Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the birthplace of Rock n Roll, and even though you may have never thought of vacationing in Hattiesburg – it is the perfect place to spend a weekend or to have a pit stop on a road trip.
Hattiesburg is known as Hub City because Interstate 59 and U.S. Highways 49, 98, and 11 intersect at this city.
So whether you are looking for things to do, places to eat, or places to grab a beer in Hattiesburg, Ms keep on reading!
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But before you go, here’s a most popular things to do in Mississippi:
TOP activities in Mississippi
🧑🎤Get this Elvis Presley’s upbringing tour discover the history of the King of Rock n’ Roll as you visit Elvis Presley’s birth city of Tupelo
☘️ Experience Historical Cotton and Plantation Tour and view historic buildings, homes, and old plantation equipment.
🚁 Take a tour of the Gateway to the Blues Museum and see the story of the blues come to life in all its glory.
Where to Stay
The best place to stay in Hattiesburg, Ms, is the Hotel Indigo right in the heart of midtown! This hotel is a part of the IHG family, so you have all the luxury of being in a boutique hotel with the comforts of the IHG family.
The hotel and the rooms have subtle nods to the railroad industry and the University of Southern Mississippi. The land is built on a former dorm that the school sold.
What to Do in Hattiesburg
There are so many things to do in Hattiesburg, Ms. Whether you are looking for something to do on a road trip, the weekend, or while visiting Hattiesburg for a football game, the list below will help you discover some of the best that Hattiesburg has to offer.
1. DISCOVER DOWNTOWN HATTIESBURG
Downtown Hattiesburg is going through a revival period. Between new small businesses, new restaurants, and beautiful art installations all over downtown this is the place to be in Mississippi!
Downtown also has seasonal events, like live music in the park and lots of live music in the different bars and music venues.
2. EXPLORE THE PUBLIC ART MURAL TRAIL
Hattiesburg, Ms has over 41 art murals. You can spend a whole half a day walking around and exploring the different areas of downtown, snapping photos of murals on the art trail. As some of my readers may know, I am quite fond of tracking down murals!
3. Ghost Signs
One of my favorite things about an older town going through a revitalization period is seeing when a town transforms old buildings into something new. Many faded “ghost signs” are scattered throughout town on some of the industrial buildings, but the most notable one is at an event venue called The Bottling Company which hosts special events.
This 100+-year-old building was revitalized to help celebrate some of the best moments in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
4. Mcleod House
While in town, you will want to check out the outside of the Mcleod House. This historic house was built in 1896 in the Queen Ann style. Even though it is currently a law firm, the Mcleod House is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Hub City Historic District.
5. Instgrammable spots
Instagrammable spots are all the rage – they help you work on your photography and gives you something to post on social media! Between murals, shops, and eateries, there are plenty of Instagrammable spots in Hattiesburg Ms. Make sure to keep your eyes open and your camera ready – you never know what you find.
6. Bikeride on The Longleaf Trace Trail
The Longleaf Trace is an excellent way to get around Hattiesburg Ms. Made for bicycling, pedestrians, horses, and motorcycling it is 41 miles of pavement ready for you to have fun. The trace runs through the heart of Hattiesburg, Mississippi along several steams and thick forests. A portion will even bring you to the University of Southern Mississippi Campus.
Luckily the trail is shaded all year-round thanks to beautiful pine trees.
7. Paul B. Johnson State Park
Paul B. Johnson State Park is about 10 miles from Hattiesburg but it is a beautiful state park full of pine. The park has a picnic area, playgrounds, disc golf, and a splash pad.
If you wanted to spend the night it is the perfect spot to park an RV or spend the night in a cabin or cottage.
8. Visit the De Soto National Forest
De Soto National Forest is Mississippi’s largest ranger district but is a perfect park for family visits. Filled with sweeping hills, southern pines, and streams this is the perfect place to relax. It is open all year for people to hike, bike, camp, kayak, hunt, or fish!
9. Freedom summer trail
The 1964 Freedom Summer trail is a driving and audio tour that allows you to learn about Hattiesburg’s historic civil rights movement. The tour brings you through 16 different stops to remember Freedom Day, January 22, 1964.
HATTIESBURG MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS
There are a few museums and attractions in and around Hattiesburg, Ms that you can visit, but the following two museums were the two favorites we saw.
10. SHOP AT THE LUCKY RABBIT
Do you like thrift shopping?
Well, you are in for a treat. The Lucky Rabbit is a vast thrift/antique shop that gathers treasures from all over the United States. Starting in 2021, The Lucky Rabbit is open every Saturday and Sunday for all of your thrift needs.
11. Throw Some Axes At Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company
After a day of exploring, blow off some steam by throwing axes! Yes, as long as you have closed-toe shoes with you, you can pay to throw axes at a target. Throwing Axes is a great way to get out some pent-up energy!
12. VISIT THE POCKET MUSEUM
The Pocket Museum, also known as Mississippi’s smallest museum, is a quirky, fun way to visit downtown Hattiesburg. What is it? Well, you will have to find out for yourself, but realize, the exhibits change monthly, so there is always something new to find!
10. Southern Miss Rose Garden, University of Southern Miss
Did you know the University of Southern Miss has an All-American rose garden that is free and open to the public to explore? Yes! Right on campus, visitors can explore the rose garden.
The varieties of Roses bloom on and off from mid-spring to fall, making this attraction a fun thing to do almost all year round. There are tons of individual rose bushes of all kinds to take photos of!
11. T Bones records
Hattiesburg is known as the birthplace of rock n roll. What better place to celebrate that than in T Bones Record store! You can buy anything from records to books here. Sometimes there is a live band playing and while you shop, you can grab a coffee or stay for a bite to eat.
15 Hattiesburg zoo
The Hattiesburg Zoo is a fun way to spend some time with the family and see some amazing animals! They even have a sloth experience where you will be able to spend 45 minutes with an up-close encounter with a Sloth.
Don’t worry – if Sloth is not your thing there are plenty of attractions at the zoo including a train ride, an area for children to play, and a Touch Africa petting zoo.
16 Mississippi Blues Trail
Ths Mississippi Blues Trail allows travelers to explore all over Mississippi and they have two stops in the middle of Hattiesburg, Mississippi – The roots of Rock and Roll and the High Hat Club. Take some time out of your day and check out a historic Mississippi landmark to learn more about the Blues.
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Military Museums to visit in Hattiesburg ms
Hattiesburg is known for its military past and there are tons of ways to explore the military side of Hattiesburg.
17. TOUR THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MILITARY MUSEUM
The African American Military Museum is one way you can learn more about African American history in the military. The museum is in a former USO Club that served as a home away from home for African American soldiers stationed at Camp Shelby.
Visiting is free, and there are many interactive exhibits.
18 Take a trip to visit the Armed Forces Museum and Camp Shelby
The Armed Forces Museum is located inside of Camp Shelby. This museum is to honor all of the Mississippi Military Veterans and their sacrifice and service contributions. Entrance is free to all guests and this large museum consists of three galleries.
Where to Eat in Hattiesburg
Hattiesburg has more locally-owned restaurants (per capita) than any other city or town in Mississippi! That means that you don’t need to eat at home if you don’t want to! They even have their own HatiesBURGER trail if you are willing to try a burger or two while you are in town.
19. Birdhouse Cafe
The Birdhouse Cafe is one of the cutest cafes in Hattiesburg. Located inside of an appliance store, The Birdhouse Cafe serves fresh, healthy food. If you are a Food Network fan, you may even recognize chef Katie Dixon!
The Birdhouse Cafe is in the middle of opening up another restaurant in the downtown location.
20. The Depot Kitchen & Market
Brunch is a must-do while in Hattiesburg, and The Depot brings some of the best southern dishes to life. From their signature lattes to southern food, The Depot Kitchen & Market is a sure fire stop while visiting Hattiesburg.
21. Donanelle’s Bar & Grill
Eating off the beaten path is one of the best things about traveling, but you have to put Donnaelle’s Bar & Grill on your must-eat list! The building was originally a WWII roadhouse for soldiers! There are plenty of things on the menu, but you will want to order a steak – it is what they are known for!
Make sure you bring a dollar to sign and staple it to the wall.
Hattiesburg’s Beer Scene
Hattiesburg has a great beer scene! I was pleasantly shocked to find out that Hattiesburg had a few breweries and places to get craft beer while in town. You can quickly check out the local beer scene and check out a couple of local Mississippi beers.
22. Southern Prohibition Brewing, Hattiesburg, MS
Southern Prohibition Brewing, also known as SoPro, is known for its delicious beers and rotational menu. SoPro is located downtown and is the best way to wind down after mural hunting or shopping at The Lucky Rabbit.
I am more of a dark beer drinker, so of course, when I got a flight, I got all stouts!
23. Colludium Brewing Company
Colludium Brewing is a smaller brewery than Southern Prohibition, but it has its charm. They have many southern guest beers, including beers from Southern Prohibition.
This brewery is an excellent way to unwind and play a board game. Their board game wall is impressive.
HOW TO GET TO HATTIESBURG?
The easiest way to get to Hattiesburg is a Road trip. Since Hattiesburg is known to be Hub City, I bet there is an easy way for you to find your way onto Interstate 59 or U.S. Highways 49, 98, and 11.
What is Hattiesburg MS famous for?
Hattiesburg is famous for a couple of things! The Hub City is rumored to be the birthplace of Rock n Roll. You will see many nods to this throughout the city and on the blues trail.
Also, during Freedom Summer, 1964, Hattiesburg had the largest and most active civil rights headquarters in Mississippi.
How far is Hattiesburg MS from the Gulf Coast?
That answer depends on where on the Gulf Coast you want to visit! Hattiesburg is 69 miles from Biloxi, Mississippi, and 140 miles from Gulf Shores, Alabama.
How far is Hattiesburg MS from New Orleans?
New Orleans is only 112 miles away from Hattiesburg, making it the perfect road trip for a long weekend or a quick getaway.
How far is Hattiesburg from Jackson?
Hattiesburg is only 90 miles away from Jackson, Mississippi, the state capitol.
Things to do in Hattiesburg, MS
I’ve hope you enjoyed this guide of things to do in Hattiesburg! There are so many places to eat and things to do that Hattiesburg is the perfect road trip destination from New Orleans or other areas in the Gulf South.