When Gulfport artists began exhibiting their art on the first Friday of every month in the 1990s, it didn’t take long for other cities in the Tampa Bay and along Florida’s Gulf Coast to follow suit. Now in its fourth decade, the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce has revamped and refocused Art Walk to bring the best Gulfport art to its visitors. Here’s what you need to know about Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk.
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10 Gulfport Art Walk tips & tricks to have a fantastic Art Walk experience
10. Know what to expect at the Gulfport Art Walk.
The Gulfport Art Walk is ideal for those seeking both an artistic and relaxing getaway. Gulfport’s premier event, the monthly First Friday Art Walk, features only art made by Gulfport, Tampa Bay, and Gulf Coast artists. Other artists select which artists will exhibit at each art walk. With the October 2020 grand re-opening of Art Walk, expect each stop along the Art Walk to have an artist opening exhibit.
9. When we say Art Walk, we mean walk.
Walk around six city blocks of downtown Gulfport, admire the stunning Gulf views, and see an art exhibit at each stop. Each stop along the Art Walk in Gulfport takes you to a new venue. Because Gulfport’s seaside downtown has so many places to shop, eat, and drink, most people want to walk from stop to stop. It’s not far, and you’ll want to walk it, too, so wear shoes that make your feet happy.
8. Bring Fido: the Gulfport Art Walk is a dog-friendly event.
Gulfportians love their dogs, and they love your dogs, too. Don’t leave your pup at home! Every restaurant in downtown Gulfport has patio dining and allows dogs, and you’ll find dog water fountains and dog bowls (and even a few treats!) set up along the Art Walk. Have a well-behaved four-footed best friend? Bring them to Art Walk on First Fridays! (Also, don’t forget to stop the Historic Peninsula Inn and meet Coco, Gulfport’s official pet mayor.)
7. Come hungry.
Art Walk runs from 5-8 p.m., so odds are, you’ll want to eat at some point. If you have a specific Gulfport restaurant in mind, like Tutto Bene pizzeria or Habana Cafe, it’s best to call and make reservations, because restaurants get crowded in Gulfport during Art Walk. Find the best Gulfport restaurants here.
6. Expect to meet new friends.
Because Art Walk is easily one of Gulfport’s most popular events, the streets can get crowded. The Gulfport Chamber of Commerce has social distancing protocols in place at each stop along the Gulfport Art Walk, so if you want to see it all, it’s best to expect crowds and schedule enough time at the Art Walk to see everything in a safe manner.
5. Make a weekend of it.
Most of our return visitors to Gulfport (and many of the people who visited Gulfport at Art Walk and decided to move to Gulfport) find that one evening just isn’t enough to immerse yourself in Gulfport’s friendly culture, shops, beaches, and art. If you want to make a weekend of it, you’ll want to book at the Historic Peninsula Inn at the heart of downtown Gulfport. The Historic Peninsula Inn’s steeped in history and offers you ultimate comfort when you spend the night in Gulfport. Book a stay at Gulfport’s best inn now!
4. Wear your mask.
We all want the COVID-1 pandemic to be over, and to make that happen as quickly as possible, Gulfport businesses and city government want you to wear a mask in public. It’s not only the law, it’s the only way you can enjoy Art Walk. The Gulfport Chamber of Commerce will have arts ambassadors strolling through the Art Walk, and they’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer and extra masks, so no worries!
3. Come early.
If you want to see all the art at Art Walk — and still have time to grab a bite to eat or have a drink — you should plan your Gulfport visit so that you arrive before the event begins. The event starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m., so plan to arrive by 4:30 p.m. to have time to unwind with a drink at Isabelle’s, Gulfport Brewery & Eatery, The Tiki, the North End Tap House, or a host of other places to grab a cocktail in downtown Gulfport. Plus, you’ll have your pick of parking, which brings us to the best place to park for Gulfport Art Walk…
2. Park and ride the Gulfport Trolley.
You could park downtown, but Art Walks get crowded, so make it easy on yourself if you’re not staying at Gulfport’s only bed and breakfast (the Historic Peninsula Inn) — park in a remote lot and ride the trolley. You can park at the library, theater, or Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center and ride the ADA trolley to downtown.
1. It’s a new Art Walk every month in Gulfport, Florida!
Each Art Walk has different hand-picked artists, and each Art Walk gets juried by established Gulfport artists. This means that every month offers a new Art Walk art experience, so you need to visit us in Gulfport more than once to get the full experience.
What Else Is There to Do in Gulfport?
All that walking will likely make you thirsty! O’Maddy’s Bar offers delicious, tropical cocktails as well as live music to create an exotic ambiance. When your stomach starts to growl, return to the Historic Peninsula Inn and dine at one of the best restaurants in Gulfport! Isabelle’s is the perfect setting for a cozy and relaxing night. Our gourmet Southern cuisine has earned us Rand McNally’s «Best of the Beaches» and «Best of the Road» awards.
Your Relaxing Getaway Awaits at the Historic Peninsula Inn
After a sumptuous dining experience at Isabelle’s, come back to your lovely room upstairs at the Historic Peninsula Inn. We’re minutes away from the Gulfport Art Walk and offer the charm and comfort of an authentic Old Florida Inn.
Take a look at our Serengeti Suite! It’s the perfect mix of Old Florida charm and eclectic decor. Enjoy a good night’s sleep in the luxurious queen bed and wake up the next morning to a delicious, complimentary breakfast. We even offer a mouthwatering brunch menu if you stay with us during the weekend!