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D'iberville: a small coastal town making a big impact.

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The city of D'Iberville has been deeply connected to the brackish waters of Biloxi Bay and the salty waters beyond for many years. Its namesake, Pierre LeMoyne Sieur D'Iberville, sailed these same waters in 1699, but it wasn't until 1988, 289 years later, that the city was incorporated.

Getting such a late start in becoming a city, there isn't a town square surrounded by shops and businesses, as there is in most small Southern towns. The city is almost evenly bisected by Interstate 110, and then there is a spiderweb of roads to explore and find the treasures this surprising town has to offer. When you decide to visit, don't be in too much of a hurry.

D'Iberville was once a part of the Gulf Coast's vibrant seafood industry, and its waterfront on Biloxi Bay was busy with seafood processors and related businesses. But today only C.F. Gollott and Son remains. Next door is Bill Holland's boatyard, one of the last master boat builders on the Gulf Coast. This city has changed dramatically over the years, and the salty waters it once depended on do not loom as large as they once did in its economy and future.

The biggest surprise is how this amazing little city has traded that seafood connection for an economy based on retail development. The city has transformed what was a wooded northern border into one of the most exciting shopping complexes in the state. No one would have thought that this city of just 10,000 good people would be the home to more than 120 shops in two, side-by-side outdoor malls, the Promenade and Lakeview Village & Indian River Plaza. This shopping district is more than a mile long, and that does not include dozens of local shops scattered around the city. Believe it or not, a two-story indoor mall is planned just across Interstate 10 in the near future. There just isn't another shopping experience like this in the state.

Local entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the huge retail development as well, and you will find a great variety of neighborhood businesses to browse and shop. Lizzy Jo's Children's Boutique has been up and running for three years and has sizes from newborn to 16. There you will also find great gifts and a baby registry. Nouveau Riche Boutique offers new fashions as well as consignment goods, jewelry, handbags, formalwear, and career apparel. Ivy Boutique will cover you fashionably from head to toe, and is known for being trendy but affordable. Hissy Fit Boutique is just around the corner and will offer you a different look than any other shop around. Glam World and Belles & Beaus Formal Wear should be on your list if you have an important occasion or wedding in your future. If handbags and jewelry are your thing, then you are going to love Highmaintenance Diva Boutique. If being well dressed is important to you or you are just a serious shopper, then D'Iberville is going to be a welcome surprise you will return to many times.

If you've got the antique bug, there is a handful of options in D'Iberville. The Centuries Antique Mall has dozens of vendors and a great selection. Antique Gallery Mall, Antique Plus, and Southern Vintage Antiques are great spots to find hidden treasures. These shops are brimming with collectibles, so take your time for a good look around.

If a special occasion draws near, you have plenty of options to choose from in this small town. Perhaps the most unique is Edible Arrangements. Instead of the typical flower arrangements you are used to, this place will custom make an arrangement of fruits and sweets that will be delicious as well as beautiful. If you are looking for a more conventional arrangement or gift, there are a few traditional florists nearby.

If the gift you are looking for might be a bit more precious, then Bradford's Jewelry & Repair will be a good stop. There you will find a large selection and expert repairs as well. Barbara's Jewelers has been around for more than 20 years and has a good selection of diamonds, gold, silver, and platinum.

There's one more shop that you should visit, especially if you have furry friends. Tail Waggers Salon & Boutique is an exceptional shop with a large variety of goods and services--from grooming to toys and treats. Take a good look at the beautiful displays.

Almost any time of year there is something fun and interesting to do in D'Iberville. One of the largest and best-attended Mardi Gras parades winds through the streets here in that world-famous celebration. If you are an outdoorsman, then bring your fishing rod and have a go at the redfish and speckled trout that thrive in the bay just south of D'Iberville. There are three food events you will not want to miss: the just-begun BBQ Throwdown and Festival, the Crawfish Festival, and the Taste of the Bay, where local restaurants come together, and you may sample their delicious menus in one location. The largest coastwide event is Cruisin' the Coast, an annual car event that attracts thousands of classic and unique cars, and D'Iberville will showcase its share. This weeklong celebration of America's love affair with the automobile attracts thousands of visitors every year.

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Another surprise this small town has to offer is an entertainment district worthy of a town many times its size. Here you will find Kangarooz Family Fun Center with 16,000 square feet of family entertainment, Cypress Lanes Bowling, Arcade and Grill for those looking for a strike, Laser Raid for laser tag fun, Bumpards Billiards for those who are looking for a game of eight-ball pool, 3D Glow Golf for the miniature golf enthusiast, and the Grand 18 movie theater with eighteen big screens.

Another surprise is the diversity of eateries you will find here. CJ's Seafood House has been a local favorite for years. Make sure to check out the grilled oysters, seafood platters, gumbo, and roast beef po-boy. It's so loaded with gravy you'll need a roll of paper towels. The Cafe New Orleans is another seafood-heavy restaurant (with a Cajun slant) that should not be missed. Sample the red beans and rice, crawfish etoufee, and muffuletta. The Fried Green Tomato is a hot spot that has a great Southern-style lunch buffet, with fried chicken and every Deep South side you could ask for, and a drive-through if you are in a hurry. They serve breakfast as well. Mikey's Cafe & Oyster House is the place to go when you crave fried shrimp and raw oysters.

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Aristo's is a Mediterranean-style place with the gyros and hummus you'd expect, plus lots of American favorites as well. When the weather is nice, they have a comfortable courtyard for those that want fresh air. If you really want an exciting dining experience, try one of D'Iberville's Vietnamese restaurants: Henry's Cafe & Bakery, Phi Long Noodle House, What the Pho, and Yes Noodle Restaurant all serve traditional Vietnamese fare. If you have never had a steaming bowl of pho or a Vietnamese-style po-boy, you are in for a real treat. If you want the best of both worlds, try New Orleans Style Seafood where you can get Vietnamese specialties and great po-boys, too. If sushi is your passion, visit Samurai Japanese Restaurant and be sure to try the D'Iberville Roll, or just down the street find Osaka Japanese Hibachi & Sushi Restaurant.

If you want to try a real Coast tradition, stop by Doris' Hot Tamales. Once sold from a pushcart outside local theaters, Doris' has been going strong for three generations. Just make sure you come early, as they sell out every day. Labama is a new seafood shop in town, expect to find not only great, fresh seafood, but prepared foods as well. For authentic Italian dishes, visit Capone's; just stop in when their house singer plans to croon during dinner. Another tradition is Taranto's Crawfish House. When people in this town crave spicy boiled crawfish, this is the place to come. If it's something sweet you are craving, find Carmelita's Donuts and Such. Owner Tammie Tolliver will do her best to satisfy your sweet craving.

Every small town has something unique to offer, but D'Iberville has a story all its own, and a future that seems headed for the stars. City manager Bobby Eleuterius has been working hard to help steer this ship, and more than a million square feet of retail space, a new casino and resort, new housing, and thousands of new jobs is just a part of the new economic growth to come. This city realized that its small population was not a deterrent to growth, and its location right between Slidell and Mobile was an asset they had not considered in the past. All of that has changed now, and this D'Iberville is set to grow at an astonishing rate.

D'Iberville is a small town, but it offers remarkable opportunities for shopping and dining, plenty of hotel rooms, and an entertainment district that will keep the whole family having fun all day long. It is conveniently located on Interstate 10, just minutes from the white sand beaches, just over an hour from New Orleans, and 45 minutes from downtown Mobile. The transformation this city has made from out of the way to center stage is remarkable. When you visit, plan on being there for a while.

shop

Always & Forever Florist

Antique Gallery Mall

Antique Plus

Back Bay Drugs

Barbara's Jewelry

Belles & Beaus Formal Wear

Bellissima Nail Spa

Bradford's Jewelry and Repair

Centuries Antique Mall

Edible Arrangements

Ferguson Hardware

Florist In

Glam World

Highmaintance Diva Boutique

Hissy Fit

Ivy Boutique

Lakeview Village & Indian River Plaza

Landry's Times Treasures

Lee's Beauty Salon

Lizzy Jo's Children's Boutique

Lotus Nails Spa

Lush Salon Boutique

Marie Floyd Fine Art

Mystic Nails Salon & Spa

Nouveau Riche Boutique

The Promenade

Serenity by Daisy Spa & Salon

Southern Touch Salon

Southern Vintage Antiques

Start About

Sweet Indulgence

Sweet Repeats Children's Consignment Boutique

Tail Waggers

Tee to Green Golf

Tri State Flower Wholesalers

Turner Discount Drug Store

do

Balius charter boat

Christmas parade/Town Green lighting

Crawfish Festival

Cruisin' the Coast

D'Iberville entertainment district

D'Iberville BBQThrowdown and Festival

D'Iberville annual Street Fair

Local fishing

Mardi Gras parade

Taste of the Bay Festival

eat

Aristo's

Bamboo Chinese Restaurant

Burrito Zone and Tamales

Cafe New Orleans

Carmelita's Donuts and Such

CJ's Seafood House

Pepe's Bosque

Doris' Hot Tamales

The Fried Green Tomato

Henry's Cafe and Bakery

Labama Seafood

Mikey's Cafe and Oyster House

New Orleans Style Seafood

Osaka Japanese Hibachi and Sushi

Phi Long Noodle House

Samurai Japanese Restaurant

Taranto's Crawfish House

What the Pho

Yes Noodle Restaurant
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Title Annotation:small-town spotlight: travel & adventure
Author:Brunt, Julian
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2015
Words:1785
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