15 Best Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS

15 Best Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS

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Situated primarily in the forest county and extending a little West into the Lamar County is the city of Hattiesburg, a prominent Metro of Mississippi. A highly developed city it is also nicknamed as “The hub city”. The name Hattiesburg is derived from the name of the wife of the famous civil engineer William H. Hardy, who founded the city in 1882 and whose wife's name was Hattie. Due to the various economic diversities that are located here, the hub city has a stronghold in wealth and it’s a great neighborhood too. It has a humid subtropical climate throughout the year with very mild winters, making it a great place to visit.

Look at animals at the Hattiesburg Zoo

Tiger in Hattiesburg zoo
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Also called the Kamper Park zoo, this small zoo is located inside Kamper Park in Hattiesburg. Though spread over only 12 acres of land, it has many exhibits including a wide variety of species of plants and animals. What's fun is that the exhibits are divided according to themes into several sections. For example, the area designated as Africa houses species like African tortoises, porcupines, Fennec foxes, Grant’s zebras, and even ostriches. Another rare species that you can spot in this area is the blue duiker, which is a small antelope endemic to Africa.

Another special cute area is the Wallaby walkabout where you can actually interact with emus, kunekune pigs and Bennett's Wallabies, which are cute little marsupials usually found in Australia. Other than this, you can also look at a variety of trees like oak trees, pine trees, and more. The Asbury Discovery Center which is located on site is also very important from an educational point of view, and houses a classroom, a laboratory and an office space where children and adults can take part in educational programs.

Waterskiing at the Paul B Johnson State Park

Paul B Johnson State Park
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A beautiful state park located near the Geiger Lake on the highway 49 is this Park called the Paul B Johnson State Park. Water skiing is a fun and exciting sport that you can try on the waters here. Other than this, the lake is also open for fishing and swimming. Fish for a variety of species like the bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, and the largemouth bass.

These are all very tasty and can be then cooked on one of the camping sites where you can light up a huge bonfire. There are also RV camping pads which are packed with amenities like Electrical hookups and sewer hookups. Other than this 16 vacation cabins are also located inside the park. 50 sites are designated as picnic areas which have grills and there are six picnic pavilion as well. A playground is also constructed for the little kids along with the splash pad. Moreover the nature around is very beautiful and there are many tall trees like Oaks, yellow pines and dogwoods.

Learn about fascinating military history at the Mississippi Armed Forces museum

Mississippi armed forces Museum
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Located at Camp Shelby is this museum that honors the military force and its rich history. A proud member of the Army Museum system it is a reminder of all the sacrifices and services of the armed forces with a special segment dedicated to Mississippi veterans. Started as a small gesture in 1984 by two military veterans with a personal connection today, it stands proudly over 23,000 square feet. With more than 17,000 artifacts and exhibits and 2000 documents it marks the major historical events well. The museum documents the Journey of these military forces in a very beautiful fashion.

Divided into eight galleries there are the various living exhibits depending on the themes like World War One, World War Tw, Korean War Vietnam War and many more. Also personal memorabilia like clothing, medals, and military weapons are on display. Some of the bigger artifacts include aircraft tanks, and field artillery. It's thus very beautifully constructed.

Canoeing at Okatoma Creek

A tributary of the Boise River, Okatoma Creek is the main place to visit if you're an adventurous soul, canoeing and kayaking is carried out extensively on its waters and several boat rental services flourish on its banks.

The best part is that the waters are not very rough, and even beginners can have a go at canoeing here. The best time to visit would be early spring or late autumn when the weather is clear. And you can spend almost a full day at this beautiful place. There are picnicking and camping sites available too. So you can spend a night crammed together in it. Moreover, the river has many flat spots. So it’s easier to paddle and the boats can be ported as per your convenience. A few areas also designated as beaches where swimming can be done. The name of the river is derived from the word Choctaw, which means shining water so shine on these shining waters.

Visit the African American Military History Museum

African American Military Museum
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Dedicated especially to the brave hearts who were African American soldiers and were stationed at Camp Shelby is this history museum. It was open to the public in 2009 and became part of the Mississippi landmark list in 2010. It was originally a USO building, and was built especially as a house for an African American USO when United States had entered the world war two. After that, the building, served as a home for many African American soldiers who used to be stationed at Camp Shelby. It was there relaxation spot and a great recreation place with amenities like library, dark room, sewing service and more. It was perfect for socialization.

Inside the main building, there is also an auditorium, a lobby meeting room and other important structures. The USO building was then renovated later and reopened as a museum to the normal public and  today it houses many important military exhibit. It has been divided into various sections focusing on different themes just like the other museum into World War One, the world war two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Revolutionary War and more. There is also a hall of honor the service personnel and their sacrifices.

Look at beautiful roses at the all American rose garden

Located on the campus of the Southern Miss University is this very beautiful rose garden also called the Southern Miss Rose Garden. It has many varieties of roses in all shapes and forms. Since its inception in 1974 many varieties have been planted and added to this list. And today you can look at as many as 800 rose bushes from all over the world. If you get to visit in the peak season, the flowers are blooming in full glory and the whole park has a different aura and grandeur about it. With a beautiful fragrance wafting in the air, take a peaceful walk in this scenic beauty.

Bicycle on the Longleaf Trace trail

A 41 mile long trail, The Longleaf trace trail is a part of the De Soto National Forest. You can walk, bicycle, rollerblade or even give it an equestrian use. The trail passes right through the center of Hattiesburg through various green geographical features like hills, farm lands, small streams and trees like pine and others.

It also incorporates elements like logging roads and fire roads. Since there are tall trees covering on both sides of the trail, the atmosphere remains cool and pleasant. There is also a welcome center, which is the visitor center where the friendly staff can give you guidance and maps to help as you jog away.

Music enthusiasts, can take a walk on the Mississippi Blues Trail

Blues trail marker
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This is especially recommended if you love the genre of blues and music. Since the trail marks the entire journey, of how the blues genre took birth and went on to become a famous and much loved genre today. Even if you don't like blues, but are an ardent music lover, which we mostly are, you will have an interesting insight into the journey of this genre and also gain some tidbits of interesting information about famous blues singers and songs.

Along the trail, you also get to visit some of the houses that the famous singers used to live in, and the places where they created their masterpieces. A variety of things are incorporated into this trail, including cotton fields, cemeteries, churches, clubs, and street corners. The trail was established by the Mississippi blues commission in 2006 using many banners and informational banners

Try the beer at Southern Prohibition Brewing Center

Located on the corner Street in downtown of Hattiesburg, is this popular brewing house and company making freshly brewed delicious beers, including craft beers available on taps. They combine elements of high tech into the traditional process of beer making to produce some of the highest quality beers. Guided tours are available on every Saturday. While the facility itself remains open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, we will recommend you take the guided tours as it's a one of a kind experience where you get to look into some insights into this wonderful art of brewing and also get to sample some delicious brews.

Give a shot to blade throwing at the Alley cats axe throwing company

As interesting as it sounds, it's even more interesting in real life. The staff teaches you how to throw that blade patiently and very well. So don't worry if you are a beginner, it is a completely safe sport and all precautions are taken. So do give it a try to have some thrills. And you might even hit the bullseye.

It's a really interesting game, which is not found at most places and worth a shot. For those of the less adventurous souls, the lounge area is pretty cute to sit too. Get along a few of your adventures friends or family and watch on as they throw blades in the air. Grab some drinks and snacks and enjoy a fun evening. The sport is family friendly and anyone above 13 years of age can give it a try.

Have a coffee at Java Werks coffee and tea

Since its inception in 2013, it has become the go to place for visitors and locals alike for a wonderful cup of warm coffee. The cafe has a laid back atmosphere, where you can just chill and get cozy. Alongside your coffee you can also order some treats like cookies and more.

They have also kept books for book lovers. Grab a book, a coffee and lounge on a large sofa. Located near to the southern miss university campus you can also find students working their brains out at this cool place. For those looking for some adventurous binging, give a try to the Venezuelan dishes on the menu like arepa or have some sweet goodies like coffee cakes, bagels and muffins.

Sample some Cajun cuisine at the Crescent City Grill

Aesthetically pleasing is the word that describes this grill and eatery, the best. With ornate bars, leather furniture, exposed brick walls and stained glass used in its construction it is a quaint and classic place. The lighting is pleasant and aesthetic too.

A wrought iron fountain can be found gushing away in all its glory in an enclosed courtyard located inside the restaurant. And then there's the menu which is long and has really tasty dishes. All the ingredients used are locally sourced and organic and made with the choices of spices. Try some bacon and fresh salsa or a dish served with the spicy Cajun cheese, green onions, and jalapenos. The seafood is delectable and delicious too. Pair it up with some craft beers or a glass of wine.

Exercise your mind at College Town escape rooms

Escape rooms are all the craze right now and you will find one in almost all the major tourist cities, but they're always fun, and a great team building experience. Try solving a puzzle game in a given amount of time with family or friends.
Use your brains as the clock keeps ticking and try to get out of the rooms as fast as possible. The business is owned by Kody Liston who majored at the local Southern Miss University itself. His love of puzzles and riddles made him open these escape rooms. Even if you're on a solo trip do not worry since they have provisions in that case too.

Play with your kids at the Tatum Park

The Tatum Park is spread over a very large area and has great playgrounds and nice courts too. It also has a beautiful disc golf course with as many as 18 holes.
Your kids can have fun and frolic about. There are also soccer and softball fields for the adults. Picnic tables are also set in a designated Pavilion. Pack some sandwiches and cola and spend a fun evening here.

Shopping at the Luck Rabbit

Shop for some quaint and antique pieces at this store. It really has great vintage stuff at reasonable prices.
The clothing and merchandise is changed every month by the vendors so you will keep getting great purchases and deals!