Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Set Amid Rivers, Marshes and Estuaries Along the Gulf of Mexico, Bay St. Louis is a Quiet Beach Town with a Cute Downtown
On Mississippi's central coast, Bay St. Louis sits amid rivers, marshes and estuaries along the Bay of St. Louis and the Gulf of Mexico. It is about an hour east of New Orleans and has a romantic, picturesque setting.
Hurricane Katrina hit Bay St. Louis hard in 2005, and the town has been rebuilding ever since. Many of the old trees and some early structures are gone, but people say that much of the original charm remains. The beach, which has shallow water and a long pier, is clean and often quiet. Old Town is quaint and inviting with century-old cottages that now house colorful shops, bookstores, kayak rental places and great eateries with burger, Cajun and BBQ menus. The Mockingbird Cafe receives particularly good reviews and is a favorite with the "young, young at heart, slightly underground and old hippies." It also has an art gallery. Residents enjoy an art walk and an evening music jam every second Saturday. The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre dates from 1946 and has open auditions.
Neighborhoods have an unfinished quality. Housing stock includes everything from plantation styles and raised ranch ramblers to bungalows and stilt homes overlooking the water.
Population: 11,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 40%
Cost of Living: 4% below the national average
Median Home Price: $375,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives 58 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Slightly above the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 28%
Is Mississippi Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Hurricanes will probably happen again. In fact, Ida caused some flooding in 2021.
Notes: Bay St.Louis lost a lot population after Katrina, but residents started to steadily return shortly thereafter. In 2019, the population dropped again but is now once more on the rise. Home prices have increased 14% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
The Magnolia State entered the Union on December 10, 1817. Prosperous cotton plantations dominated the landscape during the first half of the 19th century. After the American Civil War, the state struggled to find a new economy. Mississippi became a battleground for the Civil Rights Movement.
The state's topography is primarily hilly. The flat, alluvial Mississippi Delta stretches between two rivers and contains 2.7 million acres of wetlands. Blues music has its origins there. Residents of the state experience long, hot summers and short, mild winters.
Mississippi continues to produce cotton, but over cultivation has led to diversification. Rice, soybeans, and aquaculture have helped boost the state's fragile economy. Petroleum and natural gas mining are recent developments and have helped the state move toward the manufacture of chemicals and plastics.
Musicians born in Mississippi include Jimmy Buffet, Elvis Presley, and Leontyne Price. Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed the world's first human lung transplant in 1963 and the first heart transplant in 1964.
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