Traveling can help improve both your mental and physical health. You may feel happier, fulfilled, and even less stressed when you visit another country or a city. Broadening your horizons, seeing attractions, and learning more about the history and culture of the place are just some of the things that make traveling a great idea.
One of the great US travel destinations is definitely Hattiesburg, Mississippi – a quiet little town with a population of just over 45,000. Located around 110 miles northeast of New Orleans, it’s a true marvel of the South. Hattiesburg offers great restaurants, the famously hospitable Southern spirit, and some amazing destinations.
That’s why we have compiled a list of things to do in Hattiesburg, MS, but before you head there, don’t forget the essentials.
If you’re driving down to Hattiesburg, you may feel exhausted when you get there. In that case, a visit to Southern Miss Rose Garden is highly recommended.
In just a few minutes at this beautiful botanical garden, you’ll feel brand new and refreshed for the rest of the day. If you visit Hattiesburg precisely when these roses are in bloom, you’ll never want to leave again.
Some of the most mesmerizing and interesting attractions when visiting a town are its museums. They’re capable of telling the whole story about the place you’re visiting, teaching you about its history, people, and culture in the process.
That’s why you should visit the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum. Located about 10 miles south of the town, it serves as the military history museum for the whole state of Mississippi. If you ever visit Hattiesburg, going to this museum is one of the best things to do in Hattiesburg, MS.
Because of the fire that happened almost 130 years ago, there are no wood structures anywhere near downtown Hattiesburg. That’s why the town’s center is a marvel of stone buildings and incredible architecture. Choose from the many great restaurants in Hattiesburg where you can sit down and enjoy a drink while taking a break from walking.
Although you can take a walk to enjoy downtown Hattiesburg on your own, there are also guided tours where you can enjoy the town’s art and learn more about its history.
During segregation, African Americans weren’t allowed entrance to Hattiesburg’s library. That’s why this museum was once a building where African American soldiers could relax and read. Today, the museum is an homage to all the people of color who once served the country.
It became a museum only recently, in 2009, and only thanks to the help of Iola Williams, a civil rights activist from Hattiesburg. The tours last for about 45 minutes and are completely free. You’ll be able to learn so much about the history of Hattiesburg.
An excellent activity for the whole family, Pep’s Point Water Park can be a lot of fun. As it is close to the lake, there’s a sand beach at the water park, and kids love the place, but even adults can enjoy the many activities it offers.
It’s an amusement park focusing on water activities, as there are water slides and canoeing, but there’s also mini-golf, picnic grounds, cabins, and even a place for RVs and camping.
While walking through Hattiesburg’s town center, pay close attention to buildings as well. Don’t just stay on the main road – make sure you go through the smaller alleys. That way, you can truly enjoy the town’s art and beauty.
The town is known for its lovely murals, of which there are more than 20. Various sculptures also decorate the town and make the mural trail very well-known. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures for Instagram, too.
Whether you’re traveling with family or you just enjoy watching animals and nature, Hattiesburg’s zoo is a great attraction of the town and one worth the visit. It’s another great thing to do in Hattiesburg, MS.
Animals aren’t the only attraction of the zoo either. While parents can rent a pavilion and enjoy nature, the kids can enjoy a train ride around the zoo, have a high ropes adventure course, and even go on a mining expedition.
Located about twenty minutes of driving from Hattiesburg, Okatoma Creek is a smaller river that flows into the Bouie River. It’s ideal for hot summer days and is a lovely attraction recommended for all nature and outdoor activity enthusiasts.
An adventure for people of all ages, this activity can make your visit unforgettable. Its length is around 20 miles, and you can leave your car at its end, take transport up the river, rent a canoe, and flow back to your car.
Built in 1897, the Mcleod House is a beautiful property from the Victorian era. Initially made for a young merchant who moved to Hattiesburg, the house remains identical to its original look from more than a century ago.
Visitors can enjoy this stunning property and imagine what life was like at the time. Today, the property is on the National Register of Historic Places, and its mesmerizing design catches the attention of all Hattiesburg’s visitors.
For visitors who love nature and outdoor activities, there’s the Longleaf Trace. Created in 2000, the Longleaf Trace is almost 45 miles long and is located between Hattiesburg and Prentiss, Mississippi.
Adventurous and active visitors will enjoy the Longleaf Trace as it follows the central railroad line, which is now abandoned. It’s a paved trail great for walking, running, biking, hiking, etc. As it runs through nature, you can also enjoy Mississippi’s beautiful Pine Belt on your walks.
Apart from many restaurants and shops in downtown Hattiesburg, you can also find the Saenger Theater. Opened in 1929, the theater seats almost a thousand people. It’s one of the seven Saenger theaters you can find throughout the American South.
Originally made to show silent films, it was renovated in 2000 and is now used to host various cultural events you can enjoy when visiting Hattiesburg.
The Paul B. Johnson State Park is just 10 miles south of Hattiesburg. A visit there is definitely worth the drive, as it’s a fantastic recreational area near Mississippi’s Geiger Lake. Named after Mississippi’s governor, the park is an excellent location for a picnic.
The lake is open for fishing and water skiing during the summer months. Various playgrounds, sites, and trails make the park an excellent option for many different activities, and you can even stay the night if you want, as there are many campsites as well.
Taking a break after a long day of walking is the key to a great and fulfilling day – and when that break involves a fantastic craft beer on tap, it can be even more relaxing. That’s why a visit to the Southern Prohibition is highly recommended when visiting Hattiesburg.
Opened in 2013, Southern Prohibition is a brewery with an excellent choice of craft beer. However, alcohol isn’t the only thing they offer. Southern Prohibition can also prepare tasty southern food for you, which can be a real challenge to stay away from.
Amazing craft beer can improve your mood after a long day of walking and visiting and may even make you feel creative. If you’re one of the people that love creative workshops, Mohawk Steel & Glass is a great place to visit.
There, you can test out your glass-blowing skills, have unlimited fun creating different mesmerizing shapes, and take your art home. If glass blowing isn’t your thing, Mohawk Steel & Glass also offers metalworking classes.
Craft beer can also make you feel invigorated and ready for action. If that’s the case, Alley Cats Axe Throwing recreating center is the right place for you. They call themselves the ax-perts and can teach you ax hurling in no time.
Challenge your travel buddies to a game of ax throwing and enjoy a night of this old tradition. If that craft beer from Southern Prohibition is wearing off, Alley Cats Axe Throwing center offers a choice of drinks and snacks that go along with it as well.
Being one of the most exciting places in the American South, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a great travel destination. Characterized by the southern spirit, it’s a fantastic place to visit, with many fun locations to see and fun things to do.
With activities such as ax throwing and glass blowing, there are many things to do in Hattiesburg, MS. Museums, gardens, and parks decorate this little town, which is home to great music, tasty craft beer, and even better food.