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.

Award Winners

2018 – Mahoney/Cvitanovich families, owners of Mary Mahoney’s Old French House

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 13, 2020 – 5:30pm – Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis Presidential Library

Monday, February 10, 2020 – 5:30pm – Courtyard by Marriot Gulfport

Monday, March 9, 2020 – 5:30pm –

Monday, April 13, 2020 – 6:00pm – Hint Hunters

Monday, May 11, 2020 – 6:00pm – Gulf Islands Waterpark

Monday, June 8, 2020 – 6:00pm – TBA

Monday, July 13, 2020 – 6:00pm – TBA

Monday, August 10, 2020 – 6:00pm – Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum

Monday, September 14, 2020 – 6:00pm – TBA

Monday, October 12, 2020 – 5:30pm – Bananas Mini-Golf

Monday, November 9, 2020 –5:30pm    TBA

Monday, December 14, 2020 – 5:30pm – Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum

Christmas on the Water Cruise Aboard the Captain Pete

Cancelled for 2020


Due to the challenges from COVID-19, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association will not hold the annual Christmas on the Water boat fundraiser.


For more information  please contact:

Janice Jones
P O Box 7466, Gulfport, 39506

Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association Membership Application

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association, with members in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Stone counties, promotes the attractions on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Have Fun on the Mississippi Gulf Coast” is our motto.

Become a partner in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association and receive the following benefits of membership:

Network  and connect with your industry at monthly membership meetings featuring special guests and speakers

Your attraction's information and profile listed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association website

Discounted listing in the annual rack brochure distributed to state welcome centers, hotels, condominiums, email contacts, and more.

Inclusion in the monthly e-newsletter sent to potential visitors throughout the country.

Co-operative advertising opportunities that allow you to stretch your marketing budget.

By becoming a member of this active association, you will bring you and your business a year of growth, new ideas, networking and participation in many progressive opportunities.

Annual Dues:  $125 for an attraction member / $150 for an associate member

(Note: Associate member is any business that is not an attraction but can benefit from attraction members or provide a service to members - hotels, advertising agencies, pr firms, media outlets, publications, major annual event, etc.)

Please complete the following form for consideration.

Please remember to include the protocol of your web address. (http:// https:// etc.)

Primary Contact

Secondary Contact

About Your Business

President - Larry Ahlgren

Larry Ahlgren


Gulf Islands Waterpark/Zip N Fun


Vice President of Marketing - Kitsaa Stevens

Kitsaa Stevens

Vice President of Marketing

Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis Home


Vice President of Membership - Suzanne Stafford

Suzanne Stafford

Vice President of Membership



Treasurer - Jim King

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 - Janice Jones

Janice Jones


Coastal Mississippi

Past President - Sonja Gillis

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!

Board Member - Tim Billings

Tim Billings

Board Member

Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum



Board Member - Louis Skrmetta

Louis Skrmetta

Board Member

Ship Island Excursions


Board Member -

Board Member - Robin Krohn-David

Robin Krohn-David

Board Member

Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum