Hattiesburg is a medium-sized city in Mississippi that is known as the “Hub City.” Hattiesburg, founded in 1882, is situated at the intersection of six major US routes.
This city oozes Southern charm, with a lovely historic downtown district consisting of well-preserved 19th-century mansions and even a district dedicated to African American heritage.
Hattiesburg is a significant stop on the Blues Trail because of the large number of well-known blues performers that lived there. The Hattiesburg Zoo, numerous military museums, and a lovely rose garden on the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus are all worth seeing.
Seeing that you are interested in visiting Hattiesburg, we have outlined 23 things to keep you hooked in Hattiesburg
Fun Things To Do In Hattiesburg
1. De Soto National Forest
In southern Mississippi, the De Soto National Forest is a 518,587-acre pine forest. Another beautiful sight to visit in Hattiesburg is this natural attraction.
De Soto National Forest is named after Hernando de Soto, a 16th-century explorer. It is one of the most important protected places in the Gulf Coast ecoregion of North America for ecological richness.
Longleaf pine forests, pine Flatwoods, and longleaf pine savannas are all protected at this site, which is nationally designated.
De Soto National Forest features several hiking and running routes, making it a great place for nature lovers.
2. Take A Music Walk On The Mississippi Blues Trail
The Mississippi Blues Trail is a journey from one historical marker to the next, across the land that gave birth to modern music.
The Mississippi Blues Commission developed the Mississippi Blues Trail in 2006. This commission is in charge of putting interpretive plaques/markers at historical places around Mississippi that are tied to the emergence and influence of the blues.
Whether you’re a blues enthusiast or not, you’ll enjoy reading the facts and legends about blues and the areas where they lived at the Mississippi Blues Trail’s signs.
You’d also learn about the locations where their music left an unforgettable mark and gave birth to the blues. Mississippi Blues Trail monuments can be seen on city street corners, cemeteries, cotton fields, train depots, clubs, and churches throughout the state.
Don’t forget to check out the Mississippi Blues Trail while you’re in Hattiesburg.
3. Danforth Chapel And Chapel Place
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Danforth Chapel and Chapel Place are located on campus. It’s another interesting sight to visit, and it’s another addition to our list of things to do in Hattiesburg.
It’s a quiet spot, lit by the colors of the stained glass windows that line the chapel’s walls. On Sundays, you can come here to worship and grow spiritually.
Danforth Chapel can accommodate 70 people and can be hired for special occasions such as religious services and weddings.
4. Waterski at Paul B. Johnson State Park
Another must-see sight is Paul B. Johnson State Park, which is located on the banks of Geiger Lake about 10 miles from Hattiesburg.
This park is breathtaking, with evergreen longleaf and loblolly pines, massive ancient oaks, and graceful dogwoods. The breathtaking natural splendor of Mississippi’s pine area surrounds it.
Paul B. Johnson State Park is known for its recreational opportunities, and it’s only a twenty-minute drive from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Lake Shelby, now known as Geiger Lake, is also present. This lake, which is full of fish, was built in the mid-1940s by German prisoners of war who were stationed in Camp Shelby at the time.
5. Visit The Pocket Museum
Put on your thinking cap and look for the Pocket Museum, Mississippi’s tiniest museum.
The collection at this museum changes every month, so even if you’ve visited before, you can expect to see something new.
The Rubber Duck!, The Swiss Army Knife and Serial Killer are just a few of the previous exhibits.
This museum’s specific location is unknown, but it can be discovered by following the Public Art Mural Trail or visiting its website.
Take a stroll down the alleyway while you’re here to see what other art gems are on display.
6. Visit Southern Prohibition Brewing
Southern Prohibition Brewing, located in downtown Hattiesburg, is a well-known local beer establishment and taproom. It’s another wonderful addition to our Hattiesburg bucket list.
Southern Prohibition Brewing is a cutting-edge, high-tech brewery that offers a diverse selection of craft beers on tap and in their on-site shop.
This brewery occupies a substantial space. It used to be an industrial structure before it was renovated, and it now boasts a nice outdoor terrace for those warmer days.
The brewery is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with visits limited to 20 persons.
The tour not only gives you a thorough understanding of the brewing process but also includes some tasty samples. Every day, they post a list of the beers that are currently available in their rustic taproom.
7. Learn About Downtown Hattiesburg
Hattiesburg’s downtown is a beautiful city center with a variety of architectural types.
You’d appreciate the guided excursions that highlight the city’s architecture, art, and history. These trips are only $15 per person and last two hours.
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 are just a few of the many events that bring the city to life throughout the year.
You’d learn some interesting information about Hattiesburg. In 1898, for example, the city had only two roadways, yet it also possessed a 500-seat Opera House!
8. Visit The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum is located in Camp Shelby, about 12 miles from Hattiesburg, and serves as the state’s military history museum. It’s another thing to add to our list of things to do in Hattiesburg.
The Mississippi Soldiers Museum aims to recognize Mississippi veterans from all branches of the military for their contributions. Two veterans decided to donate their artifact collections in 1984, and the rest is history.
They were held in a small room in a Camp Shelby warehouse. The museum was relocated to a 23,000-square-foot structure in 2001, with 16,000 square feet of exhibits, including 2,000 historical documents, 17,000 artifacts, and over 4,500 military history volumes.
In 2015, the museum was once again extended, this time with the inclusion of three new galleries. However, the museum now has eight galleries and houses important items from late-nineteenth-century conflicts, such as the Korean War, Vietnam War, World Wars I and II, and others.
Aircraft, artillery, and tanks will also be on show in outdoor exhibits.
9. Roses At All American Rose Garden
As you approach the main door of the Southern Miss campus, you will be greeted by the All American Rose Beauty, which is a stunning garden.
As you might expect, it is one of the most visited areas on campus, as well as the most aromatic and picturesque.
The rose garden, which first opened in 1974, now boasts approximately 800 unique rose bushes of various types. Visitors come from all around the country to see these.
There are roughly 36 different varieties of roses in the garden, with five different types of “drift rose” employed as ground cover.
You’ll enjoy the garden since the roses are mostly in good shape, and at their peak flowering season, they’re a spectacular sight to behold.
10. Canoe At Okatoma Creek
Okatoma Creek is a tributary of the Boise River, and it’s a fantastic site to explore if you’re feeling daring.
On its waterways, visitors can go kayaking or canoeing for hours, and there are various boat rental services on the banks.
The waters aren’t too choppy here, so even beginners can try canoeing. Early spring or late autumn, when the weather is clear, is the finest time to visit.
Camping and picnicking areas are available, and you could easily spend the entire day here.
The river has several flat sections that make paddling simpler, and the boats can also be ported at your convenience.
11. Visit The 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 have served their country since the Spanish-American War.
The museum is housed in a building built by volunteers at Camp Shelby in 1942 as a club for African-American soldiers. The structure is a Mississippi Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is currently the only remaining USO museum dedicated solely to African-American servicemen. As a result, make sure to include the African American Military History Museum on your list of must-see attractions in Hattiesburg.
12. Get Creative At Mohawk Steel & Glass
Mohawk Steel & Glass in Hattiesburg is located on a Christmas tree farm and is the best place to buy and produce beautiful glass sculptures including vases, pumpkins, flowers, and Christmas ornaments.
Glass-blowing has been practiced for almost 400 years. Friends, couples, youth groups, and others regularly participate in these activities.
As a result, you will have the opportunity to have a closer look and learn more about how “sand” may be transformed into exquisite works of art.
There are no specific skills required, and you will be aided and guided throughout the process by Jeremy and his colleagues.
13. See Animals At Hattiesburg Zoo
Hattiesburg Zoo, located in Kamper Park, is a well-known zoo. This 12-acre zoo is one of Hattiesburg’s most unusual attractions, with around 80 different species of animals from all over the world.
The zoo, which opened in 1902, is a delightful family destination with picnic spots, the Parris Jewelers Mining Sluice, a carousel, a splash pad, a train, a gift store, an African drum station, and a concession stand.
Hattiesburg Zoo is located in Kamper Park, which features walking trails, tennis courts, grassy picnic spaces, playgrounds, and thick forests of pines and oak trees.
14. Stroll The University Of Southern Mississippi Campus
Hattiesburg is home to the University of Southern Mississippi, also known as Southern Miss. The Hattiesburg campus covers 300 acres in the heart of the city and is home to the country’s sixth-oldest acceptance-based Honors College.
From “The Dome” to the All American Rose Garden, Golden Eagle fans and alumni can extol the beauty of the campus.
There is some information regarding the university that you should be aware of. In 1995, Osceola McCarty gave the institution $150,000. So, while it may appear attractive on the surface, it is the benefactor who is the most remarkable.
Ms. McCarty was a laundress who aspired to be a nurse since she was a child. Unfortunately, her aunt became ill, and she had to drop out of sixth grade to help care for her.
Unfortunately, She was unable to return to the classroom.
Osceola lived a thrifty life, saving money, and eventually donated the majority of her life savings to the institution. More than a hundred others have benefited from her generosity.
15. Bike Along The Longleaf Trace
Walking the Longleaf Trace, a 41-mile route in the De Soto National Forest is one of the fascinating things to do in Hattiesburg.
This paved trail, which runs between Hattiesburg and Prentiss in Mississippi, was built in 2000 for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists, and rollerbladers.
This trail winds through Hattiesburg’s downtown area, alongside numerous tiny creeks, over rolling hills, through farms, and dense groves of longleaf and slash pine.
There are plenty of single trails, as well as ancient logging roads and fire routes. There are eight rest stops along the trail, which begins on the Southern Miss campus.
The pines give excellent shade all year, and it’s a popular spot for relaxation and family outings. Many local events and races take place on the Longleaf Trace.
16. Hattiesburg McLeod House
Take a look at the outside of the Mcleod House while you’re in Hattiesburg. This structure will pique the interest of tourists, particularly those interested in architecture and buildings.
McLeod House is a two-and-a-half-story Queen Ann-style frame house with all the decorative features that make this kind and design deserving of the title of “queen” of Victorian residences.
This historic house, built in 1896-97 for businessman John McLeod (who relocated to Hattiesburg in 1896), is one of the Hub City Historic District’s few remaining domestic structures.
McLeod House is still on the National Register of Historic Places, even though it is now a law firm. Make sure you don’t miss your chance to see this house.
17. Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company
In actuality, this company is far more intriguing than its name suggests. One of the most entertaining things to do in Hattiesburg is to go to Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company.
The team here will patiently and expertly show you how to throw that blade. So, if you’re a beginner, don’t be concerned; it’s a completely safe sport with all precautions taken.
Enjoy yourself; you may even hit the target. It’s a fun game to play, and it’s worth a try.
There is a pretty cut lounge area for those who are less adventurous. Watch your family or friends throw blades in the air while enjoying the atmosphere. Get some refreshments and munchies.
18. College Town Escape Rooms
Right today, escape rooms are on another level, and you can find at least one in practically every big tourist city.
Kody Liston is the owner of College Town Escape Room. Liston majored in psychology at Southern Miss University, and his passion for riddles and puzzles inspired him to open these escape rooms.
Escape rooms are always entertaining and a great opportunity to bond as a group. You and your family or friends will be challenged with solving a puzzle game in a set amount of time.
You’re supposed to think while the clock ticks away so you can get out of the rooms as quickly as possible.
19. Eagle Action Sportz
This one is absolutely for you if you enjoy sports and entertainment. The Eagle Action Sportz is a paintball field in Hattiesburg that has been included in our list of Hattiesburg’s finest attractions.
It’s a veteran-owned and runs paintball field that provides a fun, outdoor paintball experience for those aged ten and up.
They also take pride in producing and delivering some of the greatest paintball/paintball equipment manufacturers. They are available for purchase at the on-site pro-shop or by special order.
Guests can rent paintball equipment or bring their own as long as it fulfills Eagle Action’s safety guidelines.
20. Visit Tatum Park
Here’s something fun for the kids that you shouldn’t miss. Another enjoyable activity in Hattiesburg, particularly for children, is visiting Tatum Park.
Tatum Park is a large park with nice playgrounds and tennis courts. For golfers, there is also an excellent 18-hole disc golf course.
It’s a one-of-a-kind park where your kids can have a lot of fun. Adults can also use the park’s soccer and softball fields.
Picnic tables are arranged in a pavilion with a map. So bring your sandwiches and soda and join us for a wonderful evening here.
21. Sample Some Bacon Cuisine At Crescent City Grill
Are you seeking a spot in Hattiesburg where you can have a tasty treat for your stomach? Crescent City Grill satisfies your curiosity and joins our list of Hattiesburg’s best attractions.
Crescent City Grill is a charming Cajun restaurant with a distinct New Orleans flavor. It has exposed brick walls, a gleaming baroque bar on one side, comfortable leather booths, and stained-glass accents.
Outside, in the restricted courtyard with a stunning wrought iron fountain, the charming snug ambiance continues. There’s delectable food, an excellent wine list, and a large selection of craft beers on tap.
Though the menu changes with the seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients, staples such as nachos au gratin with spicy Cajun cheese, salsa, and bacon are still available, along with green onions, homemade tortilla chips, sour cream, and fried jalapenos.
Pan-seared yellowfin tuna is a dish you should try. It’s served with pickled cucumbers and wonton chips, and it’s thinly sliced and rarely cooled.
22. Shop At The Lucky Rabbit
While in Hattiesburg, travelers and even locals can discover the world of old commodities and antiquities at Lucky Rabbit.
Enjoy shopping for antiques and cute stuff at this store, where you will be delighted at the selection. The shop features a great selection of vintage items, including accessories, at moderate pricing.
The dealers, interestingly, replace the attire and items every month. As a result, you’ll continue to obtain fantastic prices and purchases!
Add Lucky Rabbit to your list of things to do in Hattiesburg for a fantastic shopping experience.
23. Java A Coffee At Java Werks Coffee And Tea
Java Werks Coffee and Tea first opened its doors in 2013, and since then, it has established itself as Hattiesburg’s top coffee shop.
Apart from that, it has evolved into a gathering spot for individuals to connect and speak, work on their laptops, or relive some delectable Latin American delicacies.
Java Werks Coffee and Tea is bright and inviting, with art on the walls, shelves brimming with books, and giant armchairs. Because of its proximity to Southern Miss, this site is particularly popular with students.
You have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sample traditional Venezuelan cuisine like arepa. However, there are certain classic favorites, such as bagels, muffins, coffee cakes, and various coffee beverages.
Java Werks Coffee and Tea is an excellent addition to your list of things to do in Hattiesburg if you want to unwind.
Enjoy Your Vacation!
We’ve had an exciting journey, and now it’s up to you to discover this city for yourself.
To begin planning a trip to Hattiesburg for your next vacation. You’ll enjoy it.
It is a city to visit because of its diverse economic diversity, intriguing parks, rich libraries, engaging museums, hiking trails, excellent restaurants, stunning gardens, and more.