Community & Tourism Information
The Pine Belt region boasts a variety of tourism related events, locations and programs. From large outdoor festivals to one of the only two zoos in the State, the Pine Belt has activities that appeal to anyone’s preference.
The City of Hattiesburg is a growing, thriving metropolis, brimming with southern hospitality and tucked neatly into the heart of southern Mississippi. It is the home of two major universities, William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as Camp Shelby, a U.S. Army Reserve training base.
Fitting comfortably into a hub for many neighboring cities and communities, Hattiesburg has found a place on the legendary Blues Trail and had a role in the Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Movement.
Hattiesburg is home to approximately 50,000 citizens who are proud to call the piney-wood location home. It offers outdoor adventure with state parks and trails, unique shopping and dining options, quality museums and attractions and so much more. Below are some places of interest to note in Hattiesburg. For more detailed information about tourism in Hattiesburg, visit www.visithburg.com.
Hattiesburg Zoo – The Hattiesburg Zoo is one of only two in the State of Mississippi, featuring more than 60 species of animals, train and carousel rides, a splash pad and expansive playground.
Longleaf Trace – Spanning more than 40 miles, this Rails-to-Trails project is a biking and walking slice of nature.
African American Military History Museum – The Museum is located inside America’s only remaining original African American USO Club. This landmark building contains more than 150 years of African American military history including hundreds of artifacts, photos and tributes to the history of African Americans who served this nation in the Armed Forces.
Downtown Hattiesburg – Downtown is the heart of growth in Hattiesburg, featuring locally-owned shopping, dining and entertainment establishments, art galleries, craft breweries and trendy nightspots.
Camp Shelby – Established during World War I, Camp Shelby is the largest reserve component training site in the country. It continues to serve America as a leading mobilization station for U.S. troops.
NFL Stars – Both Brett Favre, former Green Bay quarterback and record-holding NFL quarterback, and Ray Guy, the NFL’s only punter to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi and still reside in the local area.
Laurel is one of the most beautiful towns you’ve ever seen. The Central Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the state’s largest, finest and most intact ensemble of the early 20th century architectural styles including classic and colonial revivals, Queen Anne, bungalow and craftsman. Surrounding the hundreds of homes and buildings is incredible landscaping that was part of America’s master architect Fredrick Law Olmsted’s 1909 city plan.
Add to this the internationally recognized Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Mississippi’s oldest art museum filled with spectacular collections, the dynamic 145-acre Sportsplex, a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities and a year-round schedule of festivals and special events, and you just begin to get the picture. Laurel is a unique combination of comfortable living and the ideal amount of southern charm and sophistication.
Laurel is host to a variety of annual festivals, some of which take place in historic downtown Laurel. Other features of Laurel include great shopping, dining and golfing. Below are some places of interest to note in Laurel. For more detailed information about tourism here, visit www.jonescounty.com or www.laurelms.com.
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art – Located in Laurel’s historic district, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art contains more than 2,000 items in its collections. Opened in 1923, the Museum draws approximately 32,000 visitors each year from across the nation with its outstanding collections of European and American art, Native American baskets, British Georgian silver and Japanese woodblock prints, as well as an extensive art history library. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art offers visitors an enjoyable artistic experience in the Museum Galleries, the Museum Library and the Museum Shop. The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4:45 pm, and Sunday, 1 pm to 4 pm. For more information call (601) 649-6374 or visit www.lrma.org.
Landrum’s Homestead and Village – This Jones County favorite is a re-creation of a late 1800s settlement nestled in a beautiful landscaped setting covering 10 acres of lush pecan trees, streams and southern foliage. Landrum’s Homestead and Village is known as “A Living History Museum.” History comes to life with more than 50 authentic structures and displays. For more information call (601) 649-2546 or visit www.landrums.com.
Deason House – Built in the 1840s in Ellisville, the Deason Home is Jones County’s oldest home. Among the fascinating tales about the house, it’s the site of Confederate officer Major Amos McLemore’s murder at the hands of the infamous Newt Knight, a leader of a band of Confederate deserters, in 1863. For an appointment call (601) 477-8646, (601) 763-6925 or (601) 649-3620.