Bay St. Louis, Mississippi - All aboard! When you're headed over the state line and bound for Bay St. Louis, there's a place where you'll find all you need to plan a perfect Mississippi escape: it's the Historic L & N Train Depot. The L & N stands for Louisville and Nashville, the first train to make tracks in Bay St. Louis.
Train Depot Concierge and Tour Guide Susan Duffy, gave our Travel Girl, Stephanie Oswald, a tour of the cheerful building that hasn't been home to train passengers since before Hurricane Katrina.
"It's on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside we have many exhibits, one of which is the Mississippi Bicentennial," explained Susan.
The most colorful exhibit inside puts a Mississippi spin on Mardi Gras, with costumes featuring magnolias (the state flower), Civil War symbols and even a gown with sparkling Mississippi State University paraphernalia.
"It's part of Mississippi, Mississippi State, yes! And everybody loves it because it's different. It is just extraordinary," says Susan admiring the gown on display covered with school spirit bling.
A few steps away, a wall of honor pays tribute to many of the iconic Mississippi musicians who played the Blues.
Another first floor highlight is the state Bicentennial Exhibit, with a mini-history lesson on the evolution of Mississippi, and specifically, Hancock County.
Be sure to make time for the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum upstairs. "Miss Alice," as she is affectionately known in Bay St. Louis, passed away in 2004, but her poignant folk art with its quirky characters and witty sayings continues to entertain.
This is the official visitor center, but there's so much more than maps and brochures; you could easily spend an entire day here!