5 reasons why Ship Island offers a great summer getaway along the Gulf Coast

Beaches, natural beauty, and history all in one place! This is perfect for a quick vacation.

Pristine beaches, natural beauty, and a significant history can all be found on Ship Island, which is just a 50-minute ferry ride from the Gulfport Harbor. Here's why it's a popular summertime getaway for people looking for a quick vacation.

A Relaxing Ferry Ride Kicks Off the Fun

Visitors who take the ferry boat to Ship Island will find the relaxing ride is part of the fun. Ship Island Excursions offers daily ferry service to the island during the summer season. They’re located at the Gulfport Harbor. Visitors are in for a treat once they climb aboard. Once you reach the destination, the island is yours to explore. Photo courtesy: Ship Island Excursions

Explore Ship Island's Natural Beauty

Ship Island features Fort Massachusetts on the north shore, popular beaches on the south side and a boardwalk linking the two sides of the island, with natural beauty throughout. Gulf Islands Ranger Chris Bramblett explains that the islands span from the west Cat Island to the east at Petit Bois. They’re all part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, one of Mississippi’s National Parks. Photo courtesy: WLOX

Enjoy an Awesome Beach with Crystal Clear Waters

Along with its natural beauty and history, arguably the number one reason for visiting Ship Island is this awesome beach with its crystal cool waters. That makes it perfect for a summertime getaway. “Most people come here for the beach. You get those nice crystal clear Gulf of Mexico waters if you visit the south side,” Bramblett said.

Ship Island is a Great Spot for Birdwatching

Birdwatching makes Ship Island a great spot for nature lovers. The area attracts a lot of wildlife, including birds. Gulf Islands Ranger Chris Bramblett says a lot of birders travel there to check out the shorebirds. “We have tons of shorebirds on the island. And this is also a migratory stop for a lot of migrating song birds coming back from South America and Central America,” Bramblett said.

Delve Into History at Fort Massachusetts

If history is more to your liking, then Fort Massachusetts is the perfect place to explore. It dates back to civil war days and was a critical structure for guarding the entrance to the Mississippi Sound. Photo courtesy: WLOX

Read more about Ship Island at fox8live.com.