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17 Fun Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

If you’re looking for a unique destination for a weekend getaway, then Hattiesburg, Mississippi is a great choice! There are so many fun things you can do in Hattiesburg.

A special thanks to Visit Hattiesburg for hosting me on this fun-filled trip! As always, all opinions are my own.

With its rich history, beautiful nature trails, and charming restaurants, there are plenty of things to enjoy in this southern city.

From a trip to the zoo to finding hidden treasures on the Pocket Museum, discover the best things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi!

Bike in front of the Together as One mural on Longleaf Trace, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Top Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS

Check out these exciting activities, popular attractions, unique experiences, and other fun things to do in Hattiesburg.

1. Check out the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum

Want to see Mississippi’s tiniest museum? Or the tiniest theater? Or the tiniest art gallery? What about the tiniest park?

The Hattiesburg Pocket Alley is full of fun, miniature surprises. And it’s safe to say, I’m obsessed!

The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum started during COVID as a way to give the residents of Hattiesburg a little escape and fun little surprises. The Hattiesburg Convention Commission took a boarded-up window in a downtown alley and turned it into a small museum filled with themed trinkets.

The Pocket Museum changes its display on the first day of each month. When I visited, it was all about Hattiesburg as a nuclear bomb test site. The Pocket Theater features a short film, viewed through binoculars in the wall, that matches the museum’s theme.

The Pocket Art Gallery in an old newspaper stand is like a free little library of art. You can take a piece or leave a piece.

All around the alley are interactive art, murals, and tiny figures. You can see a dragon-fly mural from Kelsey Montague as part of her #WhatLiftsYou collection. There is 3D art on the ground. Tiny figures are popping up all the time along the pipes, drains, bricks, and cracks in the alley. There was even a teeny-tiny park when I visited, dubbed the “Smallest Park in Mississippi”.

There is so much to discover in this Instagram-worthy alley! You never know what treasures you’ll find.

2. Bike the Longleaf Trace

The Longleaf Trace is a 44-mile biking and walking trail that was completed in 2000.

The trail follows along a portion of the abandoned Mississippi Central Railroad line, which serviced the flourishing timber industry in the area. It runs from Downtown Hattiesburg to Prentiss, MS.

You can rent a bike at the Longleaf Trace Gateway in Hattiesburg, which is what I did.

From the Gateway, I rode about 2 miles west on the trail before coming back for about a 30 minute bike ride.

One of the main highlights on this portion of the trail is the “Together as One” mural. This is the largest mural in Hattiesburg so far, covering an entire tunnel of more than 200 feet. The mural features wildlife and fauna native to the Pinebelt.

3. Find the Murals on the Hattiesburg Public Art Trail

The Hattiesburg Public Art Trail features more then 44 stops, many of which are incredible murals.

A lot of the murals you’ll see as you explore Hattiesburg (I’ve already mentioned a few at other stops on this list).

A few others I liked are:

  • “Spread Your Wings”
  • “Let There Be Light”
  • “Hub City, Smile”
  • “Saturday Night”
  • “The Hattiesbirds”

There are a ton of murals to find! You could spend a whole day just looking at all the free art Hattiesburg has.

4. Visit the Hattiesburg Zoo

The Hattiesburg Zoo is such a gem, and they’re continuing to add to it! This 12-acre zoo was first opened in 1950 and is home to over 100 animals from around the world.

They have a jaguar, lemurs, monkeys, zebras, giraffes, servals, hyenas, wallabies, and more.

You can do a Sloth Experience to hold a sloth, feed a giraffe, pet and feed animals in the “Touch Africa” Petting Zoo, pet wallabies and KuneKune pigs in the Australian Wallaby Walkabout, ride a train, mine for gems, take to the high ropes, and splash in the Splash Pad.

If you’re with kids, you can expect to spend a couple hours at the Hattiesburg Zoo. But if you’re on your own like me, you’ll probably only spend an hour at most there.

5. Explore the 1964 Freedom Summer Trail

Vernon Dahmer Memorial, 1964 Summer Freedom Trail, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Freedom Summer was a 1964 voter registration drive that aimed to increase the number of registered black voters in Mississippi. The movement was only successful in registering 1,200 black voters. But the project did establish more than 40 Freedom Schools that offered subjects not taught consistently in public schools, like civics and black history.

Hattiesburg was the largest Freedom Summer site in the state with approximately 3,000 local participants, 100 out-of-state volunteers, and 675 Freedom School students. Hattiesburg had such a high enrollment in local Freedom Schools that is was referred to as “the mecca of the Freedom School world”.

The 1964 Freedom Summer Trail commemorates Hattiesburg’s prominent roll in the movement. This audio tour of 16 sites has stories and first-person accounts from those who took part in the movement.

To do the entire tour, it will take you about 90 minutes and you’ll need to drive to the tour locations. If you’re short on time, markers 7, 8, and 9 are located within easy walking distance of each other in downtown.

6. Discover Downtown Hattiesburg

Forrest County Courthouse, 1964 Summer Freedom Trail, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg was incorporated in 1884 and rapidly grew through the 1930s. The historic downtown area, known as the Hub City Historic District, still retains much of the early city’s charm.

You can go on a Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Walking Tour to explore the architecture and historically significant buildings of the city’s center.

You’ll see stops like the Historic Train Depot, the Art Deco Saenger Theater, the Queen Anne-style McLeod-Deakle House, the Neo-Classical Revival Forrest County Courthouse, and the Eureka School that was the first school for African Americans in Hattiesburg.

7. Go Shopping at The Lucky Rabbit

The Lucky Rabbit is like the antique store of your dreams. These two big, old buildings are filled with unique finds, vintage items, handmade goods, and repurposed furniture.

There are tons of nooks and crannies to explore. You just might find yourself buying something you didn’t know you needed!

They also have a lot of photo ops all around the store. For TV and movie fans, the owners recreate popular sets as a free photo op in the store. When I visited it was the dorm room from Netflix’s Wednesday. In the past, sets have been Stranger Things, The Office, Schitt’s Creek, Home Alone, and Griswold Family Vacation.

The Lucky Rabbit is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, so plan accordingly!

8. Grab a Beer at Southern Prohibition Brewing

Beer flight at Southern Prohibition Brewing, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Southern Prohibition Brewing, or SoPro as the locals call it, was Hattiesburg’s first brewery.

Their taproom, located just across the train tracks from The Lucky Rabbit, has an outdoor game space, an indoor event space, and a dining room serving up standard favorites and fun takes on traditional bar foods.

As for beers, they have a range from IPAs to sours. Popular brews include the Suzy B Blonde Ale, Mississippi Fire Ant Imperial Red Ale, and Crowd Control Imperial IPA.

I live life on the sweeter side, so I opted for a flight of sours. The Sherbet Sherpa OG was recommended as their popular sweeter-side beer, and it did not disappoint! This lemon, raspberry, and blood orange sour was easily my favorite.

9. Get a Milkshake at Smith Drug Co.

Smith Drug Co. was once at the heart of the Mobile Street commercial district, a bustling African American community in Hattiesburg in the 1960s.

Edwin Hammond Smith opened Smith Drug Co. in 1925. This store was an important source in the black community for things like medicine, convenience items, and even a soda fountain.

Today, Smith Drug Co. operates as part museum and part milkshake counter. The store has been reconstructed as it would have looked in the 1960s. At the counter, you can get a malt milkshake, either vanilla or chocolate, as well as a soda or a piece of candy.

The milkshakes are delicious, and you get to keep your cup as a souvenir!

10. Eat Your Way Around Town

Hattiesburg has tons of great eateries! Breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper, snacks, you name it!

For breakfast and brunch, I recommend checking out The Depot Kitchen & Market and The Midtowner. The Depot is a a trendy breakfast spot, meanwhile The Midtowner is a classic diner. Both offer delicious classic Southern breakfast options.

For lunch and dinner, I recommend checking out Mario’s Italian Eatery, Southern Prohibition Brewing, and Keg & Barrel.

With about 200 locally-owned restaurants, Hattiesburg is a foodie paradise!

11. Shop Local

Interior of The Author Shoppe bookstore, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Hattiesburg has plenty of local shops to explore.

You have everything from The Lucky Rabbit antique and junk shop to The Author Shoppe bookstore and coffee shop.

Here are a few local Hattiesburg stores to check out:

12. Find the Painted Utility Boxes on the Hattiesburg Public Art Trail

Painted Utility boxes in Hattiesburg Pocket Alley, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Part of the Hattiesburg Public Art Trail, the Utility Box Trail is another great way to see more of the city’s free art.

Starting in 2020, local and national artists have painted at least 44 utility boxes around Hattiesburg as a bright new art project.

Don’t miss utility box murals like “All That Jazz”, “Starry Hattiesburg”, and “Ballet Folklorico”.

13. Go Glamping at Longleaf Piney Resort

Tiny homes at Longleaf Piney Resort, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay that allows you to disconnect for a little while, without having to completely rough it, then glamping at Longleaf Piney Resort is perfect for you!

While I didn’t stay at the Longleaf Piney Resort myself, I did drive out there to have a look around. This campground of tiny homes is located further out from town along the Longleaf Trace.

The tiny homes have small kitchens and bathrooms inside, their own fire pit, hammocks, and free bikes you can use. There is also a serene lake, a free tiny library, and a game area that are available for resort patrons to use.

14. Visit Stops Along the Mississippi Blues Trail

Roots of Rock n' Roll marker, Mississippi Blues Trail, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The Mississippi Blues Trail is a state-wide trail that marks important places in music history.

Mississippi is the birthplace of blues music, and Hattiesburg is considered the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll.

In Hattiesburg, you can see two stops on the Mississippi Blues Trail:

  • the Roots of Rock n’ Roll where the Mississippi Jook Band recorded in 1936 (The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll states that their blues recording “featured fully formed rock and roll guitar riffs and a stomping rock and roll beat.”)
  • and the Hi-Hat Club, an important stop on the “chitlin circuit” for African American blues and soul performers.

15. Grab a Burger on the Hatties[BURGER] Trail

Burger and fries at Keg and Barrel, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Locals, known as Hattiesburgers, know a thing or two about burgers. So they created a whole burger trail!

The Hatties[BURGER] Trail features 33 local restaurants that serve up a great burger on their regular menu. You can have a classic burger, a specialty burger, a gourmet burger, and everything in between.

I stopped in at the Keg & Barrel to try one of their burgers. And restaurants like Southern Prohibition Brewery and The Midtowner also have burgers, though I didn’t try them there.

16. Go Geocaching

Hattiesburg, Mississippi Geocaching GeoTour Hat

Geocaching is a global, outdoor treasure hunt that uses GPS-enabled devices to find hidden containers called “caches”. Hattiesburg is one of only 100 active official GeoTours worldwide, and it’s the first of its kind in Mississippi.

Hattiesburg has more than 40 geocache hides for you to find. This is a great way to get outside and explore the city.

You can complete the Hattiesburg GeoTour during a weekend getaway while you’re exploring all the other things on this list! You’ll find geocaches while eating out, exploring a museum, biking the Longleaf Trace, and exploring the public art downtown.

And it’s totally free!

17. Attend an Annual Event like Downtown Brews & Bites

Downtown Brews and Bites pass, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

With annual events all year-round, Hattiesburg is fun to visit any time of year!

In the spring, you have the Downtown Crawfish Jam Music Festival and HubFest. In summer, there’s the Downtown SummerTunes and the Hattiesburg Craft Beer Fest. With fall comes the Downtown Brews & Bites and the RISE Hattiesburg Hot Air Balloon Festival. And in winter, you can enjoy the Olde Time Christmas Festival and the Pine Belt Holiday Expo and Christmas Market.

When I visited, I got to experience Downtown Brews & Bites, a spin-off event of the Hattiesburg Craft Beer Fest. This festival showcased craft beer pairings alongside local food trucks.

With live music, games, and a whole lot of beer and food to taste, the Downtown Brews and Bites event was a lot of fun!

Where to Stay in Hattiesburg, MS

King bedroom at Holiday Inn Express West University Area, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

During my weekend in Hattiesburg, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express West University Area.

This hotel was conveniently located right by the University of Southern Mississippi and just a short drive from downtown. Nothing was further than 15 minutes away.

I loved staying at this hotel! The rooms had nice little touches like hooks by the door for your purse and jackets. Their indoor pool was refreshing after a hot bike ride along the Longleaf Trace. And they offer complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast.

Another option is glamping at the Longleaf Piney Resort.

While I didn’t stay at the Longleaf Piney Resort myself, I did drive out there to have a look around. This campground of tiny homes is located further out from town along the Longleaf Trace.

The tiny homes have small kitchens and bathrooms inside, their own fire pit, hammocks, and free bikes you can use.

More Places to Stay in Hattiesburg

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Hattiesburg, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

Map Out Your Stay in Hattiesburg

Ready to explore these fantastic things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi? Use the map below to help plan your Hattiesburg getaway!

I hope you found this list of things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi helpful, and that you have a wonderful trip!

Hattiesburg FAQ

Where is Hattiesburg, MS located?

Hattiesburg is located in Southern Mississippi about 90 minutes from Jackson, Biloxi, and Mobile.

Why is Hattiesburg called Hub City?

Hattiesburg is known as Hub City because it was located at the intersection of a number of important railway lines.

What is Hattiesburg, MS famous for?

Hattiesburg is known as the birthplace of Rock N’ Roll. The city also has an incredible public art scene and is an emerging civil rights destination. Hattiesburg is also home to the University of Southern Mississippi.

Is Hattiesburg worth a visit?

If you like art, history, food, and the outdoors, then Hattiesburg, Mississippi is definitely worth a visit!

More Mississippi Itineraries

Find even more fun destinations to visit in Mississippi! Check out these top posts to help plan your Mississippi vacation.

Ready to visit Hattiesburg, Mississippi? Plan your trip with these tips.



17 Fun Things to Do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Did I miss any fun things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Hattiesburg Pocket Alley sounds like great fun! It reminded me of the Pants Pocket Museum in Basel, Switzerland, a monthly changing display of little things at the entrance door of one house in the Old Town. I love these little surprises you typically have to look for.

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