Best cities under the sun: Character, charm, community.
Welcome to Hancock County, one of the South’s premier destinations. With 13 miles of white sand beach bordering our quaint towns and bustling communities, the area has a rich history and culture that has appealed to new residents from artisans to scientists for decades.
From full-time residents who work at NASA’s Stennis Space Center to snowbirds who spend their winters basking in our mild climate, “The Coast,” as the locals call it, has attracted people of all ages, including those who have summer homes here to soak in our coastal breezes and enjoy a relaxing way of life.
Hancock County’s central location between New Orleans and the gaming resort town of Biloxi make it a popular choice for people moving to the area to work, retire, or visit.
Our communities have been nationally recognized for everything from art to ground-breaking scientific advancements. We offer a wide variety of living environments from beachfront communities to lush countryside. Our low cost of living and hassle-free commutes allow our residents more time to enjoy our many attractions and outdoor activities year-round.
Bay St. Louis: Bay St. Louis, also known to locals as “The Bay,” is known for its lively arts community, historic district, shops, cafes, and bed and breakfast accommodations. Chosen as one of Coastal Living’s top ten beach communities in the country, it has been a popular place to drop anchor for residents and vacation homeowners for over a century. In 2013, voters chose Bay St. Louis as one of the top three “Coolest Small Towns” in the country in Budget Travel Magazine’s contest. The official motto is as unique as the city itself: “A Place Apart.”
Diamondhead: A master planned community that recently became Mississippi’s newest city, is growing with new residents, businesses and amenities. The community has long been a favorite of golfers and tennis buffs, and also offers shopping, restaurants and other recreational activities.
It’s nearly 9,000 residents enjoy the Country Club, four swimming pools, two golf courses, tennis courts, walking tracks, parks, picnic area, boat launch, and its own airport for private air service. Families also enjoy the year-round activities for kids and the wide range of sports facilities.
Kiln: Just north of Interstate 10 is the community of Kiln. Known to the locals as “The Kill,” is famous for being the childhood home of football icon Brett Favre. This area boasts lush, rolling countryside where farms and livestock dot the landscape along with large homes on multi-acre home sites. Kiln is home to the Coast’s first micro-brewery, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company., a popular gathering place for tastings and tours. It is also home to McLeod Water Park and Campground and the Jourdan River offering boating, fishing, birding and wildlife observation from a canoe or kayak. The Stennis International Airport is also nearby as a popular alternative to the New Orleans Airport for private planes and cargo.
Waveland: Historically a second home area for New Orleanians, this charming town on the Gulf offers small town living in a resort environment. Known as the “Hospitality City,” weekend residents of Waveland often become full-timers, enjoying events like Mardi Gras and the wide range of fishing and boating activities. Waveland is home to Buccaneer State Park, known for its wave pool, water slide and campground. It is also home to one of the county’s two casino resorts, the Silver Slipper.
Clermont Harbor: An easy living residential community hugging the Gulf of Mexico, Clermont Harbor is located between Buccaneer State Park and Bayou Caddy. Many families have been here for generations, so traditions are valued and memories run deep. This unique Gulf Coast community has been home to artists, writers, scientists, judges, teachers, firefighters, clergy, fishermen and more. Clermont Harbor is also a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers.
Lakeshore/Ansley: Near Clermont Harbor is the Lakeshore-Ansley community. If seafood is your desire, you have found “paradise.” Fishermen have a choice of fresh or salt water to pursue their pastime. Marinas at Bayou Caddy and local fishing camps are available to launch your boat, fish or just take a scenic cruise. This area is also popular with hunters since forested lands and the Stennis Space Center buffer zone surround the area. White-tail deer, turkeys, quail and other game are commonly seen here.
Pearlington: Located in the southwest corner of the county, the small town of Pearlington was founded like many other towns in Mississippi – by explorers making their way down the Pearl River and across the Gulf of Mexico. Hidden away among the live oak trees and stately pines are lovely homes and riverside fishing camps. Pearlington is located in the “buffer zone” of nearby Stennis Space Center, and offers protection for the town and indigenous wildlife through restricted access areas. Many of the residents work at Stennis.
Stennis Space Center: Originally established 50 years ago to test the Saturn V rocket engines that would carry men to the moon, Stennis has grown exponentially over the years. This federal city hosts a vast array of federal, state and education agencies, as well as private corporations like Rolls Royce. The largest concentration of the world’s oceanographers is here, working in conjunction with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. In total, over 5,000 people work at the site with jobs ranging from Navy Seals to rocket science. Stennis’ economic impact in the region is over $600 million annually and the research and work that is being done there is being transferred to multiple commercial applications.