Mission of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association
Emphasize the infinite variety of unique attractions, restaurants, shopping and recreational options available along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The goal of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association is to promote the coast as a year-round travel destination by fostering awareness of our distinct history, diverse cultural make-up, natural resources, and affordable vacation opportunities. Through the combined efforts of its membership and in cooperation with other tourism related organizations, the MGCAA seeks to create an affordable marketing mechanism that allows joint advertising, networking and educational opportunities to better promote the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s tourism industry.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a hidden gem located along the Gulf of Mexico. As a year round destination, the Mississippi Gulf Coast offers a diverse natural ecology and a plethora of family friendly activities. The white sandy beaches, gaming, natural barrier islands, warm climate, historical sites, and family atmosphere make this landmass between Louisiana and Alabama a little slice of paradise.
Early in 1994 the Harrison County Tourism Commission assigned a staff member to meet with area attractions to explore the idea of an attractions association. Monthly meetings were held to adopt bylaws and a meeting structure. By September 1994 the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association began meeting at area attractions. The association printed a brochure and built a website with the hopes of educating residents about what activities the coast had to offer families. The association has expanded upon this beginning and has allowed numerous small businesses expand their advertising capabilities through cooperative partnerships.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association seeks to provide a lasting benefit to the members, community, and Gulf Coast. Our team is dedicated to promoting the rich and diverse culture on the Gulf Coast. The cornerstone of our achievement is within the connection of our members. Sharing ideas through monthly socials, building friendships, and working together builds a team of knowledgeable business leaders to drive the economy throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast community.
Don Jacobs Award
Each year the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association awards a member of our Gulf Coast community the Don Jacobs Award. This award is for an outstanding citizen who has influenced tourism by creating new avenues for the industry. Don Jacobs founded Marine Life, the Shrimp Train and much more along the MS Gulf Coast.
2017 – Rusty David
2015 – Pete Skrmetta
2014 – Bob Bennett
2013 – Jocelyn Mayfield
2012 – John Mladnich
2011 – Don Jacobs
On the second Monday of each month various members of our organization meet to share ideas and socialize. If you would like to be placed on the agenda, host, or be a guest speaker, please reach out to our secretary.
Monday, January 8, 2018 – 5:30pm – Great Southern Golf Club
Monday, February 12, 2018 – 5:30pm – Lazy Magnolia Brewery
Monday, March 12, 2018 – 5:30pm – Busted Wrench Garage
Monday, April 9, 2018 – 6:00pm – Model Railroad Museum
Monday, May 14, 2018 – 6:00pm – La Dolce Vita Cruises/North Star Sailing
Monday, June 11, 2018 – 6:00pm – Beauvoir, Home of Jefferson Davis
Monday, July 9, 2018 – 6:00pm – Wut SUP Paddleboards & Rentals/The Dock
Monday, August 13, 2018 – 6:00pm – Maritime & Seafood Museum (1.5 hour meeting on Schooner)
Monday, September 10, 2018 – 6:00pm – Edgewater Inn
Monday, October 8, 2018 – 5:30pm – Zip N Fun Adventure Park
Monday, November 12, 2018 –5:30pm Premium Outlets
Monday, December 10, 2018 – 5:30pm – Infinity Science Center
Christmas on the Water Cruise Aboard the Captain Pete
December 1, 2018
Hop aboard the Captain Pete and enjoy a wonderful cruise down the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You’ll join in the yearly Lights on the Water Parade in Biloxi. Enjoy breathtaking views when coastal boat owners adorn their vessels with beautiful lights in an historic event. A spectacular display of fireworks wraps up the boat show and a great evening of fellowship.
For those with tickets, boarding of the Captain Pete will begin at 4 pm and the cruise departs the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor at 4:30 pm. The cruise typically returns to the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor around 9:30 pm.
Heavy hor d’oeuvres are provided aboard the ship and a cash bar is available (no BYOB please). Raffle tickets featuring great prizes from our members are sold at the dock and on-board the ship.
Tickets will be available for online purchase in the Fall of 2018.
For more information or to provide donations for the event, please contact:
President - Sonja Gillis
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
Sonja Gillis is the director of marketing and public relations at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport. She has been a resident of the Gulf Coast all of her life and is proud to call it home!
Vice President of Marketing - Larry Ahlgren
Vice President of Marketing
Gulf Islands Waterpark/Zip N Fun
Vice President of Membership -Austin Gillis
Vice President of Marketing
Great Southern Golf Club
Treasurer - Jim King
North Star Sailing Charters, LLC
Jim King is the owner/operator of North Star Sailing Charters in Gulfport, MS. After 25 years as a pilot in the US Air Force Jim retired in 2012 and bought North Star Sailing Charters. He was named an “ASA Outstanding Instructor for 2014” by the American Sailing Association.
Secretary - Katherine Sutton
Mississippi Gulf Coast Model Train Museum
Board Member - Tim Billings
Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum
Board Member - Dan Wittman
Wut SUP Paddleboards and Skate
Board Member - Kitsaa Stevens
Beauvoir Jefferson Davis Home