30 Best Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg, MS

Welcome to Hattiesburg, Mississippi!

Situated in the heart of the Pine Belt, this city is a unique blend of Southern charm and vibrant modern culture.

Each daybreak unveils the historic allure of Hattiesburg, while the evenings usher in the thrill of an energetic nightlife scene.

Hattiesburg is known for its rich history, bustling food scene, eclectic festivals, and so much more.

This city is ready to reveal its secrets to those who seek them.

Whether a visitor or a new resident, there is a myriad of exciting things to explore in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Lilith Mercer, Luella Gonzalez, Karen Clement, Frances Packer, Sarah Gould, Roy Harris and Maria Beck.

Journey through History at the African American Military History Museum

Exterior of African American Military Museum
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whenever I crave a taste of history, the African American Military History Museum is my go-to place.

This museum, located in a former USO club, is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge about the outstanding contributions of African Americans in our military's history.

From the Revolutionary War right up to the present day, the exhibits here cover it all.

Walking in, the first thing that strikes you is the welcoming ambiance.

The museum is meticulously arranged and has a pleasant aroma that adds to the overall experience.

Here, you are greeted by the lovely staff who are not just pleasant but also very knowledgeable.

I remember Carrington, one of the staff members, who shared enlightening details about the exhibits.

Welcome sign of African American Military History Museum
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was an educational experience that was also sociable and enjoyable.

Interactive displays make the museum a hit among the little ones. They have a blast climbing on the wooden horse and the jeep exhibits.

Plus, the African American Military History Museum also pays homage to local heroes from Hattiesburg, which adds a personal touch to the exhibits.

Visiting the museum doesn't cost a penny, although they do humbly accept donations.

It's a place that I find myself returning to time and again, always leaving with a fresh understanding of our rich history.

Memorial garden of African American Military History Museum
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hit the Target at Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company

From the moment I stepped foot into the Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company, I knew I was about to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

The warm welcome from the friendly staff made me feel right at home instantly.

I was then introduced to an eclectic mix of local patrons and newcomers alike, all eagerly awaiting their turn to demonstrate their axe-throwing prowess.

The place was humming with energy, and the air was filled with a sense of friendly competition.

The seasoned regulars were more than willing to share their knowledge about the rules and techniques of the sport - a testament to the camaraderie that is unique to this place.

On my special days, they even crafted a custom board for me, commemorating both my birthday and my wedding anniversary.

It's these personal touches that really make Alley Cats stand out from the crowd.

But it wasn't just the axe throwing that kept me coming back.

The good drinks and great atmosphere made it the perfect spot to unwind after a long day.

It became a favorite hangout spot for my husband and me.

He has a knack for making friends everywhere, and the staff and patrons at Alley Cats were no exception.

For my son's 13th birthday, we decided to introduce him to this unique sport.

Needless to say, the amazing staff made sure we had a fantastic experience.

They helped us keep score, gave us tips on throwing, and even threw some games with my son.

They made his birthday truly special.

Solve Mysteries at College Town Escape Rooms

It was another Friday night in our quiet town and we were looking for something unique, something exciting to spice up our date night.

That's when we decided to visit College Town Escape Rooms.

Let me tell you - it exceeded our expectations and then some!

From the moment we stepped into the suspense-filled atmosphere, the attentive owner greeted us with such friendliness that we felt immediately at home.

The room that we chose was brilliantly designed, each detail meticulously thought out to create an immersive experience.

The puzzles were not only fun, but they were also unique and challenging.

As someone who considers myself quite adept at solving puzzles, I must admit College Town Escape Rooms gave me a run for my money.

We were not alone in our adventure.

A local Boy Scout Troop, an all-girls group, was also there with us.

They split into two groups and tackled two different rooms.

The excitement and thrill on their faces were apparent.

The staff was as helpful to them as they were to us, providing timely hints and ensuring everyone had a good time.

The best part? No phones allowed.

Yes, you read that right!

The absence of any distractions made the experience even more enjoyable and intense.

It also added to the sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Already, we can't wait to go back and face another challenge.

Dive into Local History at Hattiesburg Area Historical Society

One morning, while sipping my coffee, I decided to explore something different in my town.

I headed to the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society.

The Historical Society regularly hosts lectures, presentations, and special events that delve into different aspects of Hattiesburg's history.

Check their calendar for upcoming programs and opportunities to learn more about the city's past.

Keep an eye out for events organized by the Hattiesburg Area Historical Society, such as historical reenactments, living history demonstrations, and themed festivals.

These events provide immersive experiences that bring the past to life.

Hattiesburg Area Historical Society is not just a place to delve into the past but also a venue that hosts events - even weddings!

Unearth Treasures at the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum

Wandering through the charming streets of Hattiesburg, I've stumbled upon a gem. It's a tiny gem, to be exact.

Nestled between the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is a miracle to behold.

It's as if someone has shrunken a world of wonders and tucked them away for the keen observer to find.

Every time I visit, there's a new treasure waiting for me.

A fascinating window display that swaps out monthly, each more intriguing than the last.

This August, they had an impressive collection of marbles, each unique in pattern and color.

And it's not just about looking, The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum offers scavenger hunts that turn the visit into an adventure.

One of my favorite parts is the hidden exhibits, tucked away, only to be discovered by those who take the time to explore.

Every corner tells a story, every tiny figurine a character in a narrative I find myself a part of.

And then there are the captions, each one a piece of the puzzle, a breadcrumb leading to the next treasure.

I've been three times already, and each time I find something new, something different.

But the magic isn't reserved just for me.

I've seen people of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, marvel at the intricate displays and the 3D paintings.

There's a certain respect that fills the air.

Everyone appreciates the hard work and creativity that goes into the museum.

There's no ticket fee, so I usually drop a few bucks in the kitty as a thank-you.

Learn Stories of Heroism at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum

Exterior of Mississippi armed forces Museum
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just a stone's throw away from my home, nestled in the heart of Camp Shelby, is the remarkable Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, a true treasure trove of military history.

As always, my visit begins at the visitor center, stationed to the right of the main gate, where I check in with my driver's license.

The guards, courteous and professional, direct me to the museum without delay.

Once inside, I am always captivated by the sheer volume of artifacts and information they have on display, a testament to the museum's commitment to preserving our military heritage.

From arms and uniforms from the Mexican American War to the Middle East, every piece tells a story, and I've spent countless hours poring over the exhibits and presentations.

The museum is not just a visual journey, but a total audio-visual experience.

The life-size dioramas, replete with surround sound, transport me back in time, allowing me to witness history unfold in front of my eyes.

The collection of American armor and army aircraft leaves me in awe every time, and I never miss an opportunity to admire the Russian armor pieces, a testament to the global nature of war.

As someone who appreciates the outdoors, the outside section of the museum is as appealing as the inside.

Displaying a fascinating array of military hardware, it's always a delight to wander around, admiring the vehicles and aircrafts of eras past.

To end my visit, I often stop by the small gift shop, a place where I can take a piece of this incredible history home with me.

While entry to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum is free, there's always a donation box at the ready.

It's a small price to pay for the wealth of knowledge and history the museum offers.

Despite the museum's chilly interior, a small inconvenience easily remedied with a jacket or sweater, the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum remains a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.

Jump on the Action at Eagle Action Sportz Paintball

Let me tell you about my last weekend. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I've ever had at Eagle Action Sportz Paintball!

I've been there quite a few times before, but this time was different.

I decided to celebrate my son's 12th birthday at the paintball park, and it turned out to be a memorable day.

The booking was a piece of cake; my wife made the payment over the phone, and we quickly completed the online waivers they sent over email.

The staff was waiting for us on our arrival with all the gear, and after a quick rundown of the rules, we were ready to conquer the battlefield.

We were on-site, playing different games for almost three hours.

It was incredible.

So much so that I've already started planning a guys' outing for the next few weeks.

I believe it will be the perfect way to reconnect and relish some fun.

And with summer break around the corner, it's also a fantastic opportunity to get the kids together for a day filled with laughter and excitement.

In February, I organized a fun outing for my dad's birthday, and even though none of us had ever played paintball before, the experience was phenomenal.

We had a blast, and the credit goes to the fantastic staff.

They were accommodating and made sure we had the time of our lives.

I've also had the chance to make three reservations for my coworkers.

Despite how busy it gets, the management always ensures we get to play with our group.

A big shoutout to Cody and his team for making it such a great experience each time.

So, if you haven't tried Eagle Action Sportz Paintball yet, you're certainly missing out.

Trust me, it's an adventure you won't forget!

Have a Night Out at Southern Prohibition Brewing

Have you ever driven past a building that doesn't look like much from the outside, but once inside, you're blown away?

That's the experience you get when you visit Southern Prohibition Brewing.

It's a hidden gem in our town that offers much more than meets the eye.

Stepping inside, you're greeted by a warm and welcoming staff.

They're always ready to help you navigate their impressive beer selection.

Trust me, the beers on tap here are much better than what you can get at your neighborhood store.

They have a sizable selection - from dark strong beers that send warmth spreading through your veins to lighter ales that dance on your taste buds.

Their cocktails are pretty amazing too, if you're not much of a beer person.

It's not just about the drinks though.

Their food is simply mouth-watering.

Whether it's the juicy hamburgers or the crispy fries, everything is a delight.

What's even better is that the prices won't break the bank.

The atmosphere at Southern Prohibition Brewing is something else.

It's lively, thanks to the regular events that they host.

Just a few days ago, we had the best time at their Oktoberfest 2023 party.

There were a ton of fun activities, contests, and even niche items for fans and collectors.

Find an Heirloom at The Lucky Rabbit

Every weekend, I find myself wandering into The Lucky Rabbit, a charming flea market in the heart of our college town.

This delightfully quirky place is a treasure trove, brimming with a mishmash of items that range from vintage pieces to funky new finds and even a family of cats that have made the place their home!

Every aisle is a journey into the past, the present, and sometimes, the weirdly whimsical.

Booths are rented out by local artisans, each offering a unique shopping experience.

The store is well-maintained and organized, and the effort put into the decor of each booth is truly noticeable.

The staff is always friendly and ready with a smile, adding to the warm, inviting atmosphere.

One of the most interesting aspects of my visits to The Lucky Rabbit is the nostalgia trip.

Quite often, I find myself stopped in my tracks, captivated by items that send me back to my own childhood.

It's like a mini-time capsule, a slice of the past that makes for some delightful reminiscing.

As a tip for fellow adventure shoppers, there's more than one fitting room scattered throughout the store, allowing you to try on that eye-catching vintage dress or funky jacket you found.

And don't forget to grab a drink at the entrance - it really enhances the leisurely treasure hunt experience.

With clean restrooms on both floors, you can take your time exploring every nook and cranny of this gem without any worry.

Although prices can veer towards the steep side (a common occurrence in a popular tourist spot like this), the overall unique experience makes it worthwhile.

My only sole gripe is the lack of air-conditioning during the hotter months - which makes me eagerly anticipate my next visit in the cooler season.

But till then, happy treasure hunting!

Catch a Concert at Town Square Park

You know it's spring when the Live at 5 concert series kicks off at Town Square Park.

The first in the series was a blast, with an assortment of food and drink vendors adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

It's the perfect place to unwind, with the park serving as a backdrop to the rhythmic tunes of local bands.

The park is a local hub, hosting a variety of events that bring the community together.

The traffic around the park is slow and safe, making it an ideal spot for families with little ones or anyone looking to escape the rush of city life.

One of the park's highlights is the Thursday farmers market.

This is where I get my weekly stash of fresh produce, often from a nice gentleman from Oloh.

The market is also a fantastic avenue to discover local delicacies and unique ingredients that one can't find in regular grocery stores.

Located conveniently within walking distance of various eateries, attractions, and government offices downtown, it's easy to stop by Town Square Park when you're in the area.

And if you're riding a bike, there's ample bike parking, too.

Experience the Magic at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater

Exterior of the Historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater
Dudemanfellabra, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You know that feeling when you step into a place steeped in history, and you can almost hear the echoes of those who came before you?

That's exactly what you get when you walk into the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater.

This historic movie theater, built in 1929, is no ordinary place. It's like stepping into a beautiful time capsule; only this one is alive with modern performances.

You simply can't beat the sterling experiences you can have here.

Their events are wonderfully thought out and executed with a dash of educational excitement.

Memories of the Halloween event, the Christmas celebration, and the herpetology night hike still leave me with a wide smile!

The center is a beautiful place that perfectly captures nature’s essence - I remember a family photoshoot we did there, the scenic view providing an exquisite backdrop.

It's such a great place to bring kids too!

The freedom to explore and run around is something they thoroughly enjoy.

But if you ask me, "Spider Night," held in late September, was an absolute thrill.

I remember sitting there, under the moonlight, watching a classic 1970's tarantula movie.

The fun didn't stop at the movie, though.

Armed with courage (and a few libations), we ventured out into the night to spot spiders.

I found it fascinating as each spider's behavior and characteristics were explained to us in detail by the knowledgeable staff.

You could see their passion for the environment shine through every word.

One of the things I truly appreciate about this place is their encouragement of local flora.

I still remember their plant sale, where I took home 23 plants, each one perfect for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

I can't help but look forward to their upcoming Snake Night this May.

The exhilarating prospect of catching a water moccasin promises yet another thrilling night.

If you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, you just have to check out this well-kept secret.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Join an Educational Event at Lake Thoreau Environmental Center

I'm so glad I stumbled upon the gem that is the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center.

You simply can't beat the sterling experiences you can have here.

Their events are wonderfully thought out and executed with a dash of educational excitement.

Memories of the Halloween event, the Christmas celebration, and the herpetology night hike still leave me with a wide smile!

The center is a beautiful place that perfectly captures nature’s essence - I remember a family photoshoot we did there, the scenic view providing an exquisite backdrop.

It's such a great place to bring kids too!

The freedom to explore and run around is something they thoroughly enjoy.

But if you ask me, "Spider Night," held in late September, was an absolute thrill.

I remember sitting there, under the moonlight, watching a classic 1970's tarantula movie.

The fun didn't stop at the movie, though.

Armed with courage (and a few libations), we ventured out into the night to spot spiders.

I found it fascinating as each spider's behavior and characteristics were explained to us in detail by the knowledgeable staff.

You could see their passion for the environment shine through every word.

One of the things I truly appreciate about this place is their encouragement of local flora.

I still remember their plant sale, where I took home 23 plants, each one perfect for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

I can't help but look forward to their upcoming Snake Night this May.

The exhilarating prospect of catching a water moccasin promises yet another thrilling night.

If you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, you just have to check out this well-kept secret.

Cycling the Longleaf Trace

Ah, the Longleaf Trace.

It's truly a gem for all of us who find solace in the rhythm of pedaling.

This trail, stretching 43 miles long, is undoubtedly the finest in the state of Mississippi.

I've spent countless hours winding my way along its path while cramming for my pharmacy school prerequisites.

Every time I mount my bike, I feel a pang of yearning for the days of cycling through Hattiesburg.

An intriguing feature is the presence of a camera in the pavilion near the office as a security measure.

Not to mention, the trail has undergone several enhancements since my last ride in 2019.

Now, I'm always thrilled to find pumps for tires, a place to charge electric cars, freshly painted bridges, and newly added grasses dotting the landscape.

The trail continues to be well maintained, making it a pleasure to ride on every single day.

One of the conveniences they offer is the option to rent a bike.

However, I must say, the bikes for rent are quite dated, and it might be time for an upgrade.

Regardless, I can't help but highly recommend this trail to anyone who loves to pedal their worries away.

The best place to start your journey is the parking area, where restrooms are readily available.

I would advise heading toward I59 for some immediate tunnels and bridges to whizz through.

On my best days, I've covered 38 miles round trip on my ebike.

Despite a few rough patches caused by persistent tree roots, a local contractor is currently addressing the issue to make the trail smoother for riders.

The Longleaf Trace, in all its natural beauty and well-maintained wonder, is a must for any cycling enthusiast.

Have a Retreat at Hattiesburg / Okatoma River KOA

I can't count the number of times I've decided to take a break from my everyday routine and ventured out to the Hattiesburg / Okatoma River KOA.

Pulled in by the promise of an idyllic day out around the campfire or lounging by the pool, I'm always greeted by the friendliest of faces.

The crystal clear pool is my go-to relaxation spot after a long week, and I can't help but appreciate the cleanliness and easy access of the sites.

One of the many things that sets this campground apart is its dedicated dog park, a clean and well-set space that my furry friends absolutely love.

The staff members are always pleasant and patient, making sure to check on us every day to ensure we have everything we need.

At Hattiesburg / Okatoma River KOA, there's never a dull moment.

The location is perfect for outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and canoeing.

And if you're into history, there are fascinating historic sites nearby to visit.

The ‘family-style’ showers are a unique touch, offering plenty of hot water and privacy.

But it's not just about the amenities here; the feel of the place is something else.

Surrounded by trees, the campground is a verdant oasis that instantly calms the mind.

I often find myself on the covered patio, lounging on comfortable chairs with a refreshing drink in hand.

On a rainy evening, there's no better place to be than here, watching as the rain gently falls on the lush greenery.

From last-minute plans to well-thought-out camping trips, Hattiesburg / Okatoma River KOA is my go-to destination.

It's a place that's ideal for families, camping enthusiasts, or anyone in need of a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

With a staff that treats you like family and a setting that brings you closer to nature, it truly is one of the best campgrounds around.

Encounter Animals at the Hattiesburg Zoo

Tiger in Hattiesburg zoo
AXWhat / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, living in a small town might not be as thrilling as big city life, but when I feel the need to explore, the Hattiesburg Zoo always manages to satiate my wanderlust.

I've been frequenting this local gem for years, seeing it grow and evolve from a humble home for a handful of animals into a lively park that now houses over 75 global animal species.

Forget about the usual tedious urban stroll; here, the destination is a world of wonder.

The zoo's carousel is always a hit, it's old-world charm adding an extra dash of whimsy to the already enchanting atmosphere.

The kids especially love the splash pad, though it's a bit different from typical water play areas - instead of fixtures, water shoots straight up from the ground, creating a delightful display that never fails to incite joyous shrieks of laughter.

Speaking of the little ones, the train ride always brings out the widest grins.

Although the old train has its quirky charm, it does seem a little past its prime.

A macaw at Hattiesburg Zoo
AXWhat / Shutterstock.com

But fear not; a new train is already parked and waiting in the wings, ready to carry excited passengers on their next adventure.

The food and drinks deserve a mention, too - they're surprisingly good for a zoo.

And if the kids ever need to take a break from the excitement, there's a cool-down area where they can relax and recharge.

The most intriguing thing about the Hattiesburg Zoo is its future. I’ve heard the place plans on expanding and adding a water park.

Now, that's something I haven't seen at any other zoo before. As always, there's something new to look forward to in this part of town.

A llama at Hattiesburg Zoo
Woodlot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch the Game at M.M. Roberts Stadium

There's a certain electricity in the air whenever I step foot into M.M. Roberts Stadium, affectionately known by all of us here as 'The Rock.'

The reason for the nickname, I can't quite remember, but it's stuck.

There's no place like M.M. Roberts Stadium to catch a Southern Miss Golden Eagles game, and the stadium, with its 37,000 seats, seems to come alive on game day.

The stadium itself has quite a character.

The restrooms may be on the smaller side, but the views from the seats more than make up for it.

And the sound system, I tell you, it's incredibly loud.

It's like a roar that reverberates across the entire stadium, adding to the excitement of the game.

As for parking, I've never had much of a problem.

It's typically easy to get in and get out.

And the suites, oh, they're just stunning.

I've had the good fortune to visit one a few times, and they're always kept immaculate.

Treat Your Senses to the All-American Rose Garden

The first thing you'll notice is the fragrance.

The moment you step foot onto the verdant campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, the rich, velvety scent of roses wafts through the air, drawing you towards the All-American Rose Garden.

It is an olfactory journey unlike any other, one that promises beauty and peace.

Among the aged trees of the university, the garden is a burst of color, a sea of roses that ebbs and flows with the seasons.

Each plant is an All-America Rose Selections winner, a testament to their quality and resilience.

The blooms are in every hue imaginable, from deepest red to purest white, from softest pink to most vibrant yellow.

Walking through All-American Rose Garden is a delight.

The paths are well-maintained, inviting you to wander and appreciate the natural beauty on display.

It's a popular spot for students to study, couples to stroll and for those like me who simply enjoy the tranquility it offers amidst the daily hustle.

There's a unique tradition tied to the university and the rose garden.

Underneath the stadium, you'll find handprints of students who've graduated – a small personal piece left behind.

It's a touching reminder of the human connections that thread through our lives, linking the past to the present.

Enjoy the Food and Beer at Crescent City Grill

No matter how many times I go to Crescent City Grill, there's a certain charm that never gets old.

The warm woods of the interior, the intricately designed stained glass and the hustle and bustle of happy customers, it’s an experience uniquely Hattiesburg Mississippi.

One afternoon, I decided on a whim to pop in for lunch.

The place was brimming with patrons, yet the staff managed to seat me within minutes.

Drinks were served promptly, and I was quite taken with their broad beer and wine lists.

I placed my order, expecting a bit of a wait, given the rush.

But lo and behold, my food arrived steaming hot in less than 15 minutes.

The food is something to write home about.

I've tried the Catfish Plaquemine, a dish that is nothing short of phenomenal.

The fried green tomatoes and the oyster sampler are must-tries for all seafood lovers.

They also serve a range of appetizers that leave you craving for more.

I found it underwhelming and was let down by the taste.

But then, I had their Crab Cake BLT and it was nothing short of a revelation!

It tasted authentically of crab, something that's hard to find these days.

In all of my visits, I've found the waitstaff to be pleasant and accommodating.

Crescent City Grill is a restaurant that truly captures the spirit of Southern cuisine.

Go Camping at Paul B Johnson State Park

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

One thing I've always loved about living in this area is the tranquil, soul-soothing allure of Paul B Johnson State Park.

This gem, encompassing more than 800 acres, is more than just a park - it's a sanctuary offering escapades in camping, swimming, boating, fishing and more.

It has been an integral part of my life's journey, from my childhood until now.

Stepping into Paul B Johnson State Park feels like stepping into a postcard.

The lake - the heart and soul of the park - is an absolute stunner at any time of the day.

I remember making sandcastles at the small sandy beach by the lake during my childhood, and now I enjoy a quiet afternoon of fishing or kayaking.

Staying in the park is an experience in itself.

Take it from someone who has spent countless nights in the cabins by the lake, waking up to the sight of the serene lake is a feeling that cannot be put into words.

The two-room cabins are not just affordable but also comfortable, providing the basic necessities that you need for a comfortable stay.

The park staff, always friendly and helpful, goes above and beyond to ensure that the visitors have a great time.

They even offer discounts on various amenities, like they did for a 100% Disability accommodation.

Listening to the distant hum of Highway 49, watching the aircrafts land at Camp Shelby, or partaking in activities like disc golf tournaments or biking, every experience is unique in its ways.

The park also boasts covered picnic areas with grills, a splash pad, and a main house with a room that can accommodate around 50-60 people for meetings or reunions.

Every time I visit, I notice something new - a new bird species near the lake, the changing colors of the leaves, or the preparations for some new upgrades - each visit is a fresh adventure.

In a world obsessed with luxury and the 'high-life', Paul B Johnson State Park serves as a humble reminder that there's unparalleled beauty in simplicity.

Instead of confining yourself to a hotel room, why not embrace the outdoors, the refreshing breeze and the open sky?

After all, isn't that what true living is all about?

Get Active at Tatum Park

Just around the corner from my home is a haven of greenery and outdoor fun - Tatum Park, which holds a special place in my heart.

Let me tell you, the park is expansive, and there is always an air of energy and spirit that floats around this place, adding a unique charm to it.

From wide open fields to top-notch lighting, it's almost like the park was made for those who love to immerse themselves in various sports activities.

Being an ardent disc golf player, I have spent countless hours strolling around the 18-hole golf course.

The layout and conditions are truly impressive, matching the standards of professional courses.

Tatum Park is indeed a paradise for disc golf enthusiasts, and let's not forget about that exciting hanging basket which is like a cherry on top!

Now, let me walk you through my personal favorite, playing flag football.

Having played on these fields for more than two decades, they've become a part of my identity.

It's a tradition, it's a ritual, it's something that brings me closer to my brothers, and every time there's a new addition to our gang, Tatum Park is our go-to spot.

The only downside to this otherwise perfect spot is the lack of permanent restrooms.

However, the park has ample port-a-potties strewn around.

Plus, parking here is plentiful but can get a bit tricky during tournament weekends.

Yet, all these little quirks don't take away from the beauty that is Tatum Park.

It's the heart, the pulse of our little town, and I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had here for anything else.

Have a Friendly Match at Kamper Park

There's something magical about walking through the gates of Kamper Park.

You're immediately greeted by a fresh, earthy scent, and the rush of excitement that comes with knowing you're about to step into another world - one filled with nature, animals, and a sense of serene in the middle of Hattiesburg.

Seated on 40-acres, the park is not only my go-to place for a morning jog but also a local favorite for family picnics.

The children's laughter echoes as they swing high on the playgrounds while others engage in a friendly match on the tennis courts.

But the highlight of the park has to be the Hattiesburg Zoo, a haven for a wide variety of animals.

I remember the first time I visited the zoo, and the joy I felt looking at the animals was pure and visceral.

It is always exciting to see the new additions, like the splash pad - an absolute savior on warm Mississippi days.

The prices at the snack counters might seem a bit high, with a hot dog going for 10 dollars and a popsicle for 6 dollars, but the experience is worth it.

On one of these visits, I was fortunate to see the now dearly departed Sumatran Tiger, Kipling.

His regal stance and majestic beauty left an indelible mark on my heart.

Every trip to the park brings back the memory of that glorious creature.

Whether you're up for a walk amidst the greenery, a fun day out with family, or looking to appreciate wildlife up close, Kamper Park offers a little bit of everything.

Immerse in the Serenity of Chain Park

Imagine a leisurely afternoon stroll where the chirping of birds and the soft rustling of leaves is your symphony. That's the everyday experience at Chain Park.

The playground, though small, is a delight for little ones, while the expansive fields provide ample room for a friendly game of frisbee or a family picnic.

I've spent countless evenings just sitting on a park bench, taking in the vibrant hues of the setting sun and relishing the tranquility.

Chain Park's walking trail is another of my favorite features.

Wandering through its winding paths, under the watchful gaze of towering trees, is like communing with nature herself.

On days when I'm feeling more adventurous, I veer off the beaten path, exploring the small trails that lead to the river.

There's something profoundly calming about the river's gentle murmur as it flows.

It's not all just about solitude and tranquility, though.

I've shared laughter and good times with my family over a picnic lunch, looking out over the river.

The park is also exceptionally well-maintained.

I've visited both during the day and at night, and it's always clean and well-lit.

Plus, there's plenty of parking for those driving in from elsewhere.

If you ever need a break, a dose of nature, or just some time to yourself, Chain Park awaits with open arms.

The park is a delightful oasis of greenery and tranquility, and I feel fortunate to have it right here in my neighborhood.

Discover the Roots of Rock 'n' Roll at the Mississippi Blues Trail

Blues trail marker
Bobpalez, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every day, as I stroll through my humble town of Hattiesburg, I always make it a point to take a detour down Buschman Street.

It's not for the neighborhood, mind you, it's not the most glamorous place in our town especially at night.

No, the real gem that keeps pulling me in is the public mural on the backside of a building on that road.

This mural is a brilliant artistic display that showcases Day Lilies, the flower that our city is known for.

You can find this mural as a part of the Mississippi Blues Trail, a heritage site that tells the intriguing tale of Rock 'n' Roll's roots.

The trail marker in Hattiesburg is quite a sight.

It's a simple little sign, but it carries a history that is deep and rich, just like the blues music it represents.

Even though there's no longer a juke joint or recording studio nearby, the mural and the trail marker at Mississippi Blues Trail serve as a strong reminder of the vibrant musical past of our city, and how it contributed to the birth of the Rock 'n' Roll genre.

As I look at them each day, I can almost hear the deep, soulful melodies of the blues reverberating through the streets of Hattiesburg.

Make a Splash at Pep's Point Water Park

Oh, how I love those warm summer days at Pep's Point Water Park!

I adore the water slide just as much as my kids do.

It's not just a slide, mind you, it's a thrill - a feeling of pure joy!

And the staff there make it so much safer for the toddlers, too.

They helped us get our 2-year-old on the slide, and there was someone to ensure his safety as we slid down.

Now, for 15 dollars, you get an all-day pass that not only includes the water slides but also a round of miniature golf.

And if you manage to get there early enough, you can snag yourself a pavilion for 20 dollars and a grill for 5.

It's such a steal, isn't it?

But that's not it!

Pep's Point Water Park also has cabins for rent and a campsite for those RV campers.

You can even rent a paddle boat for a leisurely ride around the lake or try your luck at fishing.

There's also a beach volleyball court, basketball area, and the opportunity for some land camping - tent-style or in their cozy cabins.

The highlight?

You can bring your own food and grill or sample their delicious menu.

And if you're lucky, you might even stumble upon an arrowhead or two on your walk up to the top of the slide - a charming reminder of the park's history.

Have Some Bouncin' Fun at Updown Trampoline Park

Who knew bouncing on a trampoline could be such an electrifying experience?

That's what I found out during my recent visit to Updown Trampoline Park.

Right from the moment you step into this massive indoor park, your heart is filled with the contagious joy and laughter of kids leaping around.

My children, like most others, were eager to start jumping away.

You can choose between one or two hours of jump time, which for a parent, is a great opportunity to let your kids spend some of that boundless energy they seem to have.

While the children are entertaining themselves, you can take a breather.

There's a small concession stand offering light refreshments.

The options may not be extensive, but let's be honest, the last thing on your mind when your kids are busy jumping is pizza or soda.

Just remember to bring or purchase the required jump socks.

Aside from the trampolines, there are also a few arcade games at Updown Trampoline Park to mix things up.

And if you're up for it, you can even engage in a friendly game of laser tag.

It's a well-rounded experience that keeps the little ones entertained and physically active.

However, like any public place, parents should keep an eye on their own children.

During our visit, a couple of unruly kids were causing trouble and there wasn't enough staff around to manage the situation.

It's a small downside to an overall enjoyable experience.

I must mention that there was an incident involving a parent who was treated disrespectfully by a staff member.

While I didn't witness the event firsthand, it's important to note that everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

Have a Retail Therapy at Turtle Creek Mall

Exterior of Turtle Creek Mall
Aaron Manning, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It's always an experience, taking a trip to my neighborhood hangout, the Turtle Creek Mall.

The place is a vibrant indoor shopping hub teeming with a variety of stores for every shopper.

Turtle Creek Mall has a rich collection of anchor stores that include Belk’s, J.C. Penney’s, Dillard’s, and @home.

These stores have never disappointed me when it comes to variety and some exclusive brand offerings.

Whether it's a trendy outfit I need for a party or some beautiful home decor, these stores have always been my reliable go-to.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Soak Up the Sun at Ocean Springs Beach

There's a soothing rhythm to life here at Ocean Springs Beach, a delicate symphony composed of lapping waves, rustling palm trees, and the laughter of families gathered for picnics.

The beach is beautiful, with its pristine sand that's as soft as powdered sugar under your bare feet.

There's something particularly mesmerizing about the sunsets here, painting a myriad of colors on the sky canvas - it's no wonder the beachfront homes are in such high demand.

The town itself is charming and quaint, with Knuckleheads bar and grill at its heart.

Their nachos are a personal favorite and the lively atmosphere makes it a great spot to unwind after a day at the beach.

While the ocean may not boast of the tantalizing blues of the Caribbean, the water is clean, albeit a bit brownish in color - a small price to pay for the richness of life it supports.

Plus, the beach is well maintained, which is always a relief.

Early mornings are for jogging along the beachfront sidewalk.

Although watch out for the dogs, as some aren’t as welcoming to runners.

Evenings often bring out the locals in their golf carts, slightly tipsy from enjoying the open container policy in the arts district.

If you're in the mood for a bit of excitement, Biloxi with its glittering casinos is just a short drive away.

But for me, the highlight of Ocean Springs Beach always remains the beach - the way it looks in the soft glow of morning light, the feel of the cool water around my ankles, and the serene calm it brings.

It's an experience I wouldn't trade for anything else.

Catch the Sunset at Henderson Point Beach

Every time I need a break from the rush of life, I find myself making my way to the peaceful retreat that is Henderson Point Beach.

There are few sights that can compete with the picturesque beauty of the majestic ocean waves gently crashing against the shore.

The sand is impeccably clean, and the beach offers a serene view of the horizon.

The parking area is spacious, making it easy for me to park my RV there.

The beach is always tranquil, a welcome contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city.

There is a sense of peace and quiet that is only interrupted by the occasional chatter of people and the rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean waves.

The beach has a way of calming my mind and reminding me of the simple pleasures of life.

One of my favorite things about this beach is the sunset.

Watching the sun slowly descend, casting an orange glow over the calm waters with hues of pink and purple in the sky, is truly a sight to behold.

The friendly people around always add to the charm of this place.

Despite the chilly winds in February, the beach's beauty never fades.

Final Thoughts

I have to say that Hattiesburg, Mississippi, really is a hidden gem.

For anyone who hasn't had the chance to explore Hattiesburg, I can't recommend it enough.

This charming Southern city has so much to offer, from rich history and culture to exciting adventures and delicious cuisine.

Trust me, you won't regret spending a day (or more!) getting to know this beautiful corner of Mississippi.

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