Largely due to its close proximity to New Orleans, its participation of a sister city in culture and its dynamic spirit, Pass Christian evolved into a thriving community in the 1830’s. Its first mercantile activity was that of a trading center. Nicknamed The Pass, it developed as a small port for local fishermen and arriving boats passing through to other port communities along the Coast between Mobile and New Orleans. Early on this community was established as a favorite summer retreat for the cotton and cane planters of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. These planters were the first to build private cottages and second home villas along the roadway that fronted the beach area of Pass Christian. Hotels and boarding houses were established to accommodate visiting guests. Today, the historical district of Pass Christian consists of some of the loveliest home along the Gulf Coast. Officially chartered as a town in 1848, Pass Christian was named for the nearby deepwater pass, which in turn was named for Nicholas Christian L’Adnier, a resident of nearby Cat Island in the 1700’s.
Pass Christian is designated as a Mississippi Main Street Community, an economic development program based in historic preservation. Many of the historical properties within its boundaries survived Hurricane Katrina, and are a pleasure for those intrigued by beautiful architecture. A cruise by lovely mansions and magnificent oaks along Scenic Drive is treat for the eyes. With its beautiful beaches, stunning new harbor, freshest seafood, quaint restaurants, eclectic shops, art galleries, festivals and celebrations, The Pass defines a unique way of life: relaxed and resolute, casual and carefree.