Hattiesburg, often referred to as the “Hub City,” is a medium-sized city in Mississippi. Founded in 1882, Hattiesburg is located at the crossroad of six major US highways.
This city is full of Southern charm, and a beautiful historic downtown district full of well-preserved 19th-century homes and even a district that honors African American heritage,
Hattiesburg is an important area in the Blues Trail due to the number of popular blues musicians who dwelled in the city. There is the Hattiesburg Zoo, many military museums, a beautiful rose garden on the University of Southern Mississippi campus, exciting museums, the Longleaf Trace, and more.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Things to Do in Hattiesburg
1. Visit the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum is situated about 12 miles from Hattiesburg, at Camp Shelby, and stands as the Mississippi’s military history museum. It adds to our list of top things to do in Hattiesburg.
The museum aims to honor the Mississippi veterans from all branches of military service for their sacrifices. It started in 1984 by two veterans who decided to donate their artifact collections.
They housed them in a mini room at a Camp Shelby warehouse. In 2001, the museum was moved to a 23,000-square-foot facility housing 16,000 sq ft of exhibits that include 2,000 historical documents, 17,000 artifacts, and more than 4,500 military history volumes.
The museum was expanded again in 2015, with the addition of three new galleries. But today, the museum boasts of eight galleries and contains some very relevant collections from late 19th century conflicts, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, world wars one and two, and many others.
You will also see aircraft, artillery, and tanks displayed in outdoor exhibits.
Address: Bldg. 850, 1001 Lee Ave W, Hattiesburg, MS 39407
2. Roses at All American Rose Garden
The All American Rose Garden is a spectacular garden that greets you as you approach the front entrance of the Southern Miss campus.
As you might imagine, it is one of the most popular spots on the campus, the most fragrant, and most beautiful.
Opened in 1974, the rose garden currently has over eight hundred individual rose bushes of all kinds. These attract visitors from all parts of the country.
You will like the garden as the roses are mainly in good health, and at the height of its blooming season, they are an incredible sight to behold.
The garden has about thirty-six varieties of roses, with five selections of “drift rose” used as a ground cover in the garden. A visit to the All American Rose Garden is one of the top things to do in Hattiesburg.
Address: Hattiesburg, MS 39401
3. Canoe at Okatoma Creek
Okatoma Creek is a tributary of the Boise River; it is a fun place to visit if you are adventurous.
Visitors can take extensive kayaking or canoeing on its waters, with several boat rental services flourishing on its banks.
An exciting thing to know is that the waters are not too rough, and even learners can take a shot at canoeing here. It would be best to visit during the early spring or late autumn when there is clear weather.
There are camping and picnicking sites, and you could spend your whole day at this beautiful place.
The river has plenty of flat spots, which is easier to paddle, and at your convenience, the boats can be ported as well. A few areas are mapped out as beaches where swimming can be done, so take advantage of that.
4. Visit the African American Military History MuseumIn Hattiesburg, the African American Military History Museum teaches about African-American soldiers from the Hattiesburg area and how they served their nation since the Spanish-American War.
The museum is housed in a building at Camp Shelby, built in 1942 by volunteers as a club for African-American soldiers. The building is listed on the Register of Historic Places, and it is a Mississippi Landmark.
Some people whose lives are highlighted in the museum include Jesse Leroy Brown (America’s first black aviator) and nurse Ruth Bailey Earl (WWII WAC).
It is presently the only USO museum built categorically for African-American soldiers still in existence. So make sure to add the African American Military History Museum to your list of top things to do o in Hattiesburg.
Address: 305 E 6th St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.
5. Get creative at Mohawk Steel & Glass
Mohawk Steel & Glass is situated on a Christmas tree farm in Hattiesburg, and it is the best place to buy and make lovely glass sculptures, such as vases, pumpkins, flowers, and Christmas ornaments.
Glass-blowing has been in the frame for more than 400 years. And engaging in these activities are usually for friends, couples, youth groups, and others.
So, it is an opportunity for you to get a close-up view and learn more about how “sand” can be transformed into beautiful works of art.
There are no special skills required, and you have the presence of Jeremy and his team to assist and guide you through the whole process.
There is also an onsite gift shop where you can see unique glass works of art.
Address: 50 Hegwood Rd, Hattiesburg, MS 39402
6. See Animals at Hattiesburg Zoo
The Hattiesburg Zoo is a well-known zoo located in Kamper Park. This 12-acre zoo is one of the unique attractions in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as it is home to about eighty species of animals from all parts of the world.
The zoo opened its doors in 1902, and not only does it offer encounters with wildlife, but it is also a fun family destination, with picnic areas, the Parris Jewelers Mining Sluice, a carousel, a splash pad, a train, a gift shop, an African drum station, and a concession stand.
There is also the Asbury Discovery Center, edZOOcation Center, and Touch Africa Petting Zoo.
The location of the Hattiesburg Zoo is in the beautiful part of Kamper Park, with walking trails, tennis courts, grassy picnic areas, playgrounds, thick groves of pines, and oak trees.
Address: 107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
7. Stroll The University of Southern Mississippi Campus
The University of Southern Mississippi, commonly known as Southern Miss, is located in Hattiesburg. The campus spreads across 300 acres in the center of Hattiesburg and contains the sixth-oldest acceptance-based Honors College in the country.
Golden Eagle fans and alumni can describe how beautiful the campus is, starting from “The Dome” to the All American Rose Garden.
There is something worth knowing about the university. Oseola McCarty donated $150,000 to the university in 1995. So, while it may look nice superficially, what is most astonishing is the benefactor.
Ms. McCarty was just a laundress with childhood dreams of becoming a nurse. Unfortunately, her aunt became ill, which led to her quitting school in the sixth grade to help take care of her.
Sadly, she couldn’t return to the classroom.
Oseola’s life was a frugal one, managing to save her money and then donating most of her life savings to the university. Today, more than a hundred are beneficiaries of her generosity.
8. Bike along the Longleaf Trace
Amongst the exciting things to do in Hattiesburg is walking the Longleaf Trace, a 41-mile-long trail located in the De Soto National Forest.
Constructed in 2000, this trail is paved for pedestrian, equestrian, bicycle, and rollerblade movements, and it is between Hattiesburg and Prentiss in Mississippi.
This trail runs through the center of Hattiesburg, along many small streams, over undulating hills, by farmlands, and through thick groves of longleaf and slash pine.
It includes old logging roads, fire roads, and plenty of single trails. There are eight available rest areas, and the trail has its gateway on the Southern Miss campus.
The pines provide a lovely shade throughout the year, and it is used as a regular recreation and family outing area. The Longleaf Trace is also used for many local competitions and races.
At the Welcome Center, you’ll meet staffs who offer maps, advice and help with spotting tree species along the route.
9. Hattiesburg must-visit: McLeod House
While in Hattiesburg, you will want to have a look at the outside of the Mcleod House. This building will interest visitors, especially lovers of buildings and architecture.
McLeod House is a two-and-one-half-story frame house built in the Queen Ann style, and it showcases all the decorative details that make this type and style worthy of the “queen” of Victorian homes.
Constructed in 1896-97 for Businessman John McLeod (who moved to Hattiesburg in 1896), this historic house is among the few remaining residential structures in the Hub City Historic District.
Although McLeod House is currently a law firm, it is still listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure not to miss out on your visit to this house.
Address: 802 North Main Street, Hattiesburg MS 39401
10. Take to Blade Throwing at the Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company
As interesting as its name sounds, this company is even more interesting in reality. A visit to Alley cats axe throwing company is one of the most fun things to do in Hattiesburg.
The staff here teaches you how to throw that blade very well and with patience. So you need not worry if you are a learner, it is entirely a safe sport, and all precautions are put in place.
Thrill yourself, you might even hit the bullseye. The game is quite exciting, and it is worth a shot.
For the less adventurous individuals, there is a pretty cut lounge area to sit. Enjoy the vibes with your family or friends and watch them throw blades in the air. Get some drinks and snacks and have real fun!
This answers what to do in Hattiesburg, MS, do consider an addition to your checklist of Hattiesburg attractions to visit.
Address: 220 W Pine St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
11. De Soto National Forest
De Soto National Forest is a 518,587-acre pine forest located in southern Mississippi. This natural attraction is another fantastic sight to see in Hattiesburg.
De Soto National Forest is named after the 16th-century explorer Hernando de Soto. It is one of the most valued protected areas for the biological diversity of the Gulf Coast ecoregion of North America.
This site is nationally recognized, and it is essential for the protection of longleaf pine forests, pine Flatwoods, and longleaf pine savannas,
De Soto National Forest has several trails for hiking and runnings, thereby making it an excellent destination for nature lovers.
12. Take a Music Walk on the Mississippi Blues Trail
The tale of the Mississippi Blues Trail is a tour from one marker to another, through the land that was the primary root source of contemporary music.
The Mississippi Blues Trail was established in 2006 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. This commission is responsible for placing interpretive plaques/markers at historical sites linked to the emergence and influence of the blues throughout the Mississippi state.
Whether you are a blues fan or not, you will love visiting the markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail and reading the facts about blues and legends of blues and the places they lived.
You would also learn of the places where their music made an indelible impact and birthed the blues. You will find the Mississippi Blues Trail markers on the city street corners, cemeteries, cotton fields, train depots, clubs, and churches.
Don’t forget to add Mississippi Blues Trail to your list of top things to do in Hattiesburg.
13. Danforth Chapel and Chapel Place
Danforth Chapel and Chapel Place is located on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. It is another site to see and adds to our list of top things to do in Hattiesburg.
It is an intimate place that glows with the colors of many stained glass windows lining the chapel’s walls. You can worship here on Sundays to build or maintain spiritual growth.
Danforth Chapel has a seating capacity of 70, and the chapel can be reserved for special events, including religious services and weddings.
Address: #118 College Dr., Hattiesburg, MS 39406
14. Waterski at Paul B. Johnson State Park
Paul B. Johnson State Park, situated on Geiger Lake’s shores, some 10 miles from Hattiesburg, is another top attraction to visit.
This park is an incredible place full of evergreen longleaf and loblolly pines, giant ancient oaks, and elegant dogwoods. It is surrounded by the striking natural beauty of Mississippi’s pine region.
Paul B. Johnson State Park is famous for recreational activities, and getting to the park will take you only about twenty minutes from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Lake Shelby, now Geiger Lake is there as well. This lake was created in the mid-1940s by German prisoners of war, who dwelled at Camp Shelby at that time, and it is full of fish.
The park has sixteen rental cabins and twenty-five camping areas often occupied by fervid fishermen.
Address: 319 Geiger Lake Rd, Hattiesburg, MS 3940
15. Visit the Pocket Museum
If you want to explore, it would be great to put on your thinking cap and locate the tiniest museum in Mississippi, the Pocket Museum.
Every month, this museum changes its collection, so you would expect to see something new even if you have visited before.
Some of its previous displays centered on Tools of the Trade: The Rubber Duck!, The Swiss Army Knife and Serial Killer.
The location of this museum is kept secret, but if you explore the Public Art Mural Trail and/or go to their website, you will find it.
While in this place, do well to explore the alleyway and check out what other art treasures are on display.
Texas holds quite some breathtaking attractions and activities for a fun exploration, do check out our list of things to do in Wichita Falls , things to do in Denton and things to do in Galveston for a memorable Texas exploration.
16. Get a Good Beer at Southern Prohibition Brewing
Southern Prohibition Brewing is a well-recognized local beer house and taproom located in downtown Hattiesburg. It adds to our exquisite list of things to do in Hattiesburg.
Southern Prohibition Brewing is a super-modern, high-tech brewery with a full range of craft beers available both on tap or in their onsite shop.
This brewery is situated in a large building. It was previously an industrial building before undergoing renovation, and it has a lovely outdoor patio for warmer days.
The brewery is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and it accepts a maximum of 20 people for tours every Saturday.
Not only does the tour provide in-depth knowledge of the beer-making process, it also offers some delicious samples. Everyday, they list the available beers in their rustic taproom for guests.
Though they don’t make food, you can get stone-fired Mercury Pizzas from their food trailer.
Address: 301 Mobile St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
17. Learn about Downtown Hattiesburg
Downtown Hattiesburg is a very picturesque city center filled with various architectural styles.
Something significant happened in 1893 when twenty-six businesses were burned down, resulting in the city. This resulted in the enacting of an order forbidding wood structures.
You would enjoy guided tours that are offered to showcase the city’s architecture, art, and history. These tours last for two hours and cost only $15 per person.
All through the year, there are lots of events that bring the city to life, such as the Craft Beer Fest in the summer, the Downtown Crawfish Jam Music Festival in the spring, the Dearly Departed Walking Tours in the fall, and the Olde Tyme Christmas and Art Walk & Holiday Open House in the winter.
You would learn some facts about Hattiesburg. For instance, the city had only two roads in 1898, but there was also a 500-seat Opera House! Till today, you will still observe the emphasis on art around the town
18. Exercise your Mind at College Town Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are all on another level right now, and in almost all the major tourist cities, you are likely to find at least one.
College Town Escape Room is a business owned by Kody Liston. Liston majored at the local Southern Miss University, and his love of riddles and puzzles made him start up these escape rooms.
Escape rooms are always fun and provide an excellent experience for team building. You will be tasked with solving a puzzle game within a stipulated amount of time with family or friends.
You are meant to think as the clock keeps ticking so that you can get out of the rooms in the lowest possible time.
And even if you are on a solo trip, provision is made available for such a case.
This makes what to do in Hattiesburg, MS, for a fun time, worth an add to your list of places to visit in Hattiesburg
Address: 2206 Hardy St, Hattiesburg
19. Eagle Action Sportz
If you are a lover of sports and entertainment, this one is definitely for you. The Eagle Action Sportz is a paintball field in Hattiesburg, and it joins our list of best things to do in Hattiesburg.
It is a veteran-owned and operated paintball field that offers a fun, outdoor paintball experience for ages ten and above.
They also pride themselves in supplying/ delivering some of the best brands in paintball/ paintball equipment. You can get them from the on-site pro-shop or on order.
Rentals are available for guests, and you can as well come with your paintball equipment as long as it meets the safety standards of Eagle Action.
The field is open for reservation from Monday to Friday and Saturday – Sunday: 9 am to 6 am.
Address: 70 Ryner Road, Hattiesburg, MS 39402
20. Visit Tatum Park
Now here is something for the kids which you should never miss. The Tatum Park is another lovely thing to do in Hattiesburg, especially for children.
Spreading over a vast area, Tatum Park has great playgrounds and courts too. There is also an excellent 18-hole disc golf course for golf lovers.
It is a unique park for your kids to have so much fun and merry. The park boasts of soccer and softball fields for the adults too.
There are picnic tables all set in a mapped-out pavilion. So, grab some sandwiches and cola and come down for a fun evening here.
Address: 101 Parkway Blvd, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
21. Sample some Bacon Cuisine at Crescent City Grill
Are you looking for a place to enjoy a nice treat for your belly in Hattiesburg? Crescent City Grill answers your quest and adds to our list of top things to do in Hattiesburg.
Crescent City Grill is a delightful Cajun eatery with a marked New Orleans vibe. It features exposed brick walls, a glittering ornate bar lining one side, cozy leather booths, and stained-glass details.
Its lovely cozy atmosphere extends to the outside in the confined courtyard with a beautiful wrought iron fountain. There is a mouth-watering menu, a good wine list, and a thorough selection of craft beers on tap.
Though the menu often varies with the changing season and availability of fresh ingredients, there are still standard items like nachos au gratin with spicy Cajun cheese, salsa and bacon, served with green onions, homemade tortilla chips, sour cream, and fried jalapeños.
You might wish to try the pan-seared yellowfin tuna. It is very thin-sliced, rarely cooled, and served with pickled cucumbers and wonton chips.
Address: 3810 Hardy St, Hattiesburg, MS 39402
22. Shop at the Lucky Rabbit
Lucky Rabbit offers visitors and even locals the opportunity to explore the world of old commodities and antiquities while in Hattiesburg.
Delightfully shop for some antique and quaint pieces at this store as you be amazed at the items here. The store has excellent vintage articles, including accessories, all at reasonable prices.
Interestingly, the clothing and merchandise are replaced every month by the vendors. This means you will keep getting great deals and purchases!
For an awesome shopping experience, do well to add Lucky Rabbit to your list of top things to do in Hattiesburg.
23. Java a Coffee at Java Werks Coffee and Tea
Java Werks Coffee and Tea was opened in 2013, and since then, it has established itself as the place that serves the best coffee in all of Hattiesburg.
Aside from that, it has become a place where people meet and chat, perform tasks on their computers, or relive some delicious Latin American goodies.
Java Werks Coffee and Tea is colorful and cozy and has walls covered with art, shelves full of books, and oversized sofas. This place is especially popular with students because of its location just across from Southern Miss.
You have the unique opportunity to try local Venezuelan dishes such as arepa. However, there are good old standards like bagels, muffins, coffee cakes, and every kind of coffee drink.
Java Werks Coffee and Tea is a perfect addition to your checklist of things to do in Hattiesburg for some relaxation time.
Address: 2902 Hardy St #10, Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Considering a trip to Montana, get to know the top things to do in Montana, for a memorable trip.
Plan your trip to Hattiesburg
It is quite an exciting trip we’ve had, and it is now left for you to experience this city yourself.
The various economic diversities, exciting parks, rich libraries, engaging museums, hiking trails, lovely restaurants, beautiful gardens, and more make it a city to visit.
So, start preparing to visit Hattiesburg on your next vacation. You’ll love it. This piece can aid you in making your bucket list of places to visit in Hattiesburg, so pin it.