Biloxi, Mississippi


Wikipedia calls Biloxi the “Poor Man’s Riviera,” but I prefer “Vegas Lite.”

I’d first heard of Biloxi in Mississippi Masala, a 1991 Mira Nair film starring a scandalously young and sexy Denzel Washington. His character falls in love with an Indian girl from an overprotective, tradition-bound family, and they discuss running off to Biloxi for a romantic getaway. (I don’t remember whether they actually go or not.)

Biloxi is a Gulf Coast destination famous for shrimp boats and casino hotels, the Beau Rivage in particular. Hurricanes have done their damage to the city and its population, but it remains a bustling resort town and its casinos are still thick with smoke and the sounds of slot machines.

We started out at a lunch buffet at the Grand Casino. It’s the South, after all, and it ain’t a meal if it ain’t buffet-style! I’d forewarned my parents that buffets are wasted on me unless I can eat s-l-o-w-l-y. When it comes to eating, I’m a marathoner, not a sprinter: I can eat bite-sized portions for hours on end, but I feel sick if I try to stuff it all down. So we quite literally sat there for close to two hours as I helped myself to three heaping platefuls of fried chicken and catfish, prime rib, salad, dessert and more. My faves: the fried chicken gizzard was surprisingly juicy and sweet, and the shrimp were ginormous and fresh!

Biloxi Lights Biloxi Lights

The city of Biloxi has a fun display of Christmas lights in what appears to be a town square across from the Hard Rock Casino.


The cartwheeling gingerbread men were my faves.

So much so that I tried to be one.

We headed next to the Beau Rivage, which defies the “Poor” in “Poor Man’s Riviera” with its elegant decor.

Beau Rivage Decor

The Beau Rivage also has a theater, where we saw an ice skating production. The skaters were impressive; the four principals were all US National medalists and really quite good, especially the pair. Though their skill was evident, they were definitely limited by that tiny rink!

Lastly, I played the penny slot machine. I did NOT understand how it worked, and I lost 200 pennies in no time. Gambling is not so much my thing.

*Photography is not allowed inside casinos, so as to protect the dignity of those who while away too many hours there. So I asked one of the casino managers to take a photo for me. Not bad, sir!


4 thoughts on “Biloxi, Mississippi

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