Visitors to the coast extend their holiday stay a little more

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – New Years Day has passed, but the holiday weekend continues.

This means that visitors from all over are staying a bit longer to take in the views, and it sets a good model for the tourist season in 2021.

Debra and Alexus Lewis from Canton have been to the coast before.

“We go down to the coast a lot, especially during the summer months,” Lewis said. “My daughter loves water. She loves the beach. So, we just got off, enjoyed the attractions, the food, and relaxed.

A first visit to the Mississippi Aquarium is high on the agenda.

“She wanted to see the little fish, the dolphins and the sharks,” Lewis said.

They could have gone anywhere for New Years weekend, but the Coast won.

“Since we were coming from Mississippi, we decided it was closer for us,” Lewis said. “And we just wanted to visit our own state.”

For those interviewed, it was a consistent theme, as it was for the Hillmans of Conehatta, Mississippi, who are expecting an addition to their family.

“We’re actually expecting a baby boy,” Savannah Hillman said. “So we wanted to take a quick trip that wasn’t too far, and that turned out to be perfect.”

It was also handy for Jackson’s Will Crawley and Starkville’s Sydney Tamashiro.

“You know, we stayed here last night, and we woke up and I feel like you’re in a totally different place and it’s only three hours from Jackson,” Tamashiro said.

“I think there is a lot more to discover as well,” Crawley added. “It’s probably the first time I’ve been here in 15 years, so it’s been a while, and we’re finding out while we’re here.”

Michigan residents Jeff Patterson and Lisa Morton are visiting family, but beyond the best winter weather, there are other mouthwatering things to bring them back.

“We love to play golf, but the pickleball here is really good,” Morton said. “We play pickleball a lot and there are some nice courts around Popp’s Ferry that we play on.”

Jon Beeson and Huntleigh Foster of Wesson are enjoying the amenities enough that the coast has become their vacation destination, even on a whim.

“I’m not going to lie,” Beeson said with a laugh. “It was a last minute decision, but here we are.”

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