Stroll and Shop on the Bay

Good times and one-of-a-kind finds are the order of the day here at Bay Saint Louis in Mississippi.
Valerie Fraser Luesse
Stroll and Shop on the Bay
The whole town turns out for Second Saturday in Bay Saint Louis--big kids, little kids, and canines alike.

Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, has always been a kick, and it’s slowly but surely getting its groove back post Katrina. To catch the true spirit of this artsy little coastal town, head to Main and Second Streets on the second Saturday of any month for Second Saturday Art Walk.

Second Saturday is part arts fair, part block party, part shopping extravaganza. Around 4 p.m., the shops and galleries of Old Town Bay Saint Louis open their doors and invite visitors to stroll, browse, and visit. Live music and free refreshments create a festive atmosphere that draws shoppers and art lovers from towns all up and down the coast.

Anchoring the Art Walk are Maggie May’s and The Artists of 220 Main, each of which hosts an eclectic mix of talented artists. Coastal-inspired paintings and photography, whimsical clocks, mixed media pieces, pottery, jewelry, and accessories--it’s all here.

More Shopping
Besides these two large galleries, be sure to check out some of the smaller ones. At Social Chair and Twin Light Creations, you’ll find local art, furniture, garden and home accessories, and more. Across the street from Maggie May’s is jewelry designer Deborah Kennedy, whose beautiful bling has been worn by the likes of Uma Thurman. Some pieces are pricey, but you can find earrings in the $30 range--sure to get you ready for your close-up.

Bay Books, right next door to Deborah’s gallery, is a great little bookstore, particularly for works by local writers and photographers.



Time To Eat
For a little refreshment, stop by the Mockingbird Café to sample gourmet coffee, fresh breads and pastries, and homemade pizza. A new local watering hole, Gabbie’s, has opened in the 100 block of Main Street. Trapani’s Eatery, a pre-Katrina waterfront landmark, is temporarily at home at 833 U.S. 90.

If you’d like to explore on your own, ask any of the local gallery owners for a map of the Bay Saint Louis shops. You’ll soon discover that the main attractions are the people themselves. Spend a laid-back evening with this crew, and you’ll find yourself seriously pondering a move to the coast.

Must-Know Info
Remember--this indoor-outdoor event happens the second Saturday, not necessarily the second weekend of every month. For example, if the first day of the month falls on Sunday, the Art Walk still happens the second Saturday, which is the third weekend, of the month. Make sense?

Antique Maison: 111 North Second Street; (228) 466-4848
The Artists of 220 Main: (228) 466-6347
Bay Books: 131 Main St, #2; (228) 463-2688
The Buttercup: 112 North Second Street; (228) 466-4930
Gabbie’s: 119 Main Street; (228) 466-6310
Deborah Kennedy Designs: 131 Main Street; (228) 466-2885
Maggie May’s: 126 Main Street, (228) 463-1670
Mockingbird Café: 110 South Second Street, (228) 467-8383
Shabby Chic Designs: 213 Main Street, (228) 304-7097
Social Chair: 212 Main Street; (228) 466-5853
The Sycamore House: 210 Main Street; (228) 469-0107
Trapani’s Eatery: 833 U.S. 90, (228) 467-8570
Twin Light Creations: 136 Main Street, (228) 469-0011

"Stroll and Shop on the Bay" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.