Ship Island Beach

White sand beach
Unnamed Road, Biloxi, MS 39530, USA
14 miles from Biloxi, MS
Water quality
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)
Nudist beach

Beach amenities

  • Clothing optionalRead the description for more info
  • RestaurantsF&B places nearby
  • LifeguardsLifeguard on duty
  • Changing roomsDressing rooms on the beach
  • AccessibilityEasy beach access
  • Gear rentalsEquipment for rent
  • SunbedsBeach chairs available
  • WCPublic restrooms nearby
  • ShowerPublic showers available
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

The farthest part of the beach is for nudists. More info in the description  👀

It can get very hot. Wear a hat, bring an umbrella or rent one!

Dogs are not allowed on the ferry!

Many agree that this has to be the best beach near NOLA. It is also one of the closest beaches near New Orleans.

Visiting Ship Island is an excellent way to spend your day. To get to the island you will need to take a ferry from the dock in Gulfport, MS, which costs about $30 per person for a roundtrip. This will take approximately an hour.

The trip itself is exciting - we saw a bunch of dolphins jump close to us! 😊 Walking to the beach will take 10+ minutes or so, as the nicest beaches are on the southern side of the island, while the dock is on the northern side of it.

There's not much to do except relaxing, swimming, and touring the fort. You can rent umbrellas and sunbeds (around $25 for two) or bring your own if you don't mind carrying things around with you. There's a reasonably-priced snack bar, showers, and well-maintained bathroom facilities. 

The beach has powder-white sand and the water is clearer than in Biloxi Beach (which we also recommend visiting) and very shallow so swimming is safe for kids. Crabs, jellyfish, stingrays are swimming really close!

While you are there make sure to visit Fort Massachusetts - it's free, and if you are into history, you're going to love it (have a look at the article on Wikipedia about it).

This beach is a must-go.


The furthest end of the beach is where you can find the "nudist section". Getting there can be tiring – it's a long hike from where the boat drops you off. Few folks journey to that part of the island, but the ones who do have been going there for years, and they know what's the deal over there.

What we loved

  • The beach and the facilities
  • Not too crowded
  • Watching dolphins jump out of the water!

Driving Time (till the boat dock in Gulfport, MS)

You can drive to the boat dock, leave your car there, and take a 1-hour ferry trip to the island. The parking lot near the boat dock is tiny. There is a larger one near Jones Park which is within a short walking distance from the dock.

  • 1 hour 10 minutes from Mobile, AL
  • 1 hour 20 minutes from Hattiesburg, MS
  • 1 hour 20 minutes from New Orleans, LA

Hotels and rentals

If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Ship Island Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Photos from Google Maps
Ship Island BeachShip Island BeachShip Island Beach
Show rooms near this beach×

Visitor questions:

Question: Do you have to be completely nude?
Asked by Eddie Duplantier about 4 years ago
Answer: Dear Eddie, men usually sunbathe and swim completely naked. So the answer is yes. If you take your girlfriend with you, she can relax on the beach either completely nude or just topless if she likes. Also, some women use adhesive nipple stickers for extra privacy. Should you feel uncomfortable in the nudist part of the beach, you are always free to leave it and to go to the main beach where everybody is wearing swimsuits. The nudist beach is a small section in the further end of the island.
Question: Is there any place in land that I can take a hike nude? Do you know of a group I can get together with?
Asked by Fred about 4 years ago
Answer: Mississippi offers no nude hiking opportunities — as opposed to the neighboring Alabama and Tennessee as well as many other states. As for the groups, America's most popular community is the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Please remember that due to the coronavirus epidemic hiking is temporarily banned.
Question: How far is it from where the ferry lands to the nude section?
Asked by Matt Hill over 2 years ago
Answer: About 5,5 miles, or 1,5 hours by feet.
Question: Is fall a good time to go to the nude section? Are there people there in fall?
Asked by Devin over 3 years ago
Answer: Yes. Many nude sunbathers come to Ship Island Beach in September and in October. In fall, it's still warm enough to sunbathe naked. Please remember that this beach is only accessible by boat. A public ferry boat is available between March and October from Gulfport, Mississippi. During other months, you can only reach the island on a private boat. Enjoy the fall on the beach! No tan lines!
Question: I’m planning a trip out to ship island in my boat (24 foot). What can I expect????
Asked by Bubbie over 3 years ago
Answer: You can expect a long and refreshing boat trip. Make sure you've tanked enough fuel since the trip to the island takes about 1 hour (and 1 hour back). Have a nice day!
Question: Are there any secluded spots on the nudist side of the beach to spend some time in private with my wife?
Asked by Jeff almost 3 years ago
Answer: The nudist section itself is a secluded spot, meaning that it is located far from the main beach, yet there are practically no trees or bushes in that part of the island. There's nothing but sand. The whole nudist section is an open terrain. Frankly speaking, it doesn't look like a suitable place to spend time in private.
Question: I'm thinking of going this coming week, I've really been wanting to go out for a nice nude day at the beach! Do you think it should be good? And could you give me an idea of where exactly to walk to and how long it will take?
Asked by Joseph M Payne over 3 years ago
Answer: Ship Island Beach boasts a wonderful clothing-optional beach. We hope you'll love it! The nudist area is located in the easternmost end of the island. Once you′ve left the boat near Fort Massachusetts, go east till the very end of the island. Have a nice day on the beach. No tan lines!
Question: The nude beach is at the East end of the Island, right?
Asked by Frank over 2 years ago
Answer: Yes. The nudist area is located at the easternmost end of the island.
Question: What time does the ferry leave and return?
Asked by Bruce over 2 years ago
Answer: SPRING SCHEDULE (March 14th - May 16th) & FALL SCHEDULE (August 18th - October 31st): Monday-Tuesday - no trips; Wednesday–Friday - departure from Gulfport 9:00 am, departure from Ship Island 2:30 pm; Saturday–Sunday - departure from Gulfport 9:00 am & 12:00 pm, departure from Ship Island 2:30 pm & 5:00 pm. SUMMER SCHEDULE (May 17th - August 15th): all days - departure from Gulfport 9:00 am & 12:00 pm, departure from Ship Island 2:30 pm & 5:00 pm. For more information, please call the administration at 228-864-1014.
Question: Is it still a nude beach?
Asked by Frederic E Cagle almost 2 years ago
Answer: Yes, it is! Ship Island Beach is a remote place where you can relax, sunbathe in your birthday suit, and acquire a beautiful deep tan without any tan lines!
Question: Did you go naked and how was it?
Asked by Ladarius over 1 year ago
Answer: Yes, I did! It was... relaxing. Pristine nature all around you, a gentle ocean breeze, and just a few people here and there. No one was gazing at me, if this is what you mean. Habitués of nude beaches know how to behave and never make anyone feel uncomfortable. Visit this beach, and you will never regret it. No tan lines!
Question: Is there a bar at the nudist beach or at the regular beach?
Asked by John over 1 year ago
Answer: The nudist area is wild and features neither bars nor other amenities. The regular beach area has a snack bar that is open daily from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.
Question: Can I wear an adult diaper on the beach?
Asked by Paul over 1 year ago
Answer: Yes, you can. This is a wild and secluded nudist beach where there are no strict rules.
Question: Do you have to take a partner or can you come alone?
Asked by Barry Mabus over 1 year ago
Answer: You can visit this secluded beach either alone or with a partner.
Question: Can an adult wear just a adult diaper on the beach?
Asked by Paul gros about 1 year ago
Answer: Yes, you can. This is a wild and secluded nudist beach where there are no strict rules.
Question: Has anything changed on the island in recent years? And do they allow people to fish on the island?
Asked by Greg Welch about 1 year ago
Answer: As for the recent changes, the restrooms near the beach are temporarily closed, so make sure you use the restroom near the first pavilion. Fishing from the Ship Island dock is prohibited but all beaches are open for fishing. A Mississippi Saltwater fishing license is required.
Question: Are there a lot of gay men at the nudist beach?
Asked by Thomas W Hampton 11 months ago
Answer: No, not really. The nudist beach is remote and secluded, with not many gay men and generally not many people around.
Question: How far of a hike is it to the farthest part of the island? My wife and I will be going there at the 2nd weekend of September. And want to be prepared. Average time from dock to east end. Thanks in advance
Asked by Danny 8 months ago
Answer: The distance from where the ferry lands to the far east end of the island (where the nude section is located) makes up about 5,5 miles, or 1,5 hours by feet. Make sure to put on convenient shoes!
Question: You told someone the nude section is 5.5 miles from where the ferry lands. The entire island is only about 2 miles long. I live near there and survey (measure) land for a living, so you might want to edit that answer! Just helping out.
Asked by Shawn 7 months ago
Answer: Dear Shawn, thank you so much for your valuable input! On Google Maps, it looks like the island is about 2 miles long. But in reality, it's longer: the middle part of the island is very thin (it's called "the Neck" and you'll be able to see it if you switch to the "terrain" mode on Google Maps), which is why the island is often perceived as two separate islands. Also, it's completely wild out there. If we measure the distance from the far west end till the far east end, it's about 7 miles long. The nude section is located at the far east end.
Question: Since its been several years since I’ve been there have they put chairs and umbrellas at the clothing options end?
Asked by Ed about 2 months ago
Answer: No, there are still neither chairs nor umbrellas in the nudist section. That part of the beach is completely wild.

Ship Island Beach videos

Ship Island Excursion / Biloxi, Mississippi
A great overview of the beach
Ship Island, MS VLOG
A vlog filmed on Ship Island

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Biloxi, Mississippi Unnamed Road, Biloxi, MS 39530, USA (Open on Google Maps)
Drag and zoom the map to view lodging options near the beach.
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Ship Island Beach reviews and photos
Reviewed on: July 19, 2022
Reviewed on: October 20, 2020