10 Alternatives to the Las Vegas Vacation

Biloxi, Miss.
Beauvoir, the former home of Jefferson Davis, has been restored since Hurricane Katrina and provides a diversion for history-loving gamblers. © G.E. Kidder Smith/CORBIS

Mississippi's Gulf Coast took a beating in 2005's Hurricane Katrina, but it's making a big comeback. Biloxi, for one, is in near-prime form, and that means gambling is back.

About a dozen casinos have reopened, and at least one is a smoke-free environment, if you can believe it [source: Trip Advisor]. Several establishment turned destruction into opportunity with incredible post-Katrina renovations, including the luxurious MGM Mirage and Harrah's Grand Biloxi [source: Groene].

The city's golf courses, bike trails and fishing and shrimping trips are also back in action for some pre- and post-gambling fresh air. Biloxi's nationally-ranked children's museum, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, is a great attraction for families, as are the shoreline's ferry boats (with dolphin watching!), kayak expeditions and wildlife tours. The restored abode of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, is also a draw for history buffs [source: TripAdvisor].

Happily for those who have an off-day (or a typical day) at a Biloxi craps table, one of the city's most beloved attractions, the all-things-Biloxi Visitor's Center, is free.