
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#1 Biloxi Lighthouse
One of the first cast-iron lighthouses built in the South, the Biloxi Lighthouse is one of the city's most revered landmarks. Erected in 1848, it was operated by local Biloxians – including a handful of female lightkeepers – until 1939 when the U.S. Coast Guard adopted the post. Today, the lighthouse has survived the shoreline's devastation by many a hurricane (Hurricane Katrina's storm surge waters covered a third of the 64-foot-tall lighthouse) and stands as a symbol of the city's resolve.
Recent visitors loved this historic lighthouse, noting its beauty and praising the views of the Gulf Coast from above. And while some said the structure itself is on the small side, travelers said taking the tour is worth it as the guides offer more information on the lighthouse's purpose, history and resilience through the years.
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