Ocean Springs as one of the top 10 Happiest towns...

Great new article from Coastal Living about Ocean Springs! Features Ocean Springs as one of the top 10 Happiest towns...

It’s been a few centuries since French explorers discovered and settled this gently curving arc of the Gulf coast in 1699, but the warm and bustling town of 17,500 remains a true discovery—more so than ever since its recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina just 10 years ago. Lined with live oaks and old-fashioned, busy storefronts, downtown Ocean Springs hums with optimism. With no commercial development marring the shoreline, the town’s streets lead to a charming public beach with a fishing pier, a new public park, and glistening views out to the delicate and pristine Gulf Islands. The casinos of neighboring Biloxi are but a distant blip on the radar; life is delightfully low-key.

Along with a hopping restaurant scene that features everything from dock-to-table blue crab salad to belly-up-to-the-bar barbecue, art rules the roost in Ocean Springs: The town has a world-class art museum and a collection of fun, vibrant galleries. It’s also home to Shearwater Pottery and the grand Peter Anderson Art Festival—both powerful draws for collectors. There’s a culinary-arts café in town, bountiful public art on prideful display, and live music in small joints most nights of the week. And for true pilgrims for Southern fare, there’s Tato-Nut, Ocean Springs’s tiny, beloved doughnut shop where the confections are made from—yes—potatoes. Now that’s art.

Where to Stay: Front Beach Cottages is a more-chic-than-shabby enclave of restored fishing shacks; 228-215-0969 or frontbeachcottages.com. The Inn at Ocean Springs inhabits a historic building in the center of town and has two charming rooms featuring local artwork; 228-875-4496 or oceanspringsinn.com.