My main fear about becoming a travelling family wasn’t how to juggle all the extra luggage and packing necessities (although that *is* scary). It was how to juggle all the extra cost of a travel companion who is completely reliant on me, not only to keep them alive, but also to pay for all their travel needs.
I don’t think I am the only travelling parent who has budget concerns on the mind – so it really does pay off to do a bit of research pre trip on affordable family vacations.
I believe that any destination can be made both fun for kids, and affordable for parents, if planned properly. Today we will be looking at some of the great family oriented activities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast – for those with kids, or for those you are just young at heart.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is great because it doesn’t just provide ideas for family outdoor vacations, but it also has plenty of “indoor” activities for curious minds and for those days when the weather just isn’t cooperating.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Outdoor Attractions
Beach – Nothing beats a day at the beach. Young and old can appreciate a relaxing day at the beach. And the best part is that all this is free. Just bring a picnic and some sunscreen, and you are good to go.
Mississippi Barrier Islands – For those who want an even more secluded and private beach experience, then head to the Mississippi Barrier Islands. These islands are uninhabited and are located only 12 miles from the coast. These beaches are much quieter and also offer bird watching, hiking, and fishing opportunities.
Live Oaks Bicycle Route – Those wanting a bit of exercise, or who just want to tire out the kids will appreciate the Live Oaks Bicycle Route. This 15.5 mile round trip trail takes riders along the seashore and also to great look out points.
Hiking – The Mississippi Gulf Coast offers plenty of hiking opportunities through wilderness areas. Hikes vary from a few hours to an entire day – so there is something to suit any age and skill level. This is a great way to get out and spot some native wildlife.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Indoor Attractions
Infinity Science Centre – This is not just for kids. This NASA affiliate space centre features and 4,000 square-foot maze, a 6 foot revolving animated view of the solar system and a full sized International Space Station module.
Lynn Meadows Discovery Centre – This museum has made it on the list of Top 50 Children’s Museums in the USA and features 15000 square-feet of indoor exhibition space as well as 6 acres of outdoor play areas. If this doesn’t tire out the kids for the night, then I don’t know what will.
Centre for Marine Education and Research – This marine centre is the first of it’s kind, and is dedicated to dolphin research and rehabilitation. It feature an interactive museum and “touch pool.” There is also the added feature of the Encounter Program, which allows guests to feed, touch, and play with a dolphin.
Affordable Mississippi Gulf Coast Vacation Ideas
Although the angle of this post is family travel, I must admit that even before we had our son we would have been interested in checking out most of these attractions. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan wanted a son so that he had an excuse to go to even more space and science centres! And I can never pass up a good zoo or aquarium. So don’t be shy – you don’t need a child to enjoy the Mississippi Gulf Coast.