It’s fall in the South, which means a few things. The humidity has started to lessen and the temperatures started to lower. The students are back in school. And college football season is upon us. No matter what team you root for, the region has so many great college towns with plenty to offer beyond the campus.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi is home to the University of Southern Mississippi and was founded in 1882 on an important rail line. It’s one of the largest areas between the capital of Jackson and the Gulf Coast, with a charming downtown full of local shops and resetaurants.
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What to Do in Hattiesburg
Don’t let the city’s relatively small size fool you. There’s plenty to see and do near campus and beyond!
African American Military History Museum– This humble museum at the USO honors the sacrifice of African American service members with artifacts and photographs from the 18th century to the present.
Hattiesburg Pocket Museum– Blink and you’ll miss this window display in the alley behind the Saenger Theater, which rotates with different exhibits monthly. Also look for the tiny art pieces scattered throughout the alley.
Hattiesburg Zoo– Open since 1950, the Hattiesburg Zoo is a beloved landmark on 12 acres in Kemper Park. Set amongst the pine trees, the zoo supports conservation projects for animal welfare through the facility as well as abroad.
Longleaf Trace- See the local rails to trails path by bike or on foot, connecting downtown to the university.
USM Museum of Art– Visit the campus of the university for the collection of work from students and regional artists.
Murals– Look for the colorful walls all over the city!
Where to Eat in Hattiesburg
There is an abundance of great local restaurants as well as eateries dating back to the early years of the university.
Equinox Coffee– Start your day with a strong coffee and baked goods at this coffee shop.
Nannie Mac’s– The coffee shop near the Longleaf Trace serves biscuits in the morning and nachos and hot dogs in the afternoon.
Southbound Bagel & Coffee Shop- Watch the trains pass at this cozy shop with bagels and breakfast dishes.
Keg & Barrel– With two locations in town, this is a great spot for burgers and beer with a side of sports. They also have weekend brunch.
The Midtowner– The popular diner is full of old photos and has a menu that includes fried chicken, biscuits, and meatloaf.
T-Bones Records and Cafe– In between hunts for the perfect tunes, enjoy cold brew coffee and deli-style sandwiches and salads.
Ed’s Burger Joint– The burger and sandwich spot uses freshly baked buns and ingredients piled high on quality beef.
Half Shell Oyster House– This regional chain gets its quality seafood from the coast, including Royal red shrimp and oysters.
Hattiesburgers and Blues- Catch live music and juicy burgers at this downtown bar.
Where to Drink in Hattiesburg
After you’ve had your fill of the college campus and football stadium, make your way downtown for even more fun. You’ll find both sports bars swarming with coeds and upscale local spots.
Breweries– There are multiple breweries and brewpubs in town making quality beers, including Southern Prohibition and The Porter.
Mahogany Bar– Come here for more than 145 types of beer, including from Mississippi, as well as whiskey and bites.
Where to Stay in Hattiesburg
There are plenty of well-known chains, especially near the highway, but closer to town, there are additional options.
avid Hattiesburg West– This bright budget hotel has large rooms as well as a market for snacks and a coffee bar.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hattiesburg– The large hotel has perks like daily cookies, indoor and outdoor pools, an in-house restuarant, and a sports court.
Hotel Indigo Hattiesburg– Those visiting campus will want to stay here, just across the street from the school. It has a popular bar and stylish rooms.
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