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Don’t Miss This Weekend in Laurel

Visiting Downtown Laurel soon? Let us do the planning.

The weekend you don’t want to miss is April 16th-18th, 2021. Not only are we celebrating Laurel Main Street’s Crawfest, but several other special events are taking place, as well.

Here’s everything you need to know:


Where to Stay

Laurel has some of the best accommodations you can find! We recommend staying at a local Airbnb. Why stay at a hotel when you could stay in our Historic District?

The Laurel Cottages | Airbnb

Our dear friends, Mallorie and Jim Rasberry, host one of the most gorgeous stays in town. Located in the heart of our Historic District, The Laurel Cottages make for a convenient and cozy home-base while you’re in town.

Chez Bird Dog | Airbnb

Who wouldn’t want to stay in a home that was featured on HGTV’s Home Town? Guess what: You can!

The Bell Family, owners of Bird Dog Café, have listed Elliot’s apartment from the show on Airbnb. Great stay? Check. Great coffee and food? Double check.

Visit Airbnb to check out all the incredible lodgings available in Laurel. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect stay for you.


What to Do

Yes, everything on this flyer is happening April 16th-18th! Screenshot it and refer to it all weekend long.

Your Personal Laurel Itinerary

Laurel is a hot-spot weekend destination, so it can be difficult for out-of-towners to keep track of everything to do. No worries! We’re here to help. (Let’s see how many events on this flyer we can fit in.)

Thursday

Assuming you make it here before supper time, we recommend you start with dinner at The Loft on Central Avenue. The Loft is an absolute staple of the Downtown Laurel community, and because it’s so well-loved, it can get very crowded on the weekends. If you want to stop by and eat, you might want to go before Friday-Saturday.

Photo by Wade Davis July 2020 | The Loft on Central Ave’s Patio

After filling up on steak bites and wine, head on down to 320FifthStreet for some drinks, bar snacks, and live entertainment for your late night escapades.

MCE Photography | 320FifthStreet

Next, rest your head in your cozy, local Airbnb to get your beauty rest for the craziness of the weekend ahead of you!

Friday

Our first stop is Bird Dog Café to fuel the day. They are our earliest opener at 6:30 AM. Grab a coffee and a breakfast taco, and we’re on our way!

If you’re an early riser, this would be a great time to take a stroll Downtown and through the Historic District before it gets crowded. Not to mention, before it heats up!

Local’s Tip: Most retail stores open at 10AM. Although, a few do open at 9.

Benefitting Laurel’s Domestic Abuse Family Center and hosted by The Pinehurst Rathskeller Gallery, En Plein Air will be happening all around town for 2 days! Artists of all ages from all over Mississippi will be set up just about everywhere painting their perspectives of our City Beautiful.

Make sure to stop by The Pinehurst Rathskeller Gallery Friday or Saturday to purchases pieces from the artists and to shop other resident works in the gallery. More on the Rathskeller here:

May be an image of food and text that says 'EN PLEIN HOSTED BY THE PINEHURST RATHSKELLER AIR LAU MISSISSIPPL'
En Plein Air | The Pinehurst Rathskeller

Next, let’s head on down to The Remnant! Their Spring Gleaning Sale is happening Friday and Saturday, 9AM-5PM. The main thing you need to know is how amazing their prices are. It’s not your average thrift-store! *This is a non-profit organization, benefiting Dwell: A Transitional Women’s Home.*

From The Bennie Bloomer’s Facebook

During this incredible sale, everyone’s favorite floral truck, The Bennie Bloomer, will be right outside! Grab yourself a bouquet of blooms, and keep on keepin’ on.

Head on back towards the Downtown area, and shop til’ you drop, but make sure you stop for lunch. And don’t scrimp on dessert. The bread pudding is divine.

Local’s Tip: Erin’s favorite dish at Café La Fleur is the Cuban sandwich.

Taken from Café La Fleur’s Facebook

After lunch, we know you’re going to want to walk off that delicious food. We suggest hitting some more shopping destinations, as well as “Junkin’ in the Streets” hosted by The Rusty Chandelier and The Laurel Leaf. It’ll be an incredible opportunity to shop unique street vendors on the 300 block of Central Avenue.

By now, it’s likely you’ll be ready for dinner. Tired? You need pasta. Mimmo’s is the place to carb-load (or eat healthy, but that’s on you) on house-made fresh bread and oil, pizza, and pasta. This place is authentic and delicious.

Taken From Mimmo’s Facebook

Saturday

First things first: go get a sticky bun. Sweet Somethings Bakery has amazing pastries. After, stop by Lee’s Coffee & Tea for a to-go coffee!

Taken From Sweet Somethings’ Facebook

Before Crawfest, you should bounce on over to New Look on Short 7th Avenue, and Peddler’s Junktion on Carroll Gartin Boulevard. *Both are walkable or drive-able.

New Look will have local artists at their Outdoor Vendors Day, and Peddler’s Junktion is having their annual Spring Cleaning Flea Market! Both stores have great indoor shopping, as well.

Now is the time…for Crawfest!

11AM-3PM, all you can eat crawfish and sides, beer, live music, and more! This is one of Laurel’s best events, and you can get tickets now from Laurel Main Street.

While you’re at Crawfest, make sure to give our Front Street businesses some love! Stop by Lott Furniture Co., The Bookstore in the Window, The Laurel Leaf, and The Pinehurst Rathskeller.

If you don’t want to eat at Crawfest, stop by Ribeye Sandwich Day at The Knight Butcher or The5000! Both will have live music during lunch.

If you can eat another bite, you should stop by Texas Pittmaster BBQ for dinner. Their food is to die for. You don’t want to miss it while you’re here!

Taken from Texas Pittmaster’s Facebook

Sunday

Before you leave, there’s just a few more things you must hit!

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is free (donations highly encouraged), and full of beautiful art and architecture to view. It’s a great place to wind down after a long weekend before taking your trip back home.

Taken from Lauren Rogers Museum of Art’s Facebook

If you haven’t stopped by Laurel Mercantile Co. or Scotsman General Store yet, they are both open on Sunday! If you’re lucky, you might see Ben & Erin. Home Town often films in the woodshop.

From Facebook

Need a sweet treat for the road? Your very last stop should be Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar (if you haven’t already been there 10 times on this trip) for a milkshake, candy, or edible cookie dough. Maybe the sugar high will get you through the drive or flight.

Taken from Shug’s Facebook

We hope you enjoyed this itinerary for a weekend in Downtown Laurel, and we can’t wait to see you!

****Even though it may not seem possible, there are lots more businesses to visit that were not specifically mentioned. Go here to find out more and explore special activities and shop hours for the weekend. Just click the directory tab.

Sign up in the gold box for weekly updates and news on Laurel, Mississippi!

Famous People of Laurel Murals

Eating in Laurel on a Diet: Our Top Picks

One of the best parts about traveling is the indulgence of local food. And trust me, Laurel has some fine food options. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can be tricky while traveling– especially in South Mississippi.

But lucky for you, I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks to eating healthy (and low-carb) in Laurel.

Breakfast

The 5000 Food Truck and Lee’s Coffee and Tea are the places to be for breakfast. The Low Carb Breakfast Bowl from The 5000 is divine! This breakfast bowl is filled with eggs, veggies, and the most incredible carne Asada.

Lee’s Coffee and Tea has the best omelette around, and it’s served with a fresh fruit side.

Both of these options will get your metabolism going early and give you plenty of good protein and nutrients to start the day!

Lunch

After walking off your delicious breakfast, I would recommend stopping by Café La Fleur for one of their delicious salads. My personal favorites are the Chef Salad, Pineapple Chicken Salad, and the Blackened Salmon Spinach Salad.

These options are fresh and light, but equally as filling after a good breakfast.

One can’t come to Laurel and not experience PDI. Although most people stay away from bread while dieting, PDI has the best burgers in town and they are more than happy to make it bun-less for you! Trust me, you can’t go wrong with a #5 add jalapeños or the amazing Philly Cheesesteak (bun-less by request as well).

Dinner

When people hear Italian, they generally think it’s a no-go for someone dieting. Mimmo’s Ristorante Pizzeria is a totally different story.

Mimmo’s has a variety of specials ranging from Filet Mignon, Grilled Pork Chops, to Redfish. All of these dishes typically come with a side of angel hair pasta, but you can simply substitute for their sautéed spinach for a healthy side option.

Mimmo makes all his salad dressing daily, and his Caesar salad is at the top of my must-try list.

The Loft on Central Avenue offers a variety of steak, grilled chicken, pork chop, and salad options. If you are looking for a dinner spot to sit, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of red wine (low in carbs), this is the place.

John’s Filet of Ribeye is my personal favorite, with a side of broccoli and a fresh salad.

When visiting a new place, it can be overwhelming to find a healthy restaurant to dine at. Don’t fall off the diet wagon when visiting Laurel!

Support all of our incredible dining options right here in Downtown Laurel for a delicious and nutritious dining experience.

Sign up in the gold box for weekly email updates on our newest tips and tricks for visiting Downtown Laurel!

A Tour of The Pinehurst Rathskeller: Laurel’s Newest Gem

Say hello to your next stop in Downtown Laurel! Owned and operated by Amy Luker, as seen on HGTV Home Town, this Gallery is not something you want to miss.

Floor to ceiling full of original art, supplies, and gifts, this place is sure to bring the inner artist out of you.

And hey, if you are an artist—even better.

Check out the video tour below to get an exclusive look at the space and don’t forget to sign up in the gold box for weekly email updates!

A Closer Look

Follow Pinehurst Rathskeller

Visit the Gallery

A gallery and art supply store showing the work of professional artists in the South.

HOURS

Tuesday-Saturday 11 AM- 5 PM *extended hours for special events

LOCATION

312 Front Street Laurel, MS 39440


A Complete Itinerary for Downtown Laurel: A Home Town Weekend

Planning a visit to Laurel, Mississippi to join us for HGTV’s Home Town Season 3 Finale block party? You’re coming at the best time.

Because our merchants and eateries have so much going on, we decided to put it all in one place for you and coordinate your trip. (Free of charge!)

Where to Stay

We recommend arriving on Friday, April 5th to make the most out of your trip.

Skip the hotels! Airbnb is where it’s at.

All the money you’re spending on lodging could instead go directly into a local’s pocket. Not to mention, you’ll get a totally personal, and charming experience right in the heart of Laurel’s Historic District. (And don’t worry, if all of our BnBs are booked, we do have some nice hotels. There are a few that are even about a five minute drive to Downtown.)

View this post on Instagram

Laurel, you sure are pretty.

A post shared by The Laurel Cottages (@the.laurel.cottages) on

Friday

Depending on when you arrive and check in, the first thing you should do is get Downtown.

Local’s tip: Get a map. Our official Downtown Laurel map will help you navigate from store to store, all the way to the Historic District. Find one at Laurel Mercantile Co., Scotsman Co. General Store, Lott Furniture Co., or the Laurel Welcome Center.

If you have time, get your bearings! Take your map and get an idea of where your stops will be.

Definitely stop at Café la Fleur for dinner. It’s a New Orleans style restaurant, with plenty of yummy Cajun food to choose from.

Our favorite dish is the seafood enchiladas. Erin’s is the Cuban sandwich!

BBQ Burger at Cafè la Fleur

After you’re stuffed, walk on over to Lee’s Coffee and Tea for Open Mic Night. Every first Friday of the month, Lee’s hosts local talent (all family-friendly) from 6:30-9 PM. Enjoy craft beer, board games, dessert, and live music!

View this post on Instagram

Ready and waiting for YOU tonight!

A post shared by Lee's Coffee & Tea (@leescoffeetea) on

Saturday

Start your day off right with breakfast at Sweet Something’s Bakery! They have everything from warm sticky buns to fresh scones.

View this post on Instagram

Fresh Cinnamon Rolls will warm your day

A post shared by Sweet Somethings Bakery🍰 (@sweetsomethingsbakery_) on

Then, go ahead and start shopping! Our merchants have lots of special events and sales going on this weekend. Namely, Guild & Gentry, Laurel’s only men’s store, is having a Sidewalk Sale with items 40-70% off and live music from 12-2 PM!

Make sure you stop by Allie’s on Magnolia next, because they are also having a huge sale for their Anniversary event.

This is a great day to visit Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. General Store.

If you don’t buy anything else at LMCo., buy a candle! Our favorites are “Laurel” and “Porch Party”. And make sure you grab a Honey Lemonade from the General Store.

If you’ve even got time for lunch, you’ve got to head on down to The Knight Butcher for Ribeye Day. Chill out on their patio and enjoy some good food and live music!

Dinner for Saturday = The Loft.

Their hours are 5:30-until, so this is a good place to camp out and relax after you shop til’ you drop. They have a full bar, steaks and seafood, and an incredible outdoor area.

We recommend the steak bites.

If you’re still raring to go, we’ve got some A+ nightlife to throw your way. For drink #2, or #3 or #4, get to Slowboat Brewing Company.

Cary Hudson and Mark Mann go on at 7:30, and the brews go on til’ midnight. This venue is low-key. There’s plenty of seating available, and is kid and dog friendly.

If you have a late night sweet tooth, make a short trip to PDI for a milkshake.

Sunday

Early riser? Vic’s opens at 6 AM. Go there. Get a butter biscuit.

Throughout the day, continue to shop around and visit some of the shops you missed yesterday.

This is special! Many of our businesses are typically closed on Sundays. We are opening up just for you! Make sure to come see them and let them know you’re happy to see them.

Do not miss Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Laurel’s only art museum was actually Mississippi’s first! We have the world’s third smallest basket (literally cannot be seen without a microscope), beautiful Georgian silver, master works of art, and seasonal exhibits.

Next, go take our walking tour of our Historic District! The official brochure is at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

Not only will you see various classic architectural styles, and Historic churches and parks, but also some very special homes you might have seen on TV!

Locals Tip: No one can or will give out addresses to the Home Town houses for privacy of the homeowners, but if you explore, we guarantee you will find them!

For lunch today, mosey back on down to Lee’s Coffee and Tea! They have great sandwiches, salads, soups, coffee and tea. This café is perfect for Sunday lunch.

Because we are such a small town, not many of our restaurants are open. (For rest, of course!) You might want to travel to 16th Avenue to find a bite to eat. We have recognizable chain restaurants, but we recommend eating at a locally owned establishment!

Try Reyes Mexican Grill and Bar or Blue Crab Grill. Both are great!

Monday

This might be your last breakfast in Laurel, so make it count! Stop at the5000 food truck beside the General Store.

Try the breakfast fries. You won’t regret it.

And again, go shop! There’s still a chance you’ve missed some shops, or you can always make a second visit!

Loblolly Boutique (our children’s boutique and toy store) is having a special pop-up event for tween girls. They can make their own bracelet and meet some empowering women in Jones County!

From noon to 4 PM, Pinehurst Rathskeller Art Gallery and Supply is sponsoring the Downtown Laurel Art Walk! 30 artists will be scattered at businesses around town doing live demonstrations and selling their work around town. The Gallery will also be having sales in-store.

Another thing to note: LRMA will be open and hosting a kids craft during the art walk.

Also at noon, reruns of Home Town will begin to air on the big screen until 6 PM! If you ever want to stop and chill, grab a chair or blanket and see all your favorite homes again!

Lunch? The Pearl Diner. Mrs. Pearl will have a blue plate lunch ready for you, complete with the best darn Mac and Cheese around. Get ready to be stuffed.

During the day, Magnolia Street will be closed with lots of activities for children, tables to sit and eat, live music, and art from Laurel High School students on display.

Don’t miss Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar! They have allllll the sweet treats, and are doing a special “decorate your own Home Town house” cookie kit for just $5 all day long.

More block party festivities will begin at 6 PM, so we recommend either grabbing an early dinner before, or be ready to move back and forth from the stage.

Try Mimmo’s for authentic Italian food, or munch on something good from the food trucks that will be parked on Oak Street.

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#seafood #yumyum

A post shared by Chaney Elizabeth (@lizbethchay) on

The pre-show entertainment will include more live music, homeowner interviews, giveaways, and VIP Introductions.

If you’re wanting to still move about town during this time, grab a drink from the beer truck, and go check out Ben and Erin’s furniture showroom at Lott Furniture Co.

Make sure to settle in by 8, because that’s when the episode starts! Watch Home Town right in the heart of Downtown Laurel with other fans and locals alike. It will truly be a special experience!

————————————————————————————————————

We hope you enjoyed this itinerary for a weekend in Downtown Laurel, and we can’t wait to see you!

****Even though it may not seem possible, there are lots more businesses to visit that were not specifically mentioned. Go here to find out more and explore special activities and shop hours for the weekend.

Sign up in the gold box for weekly updates and news on Laurel, Mississippi!

Home Town Tourist

Every now and then we love to spend an afternoon with the kids meandering around downtown…getting coffee, visiting the bookstore, and walking through the parks are just a few of our favorite things to do.

It usually involves lots of jumping games and climbing trees to entertain us along the way. 

I was recently asked if Laurel has kept it’s small town charm since the airing of HGTV’s HomeTown. I would answer that, “Absolutely, it has!” Laurel has always been charming and it makes me happy to see other people coming in and enjoying it with us. I love sharing the things I love, including my town! One of the things I like best about the folks in Laurel is how they pull you in and make you feel like you’re part of the community. 

If you haven’t already planned a trip, what are you waiting for?? 

Here’s a few of our favorite family friendly spots!

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art-Mississippi’s first art museum and always a MUST SEE! There will be a Leontyne Price exhibit soon I hear!

Trustmark Art Park- A great little space to let the kids run around that’s in the heart of downtown.

Cottage Books- this little book nook is located inside Southern Antiques (a great store to walk through…it has 2 floors of shopping!)

Handmade – looking for an indoor activity?? Handmade is your place to get CREATIVE.

Gardiner Park

Laurel Jones County Library

Laurel Mainstreet has a ton of wonderful events throughout the year as well…coming soon is the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

YWCO of Laurel – family bingo night as well as classes and activities for all ages

See you in Laurel, friends!

What to do with Dad in Laurel this weekend!

If your Dad’s idea of the perfect Father’s Day getaway is visiting Downtown Laurel, we want to be sure he gets everything he deserves! We’ve gathered together some of our manliest finds, hearty eats and things to do.

Gifts for our favorite guys

Laurel Mercantile

Scotsman Co. Merch

Does your Dad see a bit of himself in “Big” Ben Napier from HGTV’s Home Town? At Laurel Mercantile you’ll find items worn on the show, Ben’s imprinted Estwing hammers, and tons more. Click here to shop their Father’s Day collection, and be sure to use promo code FATHERSDAY to get 15% off any item.

Lott Furniture Co.

Official Downtown Laurel Merch and Recliners

No Laurel visit is complete without a chat with our unofficial official tour guide – Rodney Rowell of Lott Furniture! You’ll remember him from his appearance on Home Town, and he’ll tell you all about the history of Laurel and more great things to do while you’re here. Also, Lott Furniture is the only place to get official Downtown Laurel logo merch such as great hats for dads, tshirts and bags. And don’t forget to upgrade Dad’s favorite recliner while you’re there!

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A good, good Dad. Happy early Father’s Day!

A post shared by Keri Rowell (@kerirowell) on

Guild & Gentry

Men’s Clothing, Beard Care & More!

This “distinctly masculine” Laurel original is an experience no man should miss. This store is half dad sanctuary and half treasure trove. Click here to shop or preview online.

The Knight Butcher

Beef Jerky

Whether Dad is here to pick out his favorite flavor, or you’re looking for the perfect happy to take back home to him – the men of Laurel say you can’t go wrong with a bag of their beef jerky!

“Hi Hungry, I’m Dad!” – Our favorite belly-fillers.

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Pour-Over Coffee

Do you have a coffee lover in your house? Do not let him miss out on this essential coffee experience. High quality beans, hand-brewed by the experts makes a great excuse to sit and put up your feet for a while. Start your day here!

Pearl’s Diner

Good Southern Cookin’

Lunch is waiting! Visit Pearl’s Diner for “stick to your ribs” country cooking like no other.

The Loft

The Steak Dad Deserves

For supper, head up Central Ave. for one of Laurel’s best kept secrets.

Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar

Dad needs his sweets!

Shug’s is the perfect way to end your day of enjoying the best food in Laurel. Visit them for hand-scooped, raw cookie dough, candy treats and more!

Let’s go! Ways to entertain Dad in Laurel.

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

“Dad Rock” Vinyl Night – Friday June 15, 6:30-9PM

Veteran’s Memorial Museum

Tours

Visit Laurel’s own Military Museum, just a few minutes outside of Downtown.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BW3VFXfBLaK/

The Amos Deason House

Historic Tours – Saturday, June 16 – 1:00-3:00PM

Did your Dad love “The Free State of Jones” movie starring Matthew McConaughey? The movie is based on a true story about our home county, and the Deason House played a major role in that story. Take a tour and find out the secrets you didn’t see on the movie!

Get more information.

Slowboat Brewing Co.

Thomas Jackson – Saturday, June 16, 7:30-10:30PM

Slowboat shows are the place to be! Enjoy incredible, locally-brewed beer while taking in the sounds of one of Laurel’s favorite artists.

Get more info.

We hope your dad enjoys his trip to Laurel this weekend! Be sure to tag @VisitLaurel in your Instagram posts so we can share his fun!

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!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjais-GFtBP/?tagged=iliveinlaurel

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!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjYGlW1AYA9/?tagged=iliveinlaurel

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.

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