Gulf Islands National Seashore (Mississippi) | PICNIC PAVILIONS #1-4

Picnic area at Gulf Islands National Seashore's Davis Bayou unit

Picnic area at Gulf Islands National Seashore’s Davis Bayou unit


See the Picnic Areas web page for an interactive location map.


Picnic Pavilions 1 through 4 in the Davis Bayou unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore are part of a huge picnic area located on a field along Robert McGhee Road. In addition to the pavilions are dozens of individual tables out in the open or under shade trees.

Individual picnic tables at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Individual picnic tables at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Pavilions 1 and 3 can be reserved by going to the National Park Service’s Permits web page for Gulf Islands National Seashore and selecting the Pavilion Rental link. You can also try calling (850) 934-2605. When not in use, these pavilions are available on a first come, first served basis, but you must leave immediately should bona fide renters show up. The rest of the pavilions and individual tables are first come, first served at all times. (Pavilion 5 can also be reserved. It is located in another section of the park.)

Parking is done either along the road or at small parking lots, though there is nowhere near enough spaces based on the number of tables and the number of people who could potentially show up to picnic. There are parking lots next to or very close to all four pavilions, but the individual tables can be as far as 100 yards away. There is one handicap table with a paved walkway leading to it.

Parking next to Pavilion 1 at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Parking next to Pavilion 1 at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Pavilion 2 has solar panels on its roof and a conduit for wires, but there are no electrical outlets. The conduit leads into the ground, so perhaps the electricity generated at this spot is powering another location such as the restroom.

Picnic Pavilion 2 at Gulf Islands National Seashore's Davis Bayou unit

Picnic Pavilion 2 at Gulf Islands National Seashore’s Davis Bayou unit

Pavilion 3, which is across McGhee Road from the main picnic area, has a fireplace, but it is covered up so that it cannot be used. This pavilion also has its own restroom attached to the building.

Picnic Pavilion 3 at Davis Bayou is Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Picnic Pavilion 3 at Davis Bayou is Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Inside Picnic Pavilion 3 at Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Inside Picnic Pavilion 3 at Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Each pavilion has anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen tables and one large grill that is the size of two regular grills put together.

Large grill at Pavilion 4 at the Gulf Island National Seashore's Davis Bayou Picnic Area

Large grill at Pavilion 4 at the Gulf Island National Seashore’s Davis Bayou Picnic Area

There are two restrooms with modern plumbing available, one near Pavilion 1 that serves all picnic tables and pavilions on the main field and one attached to Pavilion 3. Seeing that the pavilions are advertised to host over 100 people each, the two restrooms must get some heavy use on a busy day.

Main restroom building at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Main restroom building at the Davis Bayou Picnic Area in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

I couldn’t get an accurate count, but there are at least three dozen individual picnic tables that aren’t part of the pavilions. Each one is on a level pad and has its own grill. The tables are made out of recycled plastic and have a metal frame, so no splinters from dilapidated wooden tables. Most are out in the open. There are plenty of trees, but they are tall and their canopies don’t do much in regards to blocking the sun.

Individual picnic tables at Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Individual picnic tables at Davis Bayou, Gulf Islands National Seashore

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Last updated on April 29, 2022
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