Moving to the Gulf Coast Guide

We are thankful to Cadence Bank for sponsoring our Moving to Gulf Coast Guide. We hope this information is helpful for families as they move to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Moving to the Gulf Coast Guide sponsored by Cadence Bank

Are you new or moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast?

We want to welcome you to the Secret Coast! Along with amazing southern hospitality, a slower pace of life, amazing seafood cuisine and a low cost of living, the Mississippi Gulf Coast has so much to offer!

“We love knowing people everywhere we go and having such a strong sense of community.”

From Pascagoula to Waveland, there are so many amazing towns to live in and explore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We want to welcome you to the Secret Coast and help you get settled!

Moving to gulf coast schools

Hope Academy private school guide
Photo credit: Hope Academy


As as mom, school ratings and reviews were the first thing I researched when we first received orders to move to the Gulf Coast. I knew I wanted a Blue Ribbon School and used this website to research the public schools on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


Every child has their own unique gifts and abilities, and as parents we want them to be both challenged and nurtured along their academic journey. Finding the perfect private school for your child can be daunting. There are so many amazing options on the Gulf Coast for you child’s educational needs.



  • Students entering Kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1, 2021. Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1, 2021.
  • Kindergarten is not a mandatory requirement in Mississippi.
  • Active Service Members: contact a School Liaison Officer for questions on local schools.

Moving to the gulf coast dmv

Register your car and apply for a Mississippi license with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Active Service Members: You are eligible for Vehicle Tax Exemption when registering your vehicle. Check with your local Tax Assessor for questions. Most offices will require:
    1. Most recent LES
    2. Military orders
    3. Military ID
    4. For military dependents in addition, you must bring DD Form 2058

Moving to the gulf coast tax collectorBuying a home? Remember to file for a Homestead Exemption before April 1st.

Moving to the gulf coast realtorsWith so many great communities to choose from, you’ll need a realtor to help guide you through the process. Choose a licensed realtor that you trust.

Moving to the neighborhood crime statistics

Moving to the gulf coast voting

Don’t forget to register to vote once you move and get settled. Make your voice heard!

Family on the beach
Photo credit: Rachel Vaughn Photography

Moving to the gulf coast local perksThe locals receive a few perks!

Gulf coast utilitiesWe’ve compiled a list and contact info for local utility services in your area.

Moving to the gulf coast volunteering and making friends

Gulf coast mom social

When you move to a new area, it’s hard to put yourself out there and meeting new friends may not be as easy as it was when you were younger or before kids.

Volunteering with local organizations can be a fun opportunity to give back and make new friends. This list has an abundance of organizations to choose from!

Here are some websites and apps to assist you in your journey to finding friends:

Mississipp gulf coast What to do

MS Aquarium new to the gulf coast

From exploring the Mississippi Aquarium to listening to live music, the Mississippi Gulf Coast has something for everyone to enjoy. Check out these 100 things to do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast or these family friendly hiking trails.


One of the most surprising things about moving here is the overwhelming amount of churches available! There is definitely something for everyone! It takes a village to raise a child, right? Going to church is another great way to add to your village.


You will soon become an expert in preparing your house and yard for possible hurricanes. I found myself only buying yard decor if I thought it was heavy enough to withstand category one hurricane force winds!

  • Check out the National Hurricane Center for how to prep for our very active hurricane season.
  • There are many different weather pages to check for weather warnings but most locals rely on Mike’s Weather Page on Facebook for the most up to date information.
  • The news station WLOX has a weather app and will send weather notifications as well.
  • The Disaster Center Mississippi page has a comprehensive list of resources as well.
  • Follow Comeback Coolers to help with relief efforts after a hurricane by sending coolers full of supplies to areas and people who need it most.


  • My Gulf Coast app follows the blue shrimp signs posted at every Highway 90 intersection along the coast and gives you information about what to do in each area.
  • We may not have mountains, but we do have miles and miles of beautiful walking trails along the Mississippi Gulf Coast! The All Trails app will guide you through all the different trails.
  • The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Florida Gulf Coast. Their app gives you trail and historical information about each site and even tells you which trails to avoid due to hurricane damage and such.
  • Another way to explore your new surroundings is by participating in Geocaching. It’s a worldwide treasure hunt and you use your phone and the Geocaching app to navigate to physical caches (treasures) in the area. My kids LOVE this!


Finding the right care for your furry family members is a must when you move! Follow the guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association for finding your new Veterinarian.


Check out the American Dental Association for their recommendations on how to select a licensed dentist for your family.


Need a new family doctor? Need help finding a pediatrician you trust? Here are some tips on selecting your new healthcare provider.


Have you ever wondered why the Mississippi Gulf Coast is named “The Secret Coast?” Check for all things coastal Mississippi.


Make sure to like and follow the Gulf Coast Mom on Instagram and Facebook. We are a group of moms who pass our experiences and recommendations onto other moms on the Mississippi Gulf Coast! We also host meet-ups for other moms and fun activities for children and families! We can’t wait to meet you!