Want to experience Laurel, MS like a local?

We’ve hand-picked some of our favorite “Laurelite” experiences, hidden spots, shops and boutiques, and secrets – just for you! Explore these resources for a behind the scenes look at the filming location for Home Town on HGTV.

Tommy Sherrell, custom upholsterer working at his studio in Downtown Laurel, MS.

Laurel’s Home Town Folks

Lee’s Coffee & Tea; Laurel MS

There’s a few things that Home Town folks really love; food, family, community––and hosting some company!

It’s true that we have a tight-knit community. Our folks know each other by name, shop locally, and try to promote each other the best we can.

A lot of visitors tell us that we’re so charming that they don’t want to leave! Others decide to make Laurel their forever home.

But even if you don’t want to move in with us, the least we can do is take care of you while you’re here!

Home Town Treatment

Like I said, our people can’t be beat when it comes to Southern hospitality. When you arrive, we’ve got your itinerary covered. Stop by the Laurel Welcome Center first to get the scoop on our walking tour of the Historic District, brochures for things to do in surrounding areas, and some historical info you may not know!

LOCALS TIP: Ask any merchant where you can find a map of Downtown Laurel! This will come in great use to you.

After you’re rightfully welcomed, make your way around town and visit our local merchants! Those are the people who will make you feel right at home.

LOCALS TIP: You may see a few friendly and familiar faces! A few of our local merchants were featured on HGTV Home Town. Grab a selfie with them!

And last, make sure to stay at one of our local airbnb’s. You may even score some treats from Sweet Somethings Bakery or a home-cooked breakfast!

Folks Who Loved Laurel

For proof that our Home Town charm is real, we included some testimonies of visitors from all over! (Even Canada!)

“We fell in love with Laurel MS!! We live in Nashville and decided to see if what we see on the show is legit. It is!! ???We walked and drove all over (blisters to prove it), and I can’t stop thinking about it. The charm is for real. The people so friendly. We will visit again.?” -Tricia Haux Baxter; Posted in HGTV Home Town Fan Group

“Visiting my childhood hometown for the day and got to meet Miss Pearl! Loved seeing Laurel come alive again!” -Kathy Myrick Reid; Posted in HGTV Home Town Fan Group

“Laurel is a lovely town. We enjoyed every moment, from last night ‘s Home Town season 2 finale, Miss Pearl’s diner and a wonderful conversation with Josh. We were treated like royalty when the chamber of Commerce saw where I put my pin to show where we’re from: Oshawa Ontario Canada. They gave us a shout out and asked us to stand. Some of Laurel ‘s citizens stopped by with welcome words. So, Canada stop by Laurel. You won’t be disappointed. ?” -Valdeen Button; Posted in HGTV Home Town Fan Group

“We are from Parkland, FL and enjoyed the first part of our adult spring break in Laurel. We have a lot going on in our hometown right now and it was nice to relax here in Laurel. It was as sweet of a town as the show portrays it! We loved it!” -Pam Turner; Posted in HGTV Home town Show Followers

The Home Town experience is one that you need to come enjoy in-person! We’d love to have you anytime. Don’t be a stranger!

Don’t know when to make your trip? Here’s the best times to visit Laurel.

Love Laurel? Sign up in the blue box to get weekly updates and follow our Instagram for more Laurel fun! 

How Erin Napier helped Laurel become “The City Beautiful” once again.

You know Erin Napier from Home Town on HGTV, where she renovates once-beautiful historic homes in Laurel, Mississippi with her husband, Ben. But did you know that she also played a significant part in returning Downtown Laurel to its former beauty?

Years ago Erin, and others like her, began to see a beautiful future for Laurel. And they set out to make it a reality.

Downtown Laurel, 1980’s

Their challenge? To repair the damage done during the period of Urban Renewal from the 1950’s to 1970’s, which turned inviting, historic downtowns throughout the United States into ugly, covered “shopping-malls” and destroyed their historic facades and charm.

Laurel After Urban Renewal - A Ghost Town

Restoring Downtown Laurel, MS

Throughout Downtown Laurel, buildings were transformed with Erin’s stunning design work – not only to hide the empty buildings but also to give folks like you a glimpse into our culture and history.

Famous People of Laurel Murals by Erin Napier

Famous People of Laurel Murals by Erin Napier

Erin told us:

“A big step in erasing urban renewal would be making it seem it had never occurred at all. I designed “ghost signs” and murals that would point to an era predating the aluminum facades and remind people of the beauty hidden underneath.”

– Erin Napier, Star of Home Town on HGTV

Visit Laurel Mural by Erin Napier

Visit Laurel Mural by Erin Napier

As local folks saw Downtown transforming into something beautiful, they started to have beautiful ideas of their own. Buildings began to fill with new businesses, foot traffic increased and soon – a certain TV network came to call.

Laurel-Jones County Library Mural by Erin Napier

Laurel-Jones County Library Mural by Erin Napier

Now, we see tourists gather every day for photos in front of Erin’s iconic “Welcome to Downtown Laurel, MS” mural to commemorate their trip to a city reborn.

And it all started with the ideas of a few, creative folks who set out to love on our little hometown.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSYuS6tBNLm/

Our Downtown Laurel merchants are rolling out the welcome mat for you with beautiful decor, charming shops and big smiles. Stop by and say hey y'all!

Why #iliveinlaurel: A Local’s Perspective

If you spend any amount of time in Laurel, you’ll quickly see the allure of our affectionally called, “City Beautiful”. There are many reasons why #iliveinlaurel, and hopefully–I can convince you to do the same.

Laurel’s History & Beauty

If you browse the #iliveinlaurel tag on Instagram, you’ll find many photos of our parks, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, blooming gardens, porch gatherings, and walks through the Historic District.

Because we have such rich history built by innovators, artisans, and entrepreneurs, our buildings and homes are awe-inspiring to look at. (And live in!)

I’m lucky enough to live in the Historic District in a very old home with tall ceilings and windows, a huge wrap-around porch, and plenty to look at right outside my door. And when I’m wanting to get out, everything is in walking distance. I’ve got a tennis court across the street, and can walk to work and Downtown in less than 10 minutes!

  • Historic Buildings

    The Arabian, now Laurel Little Theatre is celebrating their 57th season this year. Their building is one of my favorites. I recommend you try to catch them on a good day to go look inside!

  • Historic District

    Laurel’s historic district is incredibly beautiful. Long walks in any season are to be cherished. You might even see some homes you recognize!

  • Laurel in Bloom

    Laurel’s Springtime is the best for flower finds! We’ve got several types of azaleas, Japanese magnolias, and plenty more to enjoy.

Food & Fun

One of the best parts of Laurel is the culture. Our city is a central hub for creatives, musicians, artists, and foodies of all kinds.

We have great events like Open Mic Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea, weekends at Slowboat Brewing Co., and festivals sponsored by Laurel Main Street.

And one thing you can’t miss in Laurel is the food. 

We’ve got authentic Italian, home-style cooking, a steakhouse, a coffee shop, and more!

Need refreshing after a long walk through Downtown? Stop at one of our local restaurants or coffee shops for delicious treats!

Need refreshing after a long walk through Downtown? Stop at one of our local restaurants or coffee shops for delicious treats!

Downtown Laurel during Loblolly Festival in the Fall. We have several great festivals worth getting Downtown for!

A Tight-Knit Community Who Are Proud to Say: #iliveinlaurel

Trust me when I say that I’m not the only one who loves living in Laurel! One of my absolute favorite things about my city are my friends and neighbors.

The people who live here are huge cheerleaders of each other and for our Downtown. We collaborate, we meet for lunch, and we know everyone by name.

And most of all: we are proud to say #iliveinlaurel.

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Sprang #iliveinlaurel

A post shared by lindsay miller (@hellolindsaymiller) on

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These blue skies + Laurel 😍😍😍

A post shared by D A W N T R E S T (@dawnonthedaily) on

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I hope that after reading this, you’ll consider becoming a Laurelite or at the least just paying us a visit! There’s just too much here to enjoy to keep it all to ourselves.

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