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All three cities lie at the base of the narrow Gulf extension of the state of Mississippi. Biloxi is more commercial, Gulfport is more of a residential beach community, and Pascagoula is more industrial with shipyards, oil refineries and other heavier industries. Much of this coastal area had developed as a second-class beach resort for Southerners and some Midwesterners others looking for an alternative to Florida. Biloxi was also a center for the shrimping and fishing industries and has many good restaurants, activities, and museums related to the seafood trade, and it is likely this role will continue.
The surrounding area is a flat coastal plain with barrier islands and peninsulas, and pine forests beginning north of town. The area is considerably influenced by the Gulf of Mexico. Summers are warm and humid but less so than inland. Sea breezes usually keep temperatures reasonable, particularly in late afternoon and evening. There may be a few cold snaps but they seldom persist and freezes are infrequent. Summer thundershowers are frequent. Given the location and local topography, hurricanes are a continuing threat.
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