Ocean Springs, Mississippi, lies at the heart of the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast on the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay. It’s known as the City of Discovery in recognition of the French establishment of a settlement here in 1699.
Long before the French arrived, however, the area was appreciated for its beauty and natural resources by Native Americans. The attributes that brought these early residents have attracted a diverse stream of people during the past 300 years. Ocean Springs has been flavored by many influences during its rich history, and now in the 21st century, it has a unique character that makes us happy to call it home.
Nestled along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the City of Ocean Springs is a vibrant and eclectic arts community. It is home to numerous galleries, artist studios, and over 100 restaurants, and recently opened its first micro-brewery. With relatively affordable housing (the median home value is just over $204,000), schools that are among the best in the State of Mississippi, premier healthcare facilities, and a unique beauty found all over town, it is easy to understand why 17,000 people are proud to call Ocean Springs home!
Visit our historical and growing commercial districts for unique shopping experiences. Enjoy City services and facilities by spending time in one of our many parks and green spaces. Find time during your week to enjoy natural beauty, cultural resources, and other aspects of our city and the Coast. We welcome visitors to come and enjoy. (source: http://ci.ocean-springs.ms.us/page/About-Us)
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
PADDLES UP PADDLEBOARD
Dedicated to stand up paddleboarding, Paddles Up Paddleboard Rentals and Sales offers boards, paddles and gear from Bote, Gusu, Boga, Thule and Kialoa.
OCEAN SPRINGS MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Founded in 2010, the Ocean Springs Museum of History is housed within the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. The focus of the museum is on the historical evolution of the local area, especially through work-related artifacts, photographs, and books.
GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE
The Gulf Islands National Seashore – Mississippi District – Davis Bayou is a complex covering 400 acres, which includes a variety of activities, such as camping, hiking and fishing.
Opened in 2005, Skate Zone is a skating facility featuring numerous amenities for its guests to enjoy. Public skating, a snack bar, preschool programs, and summer camps are among the amenities and services offered.
Located on the Gulf Coast, Front Beach offers visitors a spacious beach for lounging and spending a day in the sun.
- Pecan Park Elementary School
- Oak Park Elementary School
- Magnolia Park Elementary School
- Ocean Springs Upper Elementary
- Ocean Springs Middle School
- Ocean Springs High School
- E. H. Keys Alternative School
Ocean Springs is a medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Mississippi. With a population of 17,636 people and four constituent neighborhoods, Ocean Springs is the 24th largest community in Mississippi.
Ocean Springs real estate is some of the most expensive in Mississippi, although Ocean Springs house values don’t compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S. Ocean Springs is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 85.28% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Ocean Springs is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Ocean Springs who work in food service (11.35%), management occupations (11.09%), and sales jobs (10.54%).
Ocean Springs is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Quite often, nautical areas such as these attract visitors and locals who come to enjoy the scenery and various waterfront activities.
Ocean Springs is a very ethnically-diverse city. The most common language spoken in Ocean Springs is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Vietnamese.
POPULAR REAL ESTATE
- City Center
- Halstead Rd / Brumbaugh Rd
- Gulf Hills
The citizens of Ocean Springs are very well educated compared to the average community in the nation: 37.30% of adults in Ocean Springs have a bachelor’s degree or even advanced degree.
The per capita income in Ocean Springs in 2010 was $31,347, which is wealthy relative to Mississippi, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $125,388 for a family of four.
The settlement of Fort Maurepas or Old Biloxi, in colonial French Louisiana (New France), began in April 1699 at present-day Ocean Springs, under the authority of King Louis XIV, as Fort Maurepas by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. It was the first permanent French outpost in French Louisiana and was established as a foothold to prevent Spanish encroachment on France’s colonial claims. The site was maintained well into the early 18th century.
The name Ocean Springs was coined by Dr. William Glover Austin in 1854. He believed the local springs had healing qualities. Ocean Springs became a prosperous resort town and after several years reinvented itself as a historically-oriented residential community. The history of the town is celebrated annually in reenactments depicting d’Iberville’s landing near a replica of Fort Maurepas.
From colonial times to present day, seafood has been celebrated. The abundance of seafood allowed French and French-Canadian explorers and settlers to thrive within the Fort Maurepas/Old Biloxi area. In the late nineteenth century, the development of ice plant industries along the coast increased seafood sales. Locals and tourists can still purchase freshly harvested shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters to this day because of this thriving industry.
Ocean Springs was in the international spotlight following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall on August 29, 2005. The city, part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast directly hit by the storm, sustained significant damage. The Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge, part of Highway 90 along the beach, was destroyed and was a widely broadcast visual testament to the hurricane’s impact.
BILOXI BAY BRIDGE
Hurricane Katrina’s 28-foot (8.5 m) storm surge destroyed the Biloxi Bay Bridge, which connected Biloxi to Ocean Springs. The bridge was completed in 1962, and damaged in 1969 by Hurricane Camille. The Biloxi Bay Bridge replaced the aging War Memorial Bridge which opened in 1930. As of 2007, the majority of the bridge’s remains have been removed via cranes based on barges located next to the bridge debris. The bridge ruins, capturing the breathtaking results of the force of Hurricane Katrina, had become a popular spot of photographers both professional and amateur. The construction for the new bridge was completed in April 2008.
The new Biloxi Bay Bridge is 95′ in height at its main span, and supports six lanes of traffic. Two lanes of the six-lane bridge opened November 1, 2007. The new bridge has a curving roadway due to the implemented design-build process. In order to speed the process of rebuilding, the main body of the bridge was moved outside of the previous bridge’s debris area. The landing points for each side of U.S. Route 90 correspond with the previous bridge.