Hattiesburg is a medium-sized city in Mississippi called the "Hub City," because it is located at the crossroad of six major US highways. This does not, however, mean that Hattiesburg is just a place to go through on the way to somewhere else. The city has a beautiful historic downtown district with well-preserved 19th century homes as well as a district that celebrates African American heritage, and it is an important spot on the Blues Trail due to the number of famous blues musicians who lived in the city. Hattiesburg. MS has a zoo, several military museums, a spectacular rose garden on the University of Southern Mississippi campus, and the Longleaf Trace, a popular recreational trail that runs through Mississippi’s legendary pine forests and rolling farmlands. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.All American Rose Garden, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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If you come to the front entrance of the Southern Miss campus, you will be greeted by the spectacular All American Rose Garden, also known as the Southern Miss Rose Garden. It is one of the most popular areas of the campus and certainly the most beautiful and the most fragrant. The rose garden opened in 1974 and today has more than 800 individual rose bushes of all kinds, attracting visitors from all over the country. The roses are in particularly good health and during the peak blooming season they are a spectacular sight. There are about 36 varieties of roses and five selections of “drift rose,” which are used as a ground cover in the garden.
Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 318-938-5402
2.African American Military History Museum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
© African American Military History Museum
The African American Military History Museum in Hattiesburg tells the story of African-American soldiers from the Hattiesburg area who served their country since the Spanish-American War. The museum is located at Camp Shelby in a building that was built by volunteers as a club for African-American soldiers in 1942. The building is a Mississippi Landmark and is on the Register of Historic Places. Some of the most significant names whose lives are highlighted in the museum are America's first black aviator Jesse Leroy Brown and nurse Ruth Bailey Earl, WWII WAC. It is today the only still existing USO museum built specifically for African-American soldiers.
305 E 6th St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-450-1942
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3.Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Hattiesburg Zoo
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Located in Kamper Park in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the Hattiesburg Zoo is a popular 12-acre zoo that provides a home to almost 80 species of animals from all over the world. This fun family destination, which opened its doors in 1902, not only offers encounters with wildlife but also has picnic areas, a carousel, a train, the Parris Jewelers Mining Sluice, a splash pad, an African drum station, a gift shop, and a concession stand. There is also the Touch Africa Petting Zoo, Asbury Discovery Center, and edZOOcation Center. The zoo is located in a beautiful part of Kamper Park, with thick groves of pines and oak trees, walking trails, grassy picnic areas, tennis courts, and playgrounds.
107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-545-4576
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4.Longleaf Trace, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
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Located in the De Soto National Forest, the Longleaf Trace is a 41-mile-long paved bicycle, pedestrian, equestrian, and rollerblade trail constructed in 2000 between Hattiesburg and Prentiss in Mississippi. The trail runs through the heart of Hattiesburg, over rolling hills, by farmlands, along many small streams, and through dense groves of longleaf and slash pine. It includes fire roads, old logging roads, and quite a lot of single trails. Pines gives lovely shade year round. Besides being used for regular recreation and family outings, the Longleaf Trace is used for many local races and competitions. There are eight small rest areas, and the trail gateway is on the Southern Miss campus. The Welcome Center staff offer advice, maps, and help with identifying the tree species along the route,
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5.Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, Hattiesburg, MS
© Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
Located about 12 miles from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at Camp Shelby, the Armed Forces Museum plays the role of the Mississippi’s military history museum. Its goal is to honor the Mississippi veterans from all branches of military service and their sacrifices. The museum was started in 1984 by two veterans, who donated their own personal artifact collections, housing them in a small room at a Camp Shelby warehouse. In 2001, the museum moved to a 23,000-square-foot facility with 16,000 square feet of exhibits that include 17,000 artifacts, 2,000 historical documents, and over 4,500 military history volumes. In 2015 the museum expanded again, and three new galleries were added. Today, the museum has eight galleries and some of the most important collections are from late 19th century conflicts, world wars one and two, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and many others. There are also tanks, aircraft, and artillery displayed in outdoor exhibits.
Bldg. 850, 1001 Lee Ave W, Hattiesburg, MS 39407, Phone: 601-558-2757
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6.Mississippi Blues Trail, Hattiesburg, MS
© Mississippi Blues Trail
The Mississippi Blues Trail is a journey from one marker to another, through the land that was the major root source of modern music. Even if you are not a blues fan, you will enjoy visiting the markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail and reading on each the facts about blues and blues greats, the places where they lived and which influenced their music as well as the places where their music left indelible traces and gave birth to the blues. The Mississippi Blues Trail markers can be found on city street corners, cotton fields, cemeteries, train depots, churches, and clubs. The Mississippi Blues Trail was established in 2006 by the Mississippi Blues Commission, which places interpretive plaques/markers at historical sites linked to the birth and influence of the blues throughout the state of Mississippi.
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7.Paul B. Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
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Located on the shores of Geiger Lake, about 10 miles from Hattiesburg, Paul B. Johnson State Park is surrounded by the spectacular natural beauty of Mississippi's pine region. The park is a magical place full of evergreen loblolly and longleaf pines, elegant dogwoods and huge ancient oaks. Only about 20 minutes from the University of Southern Mississippi, the park is very popular for all sorts of recreational activities. Geiger Lake, previously called Lake Shelby, was created in the mid-1940s by German prisoners of war, who were at the time housed at Camp Shelby. The lake is full of fish and the park has 25 camping areas and 16 rental cabins mostly occupied by passionate fishermen.
319 Geiger Lake Rd, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-582-7721
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8.Southern Prohibition Brewing, Hattiesburg, MS
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Located in downtown Hattiesburg, on the corner of Mobile and 2nd Street, Southern Prohibition Brewing is a popular local beer house and taproom with extensive selection of craft beers available on tap or in their onsite shop. This super-modern, high-tech brewery is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and it offers tours every Saturday, for a maximum 20 people at a time. The tour offers not only in-depth knowledge of the process of making beer but also some delicious samples. The beers available on tap in their rustic taproom are listed daily. The brewery occupies a large and renovated previously abandoned industrial building, and it has a pleasant outdoor patio for warmer days. They do not make food, but stone-fired Mercury Pizzas are available from their food trailer. Things to Do in Mississippi
301 Mobile St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-602-4871
9.Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Crescent City Grill
© Crescent City Grill
Crescent City Grill is a charming Cajun eatery with a distinct New Orleans vibe, featuring cozy leather booths, a gleaming ornate bar lining one side, and exposed brick walls and stained-glass details. The pleasant cozy atmosphere continues outside in the enclosed courtyard with a lovely wrought iron fountain. There is an extensive selection of craft beers on tap, a good wine list, and a mouth-watering menu. While the menu often changes to adjust to the seasonal availability of fresh ingredients, some of the menu items are standard, such as nachos au gratin with spicy Cajun cheese, bacon and fresh salsa, served with sour cream, green onions, fried jalapeños, and homemade tortilla chips; you also might want to try the pan-seared yellowfin tuna sliced very thin, cooked rare, and served with wonton chips and pickled cucumbers.
3810 Hardy St, Hattiesburg, MS 39402, Phone: 601-264-0656
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10.Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Java Werks Coffee and Tea
© Java Werks Coffee and Tea
When it opened in 2013, Java Werks Coffee and Tea quickly became known as the place that serves the best coffee in Hattiesburg. Even more than that, it became a place where people would get together to chat, do some work on their computers, or enjoy some delicious Latin American goodies. Colorful and cozy, with oversized sofas, shelves full of books, and walls covered with art, the place invites lingering. It is particularly popular with students since it is located just across from Southern Miss. For many, Java Werks offers the unique opportunity to try traditional Venezuelan dishes such as arepa, but there are also the good old standards such as muffins, coffee cakes, bagels, and every imaginable kind of coffee drink.
2902 Hardy St #10, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-268-3993
11.Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art
© Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art
Featuring over 600 works of art, the Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art is largely regarded as the most extensive and comprehensive art collections to have been achieved by Mississippians in the twentieth century. The museum is located in the William Carey University, which is no stranger to art as it is also home to the Lucile Parker Gallery, and is named after one of the university’s most generous art donors Miss Gillespie. At this museum, visitors can see a fantastic range of works in various mediums like oil, pencil, watercolor, batik, lithograph, ink, pen, and block print. Of the many artists represented by this museum, some notable artists include Walter Anderson, Kate Freeman Clark, Theora Hamblett, and Karle Wolfe.
498 Tuscan Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, Phone: 601-318-6051
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12.De Soto National Forest
Nature-lovers are in for a treat at the Desoto National Forest. De Soto is known for several things, like being the largest ranger district in Mississippi, but ultimately it is its natural beauty and gentle terrain that makes it a great place to visit for families. This national forest is home to gentle rolling hills that are dotted by southern pine ridges, as well as idyllic streams that run throughout the forest. All 378,538 acres of the forest are open to visitors year-round with hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, ATV, hunting, and fishing opportunities available. Solo-travelers are sure to find peace and quiet at the forest’s two wilderness areas: the Black Creek or the Black Leaf.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39425, Phone: 601-528-6160
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13.Grand Paradise Water Park
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Beat the summer heat with a splashing good time at the Grand Paradise Water Park. Promising a great day of fun under the sun, this water park features 7 acres of adrenaline-pumping features perfect for waterslide enthusiasts of all ages. For the brave of heart, try out slides like the Free Fall, which has a jaw-dropping, zero-g style, vertical drop, or the Aqua Twist, a looping speed slide that features a gradient drop of 80-degrees. Other great slides include the Wipe Out, the Tropical Splash, the Blue Typhoon, and the 4-story high Grand Falls Racer. For visitors that prefer more relaxation than thrill, the Waddleland Splashpad, Grand Paradise Pool, and Paradise River are happy to serve.
50 Grandview Drive, Collins, Mississippi 39428, Phone: 601-765-8118
14.Hattiesburg Area Historical Society Museum
Dedicated to preserving the local history and heritage of Hattiesburg since 1970, the Hattiesburg Historical Museum is the perfect place to visit for people who want to learn more about the city’s history. There are amazing facts to be learned about Hattiesburg through the museum’s galleries. For example, guests are often surprised to find out that the Choctaw Indians were the first to call Hattiesburg home, and they can learn more about this at the museum’s Choctaw Heritage Gallery. Other exhibits highlights include a display on the city’s early river transportation, the arrival of the railroad to Hattiesburg, and the local early timber industry.
723 Main Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39403, Phone: 601-582-5460
15.Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
© Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
Did you know that Mississippi’s smallest museum can be found in Hattiesburg? The only problem is, not many people can actually find it! Well, that’s what makes the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum so intriguing in the first place. When the museum was first announced, they purposefully kept its location a secret so that eager visitors could explore the downtown area as part of the process. It’s safe to say that it has been a great success as the museum sees a steady number of visitors throughout the week. Exhibits at the museum change monthly with some past displays including a Swiss Knife collection and miniatures of people.
119 W Front Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401
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16.Hattiesburg Saenger Theater
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Designed by the Emile Weil, a New Orleans architect, the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater is more than just a place for entertainment and performing arts, it’s also a beloved fixture of the city’s historic downtown area. The theater is one of only seven established in the South by Abe and Julian Saenger and features a stunning Neoclassical Revival and Art Deco style of architecture. In 1979, this 997-seat theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was later restored in 2000. Watch movies, catch music performances, or watch great plays at the Saenger Theater before heading out to explore some of the best restaurants that Hattiesburg has to offer.
201 Forrest Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-584-4888
17.Lucile Parker Gallery
© Lucile Parker Gallery
Discover the gorgeous works of Miss Lucile Parker at a gallery named after her at the William Carey University. Opened in 1990, the gallery is dedicated to its namesake, Lucile Parker, who was a local artist celebrated for her botanical drawings and paintings as well as portraits. Beyond her artwork, Lucile Parker is also celebrated for being an inspiring teacher who encouraged her students to push past their limits and love beauty. The gallery is currently home to four collections: the 142-piece Lucile Parker Collection, the Brian Blair Collection, the 190-piece Larry H. Day Collection, and the 159-piece William Carey Collection. In addition to the permanent collections, the gallery also welcomes several visiting exhibits in the summer months.
710 William Carey Parkway, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-318-6051
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18.Okatoma River Resort and RV Park
© Okatoma River Resort and RV Park
There’s no shortage of both excitement and tranquility at the sixty-acre grounds of the Okatoma River Resort and RV Park. Known for being the ultimate nature getaway in Hattiesburg, this river resort boasts of three fishing lakes, a bird haven, sprawling camping grounds, and endless hiking trails. The grounds are so popular, that they’re even available for long-term stays for people who want to unplug and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life. Apart from the endless acres of natural beauty, the resort also has a dog park, a swimming pool, a basketball court, clubhouse, general store, and great laundry facilities. The best part? You can choose a camping style that works best for you, whether that means a cabin, pitching your tent, or parking your RV at the waterfront.
221 Okatoma River Road, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-520-6631
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19.Shadow Ridge Golf Club
© Shadow Ridge Golf Club
While membership-based and private golf courses are certainly beautiful and exciting to play at, that doesn’t mean that public golf courses can’t be just as good. The Shadow Ridge Golf Club, which is a residential and public club, features a stunning 18-hole Azinger Golf Course that sits on 500 acres of gorgeous rolling hills. The course is also quite challenging as it utilizes the many natural features of Shadow Ridge’s nature preserves like its lakes and streams. The best part is the club’s location which is a quick drive from landmarks like the Turtle Creek Mall and the Oak Grove School District. So whether you’re a beginner to the game of golf, or have been playing for quite some time, the Shadow Ridge Golf Club is a lovely place to hit some balls.
101 Shadow Lake Drive, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39402, Phone: 601-296-0286
20.Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company
Have you ever thought about throwing axes around? You know. For fun? Well, apparently the Canadians have thought of it, and have been enjoying this odd but daunting past time for more than a decade. This unusual activity has only recently landed on American shores and has quickly become a nationwide phenomenon. In Mississippi, Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company is one of the few places that adventurous souls can try it. The folks behind Alley Cats promise a safe and fun environment to give the activity a shot and liken it to throwing darts. Try your hand at throwing traditional axes, or opt for hatchets if you’d like, at fixed targets and see just how close you can get to the bullseye.
220 West Pine Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-329-2340
21.Chain Park at Twin Forks
There’s nothing quite like spending a leisurely afternoon at a great park, just enjoying nature and the company of people that you love. In Hattiesburg, the Chain Park at Twin Forks is just one of the spectacular places to do so. Built by the Neel-Shaffer company in an effort to enhance and provide better parks for the community, Chain Park spans over 37 acres of land and offers great amenities for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. At the park, groups or individuals can make use of ADA-compliant walking paths, five different exercise stations, a shaded resting and picnic area, as well as two playgrounds.
5619 Highway 42, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-516-0872
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22.Colludium Brewing Company
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Sit back, relax, and unwind with friends, family, and a great pint of craft beer at the Colludium Brewing Company. Owned and operated by Marcus and Christine Cooper, the Colludium Brewing Company is dedicated to doing two things: brewing excellent beer and providing locals and visitors alike with a great space to hang out and have some fun. This brewpub makes all of its beers onsite with crowd favorites like the Amber Expansion lager, the Wheat and Wagers pale, and the Wizards of the West Coast IPA available on tap. To complete the experience, Colludium is home to over a hundred board games to keep guests entertained and engaged with each other.
2108 West 4th Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-402-7194
23.Eagle Action Sports
© Eagle Action Sports
It’s all about guts and glory at Eagle Action Sports, the premier paintball destination in Hattiesburg. Whether you’ve never played before or have participated in professional paintball tournaments, this paintball field will put your marksmanship to the test through three different types of fields with no shortage of obstacles and cover. Newbies to the sport can find all of the gear they need available for rent at Eagle Action Sports, which carries all of the gear needed. The best part about Eagle Action Sports is that they make sure to stock only the best of the best when it comes to paintball brands. So, if you’re looking to re-stock on your paintball necessities, the on-site pro shop has got you covered.
70 Ryner Road, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39402, Phone: 601-447-2876
24.College Town Escape Rooms
© College Town Escape Rooms
Do you think you’ve got the brains that it takes to escape from a locked room in just 45 minutes? If want to challenge your wits or just want to try it out and have tons of fun, then come on over to College Town Escape Rooms. This escape game center features four different rooms to choose from, each of which is good for a different number of players and has varying difficulty levels. Escape before your abductor returns in “Kidnapped: Revamped!” Pull off a sneaky heist at “The Great Western”, recover stolen treasures for a secret organization in “Steampunk’d”, or solve the mystery behind a lost crown in a room called “Around the World In 60 Minutes”. The best part? You can do all of this with a great craft beer in hand thanks to Brews Clues.
2206 Hardy Street, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39401, Phone: 601-813-6951
25 Best Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- All American Rose Garden, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Photo: Courtesy of K.-U. Hasler - Fotolia.com
- African American Military History Museum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Photo: African American Military History Museum
- Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Hattiesburg Zoo, Photo: Courtesy of Migiel - Fotolia.com
- Longleaf Trace, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Photo: Courtesy of sportpoint - Fotolia.com
- Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, Hattiesburg, MS, Photo: Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
- Mississippi Blues Trail, Hattiesburg, MS, Photo: Mississippi Blues Trail
- Paul B. Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS, Photo: Courtesy of Knim Adobe Stock - Fotolia.com
- Southern Prohibition Brewing, Hattiesburg, MS, Photo: Southern Prohibition Brewing
- Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Crescent City Grill, Photo: Crescent City Grill
- Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Java Werks Coffee and Tea, Photo: Java Werks Coffee and Tea
- Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art, Photo: Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art
- De Soto National Forest, Photo: Feng/stock.adobe.com
- Grand Paradise Water Park, Photo: Sunny studio/stock.adobe.com
- Hattiesburg Area Historical Society Museum, Photo: whyframeshot/stock.adobe.com
- Hattiesburg Pocket Museum, Photo: Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
- Hattiesburg Saenger Theater, Photo: Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
- Lucile Parker Gallery, Photo: Lucile Parker Gallery
- Okatoma River Resort and RV Park, Photo: Okatoma River Resort and RV Park
- Shadow Ridge Golf Club, Photo: Shadow Ridge Golf Club
- Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company, Photo: Vlad/stock.adobe.com
- Chain Park at Twin Forks, Photo: Stefan/stock.adobe.com
- Colludium Brewing Company, Photo: Colludium Brewing Company
- Eagle Action Sports, Photo: Eagle Action Sports
- College Town Escape Rooms, Photo: College Town Escape Rooms
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of csfotoimages - Fotolia.com
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