Five pleasant surprises in Biloxi, Mississippi
Five pleasant surprises from my maiden voyage to Biloxi, Mississippi:
1. Hard Rock Hotel: I’m not big on “themed” properties like the Venetian in Las Vegas or Legends in concert in Myrtle Beach that features Elvis and Garth Brooks look-a-likes (although Medieval Times rules, but only if you dress up as a peasant and take a girl on a first date there).
When I’m at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, I find how the front desk answers the phone, “How may I ‘rock’ your world” a little cheesy…but the rooms at this joint are fantastic. I’m used to underachieving, dodgie hotel rooms in casinos that want you on the gaming floor and not in your room. But at Hard Rock, they’re sleek, stylish, comfortable and have a fantastic, three-point shower system. Wake up 10 minutes early in the morning to enjoy an extended cleanse in this fortress of flow. Each room comes with its own CD of timeless rock hits you can jam to during your after party as well.
2. Value - When you’re living in Myrtle Beach, you think you’re in the golf value mecca of the southeast. But Biloxi is right there, maybe better. There aren’t as many courses, really only a couple dozen or so versus 100-plus in the Grand Strand, but clubs like Grand Bear and Shell Landing offer four-star conditions and layouts for three-star prices.
3. If you’re planning on a casino binge, put some of your cash aside ($250-300) and play Tom Fazio’s incredible new Fallen Oak course - reserved for guests of the Beau Rivage. Included in the green fee, your group is shuttled to the course via limo and are given a forecaddie (tip is extra). You’ll also play a course that’s quintessential Big Budget Fazio. Each hole is framed with giant oaks and the topography is heavily rolling, far removed from flatter lowcountry terrain.
4. People - Aside from one dealer at a blackjack table who looked like she’d seen one too many people lose their mortgage in front of her, the people here are great. You can make conversation with everyone, and no one seems to ever be in a hurry to get anywhere.
5. Grubbin’ - Be sure to eat at Mary Mahoney’s, right across the street from the Beau Rivage. It’s atmosphere is classic lowcountry with a giant oak that’s been around thousands of years. Three Katrinas probably couldn’t put a scratch in this giant. The gumbo hits the spot and the crab appetizers are incredible. Mahoney’s is a true delight for anyone looking to get away from the casino properties for a night. Hanging photos reveal celebs like Anna Kournikova and Usher have eaten here (oh, and some Presidents too).
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