Exhibit Features Materials about Tourism on the Gulf Coast

Featuring brochures, hotel advertisements, seafood restaurant menus, and other materials from Special Collections, “Scenic South: Tourism on the Gulf Coast” reveals a colorful glimpse of recreation, vacation, and family fun over the years.

Due to an increased ease in travel, the Gulf Coast was a common vacation spot with New Orleans, LA; Biloxi, MS; and Mobile, AL being popular destinations. Advertisements for Gulf Coast tourism serve as reminders of the unique history of “America’s Riviera.”

Tourism has long been a major revenue source for the Gulf Coast. During the 1920s, people from all over the United States flocked to Mississippi due to the economic boom produced by emerging lumber and seafood industries. Railroads provided an inexpensive means for moving passengers as well as goods, providing south Mississippi with the opportunity for increased industrial and recreational development.

Prior to air conditioning, tourists frequented the Mississippi Gulf Coast for its mild winters and sea breezes. Tourists also came for recreation such as swimming, bicycling, sunbathing, fishing, and sailing. During this time, grand hotels were constructed along the Mississippi Gulf Coast to accommodate businessmen, tourists, and workers. While most of these hotels no longer stand, they represented an important era in the history of the Gulf Coast.

“Scenic South: Tourism on the Gulf Coast” will be on display in the Cook Library lobby through June during library hours.

If you have questions about the exhibit or the collections, contact Hali Black at Hali.Black@usm.edu or 601.266.4255.