The heart of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Biloxi has come back strong after suffering devastation from Hurricane Katrina, and the silver lining is that the oceanfront resort town is now better than ever. Many of its hotels are new or largely rebuilt, the golf courses were nearly all completely revamped and even the stunning beach — one of the longest expanses of unbroken sand in the United States — was renovated.

There are about half a dozen major casino resorts here, all with a full range of amenities, including elaborate pool complexes, spas and restaurants. Outside of the hotels, you’ll find many more delicious freestanding eateries and a wealth of outdoor activities, including watersports, excellent inshore and offshore fishing, a beachfront walking and biking path that runs for many miles in both directions, and about a dozen high-quality golf courses by top designers such as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio. The many casinos provide a steady stream of nationally known live entertainers, along with nightclubs and dancing. The Gulf dining scene incorporates classic New Orleans-style Cajun and Creole cuisine along with tons of fresh shrimp, crabs, oysters and seafood all year long, caught right offshore. Just an hour from New Orleans and 15 minutes from the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Biloxi is a surprisingly easy-to-reach and pleasantly well-rounded vacation destination that combines value, varied choices and Southern hospitality.