This campground is a cloaked gem for RV’ers and us travel trailer trash. It’s hidden within Ocean Springs, MS near all those city conveniences. Managed by the National Park Service, they cheerfully honor your Passport America/Golden Age card. Thus you pay just $11 a night for water and electric hookups, showers and a convenient and well-equipped dump station. I suspect it’s more popular from November through March (you wanna feed mosquitoes or dance with hurricanes?) and for sure it’s mostly booked up in January. The sites are a bit tight, but all come with paved pads, most welcome after the not-so-occasional downpour. Reservations are highly recommended here, and if you’re looking to pass a couple of weeks of winter in a warm place, splurge and reserve all fourteen days. Many campers do.
Among the attractions are cheap fuel – we filled up on good road diesel for $2.39 a gallon – and there’s a nice beach downtown. There is a pretty good grocery store outside the campground gate if you’re Jonesin’ for south Louisiana food. The store is run by the Rouse family based in Thibodaux, and you can find shrimp on ice, boiled blue crabs, andouille and boudin in all their locations, including those in Mississippi. Local restaurants feature fresh Gulf seafood. I recommend that you visit Mikey’s on Hwy 609 for their $5 a dozen oysters on the half shell. Don’t care for oysters? Try their $7 crawfish bisquette (a cup of bisque with whole crawfish tails, rather than crawfish shells stuffed with minced ingredients.
There are places to fish from the bank and a paved launch should you pull a bateau instead of a toad. The water is semi-salty, so you have a shot at landing speckled trout, flounder, or redfish which of course are all among the world’s tastiest scaled fish. For that matter, oysters grow wild in Davis Bayou, and were you so inclined you could feel around the bottom at low tide and harvest yourself a couple or three dozen of those salty gems of the sea. Then again, they’s some gators there, and while they do hibernate in winter it is just possible that if the weather’s warm enough to wade, it’s also warm enough for one of those bad boys to swim out to investigate you as you impersonate bait.
Walter Anderson’s art museum is in downtown Ocean Springs, and although we didn’t go I did Google him. He was quite the watercolorist, and almost as far off his bird as old Van Gogh. How off was he? Well, he paid many visits to mental institutions, but escaped many more times than Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. He married a beautiful rich woman but convinced her he was crazy so he could go off and paint landscapes while she supported him. (Crazy like a fox?) He rode out Hurricane Betsy on Horn Island many miles out in the Gulf sheltered only by his rowboat. He died a couple of months later, but not from storm damage. I didn’t want to visit his museum because we paid less to see the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Okay, that was years ago, but still….
As for the Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs, MS: Joe Bob says “Check it out twice.”