Planning a trip to visit Laurel, Mississippi?

Don’t miss some of the best local spots, great Laurel events and happenings and great sightseeing on your way. We hope these resources will help you make the most of your trip to Laurel!

Summertime in Laurel: The Best Things to Do

Laurel’s great in every season, right? But, when school’s out and Summer’s in, Laurel is the perfect place to get your travel fix. 

Even though the Mississippi Summer can be rough, there’s plenty of ways you can beat the heat and make the best out of your vacation!

Here’s a few of our favorite ways to spend a Summer in Laurel and some tips on how to get the best local experience!

Go to an Event

Laurel is full to the brim with special events and festivals! During the Summertime, we’ve got the annual Blues Bash at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and Laurel Main Street’s Downtown Thursday, just to name a couple.

Downtown Thursday is a weekly event during June that features our Laurel Farmer’s Market and Downtown Movie Night. Join us for fun, fresh produce, local shopping, a free family-friendly movie, and live music!

Locals Tip: Go buy a tote of your choice from one of our Downtown merchants to carry all of your Farmer’s Market goodies and your quilt for movie night!

Take a Stroll

We all know and love that we have plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy in Laurel, but everything is especially beautiful on a sunny, Summer day.

After exploring our Historic District, make sure to visit our Downtown merchants! Cool off inside a boutique, and then go grab some gear to take on the rest of your trip!

 

Locals Tip: For the sake of comfort, avoid taking a stroll during the hottest part of the day. Get started early, or stay out late. You’ll thank us later!

Get a Sweet Treat

Sweets make everything better! (Or at least we think so.)

Stop and get a milkshake at Shug’s, a chiller from Lee’s, some ice cream from Sweet Somethings, or a Loblollipop!

Chill Out

Nothing will make your day better than taking a second to cool off and chill out. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of great places to do just that!

Suddenly, Mayberry. #iliveinlaurel

A post shared by Bethany Byrd (@bethany.byrd) on

Locals Tip: If you’re ready to chill but the littles aren’t, head on down to Trustmark Art Park! You can take a seat, and the kids can swing or slide down the hill.

There’s always something great to see, learn, or experience in Laurel during every season! Wondering about what to do the rest of the year? We’ve compiled some answers to that great question.

Love this post? Sign up for weekly email updates to see more like this, and follow us on Instagram for more Laurel fun!

Dog Bones & Treats at The Knight Butcher Laurel MS

Laurel’s Best Pet-Friendly Spots

If you’re anything like us, you love your furry friends! Sometimes when traveling, leaving your pet at home or in a kennel is unavoidable. But in Laurel, there’s plenty of places your best friend can enjoy with you! 

Slowboat Brewing Co.

Before you run out the door, strap that leash on and bring your furry friend! There’s no sense going alone when your pet can “Rock the Boat” with you.

The Knight Butcher

Dog Bones & Treats at The Knight Butcher Laurel MS

Dog Bones & Treats at The Knight Butcher in Laurel, MS

Our friends at The Knight Butcher are just about as pet-friendly as it gets!

While you’re having lunch on the patio, let your dog snack on one of Butcher Chad’s bones or treats. Or if you’re just stopping by, they always keep a full water bowl by the door so that your pet can get a sip any time!

Locals Tip: Bring your dog inside and get a free treat or bone! (As long as you’re holding them, of course. Outside they can chill out on their leash.) Afterwards, buy some to-go for the ride home!

Laurel Mercantile Co.

The crew at LMCo. sure does love for visitors to bring their furry friends! After running around in “The Yard”, they can come in and sniff things out!

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Enjoy your lunch, coffee, or beer outside at Lee’s Coffee & Tea! There’s outdoor seating right under the awning that’s perfect for you and your pup!

Locals Tip: There’s a pocket park on the East side of Lee’s Coffee & Tea for more available pet-friendly seating!

Strolls Downtown

Our entire Downtown area and Historic District are totally pet-friendly! Only condition: clean up after them.

Locals Tip: The perfect place to take your dog to get some exercise is Gardiner Park. It’s on N 2nd Ave right behind Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. 

There’s just no good reason to leave the pets at home if they’re raring to go! If you’re unsure if any of Laurel’s businesses are pet-friendly, just ask! Any of our merchants or neighbors can let you know.

Sign up to get weekly email updates for the latest blog and follow on Instagram for more Laurel fun!

Take a Tour of Laurel’s Historic Homes!

Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes

Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes

Sometimes, when you pass the same sights every day, you’ll stop noticing them. Thankfully, Laurelites have sights so beautiful during that morning commute, no one forgets the beauty of the Historic District.

Maybe you’ve seen HGTV Home Town, and you love the restored homes brought back to life by Erin and Ben. But have you seen the historic homes not shown on TV?

“Laurel’s historic district is a product of Laurel’s timber era (1893-1937) and is considered the largest, finest, and most intact collection of early 20th century architecture in Mississippi. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places both for its history and its wide variety of architectural styles – both with a high degree of quality and sophistication rare in the South and unique in Mississippi.” – Excerpt from the “Walking Tour of Historic Laurel Homes” Brochure

You can get your self-guided walking tour brochures at The Laurel Welcome Center, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, or Laurel Mercantile. These brochures feature 24 significant locations in our Historic District, little-known facts, and amazing architectural details.

“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!” – Our own, Keri Rowell; Taken from our #iliveinlaurel blog.

WHITE OAK

540 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

White Oak - 540 North Fifth Avenue

White Oak – 540 North Fifth Avenue

“This 1910 Italianate Renaissance Revival was built by Phil S. Gardiner. The house is made of Roman brick (longer and thinner than regular brick), has terra cotta trim, large moldings on upper story windows, and an elaborate cornice around the roof (a characteristic of this style.)”

It’s our favorite because…
This house is a fortress! Not only was it built to be fireproof, but it also stood up to the might of Hurricane Katrina. A tree fell on it, and the occupants didn’t even know until rain started leaking in. Impressive!

SWEET OLIVE

756 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Sweet Olive - 756 North Fifth Avenue

Sweet Olive – 756 North Fifth Avenue

“The house has Colonial Revival lines with Mediterranean details and is one of a few houses in the historic district still owned by descendants of the original family.”

It’s our favorite because…
The gardens! The luscious gardens surrounding this house are a favorite view of locals as they drive into downtown to work each day, but are best enjoyed during a walk through the historic district.

THE GREEN BARN

726 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

The Green Barn - 726 North Fifth Avenue

The Green Barn – 726 North Fifth Avenue

“Derived from homes around Boston, Massachusetts, the Shingle style is characterized by horizontal lines. Frank Wisner, part owner of the Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company, built this house around 1900 and is said to have handpicked each piece of wood used to construct the house.”

It’s our favorite because…
Leontyne Price, the first African-American to become a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera, got her start here! Her aunt worked for the family, who eventually became her patrons and helped to bring her stunning voice to the world.

WISTERIA

706 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Wisteria - 706 North Fifth Avenue

Wisteria – 706 North Fifth Avenue

“Built around 1900, this house originally had a wraparound porch with rounded edges, and was in the Steamboat Gothic style. The porch was eventually replaced with a simpler brick porch, transforming the house into a more Colonial Revival style.”

It’s our favorite because…
You can stay here! Wisteria is one of Laurel’s most beautiful Bed & Breakfasts and is located across the street from the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and one block from Downtown Laurel.

ROGERS-GREEN HOUSE

566 North Fifth Avenue – Laurel, MS

Rogers-Green House - 566 North Fifth Avenue

Rogers-Green House – 566 North Fifth Avenue

“Lauren-Rogers grew up in this house built of redwood around 1902 by his parents, Nina Eastman and Wallace B. Rogers. At the time, the innovative Prairie Style was developed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago to recreate the flat horizons of the American prairie.

It’s our favorite because…
This home is also a beautiful event venue! Many Saturdays you’ll find a wedding, party or other celebration happening on the lawn or in the garden. Stop by during the week for a look at the home, which is directly across the street from LRMA!

Next time you visit us, be sure to grab your Walking Tour brochure and explore our beautiful Historic District! We only shared a few of our favorites. There are plenty more homes worth seeing! 

Want to find out about more local Laurel events and happenings? Sign up for updates and follow us on Instagram for daily posts about our home town.

Laurel Mercantile Co.

A tour of Laurel Mercantile & our favorite home town finds!

Laurel Mercantile Co. owned by Ben and Erin Napier and their four closest friends, AKA “framily,” is the tourism hot spot in Downtown Laurel.

Whether it’s the first place you stop or the high point of your trip, we know that the “Merc” is sure to be on your list of places to visit.

Join us for a video tour of their store and a few of the locals’ favorite finds! Click below to watch now and be sure to sign up for updates!

A few our our Laurel Mercantile favorites!

Follow Laurel Mercantile Co.

Visit Laurel Mercantile Co.

Heirloom wares and durable goods for home and life curated and owned by the cast of HGTV’s Home Town.

Hours:

Monday-Saturday: 10:00-6:00pm
Sunday: 12:30-3:00pm

Location

414 Front Street
Laurel, MS 39440

When to plan your trip to Laurel, Mississippi

There are so many fun things to do in our home town throughout the year, but if you aren’t a local like us – it can be hard to know when is the best time to plan your trip to visit Laurel.

We’ve collected a few of our favorite activities that are best enjoyed at specific times throughout the year. Read on to find the perfect time for your trip!

Planning a Spring trip to Laurel, MS

Springtime is quite possibly the very best time to visit Laurel. We will start to see warmer temperatures as early as February (some days even get up to 80 degrees), much sooner than most of the United States. Come thaw out with us and enjoy shopping in downtown boutiques with their doors opened wide to the breeze, and attend a variety of spring events and happenings throughout the city.

HGTV Home Town Season Premier & Finale Parties · Laurel Mercantile

FREE · HGTV HOME TOWN

The first essential tourist events are the outdoor parties held by the Home Town team for the season premiers and finales of the show. These events are open to the public and are a great opportunity to meet the folks behind the show, including Erin and Ben Napier! Join us for these uniquely-Laurel celebrations each year!

LOCAL’S TIP: Bring a chair and a big appetite! Thanks to local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, these events feature a variety of awesome local food trucks and fare from our downtown eateries!

The Gardens of Laurel’s Historic District · 5th, 6th, 7th & Euclid Avenues

FREE · ACCESSIBLE

We love our gardens in the South, and we want to share their incredible beauty with you! Enjoy a walk under the towering oaks or simply take a drive through Laurel’s historic district to experience a variety of carefully tended gardens and flowering trees.

Visit Laurel, Mississippi for great family-friendly activities and gorgeous views!

Euclid Avenue and Park is one of the most featured areas on HGTV’s Home Town, and one of Laurel’s most darling neighborhoods.

LOCAL’S TIP: Stop by the Laurel Welcome Center at 401 Central Ave. to pick up the official “Walking Tour” brochure with step-by-step directions.

Touch A Truck · 2nd Saturday in April · Downtown Laurel

KID-FRIENDLY · SENSORY-FRIENDLY

Kids of all ages stand in awe of big, hard-working trucks and vehicles. Touch a Truck is a perfect activity to get up close and personal with all manner of tough giants. Looking for an activity for those with sensory sensitivities or children with autism? TAT features a special “quiet hour” designed to allow them to enjoy the fun, without the worry of loud horns or flashing lights.

LOCAL’S TIP: Buy your tickets early for a special discount. Click here for more info. Ticket sales go back into the community to fund restoration projects and to help make Downtown even more beautiful.

Downtown Crawfest · 3rd Saturday in April · Magnolia & Front St.’s

FAMILY-FRIENDLY · FREE ENTRY FOR KIDS UNDER 5

Have you ever experienced a southern crawfish boil? Here is your chance to get a taste of this fun experience as cooks of all experience levels go head to head to see who comes out as the official champion. Enjoy great local beverages, live music, and delicious food at this new Laurel event!

LOCAL’S TIP: This is a great opportunity to tour Downtown and visit local merchants such as Laurel Mercantile (Erin & Ben’s shop as featured on HGTV Home Town) and Lott Furniture on Front St, and the boutiques on Magnolia Street.

Day in the Park · 1st Saturday in May · Mason Park

FREE ADMISSION · KID-FRIENDLY

Every local kid grew up looking forward to that warm spring day where the whole family would load up in the car and drive down to Mason Park for a day of fun kids’ activities, local art, awesome arts & crafts vendors and great local music. Day in the Park is the perfect event for those planning an early May trip, where you and your family can truly experience Laurel like generations of local families have before.

LOCAL’S TIP: Bring a folding chair or blanket to sit in the grass under the pines and enjoy great food while listening to local artists and productions.

Visiting Laurel in the Summer

Headed down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, or the Florida beaches? Stop into Laurel for great summer fun and amazing shopping. If there’s anything we know in South Mississippi, it’s how to do summer right!

Kids’ Activities & Playgrounds

KID-FRIENDLY

Let the littles stretch their legs and get out their wiggles with a stop in a Laurel. Click here for a full list of kids’ activities and playgrounds in Laurel, many within easy walking distance of downtown!

Fun in the park

A post shared by Barbara Herrington (@babs22659) on

LOCAL’S TIP: Mason Park has the best shade cover for warmer summer days, and the Laurel Sportsplex splash pad is easily accessible and free for a truly cooling experience.

Blues Bash · June · Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

LOCAL MUSIC · FAMILY-FRIENDLY

No trip to Mississippi is complete without experiencing the uniquely-southern sound of the blues. This annual event is a showcase of the best blues musicians Mississippi has to offer and a celebration of our long history of supporting America’s music.

LOCAL’S TIP: Click here to purchase tickets online before your trip.

4th of July Fireworks Shows · July · Downtown Laurel

FREE · FAMILY-FRIENDLY

The 4th of July Fireworks have long been a childhood staple in Laurel. Held each year at both the Sawmill Square Mall, and more recently, Jones Family Medicine Clinic – both shows are free and open to the general public.

Happy 4th of July from all of us in #downtownlaurel! // Photo by Andrea Milham. ??

A post shared by Laurel Main Street (@laurelmainstreet) on

LOCAL’S TIP: Watch the Sawmill Square show from Pinehurst Park in Downtown Laurel for a truly local experience, complete with refreshments!

Should you visit Laurel in the Fall?

After a long summer, Laurelites always welcome the cooler temperatures of the Fall. You’ll see lots of locals out and about, walking through the historic district, shopping in downtown shops, exploring their hometown and looking forward to the fun of festival season! Join us for these great fall events in Laurel!

The Loblolly Festival · 1st Saturday of October · Downtown Laurel

FREE · FAMILY-FRIENDLY

The Loblolly Festival is an absolute must for any trip to Laurel in the fall. Laurel’s biggest festival celebrates our history as a lumber town, complete with our beloved mascot – The Loblolly Lumberjack – played by the star of Home Town himself, Big Ben Napier! Make a special trip for this one, folks!

Are you a #loblollylover? We are!

A post shared by Laurel Main Street (@laurelmainstreet) on

LOCAL’S TIP: Park in the exterior parking lots around downtown, and be sure to leave some room in your car – you’re sure to leave with some great finds!

Deason Home Ghost Tours · Ellisville

HISTORY

The Deason Home holds secrets of one of the most interesting parts of Jones County’s history. Visit our neighboring town of Ellisville for this fun historical experience, and you might just meet a ghost while you explore our counties’ storied past.

The Deason Home is the oldest home in Jones County (1845). On October 5, 1863,, Confederate Major Amos McLemore had been sent to the area to round up deserters and had been using the house as his headquarters. Newt Knight charged the house that night, shooting and killing McLemore. Blood still stains the floors of this home and it is considered one of the most haunted houses in the state. #tourism #southernliving #oldstuff #downtown #deasonhome #jonescounty #ellisvillems #freestateofjones #hauntedhouse #hauntedplace #haunted #newtknight #civilwar #amosmclemore #travel ##traveller #travelgram #travelwriter #travelblogger #travelphotography #ghosts #ghoststories #explore #explorethesouth #exploremississippi

A post shared by Backroads and Burgers (@backroadsandburgers) on

LOCAL’S TIP: Click here to learn more about the story behind The Deason Home, and why our home county is called the “Free State of Jones.”

The South Mississippi Fair · HWY 11

FAMILY-FRIENDLY · ARTS & CRAFTS

Laurel’s historic fairgrounds are never put to better use than when the fair comes to town! Folks travel from all over Mississippi to attend the 2nd largest fair in the state each fall. Enjoy the fun of the rides (check for unlimited armband nights for the best value), incredible local and traveling fair food, arts & crafts, livestock shows and live music!

LOCAL’S TIP: Visit during lunch hours for that delicious and addictive fair food, without an admission fee or the nighttime crowds.

Even winter is a great time to visit Laurel!

Have you ever experienced the holiday season in the south? You’re truly in for a treat if you are here for some of our most cherished annual events!

Kiwanis Pancake Day · 1st Saturday of December · YWCO & 1st Baptist

FAMILY-FRIENDLY · GREAT FOOD

Get ready for one of the quintessential local experiences! Pancake Day is a sign and symbol of what it is like to say #iliveinlaurel, as locals of all walks of life gather together for a meal before or after the annual Christmas Parade. Locals and visitors alike will line the sidewalks in anticipation of a delicious meal of pancakes with butter and syrup served with sausage and cooked up just right.

LOCAL’S TIP: Due to its popularity, the event is now held at two separate locations to accommodate the crowds. Check out the YWCO on Oak Street in downtown, or First Baptist Church on 6th Ave.

Sertoma Christmas Parade · 1st Saturday of December · Downtown Laurel

FAMILY-FRIENDLY · FREE

Did you know Laurel hosts the longest Christmas parade in the state of Mississippi? Join us the first Saturday in December for this morning parade that loops around the Sawmill Square Mall and through Downtown Laurel. You might even spy a jolly, white-bearded fellow with treats for the littles.

Pancakes. Parade. Warm fuzzy feelings all around.

A post shared by Dawn Trest (@hello_dearie) on

LOCAL’S TIP: Come to downtown early to claim a spot, visit the shops and grab a hot coffee at Lee’s Coffee & Tea!

Christmas at the Village · Landrum’s · HWY 15 S

FAMILY-FRIENDLY · HISTORY

Landrum’s Homestead and Village, or “Landrum’s Country” to the locals, is a great attraction any time of the year, but it is most perfect during the holidays. Take a walk through a recreation of a historic southern town, complete with cabins, blacksmith demonstrations, and the most quaint little chapel all decorated for Christmas. This is an absolute must-visit for holiday tourists!

LOCAL’S TIP: Admission is $10 and walk-ins are welcome year-round.

Want to find out about more local Laurel events and happenings? Sign up for updates and follow us on Instagram for daily posts about our home town.

Laurel’s Best Nightlife Destinations

Spending the weekend in Laurel? Maybe you’ve got your day plans already mapped out, but here’s your nighttime itinerary. 

Dinner & Dessert

Man oh man does Downtown Laurel have some great food! (And sweets.)

A lot of us know what eateries are open during the day, but what about on weekends? And for dinner?

The Loft on Central Ave. has a beautiful, string-lit patio and deck that’s perfect for intimate dinner dates. Or for a group! Lots of business people enjoy coming here for a drink after work.

Local Tip: Try the steak bites!

Guess where? #mimmos #downtownlaurel #sogood

A post shared by Dell Smith (@riddell999) on

Mimmo’s Ristorante and Pizzeria is one of Downtown Laurel’s newest editions for dinner! Their ambience, food, and cannolis are to die for.

Local Tip: Mimmo’s food is authentic Italian! Mimmo makes his bread, pasta, and signature dressing from scratch daily.

Looking for some comfort food? The Pearl Diner is open on Saturdays for lunch, and Friday nights for dinner.

Local Tip: Miss Pearl’s Banana Pudding is the dessert you need. You’ll be talking about it for days to come. Trust us!

Friday Night Fun

In case you didn’t know, Laurel is a hub for great entertainment. From live music to theatre productions, we got it!

Lee’s Coffee & Tea has brand new extended hours, and has welcomed some great new things to the café! Enjoy Lee’s until 9 PM on the weekends, and sometimes later on Open Mic Night.

The first Friday of every month, Lee’s hosts Laurel’s many local musicians for Open Mic Night. Come grab a coffee, craft beer, or a hummus plate and sit back and watch the show!

The second Friday is board game night and the third Friday of the month is Vinyl Night! Bring your favorite record and put in the queue.

3.3.18 @slowboatbrewco – Laurel, MS. #slowboat #laurelms ? @mcephotography

A post shared by Grayson Capps (@graysoncapps) on

Did you know Laurel has a brewery? Well, now you do!

Slowboat Brewing Co. is fun, family friendly, and the place to go for the best live music.

They brew their own in-house craft beer, host food trucks, and have life-size Jenga.

Local Tip: Slowboat is dog friendly. Don’t leave your furry friends at home!

 

Laurel Little Theatre hosts seasonal productions and events all throughout the year.

Many of our favorite plays have been performed in this historic theatre. Be sure to check out their schedule!

Laurel’s Sip & Stroll Ordinance

The City Beautiful is now home to a “to-go cup” friendly leisure and recreation district.

Get your favorite drinks to-go from our local restaurants and bars, and Sip & Stroll under the lights in Downtown Laurel!

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