When people think of the South (or at least, assuming they know where the South actually is), I think Mississippi is undoubtedly one of the first states that would come to mind. Sadly, it is also one of the first states that comes to mind when we think of the highest crime rates, highest poverty levels, and also lowest life expectancy. Because of all the above, it also tends to be the state that people make jokes about when it comes to the last state they’d want to live in. Honestly, as someone who grew up in California and now lives in New York, I’ve never heard of any famous tourist spot in Mississippi that would have drawn me there.
We crossed the state line west today to visit the Gulf Coast National Seashore in Mississippi, which is in Ocean Springs, and also ate at a delicious and cozy seafood spot there. Friends of mine who live in Arkansas told me that Mississippi is actually a really popular place to visit for those in the South who want to travel, but not too far, and have great beaches and fresh seafood from the Gulf Coast. I never would have even thought about this before our visit. The fried oysters and shrimp were some of the best we’ve ever had, and of course at a price point that was more than reasonable and even borderline cheap for seafood. The hospitality overall was very warm, especially by the host, who commented on how pretty I was and told Chris, “Don’t let her go!” It seems like whenever I am in the South, I tend to get complimented more on my appearance. I’m guessing it’s because as an Asian, I’m more of an exotic novelty there.