Spring Camping in the Deep South - Buccaneer State Park

Campground evenings at Buccaneer State Park are magical.

There is something that I just love about the woods and beaches.  When these two landscapes meet up, it creates a magical medley.  Both are relaxing and calming.  Anytime I can camp with both, I am in heaven.  Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, MS gives the best of both.

In 2017, our trip to Buccaneer State Park was our highest rated trip of the year.  Yes.  I rate all of our trips.  I have a little spreadsheet where I rate the campground, amenities, staff, facilities, and the actual site.  I'm a nerd that way.  But it is also a good reflective piece at the end of the year.   This spreadsheet helps us to evaluate where we would like to go next and where we would like to return.

Campsites at Buccaneer State Park are $28 per night and $196 per week.  This is a great value considering what all this park has to offer.  Campers can choose from beachfront sites that are across the street from the water at the front of the campground or spots located farther into the park.  You cannot make the waterfront camping reservations in advance.  To obtain a waterfront site, you must have an existing reservation.  On the day of your arrival, if there are spots available on the water, you can request the change.

The small beach area across from Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, MS.

Both this year and last, we reserved a spot in the Treasure Cove loop.  The park ranger recommended this to us when we made reservations the first year.  These are wooded spots located in the back of the park.  Each spot has a fire pit and a grill which we both enjoy using.  The waterfront spots do not have grills or fire pits.  This is something that we don't want to give up.  Spots are somewhat close to each other.  I didn't find that our privacy was invaded by the proximity of our neighbors, but it is something to consider.

Beach Boulevard runs along the beach connecting Waveland to Bay St. Louis.  It is a beautiful drive.  If you are camping across from the water, this road will run in front of your campsite.  While there is not a lot of traffic, your site is exposed to whatever vehicles are going along any time of day or night.  There is a casino at the end of this road relatively close to the campground.  For these reasons, I feel like waterfront spots are more exposed that I would like for our family.  I feel safer and more secure camping farther into the campground itself.

If you camp during the summer months, there is a water park and pool that is available in the park.  We have not camped at the right time to take advantage of these features, but both seem really nice and well maintained like the remainder of the park.

The playground located within the park is pleasant and practically brand new.  There are lots of options for every age child.  If you are taking children to supervise at the park, take a chair with you since there isn't really any seating or benches for adults there.

Buccaneer State Park offers a spacious campground for children to play.

The bathhouses are clean and well kept.  These are some of the best bathhouses that we have used.  They always have hand soap and are well ventilated.  This is not always the case at state parks.

The park also sells ice and has laundry facilities.  There were a fair number of snowbirds still there while we were camping.  The laundry facilities seemed to be in demand by long-term campers.  I considered it on this trip since our son was filthy from jumping in every mud puddle that he could find our first night there.

One thing that I wish the campground did was sell firewood.  This seems to be common in Mississippi. I've not found any Mississippi state parks to sell firewood.  The staff could tell you exactly where to go and buy some if you wanted it.  I would recommend doing this on your way into the park unless you think you will make a trip out.  Claiborne Hill Grocery Store located on Highway 90 sells firewood for a reasonable price and was recommended by the park staff.

Buccaneer State Park is excellent to relax and just enjoy the scenery and quiet of the MS Gulf Coast.  If you want to head out to the beaches or nearby Bay St. Louis, it is just a short drive.  You can find out more about 5 Things You Can Do in Bay St. Louis from a previous post.

Campground meals at Buccaneer State Park.

Campgrounds call for s'mores!

Our family appreciated the time to reconnect and just have some quality time as a family.  We enjoyed uncomplicated meals and evenings at our campfire.  If you are looking for some meal ideas for your spring camping adventures, check out my Spring Meals Planner.  It is complete with a shopping list and recipe links to take the work out of planning for you!

On this trip, we did discover that raccoons are in abundance.  On our first night, we were woken up by raccoons taking off our fruit the first time  The second time, they tore into my closed camping kitchen storage with non-perishables that were all sealed.  Then on our last night, they just helped themselves to our graham crackers at our picnic table only a few feet from our campfire.  Even with my husband, rushing over to shoo them away, those raccoons are certain that food at this campsite is theirs for the taking.  In total, those little bandits made off with a 3-pound sack of apples, a loaf of bread, a bag of craisins, a bag of croutons, 3 bananas and some graham crackers.  As my son says, "They 'peeled; our food."  Yes, in fact, they did.  They peeled those bananas to eat and left the peels by the door!

Buccaneer State Park is a favorite for us.  We are already talking about our trip there for next year.  This is always the sign of both a good trip and campground.  What makes up your list of must-have amenities for camping?  If you are starting out for a new camping season, I encourage you to keep track of where you go and make some notes about each campground to look back over at the end of the year.  This was really helpful in helping us to plan out our camping trips for this year.

If you are from Mississippi and want to explore more of what our state has to offer, make the trip to this charming state park.  If you are from a neighboring state or even far away, come discover what this MS Gulf Coast has to offer.  You won't be disappointed.

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