No matter why you’re visiting, there are so many fun things to do in Hattiesburg, MS that you won’t want to leave.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway, Hattiesburg, Mississippi is the perfect destination. This charming southern town has plenty to do, from exploring its beautiful downtown area to enjoying its delicious food and exciting outdoor adventures.
Plan to spend at least two full days in town and more if you want to go on a big adventure like going down the Okatoma or Leaf River. I spent three days in town and there are plenty of things I would love to go back and do.
This was my first time really exploring a Mississippi city, and I was blown away by everything it offered. I was impressed with all the restaurants I visited, they have a couple of great craft breweries, and my bike ride on the Longleaf Trace was so peaceful.
It truly is a great weekend getaway in the south. If I haven’t convinced you to visit yet, here are 27 ideas for things to do in Hattiesburg, MS that hopefully will!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! I was hosted by Visit Hattiesburg during my time in town. All opinions are my own.
27 Fun Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS
Ride or Walk the Longleaf Trace
The Longleaf Trace is a beautiful, linear park that stretches 44 miles through a mostly rural landscape from Hattiesburg to Prentiss.
It does start in downtown Hattiesburg so you’ll bike through the city for that portion. You can also go through the towns of Sumrall, Bassfield, and Carson.
The Trace was built on an abandoned railroad bed and today you can enjoy it by walking, biking, or horseback riding. I was able to bike the trail from Longleaf Piney Resort out to Epley Station (about 10 miles round trip) and it was so peaceful.
I’m not really a biker either so don’t be nervous! The trail is about 10 feet wide and paved the whole way. It’s also relatively flat.
If you aren’t staying along the LLT like I was, then you can park at one of the designated trailheads which you can find on this map. There are also restrooms located at each trailhead.
There are many places to stop and rest along the trail with benches which was nice since I wasn’t used to biking a lot. Bring plenty of water – especially if you’re out in the afternoon.
If you wanted to make a full day out of this then you could bring a picnic lunch and stop at one of the cool points of interest. During my quick ride, I stopped by a beaver pond with a nice overlook!
Don’t have a bike? No worries – you can rent one from the Longleaf Trace Gateway at Southern Miss located at 2895 W. 4th Street, Hattiesburg, MS. You can also rent from Moore’s Bicycle Shop in town.
This was one of my personal favorite things to do in Hattiesburg, MS!
If you love great biking trails then the Chisha Foka Trail is one of the best things to do in Ridgeland, MS and only an hour and 45 minutes from Hattiesburg.
Visit the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum
Located on the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center just outside of Hattiesburg, the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum tells the stories of men and women who trained in MS or were from here and served in the military.
They have multiple exhibits about past wars as well as Halls of Honor which features the Medal of Honor recipients from MS and other notable Mississippians plus an Outdoor Vehicle Park.
The Outdoor Vehicle Park is where you’ll see tanks, aircraft, and more which is super popular with kids. This is also where you’ll find Monument Row.
Make sure to bring a valid ID as this is on an active military base so you’ll need it to get in. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Play Some Games at Colludium Brewing
If you want a chill spot to grab a beer and comfort food then Colludium Brewing is your place. They have all kinds of board games, video games, shuffleboard, and foosball.
Those are just the free games – you can also pay to play the virtual reality escape room and mini-games. They have plenty of indoor seating and some outdoor seating options too.
Their taproom is the only place you can find their beer and they have a huge list of guest beers from other micro-breweries plus major names like Bud Light, Mich ULTRA, and Miller Lite.
Make sure you come hungry because they have some great bar food. Burgers and loaded fries make up a lot of their menu (they also serve salads) but I went for the BBQ Pork Grilled Cheese.
Texas Toast was piled high with juicy pulled pork layered with slaw and three types of cheese. What’s not to love? It was delicious!
This place reminded me of some of the fun breweries in Huntsville, AL that I loved.
Tour the African American Military History Museum
Another great museum in Hattiesburg is the African American Military History Museum. Here you’ll find exhibits on wars throughout history, as well as desegregation, and a Hall of Honor.
It’s an amazing place to learn about the important role that African Americans from the area have played in the military and honoring their service.
Everyone loves how informative the museum is and many of the exhibits are interactive which keeps people engaged.
Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Eat at Unique Restaurants
I love love loved the food scene in Hattiesburg. I didn’t have a bad meal – didn’t even have a mediocre meal – while I was there and some places absolutely blew me away.
One of those places was Birdhouse Cafe. It’s located in the B&S Appliance store so it’s easy to miss when you’re coming down the highway if you’ve never been before.
This is such a cozy and inviting spot for lunch or breakfast. The options are all healthy so you can get fresh juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, and salads.
I had the Heavy Tee sandwich which has turkey, bacon, brie, green apple, and spinach on it plus a fruit cup and after days of eating heavy meals, this was a welcome change.
And their desserts – holy moly! All their desserts are gluten-free and some are vegan. I’ll be honest, I was very skeptical. Dessert is one of my favorite food groups so I’m pretty particular.
I tried the avocado brownie, oatmeal cream pie, and blueberry muffin. They were amazing! The avocado brownie and oatmeal cream pie were my favorite. The oatmeal cream pie was sweet but not overly so and the brownie was gooey and chocolatey.
Another unique spot was Keg & Barrel. It is located in a 19th-century home with a wraparound porch and sitting outside was gorgeous. They had industrial-size fans set up to keep you cool.
I got the pan-grilled redfish which was so flavorful and I loved the side of veggies too. Their craft beer menu also has over 100 choices so if you’re a craft beer fan then you’ll love this place.
Two must-visit breakfast spots in Hattiesburg are The Midtowner and The Depot Kitchen & Market. I love a good breakfast spot. Trust me, I tried MANY while writing my breakfast in Gulf Shores, AL guide.
Both of these spots definitely pass the test! At The Midtowner I had their Hardy Street breakfast – get the chocolate chip pancakes.
If you visit The Depot Kitchen then I totally recommend Bru’s Breakfast bowl. A fluffy biscuit topped with eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy, and green onions.
The Mississippi restaurants really impressed me. Not only did I love the places to eat in Hattiesburg, but there were lots of great restaurants in Grenada, MS too.
Paddle the Okatoma Creek with Okatoma Outdoor Post
If you’re feeling adventurous, then you may want to try a trip down Okatoma Creek. While this isn’t big whitewater – the rapids are only Class I and II according to American Whitewater – it still requires some skill!
It’s definitely not as intense as rafting the Nolichucky or Nantahala River. If you do love whitewater then check out these whitewater rafting trips in Tennessee.
You can rent kayaks or canoes at Okatoma Outdoor Post and the shuttle is included in your rental price. So they’ll take you upriver and you paddle back to the outpost.
Make sure to ask about the river level and check that it’s a good day to paddle. You’ll also want to make sure you have good kayaking shoes, clothes, and other gear.
Most people who have kayaked before find this trip to be relatively easy but if you’ve never been in a kayak then I would recommend starting on a different river.
This is probably one of the best things to do in Hattiesburg in the summer so you can cool off!
Attend an Event Downtown
There are tons of events going on around Hattiesburg year-round! Make sure to check their event list in case there’s one that interests you.
In the spring there’s Hubfest, the Craft Beer Festival, and the Farmers Market begins in March. Live at Five is a free concert series on Fridays in the spring and fall.
Fall is also a fun time for festivals like Downtown Brews & Bites and the Historic Mobile Street Renaissance Festival.
Check Out the University of Southern Mississippi Campus
Also known as Southern Miss, the campus of the Univeristy of Southern Mississippi has some neat points of interest on campus that you should visit.
The All-American Rose Garden is one of the most popular campus attractions and is located close to the front entrance of campus. There are 32 separate garden beds each with a different variety of roses planted in them. Great photo op.
I mentioned earlier that the Longleaf Trace Gateway is also located on campus which is worth a stop if you’re interested in the Longleaf Trace.
Other cool college towns that I’ve visited include Tuscaloosa and Starkville. Check out my favorite things to do in Tuscaloosa, AL and what to do in Starkville with one day.
Hunt for Murals on the Public Art Trail
Hattiesburg has a fantastic public art trail full of over 30 murals and more than 10 sculptures throughout town.
One of the first murals to be completed by the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art was “The Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll” by River Prince. This one is located one the side of T-Bones Records & Cafe.
One of my personal favorites was “Wonderful Day” which features a quote by Maya Angelou with a very colorful background. It’s located at 300 Hardy Street. The artist was Ricardo Moody.
“Courage” was also a beautiful and impressive mural located in Veteran’s Memorial Park done by River Prince. It highlights people and industries who have played an important roll in the community.
If you visit the Pocket Museum in Pocket Alley (more on that below), you’ll see the #WhatLiftsYou mural done by internationally-renowned street artist Kelsey Montague. It’s a large mural of dragonflies.
Finding murals was one of my favorite things to do in Alvin, TX and Beaumont, TX too.
Make a Stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail
Mississippi is the birthplace of Blues music and the Blues Trail tells the stories of people who made big contributions to the genre.
Markers for the trail are all over the state and you’ll find one in Hattiesburg named “Hattiesburg, Roots of Rock and Roll” and another just south of town called “Hi-Hat Club.”
If you’re interested in music then these are a fun stop. You can read more about the markers on the Blues Trail website.
Go Glamping at a Tiny Home
If you want a unique place to stay while visiting Hattiesburg then do not miss Longleaf Piney Resort. It’s basically a campground of tiny homes along the Longleaf Trace!
Mine was so incredibly cozy and cute. They have small kitchens inside and bathrooms to so you won’t be roughing it out in the wilderness.
Each tiny home has its own fire pit, two hammocks (you have to hang them – they’re like ENO hammocks), and there are free bikes to use on a first come-first serve basis.
There is also a common area with cornhole and a fire pit if you have a large group. Near the common area, you’ll find a Little Free Library too.
I didn’t have any internet service through my cell phone here and there’s no WiFi so I was so glad to find the free library. You can borrow a book to read while you’re there, just put it back before you leave or replace it with a different book.
Since it’s right along the Longleaf Trace it’s super easy to hop on for a ride. It’s a bit of a long ride if you wanted to bike into town though. Longleaf Piney does rent the Easy Rider ebikes if you want to try those out and ride longer distances!
This was really such a cool place to stay and disconnect for a few days. On my full day in Hattiesburg I was out exploring early – around 7am – so at about 2pm I was getting pretty tired.
I came back to Longleaf Piney, hung up my hammock, and read for about an hour and a half before getting ready for dinner. It was so peaceful and relaxing.
Go Swimming at Paul B. Johnson State Park
Visiting during the summer? Cool off in the lake at Paul B. Johnson State Park. This is also a popular place to camp if you wanted bring your tent or RV – though I wouldn’t recommend tent camping in the summer.
It’s only about 25 minutes south of Hattiesburg just within the De Soto National Forest boundary. If swimming isn’t your thing then this would be a beautiful place for a picnic.
There is a nature trail here but the boardwalks are currently torn out so you can’t really use the trail. It seems like this has been an issue for some time so not sure when it might be fixed.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt in the Hattiesburg Pocket Alley
If you’re looking for one of the super unique things to do in Hattiesburg then this is absolutely it. Honestly, I was surprised at how much fun I had walking through this little alley.
It’s covered with street art, from the walls to the asphalt, and there’s even some 3D aspects like this narwhal that incorporates the ground and a large pipe.
The Pocket Alley is also home to the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum which is a 48×36-inch window with 4 shelves inside where you can find a collection of small objects that rotates monthly.
The collection when I visited was of adorable salt and pepper shakers. They have a sign where you can read about the collection as well.
In addition to the Pocket Museum, you’ll find the Pocket Theater and Pocket Gallery here too. The Pocket Theater is just to the left of the Pocket Gallery – I missed it the first time I walked by.
There are eye pieces embedded into the wall – they reminded me of the old View Master things I had as a kid if you remember those – and you can watch super short films where the theme matches the current exhibit of the museum.
In the Pocket Gallery you’ll find tiny easels that showcase people’s art. You can leave your own art (must be smaller than 4×6) or take some home with you. You just have to use the QR code to let the gallery know either way.
It’s known as the tiniest art gallery in Mississippi!
Hike Part of the Tuxachanie Trail in De Soto National Forest
The whole trail is 12.9-miles and many people start from the POW Camp (link to location) though it’s a bit further of a drive from Hattiesburg.
About midway through, you reach a small lake but it’s about 6.9 miles from the POW Camp. The trail is relatively flat the whole way – there is a bit of an incline but not too bad.
Check All Trails before visiting for current trail conditions but you may want to wear long pants in case the trail is overgrown a bit.
Take a Walk Through The Lucky Rabbit
Whether you like to shop or not, you HAVE to walk through The Lucky Rabbit. They call themselves a “junk shop” but honestly it’s because you can find anything and everything here.
Antiques, collectibles, clothes, dishes, gifts, furniture, EVERYTHING.
I literally dropped $300 on a cowhide rug… We needed a new rug anyways.
They also have monthly themes so it’s decorated differently each time you visit. And when I say decorated I mean they go all out. They also have tons of great photo ops around the store.
One of the most popular places for photos is toward the back left corner of the store where they recreate popular TV and movie sets. When I visited it was the Schitt’s Creek bedroom but past sets have been Stranger Things, The Office, Home Alone, and Griswold Family Vacation.
Definitely another unique thing to do in Hattiesburg.
Try Your Luck at Alley Cats Axe Throwing
If you’ve never tried axe throwing, this is super fun to do with a group or as a date night. Don’t worry if you’ve never been, they teach you how to throw the axes when you get there.
It’s a little like darts where you’re aiming for the bullseye in a target. They serve snacks as well as wine and beer here but you are allowed to bring in your own food if you want.
In 2021, they won a Best of Mississippi Award from Mississippi Magazine and Best of the Pine Belt from Festival South so this is a popular spot. You’ll want to make reservations!
Have a Beer at Southern Prohibition Brewery
While exploring downtown, Southern Prohibition is a great place for lunch and craft beer. They were the first craft brewery in Hattiesburg and have grown a big following since they opened in 2013.
They have indoor and outdoor seating and both gets crowded on the weekends. This is a cool spot with funky vibes.
I had the Devil’s Harvest IPA which is great if you like hazy IPAs – one of my favorite brews. Other popular picks are the Suzy B Blonde, Mississippi Fire Ant, and Crowd Control.
The Fried Chicken Sandwich is next level. It comes topped with bread & butter pickles, pickled red cabbage, and roasted garlic mayo. You can get a side of fries but be warned, they are huge. Definitley big enough to split.
Attend a Show at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater
The Theater was originally built in 1929 for silent movies and would seat 997 people. It still has its original Robert Morton Pipe Organ which was played at the beginning of each movie and between shows.
In 2000 the Theater went through a large renovation. Now you can see a wide variety of performances and shows here from concerts to ballet to popular movies.
Learn Local Civil Rights History on the 1964 Freedom Summer Trail
What I loved about the Freedom Summer Trail is the stories are told from a first-person perspective. So when you listen to the audio, you hear the story of someone who experienced the event themselves or were related to the person.
It makes this trail super powerful and a great learning experience. There are sixteen total stops on the trail and there are three within easy walking distance downtown.
If you want to do the full trail, it will take you about an hour and a half and you will have to drive to other spots on the trail. You can find the audio guides on the Freedom Summer Trail website.
Walk Through a Local Art Gallery
For fine art lovers, Hattiesburg has you covered there too. Visit the William Carrey University Campus to find two popular places – the Sarah Gillespie Collection and Lucile Parker Gallery.
The University of Southern Mississippi also has a Museum of Art which is used as exhibition space for the Department of Art & Design and other events.
If you want to see work from artists in the Hattiesburg area and other Mississippi artists then visit the Hattiesburg Arts Council Gallery.
Spend a Morning with the Animals at Hattiesburg Zoo
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the zoo! I love zoos. Always have, always will. Most people that I saw were families with young kids other than one couple that was on a date.
Don’t be afraid to go solo, I did and had a great time. I loved watching the animals and photographing them. Though this is one of the most popular things to do in Hattiesburg with kids.
If you visit early you’ll deal with fewer crowds and the heat isn’t so bad. They have a cute little electric train that takes you around the perimeter of the zoo that’s really popular with kids. It’s only $3 per person to ride and only takes about 10 minutes.
Exhibits here include The Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They also have fun attractions like a Splash Pad, High Ropes Adventure Course, and the Mining Expedition.
There are multiple food options here too in case you find yourself exploring the zoo at lunch.
What kind of animals are at Hattiesburg Zoo?
You’ll find all kinds of animals at the Hattiesburg Zoo! Giraffes, hyenas, zebras, and ostrich are just a few in the Africa Exhibit.
A tiger is in the Asian exhibit and you’ll find eagles, alligators, crocodiles, a jaguar, llamas, and more in The Americas exhibit.
Australia is where you’ll find the Wallaby Walkabout where you can see wallabies, a KuneKune pig, and emus.
When I was there a baby sloth had just been born but mom and baby were sleeping so I wasn’t able to see it. They are located at the Asbury Discovery Center where you can also see lots of reptiles.
There are over 100 species of animals here so plenty of cool things to see.
How big is the Hattiesburg Zoo?
The zoo takes up a total of 12 acres and stretches along South 17th Avenue from Hardy Street back to Camp Street.
I only had an hour to explore before I had to leave for my next destination and I definitley wish I had more time. I would plan for two hours minimum and that’s just an estimate for solo adults or couples.
Relax for the Day at Lotus Downtown Day Spa
While I typically love staying active on my trips, sometimes you just need some time to take a step back and relax.
Spend some time getting a massage, facial, or just getting a manicure and pedicure. I always feel like a new person after this!
Play a Round of Golf
There are some beautiful courses near Hattiesburg if you love to play golf. Two great courses in the area are Timberton Golf Club and Shadow Ridge Golf Club.
Timberton was named one of the Top 10 Golf Courses in Mississippi by Golfweek and they have fantastic reviews.
At Shadow Ridge everyone loves The Grill and says they have great burgers!
Float the Pinebelt Blueways
Floating the Pinebelt Blueways is a great option if you have your own kayak, canoe, or tubes. There are multiple routes to take on two different rivers – the Leaf and Bouie.
If you don’t have your own gear and have more than five people who want to go then the Pinebelt Blueways organize guided trips on either river.
This will require some pre-planning though because they ask that you submit a guided tour request 30+ days in advance of when you would like to go.
If you love kayaking then consider planning a trip to coastal Alabama to explore their Back Bay Blueway. This Gulf Shores Kayaking Guide will help.
College Town Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are SO popular these days and that’s no different here in Hattiesburg. An escape room is basically a huge puzzle room where you’re supposed to work with the others in your group to figure out how to get out.
At College Town Escape Rooms they have four different scenarios that you can choose from:
Kidnapped: Revamped where you’ve been kidnapped and have to escape the room before the killer returns.
The Great Western Heist where you’re stealing cash from a local saloon and have to make it out in time.
Steampunk’d where you must infiltrate a ship, find the captain’s quarters, and take back some rare artifacts.
And finally, Killer Inn where you must find evidence that the Inn owner is a serial killer and get out before he catches you.
See Live Music at Brewsky’s
Brewsky’s is a popular spot for live music in Hattiesburg but know that it’s mostly the college crowd that goes here.
Tickets are relatively cheap though and if you’re into live music then this is a great thing to do in the evenings.
You can check their schedule of events on their website. Shows are mainly on Friday or Saturday nights and some Thursdays.
Make a Stop on the Hatties[BURGER] Trail
This is one of the cool and unique things to do in Hattiesburg! I hadn’t heard of a burger trail before and I loooove burgers.
There are over 35 stops on the trail right now and you can find a map and list of stops in their Hatties[Burger] Trail Brochure.
All the restaurants on the list have burgers on their regular menu so if you get the craving then head to one of these Hattiesburg spots!
My friends Brandi & Dori of Backroads & Burgers have visited multiple locations on the trail and written up the 10 burgers in Hattiesburg that you don’t want to miss.
Wrap Up: Fun Things to Do in Hattiesburg, MS
There are so many things to do in Hattiesburg, MS for every kind of traveler. I visited solo but this would be a great place for a girl’s getaway, couple’s retreat, or even family vacation.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect since I hadn’t explored Mississippi that much but I loved the adorable downtown area, the Longleaf Trace, and especially the food.
Truly, I can’t tell you how much the food surprised me. In every restaurant I visited, I found myself saying “wow, this is SO good!”
So if you’re a foodie then you should definitely put Hattiesburg on your list too.
No matter what your interests are, I hope you give this charming southern town a visit if you haven’t already! It makes for a fun weekend getaway in the south.
Did I miss your favorite thing to do in Hattiesburg? Send me an email at anna (at) stuckonthego (dot) com and let me know!