The Very BEST Things to Do in Laurel, Mississippi

things to do in laurel mississippi

Are you planning a weekend getaway to Laurel, Mississippi? You’re in the right place! 

Located in Jones County, Laurel, MS, is a charming and slow-paced town with a range of sightseeing, shopping, and dining options. From strolling through its oak-lined streets and enjoying free family-oriented arts events to live music at top-notch restaurants every weekend, there are many things to do in Laurel, Mississippi, for visitors and locals.

But you’re likely asking what are the very BEST things to do, so you can be sure you maximize your time visiting Laurel? 

With so many fun things to do, it can be tricky to decide where to start! To offer a starting point, I’ve curated a list of the things to do in Laurel, Mississippi.

This complete guide covers everything from what to do and where to eat, shop, and stay in Laurel, Mississippi. Adding these fun activities and attractions to your Laurel itinerary ensures a remarkable journey through The City Beautiful.    

Let’s get started!

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Laurel, MS

Why is Laurel, Mississippi, a Great Getaway Location? 

Located 90 miles northwest of Jackson, Mississippi’s Capital city, Laurel sits right in the heart of the state. Located just 30 miles north of Hattiesburg and 60 miles south of Meridian, Laurel is easily accessible from the northern parts of the state.

Nicknamed “the City Beautiful,” Laurel is known for its southern charm, historic districts, main streets, older homes, and seasonal festivals.

Situated within the Pine Belt region of Mississippi, Laurel initially gained recognition as the hub of the yellow pine industry. 

This quintessential southern town has more recently stepped into the limelight through the popular HGTV series “Home Town,” featuring Erin and Ben Napier. Their popular show captures the beautiful journey of their renovating homes and helps new people create their dream residences in Laurel. Their hometown of Laurel unveils treasures like the Laurel Mercantile, one-of-a-kind items, and the nostalgic general store.     

Under the leadership of Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, this historic town has undergone a remarkable transformation, encouraging the growth of new and small businesses.  

Whether strolling through its historic downtown, reveling in the town’s artistic spirit, or enjoying local cuisine, Laurel, MS, is a must-visit spot for Home Town fans and anyone looking for an authentic southern charm.

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Laurel, MS

When is the best time for a getaway to Laurel, Mississippi? 

Laurel is a perfect year-round destination, adding its unique flavor each and every season. However, in our opinion, the best time to visit Laurel is Spring (February to Mid-April) and fall (September to October). Summers are hot and humid, while winters are short and chilly. 

Spring (February to Mid-April): Spring beckons with its mild temperatures, making it a great time for exploration. This old town becomes warm as early as February, setting the stage for boutique shopping and attending vibrant events all across the city.

Fall (September to October): Falls offer relief from summer’s heat and attract locals and visitors alike to explore historic districts, go downtown shopping, and enjoy the season’s festivities.

Pro Tip: Laurel is a lovely small town with a vibrant scene on Fridays, Saturdays, and weekdays but fewer options on Sundays. If you’re planning a weekend escape, consider Sunday as a travel day and try to arrive on Thursday or Friday.  

Best Things To Do in Laurel, Mississippi

Home to many historical sites, art museums, shopping, and dining options, here are some top attractions and things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. 

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Start your Laurel itinerary at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, the state’s first art museum!

Constructed in the early 1920s to honor Lauren Eastman Rogers, this museum holds a special place in the hearts of locals. The museum displays a permanent collection of American and European Art, British Georgian Silver, Native American Art, Japanese Woodblock Prints, and Indian artifacts.

Nestled along tree-lined streets in the downtown district. It offers an ideal setting for an educational tour. This historical museum offers free admission and accepts donations with guided tours.  

things to do in laurel mississippi
Phot Credit:

Landrum’s Homestead & Village

Established in 1984, Landrum’s Homestead & Village is a 30-acre living history museum featuring 85 structures, exhibits, and presentations.

This interactive museum and village meticulously replicate an 1800s settlement, offering insight into the daily life and activities of earlier generations.

The village also hosts events like Family Day, Fall Day Camps, and Christmas at the Homestead. Take advantage of the gift shop, offering a range of souvenirs, such as Laurel-themed items, jewelry, home decor, and seasonal goods.

You will see special events like parties, weddings, family outings, and field trips at Landrum’s Homestead and Village.   

This beautiful place is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 9 am to 4 pm, with admission at $12 per person.  

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Landrum’s Homestead & Village

The Veterans Memorial Museum

If you’re a history and military lover, the Veteran Memorial Museum is well worth-visiting.

Established in 1996, this sprawling 6,000-square-foot establishment is a repository of countless military artifacts and memorabilia like vintage photos, books, and historical records spanning from the Civil War to present-day conflicts.

This historical museum is a distinctive tribute to the unwavering contributions and sacrifices made by the national heroes. The military museum also provides access to a large library, keeping archives for research purposes.

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: The Veterans Memorial Museum

The BEST Tours in Mississippi

Walking Tour to the Laurel Historic District

One of the very best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi, is the walking tour of the historic district. You can find self-guided walking tour brochures at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel Mercantile, or Laurel Welcome Center.

These brochures guide you along an incredible tour, unveiling twenty-four historic homes and buildings in the Historic District. The oak-lined trees and attractive parks add a magical touch to the homes.

You’ll find lesser-known anecdotes and fascinating architectural details along the route to enhance the experience.

Laurel Main Street

Exploring Main Street is one of the best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. Over the past years, Main Street has evolved into a bustling hotspot, attracting visitors with a variety of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.

The street hosts special events like the Laurel Main Street Art Walk, the Annual Chili Cook-off, and the Annual State of the City Address, making it a must-visit spot.      

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Laurel Main Street

Laurel Little Theater 

Experience a journey through time at Laurel Little Theater. Known for its iconic neon Arabian sign illuminating Downtown Laurel, this beautifully restored theater has remained a cornerstone of arts and culture in Jones County for almost six decades.

This local theater presents a diverse repertoire from well-known classics like Willy Wonka and Hello Dolly! to southern-themed comedies like Doublewide, Texas.    

Home Town Houses

Explore Home Town Houses in Laurel for an exclusive peek into the city’s rich history and architecture. Take a leisurely drive through the town, and you’ll recognize the iconic homes from the show.

However, remember to be respectful and not disturb the homeowners, as these are real residences, not just sets for the show. 

Bolton Home Town Tour

Are you ready to explore the City Beautiful in a unique way? How about exploring the historic town aboard a comfortable seven-seater golf cart?

Join Bolton HomeTown Tour for this exciting adventure. A knowledgeable guide will accompany you throughout the tour, telling you about each site. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, this one-hour tour provides a unique experience to explore the wonders of Jones County.

Starting from Tacos & Tranquilla Mexican Restaurant, Bolton Home Town Tour is one of the fantastic things to do in Laurel Mississippi.  

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Bolton Home Town Tour

Vast Mason Memorial Park

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in Laurel, Mississippi, go to Vast Mason Memorial Park. Located along 7th Avenue, this is one of the largest public parks in Laurel.

The park features the iconic Union Station, the historic Kalemegdan Fortress dating back to the 14th century, and numerous landmarks and historic buildings.

The park also has a playground for kids and picnic tables under the towering pine trees, making it the best place for friends and families.    

Gardiner Park

Located within walking distance from Laurel Downtown on 4th Avenue, Gardiner Park is one of the best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. With a playground, expansive green areas, relaxing hikes, and picnic spots, Gardiner Park and Playground is a perfect spot for an entire family getaway.

The park epitomizes a small-town charm, inviting tourists to appreciate nature’s beauty in a peaceful setting.

Celebrate a Day in the Park

Laurel Arts League has been hosting a Day in the Park for 45 years. This spring celebration is held annually in May at Laurel’s Mason Park.

The event hosts a range of entertainment options like a 5K race, music, a fun run, arts and crafts, delicious food, and other activities to keep visitors entertained.   

Laurel Mural Tour

Laurel is not only famous for its rich cultural and historical significance but also home to talented artists who have contributed to the installation of beautiful murals across the historic district.

Whether by foot or car, go on the mural hunt by taking the Laurel Mural Tour and capture Instagram-worthy shots with these larger-than-life artworks.

The tour includes 13 stops: Pinehurst Park, Visit Laurel, Laurel Mercantile, I Believe in Laurel, Laurel Looks Good on You, The City Beautiful Mural, and Coca-Cola & Flag Murals.  

Country Lanes Bowling

For more fun, visit Country Lanes Entertainment Center. It is one of the fun places in Laurel, Mississippi. The spot offers game, dining, and entertainment options, promising a fun-filled day. It is famous for its classic bowling alley, bowling lanes, arcade, and pool facilities.

After throwing a strike, enjoy delicious meals at nearby restaurants like Stoneline Pizza Company, Romey Place Bar & Grill, and Varsity Club.

Lake Bogue Homa

If you’re looking for a fun-filled family day in Laurel, Mississippi, Lake Bogue Homa is a perfect spot. Lake Bogue Homa is the deepest fishing lake in Mississippi and is managed by the Mississippi Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Parks.

Located a short distance from Laurel MS, this 882-acre lake is a perfect place for anglers, teeming with various fish species. So, pack your fishing gear and prepare for a memorable angling adventure. 

Where to Shop in Laurel, Mississippi

Laurel’s downtown area is booming with new businesses as it rediscovers its roots in community love and HGTV’s spotlight. Exploring these local downtown shops is one of the great things to do in Laurel, Mississippi.

Laurel Mercantile Co.

If you can make only one stop in Laurel, let it be here!

Located downtown, Laurel Mercantile Co offers an amazing shopping experience. Established by Erin and Ben Napier, stars of Home Town, this flagship store is a perfect place to find souvenirs and quirky home essentials.

It offers a wide range of American-made products like Native American Baskets, cast-iron skillets, kitchen wares, tea towels, candles, soaps, home decor, and lifestyle items.

Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic blue truck before entering.   

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Laurel Mercantile

Peddlers JUNKtion

If you’re a bargain hunter and antique lover, visiting Peddlers Junktion is an absolute activity.

Located near Sawmill Square Mall in Laurel, this unique shop offers an extensive selection of locally made goods, including folk art, flatware, hand-made jewelry, and furniture.

It’s conveniently located just a short stroll from the main street downtown and Bird Dog Cafe.

The expansive space is brimming with vendors offering exceptional deals. Make sure to allocate ample time to explore each booth.  

Scotsman General Store

This famous store, owned by Ben, is conveniently located near Amtrak Station. Adjacent to the store is a lawn where you can enjoy popsicles while watching trains pass by. Inside, you can see Ben’s woodworking through the window.

Scotsman General is reminiscent of traditional general stores with Laurel-themed souvenirs, Appalachian jams, jellies, candies, glass-bottle sodas, American-made apparel, and leather items.   

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Bolton Home Town Tour

The Rusty Chandelier

While in Laurel, Mississippi, you can’t miss The Rusty Chandelier, one of the best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi.

The vintage market welcomes visitors every Thursday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

From refurbished furniture to hand-made crafts, flipped antique clothing, and more, this huge Antique Mall offers a variety of things at amazing prices.

The mere thought of shopping will fill you with excitement here.   

The Laurel Leaf

If you’re looking to buy a gift for yourself or your friends, go to the Laurel Leaf. Offering everything from doormats with charming southern flair to Capri Blue Candles, this store boasts an impressive collection of gifts and home decor items.

Don’t miss the adorable mural painted on the front of the shop, a great spot to snap a beautiful photo.    

Southern Antiques

If you’re interested in discovering the treasures from the past, a visit to Southern Antiques is the must-do activity in Laurel, MS.

One of the local’s favorite places, this antique gift mall offers a range of items from home decor, jewelry, antique china, vintage furniture, and beyond.   

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit; Southern Antiques

Where to Eat in Laurel, Mississippi

Food is one of the favorite things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. The Historic Downtown Laurel hosts many dining options that all food lovers must include in their Laurel itinerary. Here are some highlights:

The 5000 Food Truck

Located near Scotsman General Store, the 5000 Food Truck is an ideal stop for lunch as you’re out downtown shopping. The food truck has something for everyone, from sandwiches and salads to desserts and tacos.   

Pearl’s Diner

Pearl’s Diner is the best spot to indulge in southern-style home-cooked dishes prepared by Ms. Pearl herself. From delicious collard greens paired with smoked turkey to fried chicken in a rich gravy, the menu at Pearl’s Diner will warm your soul.

Enjoy turnip greens, black-eyed peas, or a large French onion soup bowl. Pearl’s Diner ensures that every diner will be satisfied with its hearty meals and distinctive Southern hospitality.

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Pearl’s Diner

Sweet Somethings Bakery

If you’re looking for a sugary delight to fuel your shopping and exploration-filled afternoon, Sweet Somethings Bakery is your go-to spot.

This locally-owned family business in Laurel also runs a bed and breakfast, providing guests with a cozy overnight stay option.   

Lee’s Coffee and Tea

Visit Lee’s Coffee and Tea for a serene afternoon break. Besides coffee, the shop offers a full menu of pastries, sandwiches, salads, and teas. The cafe is open throughout the week, with extended hours on weekends.

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Lee’s Coffee & Tea


Cafe La Fleur

When craving a delightful cup of coffee paired with French pastries, stop at Cafe La Fleur. Known for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, Cafe La Fleur is one the best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. 

Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar

Don’t miss out on Shug’s for a late-night treat! Whether you’re craving a traditional glazed option or a unique combination like maple bacon, this local gem will surely satisfy your sugar cravings with its delicious doughnuts and other goodies.

things to do in laurel mississippi
Photo Credit: Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar

Where to Stay in Laurel, Mississippi?

After a fun-filled day of exploring the best things to do in Laurel, Mississippi, you’ll need a comfortable place to lay your head.

Laurel offers a variety of accommodation options, like cozy Laurel cottages, lovely Airbnbs, charming B&Bs, and top-rated hotels. Check out the below options!  

things to do in laurel mississippi

Hampton Inn and Suites, Laurel, Mississippi

Situated in Laurel downtown, the Hampton Inn & Suites Laurel is an excellent lodging option. It provides easy access to local attractions such as Daphne Park, Landrum’s Homestead & Village, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and Mitchell Farms.

The hotel offers free self-parking, a 24-hour front desk, and spacious rooms with thoughtful amenities such as free WiFi. Other amenities include a 24-hour gym, a free breakfast buffet, an indoor pool, and a business center. 

things to do in laurel mississippi

Holiday Inn Express and Suites

Located in the city center, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites provides easy access to local attractions like Landrum’s Homestead & Village and Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. 

Guests can enjoy a free breakfast buffet, gym, sauna, and an indoor pool. The hotel offers comfortable rooms with luxurious amenities, free in-room WiFi, and free parking.    

things to do in laurel mississippi

things to do in laurel mississippi

The Buzzard’s Roost Inn – The Laurel Room

The Buzzard’s Roost Inn – The Laurel Room, which was featured on HGTV’s “Home Town.”

It was renovated by Ben and Erin Napier, offers a one-of-a-kind stay experience. Located in Downtown Laurel, the inn features themed rooms inspired by Crescent Line train stops. Guests have access to individual rooms and a common area with a kitchen.

The inn’s central location allows guests to explore the downtown shops, restaurants, and Southern hospitality that define Downtown Laurel.

things to do in laurel mississippi

things to do in laurel mississippi

Cozy Cottage near Downtown Laurel

After a day of exploration, make your stay at Gardiner Cottage.

Located in Historic Downtown Laurel, this cozy cottage offers proximity to Gardiner Park, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and various shops and restaurants.

The cottage invites you to unwind with its botanical landscapes and lush green gardens. Inside, the cottage offers standard amenities, including a fully-equipped kitchen, free WiFi. and air conditioning.

Step outside to the outdoor space with a BBQ grill, making it a home way from home.

things to do in laurel mississippi

Final Thoughts about the Best Things to Do in Laurel, Mississippi

From exploring the bustling downtown area with its quaint shops, murals, and local restaurants to taking scenic walks in picturesque parks like Gardiner Park, there is a bounty of things to do in Laurel, Mississippi. 

If you’re planning a trip to Laurel, Mississippi, I hope this post piques your interest in exploring this beautiful city. 

Bring along your family or friends to the charming town of Laurel, graced with oak-lined streets, lovely parks, southern antiques, live music, and seasonal events for all ages. Don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below!     

JennExplores Signature Love Jenn

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things to do in laurel mississippi

The Very BEST Things to Do in Laurel, Mississippi

I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

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