If you want to enjoy the gulf coast’s mild winters and warm summers, there may be no better place to set up your RV base camp than Buccaneer State Park. Located right on the beach of Waveland, Mississippi, Buccaneer is full of natural beauty, rich history, and even a modern-day waterpark. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall. It is known as the most devastating storm to ever hit the US. With winds exceeding 160 miles per hour, in concert with a tidal surge of nearly 30 feet, much of the park was destroyed by the storm. After nearly eight years of reconstruction, the park was completely restored by November of 2013.
The park is now thriving more than ever and offers guests an abundance of outdoor recreation. There are a variety of nature and hiking trails in and around the park. The area is full of magnificent oaks draped in moss, marshlands, and beautiful views all along the Gulf of Mexico. The park has an exciting history as well. French
Pirate Jean Lafitte and his followers inhabited this region in the late 1700s. Visitors today can still visit the old Pirate House, located just a short distance from the park, which Lafitte lived in during his smuggling and pirating days along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As if that wasn't enough excitement for one region, about 100 years later the land was used by Andrew Jackson as a military base during the historic Battle of New Orleans. Jackson enjoyed the area so much that he came back and lived on the grounds that would later become Buccaneer State Park.
Today, you can make your own base at the park when you RV camp at one of nearly 300 sites. From full hookups to primitive style camping, you're in for an adventure when you choose to stay at Buccaneer State Park.
Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Mississippi, Buccaneer State Park is popular amongst snowbirds and locals alike. Not far from U.S. Highway 90, the park entrance is easily accessible for RVs and those towing a travel trailer. The entrance to the park is located on South Beach Boulevard. If you are using GPS, be aware that many GPS systems will take you to a location on South Street, however, this is NOT an entrance into Buccaneer State Park. Most of the park is accessible by foot, but the park roads can accommodate even the largest of rigs. Many of the roads are one-way only, except for the main park road, and there are also some tight corners, but nothing impassable.
There is ample parking located at the front of the park near the entrance. The front parking lots are spacious and can accommodate most RVs. Other than the campsites, there are not many options to park your RV. However, there are small parking lots near the laundry and activity building, as well as near Picnic Pavilion 3.
There are five loops within the park that offer premium camping amenities. Besides the location, there is not much difference between the loops. Each of the 104 sites has full service 30- and 50-amp service along with water and sewer hookups. Other amenities at each site include picnic tables and barbecue grills. There are also two modern ADA-accessible bathhouses with hot showers located nearby, regardless of which loop you choose. Reservations are highly recommended, and any available sites may be claimed with the park office upon arrival.
Perhaps the most popular campground within the park, Treasure Cove is a secluded little oasis for your RV base camp. There are only 45 sites available in this area of the park, so reservations are highly recommended. If you are traveling with a caravan of RVs you can also ask about the four double sites that are featured in this section. All of the sites at Treasure Cove are premium sites with water, sewer, and 30 and 50-amp electrical hookups, as well as a picnic table, grill, and fire pit. Also available within the loop are ADA-accessible restrooms and hot showers.
This campground offers 57 premium sites with all of the essentials like water, sewer, and 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups. There are no picnic tables, grills, or fire pits, but if you have your equipment, you are allowed to set them up for use at your site. Campfires are also allowed but you must never leave them unattended and they must be contained. The greatest thing about Royal Cay is its location in the rear of the park, making it a much quieter option than some other campgrounds. Reservations are recommended during the busy summer months.
For a unique stay, arrive at the park early and claim one of the 70 sites overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. These sites are only available on a first-come, first-served basis so head to the park office to see if any of these scenic sites are available during your stay. There are no picnic tables, grills, fire pits, or sewer hookups available, but the views from the grassy field are stunning. Not far from the campground, there is a dump station available, and the colors of sunrise and sunset each day are worth the extra effort. Campfires are also permitted, just be sure to have them contained and attended.
If you are feeling a little adventurous, leave behind the comforts of your RV site and head out into the woods near Grand Bayou. This campground offers 25 primitive sites deep in the woods on the north side of the park. While there are restroom facilities available nearby, there are no other amenities or services. This makes a great experience for a night or two, getting you an even closer experience with nature. If you are interested in one of these sites, just contact the park office, as sites are limited.
Biking is a popular activity during the spring and fall, as the air is crisp and light compared to the hot and humid summer months. There is a bike path that runs from the Washington St. Pier in Bay St. Louis, through Buccaneer State Park, and ends beyond the Waveland Pier. The Bay-Waveland Beach Trail is 4.5 miles long and runs along the coast parallel to S. Beach Boulevard, giving convenient and enjoyable access to local eateries, breweries, and more. Biking is also a convenient way to get around the park -- from the RV campgrounds to the waterpark and the beach.
If you enjoy the quiet relaxation of the off-season, early spring or late fall make great times to visit the park. Enjoy walking along the Gulf of Mexico while taking in scenic views without the crowds. Spring and fall storms cause plenty of driftwood to wash ashore, and you can collect it as a unique souvenir, or for other use. Early mornings and evenings are especially good times to collect driftwood, as you may catch a colorful sunrise or sunset over the gulf.
Just as the storms tend to wash driftwood ashore, there are a variety of other great finds waiting to be discovered in the sandy shoreline. Visitors who enjoy beach combing can find troves of seashells and sea glass, among a variety of other “treasures.” Be aware of state and national laws about what you can take from the beach, and it is highly recommended that you never take living organisms, including hermit crabs and starfish.
Having access to the Gulf of Mexico directly from the park provides lots of opportunities for fun in and on the water. Windsurfing is a popular sport along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, particularly during the off-season, when there tend to be even more coastal winds than normal. Also, you will notice that during the off-season you get more time on the water and better availability of gear rentals if you didn't bring your own along in the campervan.
If you are visiting Buccaneer State Park during the off-season and want to enjoy the water without getting in it, kayaking along the coast is a great way to enjoy the sites. Bring your own kayak along in the Class A, or rent one from one of the outfitters nearby. Either way, taking in the coastline from the water is a unique experience, and a workout too! For an extra special paddle, head out early in the evening to catch one of the park's breathtaking sunsets.
There's plenty of space at Buccaneer State Park to stretch your legs after a long ride in the motorhome. Hiking this 1.8-mile self-guided nature trail is also a great way to connect with nature. Although much of the vegetation and trees were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, years of regrowth has changed the landscape of the trail, and the ecosystem of the forest is thriving once again. There are beautiful trees including Oaks, Magnolia, and Pines as well as a multitude of Mississippi Gulf Coast wildlife.
When you park the Airstream at Buccaneer State Park during the summer months before Labor Day, the whole family is in for a treat. Visitors can enjoy spending the day at Buccaneer Bay, a 4.5-acre waterpark that offers incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico. The park features two waterslides, Pirate’s Plan and Pirate’s Plunge, as well as a splash pad with tipping buckets and a water playground called Lil’ Smuggler’s Cove. Check out six-foot waves in the Pirate’s Lagoon Wave Pool, which also simulates deep ocean swells, allowing for body surfing and beach crashing waves. Concessions and a food court are located at the Sea Dog Alley, along with lots of shade and picnic tables.
Whether you're a huge fan of disc golf, or never tried it before, you're bound to have a blast the disc golf course at Jackson’s Ridge. This par 3, 18-hole disc golf course offers stunning views of the Gulf and a challenging experience with natural obstacles and open fairways. Another great thing about the course is that there is no extra cost for guests camping overnight at the park!
During the busy season of summer, guests at the park can enjoy cooling off in the Castaway Cove Pool located inside of the waterpark. If you're RV camping with youngsters, there is also an activity center with plenty of things to do for kids of any age, including video games, foosball, ping pong, and billiards. The pool is open from Wednesday through Sunday each week during the summer, while the activity center is also only open seasonally.
There is no question that this is a family-friendly park, and what could be more fun than a relaxing day having a picnic with the family? Pavilion 3 is large and can accommodate big groups, with seating for up to 75 people. It is also conveniently located on the main park near Buccaneer Bay Waterpark and right by the park playground. The playground is great for kids of all ages from toddlers to teens, featuring a rock climber, swings, monkey bars, slides, and a merry-go-round. You can also try birdwatching at the Mud Bayou pier and gazebo, where you can see osprey, pelicans, and egrets.