By Tricia McAlvain

The thriving City of Long Beach, Mississippi is the Gulf Coast's premiere up and coming college coastal community located between Gulfport and Pass Christian, providing miles of scenic beachfront sunrise and sunset picturesque views along Highway 90, within Harrison County. The drive along Long Beach is worth the trip alone. It is one of the most pristine natural landscaped beaches on the Gulf Coast, with only a few eclectic arrays of locally owned restaurants located around the harbor on the beach side. On the city side of Highway 90, you will find charming coastal small businesses such as a hotel, a spa, boutiques, and eateries all built, owned, and run by friendly locals. They live here, raise their families here, and take pride in working and worshiping all within their city.

Bringing pleasure, spreading kindness, and welcoming visitors are traits that come naturally to the people of this coastal community. They have weathered through storms together, and they stick together like glue, so they are quick to celebrate as they build and thrive. Quaint city features are the new town green with an amphitheater for city events and the new high tech handicapped access in the city harbor offers fishing of all types and boating of all sizes. It seems that Long Beach thinks ahead and does it right when planning for the future.

Being only 79 miles from Mobile, Alabama to the east and only 72 miles from New Orleans, Louisiana to the west plots, the City of Long Beach is the center of everything the southern region has to offer for a perfect get-a-way. Long Beach stretches as far south from Interstate 10 all the way south to the beach. Each main vein of the road in Long Beach has now glittered with locally owned small businesses offering distinct services such as automotive and fabrication between donut shops, antique and art galleries, and eateries of every type.

Driving off the beach, and up Jeff, Davis Boulevard offers the vibe of a flourishing downtown district creating access to a small business community flowing over the railroad tracks sweeping to the left and to the right along Railroad Street. This street runs horizontally with the beach just inland enough to connect this city to our Port City; Gulfport. It is hard to see where Long Beach ends and Gulfport begins no matter what road you are on. Find everything from excellent family dining to local sports bar hangouts, a daiquiri shack, souvenir gift shops, a comic book/barber shop, banks, City Hall, the city library, a kite store, and more.

The tagline of being the "Friendly City" is one that Long Beach earned and they are proud of it.  Life in Long Beach is cozy, quiet and Coastal.  Diversified residents, strong small businesses, smart city planning, and outstanding educational facilities are the backbone of this community.

Long Beach is the home to the University of Southern Mississippi and close to numerous other colleges. The University of Southern Mississippi provides unparalleled education, resources, and now off-campus student housing at Friendship Oak Village for the people of South Mississippi. Celebrating farm to table, Long Beach has a farmers market open to the public every Saturday morning at the town green. Purchase fresh produce, local meats, jellies, jams, and cheeses. Once a month the farmers market allows artisan vendors the opportunity to sell handmade arts and crafts. A sought-after event ticket to Taste of Long Beach is always a favorite annual event in the Spring. Taste a sample from all participating local restaurants along with local musicians performing, and enjoy a tranquil evening under the huge live oak trees on the town green.

Jenny Levens, Long Beach Community Affairs Director is excited to kick off the 2019 annual free summer concert series starting in April running until the end of October at the Harper McCaughan Town Green Amphitheater. Enjoy live music by talented local artists playing 6-9pm. This free family-friendly fun event is held every first Friday of the month, naming it "Finally First Friday". Jeepin the Coast is an annual Gulf Coast celebration for those who own jeeps and love everything jeep related. This year, Jeep Central is located in the heart of Long Beach with upcoming events such as a jeep parade and a jeep cruise on this year's schedule. Levens says, "We have some of the best restaurants on the coast and the only harbor on the coast equipped with handicapped access".

Long Beach Harbor is large enough to offer a public boat ramp, overnight or long term slips of all sizes, and a covered pavilion available for your private events. Beach activities such as beach volleyball, wind surfing and kite flying are always Long Beach favorites. Fishing is welcomed on piers, the bulkheads, and the seawalls. The Long Beach Yacht Club and many locally owned restaurants are within walking distance from your boat slip at the harbor for you to choose from.

With over seven new major businesses making an impact in 2018 and several new businesses already open as of spring 2019 there is no end in sight when looking at the growth pattern being laid out for this Gulf Coast city. New plans by the city include a FETCH Park for dogs, the opening of Long Beach Harbor Market and the Long Beach Gateway to be added at Jeff Davis Avenue and Highway 90. Go see what is happening in Long Beach, Mississippi. You will be glad you did.

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