- story by Caitlin Bourgeois
photos by Ellis Anderson and Beverly Fitzsimmons
Doing a little research before heading to a new location is a standard task before vacationing. Once upon a time, we would rely on word-of-mouth suggestions for things to do, check out brochure racks for something to catch our eye, or enlist a travel agent.
Now, though, we can hit that Instagram icon on our home screens and plug in #vacationspot. Up pops dozens of accounts and posts dedicated to exploring your destination.
That got us wondering. For both visitors and locals, what hot spots in Bay-Waveland would be great finds on Instagram?
In this new series, we’re taking a look along the Mississippi coast and pointing out some of our favorite Instagrammable opportunities – starting in our magazine’s home base, Bay St. Louis.
The five picture-perfect spots below are located on Beach Boulevard in historic Old Town, most near the intersection of Beach and Main.
This 15 Minutes Photo
is sponsored by
St. Louis Bay Bridge Walking Trail
What better way to show off to your followers that you’re in a beachside town than to give them a view of the whole town in ONE photo? The Saint Louis Bay Bridge is about 2.1 miles long with a nice, steep hill that gives you the perfect workout and angle for your Insta pic.
Also known as the Leo W. Seal Jr. Memorial Bridge, this bridge was built in 2007 to replace its predecessor destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Beautiful booze mile-markers designed by local artist provide stellar photo ops. You can see the town of Bay St. Louis perfectly from the top along with some amazing views of the water.
The Angel Tree
A beautiful work of art with a much deeper past and purpose, The Angel Tree has an incredible story. While you admire the way that artist Dayle Lewis was able to transform a dead oak tree into a towering work of angels and herons, take a look across Beach Boulevard at the Bay Town Inn Bed & Breakfast. Owner Nikki Moon and two of her friends, along with her small Scottish terrier, clung to this once beautiful oak tree for their lives when Hurricane Katrina’s 40-foot storm surge took out the original inn, a century old building they were sheltering in.
Detailed in the award-winning book, “Under Surge, Under Siege, the Odyssey of Bay St. Louis and Katrina,” this breathtaking story gives new appreciation to The Angel Tree. You can find the local best-seller at Bay Books on Main Street or venture to Pass Books in Pass Christian on Scenic Drive. Snap your picture with the tree, grab your copy of “Under Surge” and book a weekend at the Bay Town Inn - just named the best Bed & Breakfast in Mississippi!
Sea Coast Echo Building at 200 North Beach
The historic Echo Building, built in 1903 and once home to the Sea Coast Echo newspaper, now houses an upscale and inviting restaurant, 200 North Beach. One of the oldest beach restaurants, it’s a staple of the Old Town community. Visit for their exceptional lunch and dinner menu, or join in the fun in the upstairs BSL Sports Lounge, where you snap breathtaking shots of the Bay and bridge from the balcony. (200 North Beach is currently open for curbside or take out.)
Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor
Looking for the perfect spot to get that sunset selfie? Maybe you’re an early bird and enjoy that brisk walk on the beach just in time to get a nice sunrise picture out to your followers – this is the place to do it. Walk along Beach Boulevard and you’ll see the beautiful marina filled with boats of all sizes. Stroll down the wooden pathway and enjoy the calmness of the harbor. From the Rutherford pier, you’re able to see many of the beachfront attractions and sweeping vistas of the beachfront.
Jean-Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville Statue
Want a little bit of settler history to put onto your grid? In a small pocket park tucked between Cuz’s Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill and Hancock Bank you’ll find the statue of Jean-Baptiste Bienville.
After venturing down from Montreal with his brother, Iberville, the two discovered the Chandeleur Islands, Cat Island and Ship Island before establishing the first settlement of Lousiana in what is now Ocean Springs, MS. You’ll see Bienville’s name in a variety of different areas - even down to the delicious Oysters Bienville. It’s a fun spot to take a quick picture highlighting Gulf Coast history.