Fun Things to do in Hattiesburg Ms that Teens & Parents will Enjoy

No Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Discover fun things to do in Hattiesburg, Ms in this teen approved travel guide. If your family enjoys outdoor adventures, delicious food, unique shopping, and some sneaky history learning, Hattiesburg is the perfect place for your next family adventure!

Here’s a must-know guide full of fun things to do in Hattiesburg, Mississippi that teens and parents all will enjoy.

Many Thanks to Visit HBurg for sponsoring my trip to Hattiesburg. All opinions are mine.

optical illusion at pocket alley in hattiesburg
generations strong mural with Nelson Mandela quote

Our Favorite Things About Hattiesburg

Hattiesburg provides a well-rounded and family-friendly destination for anyone seeking a mix of entertainment, relaxation, food, arts, and exploration. Some of our favorite things about this cute college town include:

  • Hattiesburg Pocket Museum
  • Longleaf Trace Trail
  • Kayaking on the Pine Belt Blueway
  • Hattiesburg’s 1964 Freedom Summer Trail
  • Relaxing accommodations at the Longleaf Piney Resort

Downtown Hattiesburg has a community-focused atmosphere with many locally owned and operated businesses for you to enjoy. Hattiesburg’s welcoming Southern charm and community-oriented vibe make it a great place for families to have fun while also learning enjoying art and about the Civil Rights Movement, a vital era of American history.

Where is Hattiesburg, Ms?

Hattiesburg, or Hburg as the locals affectionately call it, is located in the southeastern part of the state of Mississippi and is the county seat of Forrest County. It’s about 70 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and and easy drive to nearby cities like Jackson, Mississippi; Gulf Shores, Alabama; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

Hattiesburg is home to The University of Southern Mississippi, the Longleaf Trace Trail, and has a thriving arts and culture scene as well. With lots of locally owned shops and restaurants, Hattiesburg is a destination we are happy to recommend!

colorful maya angelou mural in Hattiesburg

What’s the best time to visit Hattiesburg?

The best time to visit depends on your preferences! Hattiesburg has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers. If you like hot and humid weather, summer, with average temperatures in the 90s and higher, is the time for you!

If you like cooler temperatures and a quieter atmosphere, you might want to visit in the winter. Average winter temperatures range from the 40s to the 60s, which sound pretty good to me!

We visited Hattiesburg in September and it delivered on the hot and humid! My personal preference would be to visit later in fall or in the early spring for cooler weather.

saenger theater

A Brief History of Hattiesburg

Hattiesburg was founded in 1882 by a civil engineer named William H. Hardy. He named the town in honor of his wife Hattie and it quickly became a lumber and railroad hub. The nickname “Hub City” was the result, and it continues to be called that today.

In 2000, Hattiesburg was designated as a Mississippi Main Street Community because of its efforts to revitalize and preserve the historic downtown. It’s a popular destination to enjoy live music and art festivals and is a destination we are proud to recommend!

Military enthusiasts will want to know that Camp Shelby, the largest US National Guard training base east of the Mississippi River, is located just south of the city. We went there to visit the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, something you can also add to your list!

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Fun Things to do in Hattiesburg Ms that Teens & Parents will Enjoy

Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Hattiesburg. Make sure to check them all out when you visit.

Outdoor Recreation in Hattiesburg

One thing we look for when choosing a destination to explore with our family are opportunities to explore outside. We were impressed with the outdoor recreation available in this Pine Belt region of Mississippi. Here are few things we enjoyed!

biking on the longleaf trace trail

Longleaf Trace Trail 

The Longleaf Trace Trail is a 44 mile long multi-use trail that winds its way through picturesque landscapes, pine forests, wetlands, and open fields. Originally a railroad corridor for the Mississippi Central Railroad, this 10 foot wide, paved trail was completed as a Rails-to-Trails conservancy project in 2000. 

With well-maintained paths and numerous access points, the Longleaf Trace Trail actually begins right on the University of Southern Mississippi campus. The entire family will enjoy exploring this trail that invites walkers, runners, and cyclists of all skill levels to explore its scenic route. What a great way to connect with nature in the heart of Hattiesburg!

We took out e-bikes and really enjoyed our quiet rides along the paths. What a great trail!

Kayaking on the Pinebelt Blueway

Kayaking on the Pinebelt Blueway

You probably know what a hiking trail is, but have you heard of the term Blueway? A blueway is a designated water trail or waterway that is managed for paddle sports like kayaking and canoeing.

If you enjoy being out on the water, you’ll want to check out the Pinebelt Blueway! With more than 50 miles of scenic waters to explore on the Leaf and Bouie Rivers, it’s a great place to spend a day.

The Pinebelt Blueway provides a perfect escape for kayaking lovers of all levels, with well-marked routes and access points. Whether you’d like a guided float or to head out on your own, you can find that on the Pinebelt Blueway.

geotour hattiesburg. One f the cache boxes

Earn a Geocache Award with Hburg’s GeoTour

With more than 40 caches to find, Hattiesburg Geotour is the only one of its kind in Mississippi and one of only 112 in the entire world! Launched by VisitHATTIESBURG during the pandemic as a way to help the community, this is a great way for families to get out and and have fun together.

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that many people really enjoy. If you want to participate, you’ll use an app and GPS coordinates to locate hidden containers, or caches, scattered throughout the city.

To join the fun, download the passport, find 35 caches during your stay, and turn the passport in for a Hattiesburg GeoTour geocoin! If you’ve never been geocaching before, you will need to register with and download their free app before you start.

pocket museum alley

The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum

Mississippi’s smallest museum, The Pocket Museum is located in an alley in Hattiesburg’s historic downtown. It’s like no museum we’ve seen. Instead of a curated exhibit of historical or culturally significant artifacts, you’ll find a crazy collection of tiny objects everywhere you look when you walk down Pocket Alley.  

The neat thing about the Pocket Museum is that it’s always changing in a very fun way. Things you can do when you go include: 

  • enjoy all of the Art in the Alley 
  • posing on optical illusion art drawings 
  • complete a scavenger hunt 
  • look for alley cats
  • watch a short movie in the Pocket Theater

The whole family want to spend some time in the Pocket Museum. The more you look, the more you find. Make sure to look up, down, and all around! Mississippi’s tiniest museum is incredible!

hattiesburg zoo entrance

Hattiesburg Zoo

Another popular spot for families is the Hattiesburg Zoo, a 12-acre zoo home to more than 100 types of animals. It’s a beautiful place to wander, and we also appreciate the zoo’s conservation efforts. Not only do they contribute to the Giant Anteater Fund, but they also have a ZooMobile that heads to area schools free of charge. 

Another really great initiative at the zoo is a Mardi Gras bead recycling program in partnership with the ARC of New Orleans. The zoo collects beads and sends them to New Orleans. There they are cleaned and sorted, then sold for re-use! I attended my first Mardi Gras parade in Shreveport last year, and I glad to see communities taking the time to recycle some of the beads.

Some things your family will enjoy doing you visit the zoo include:

  • Pet a sloth in the Sloth Experience
  • Take a train ride on the zoo’s electric train
  • Enjoy the high ropes course
  • Watch prairie dogs in their prairie dog town
  • Pet a kune kune pig in the Wallaby Walkthrough exhibit
  • Play in the splash pad on hot days
lucky rabbit pyrex bus

Lucky Rabbit Store

Who doesn’t like exploring unique stores? The Lucky Rabbit Store is not a simple retail store or a place to buy knick-knacks in Hattiesburg. It’s MUST-DO, quintessential HBurg, and one of the best places to buy souvenirs.

Open on Saturdays and Sundays the Lucky Rabbit is actually two huge old buildings located side by side that have been turned into a curio destination full of souvenirs, vintage finds, and nostalgic items.

You’ll love walking through the buildings, the school bus full of vintage Pyrex, finding the 1970s McDonald’s Hamburglar Jail, vintage arcade games, and so much more.

Make sure to visit Hattiesburg on the weekend so you don’t miss out on the Lucky Rabbit.

colorful maya angelou mural in Hattiesburg

Trails and Tours to Enjoy in Hattiesburg

Visit HATTIESBURG has taken a lot of time and care into creating different trails and tours to help locals and visitors get the most out of their city. In addition othe Geocache tour, there are three more we think teens would enjoy, plus one I really enjoyed and kids would perhaps slog through. 😉

Hattiesburg’s 1964 Freedom Summer Trail  If you don't vote, you don't count.

Hattiesburg’s 1964 Freedom Summer Trail 

The Summer Freedom Trail has an audio guide and 16 stops that honor the Hattiesburg residents who took part in the fight for African American Civil Rights. Listening to first hand accounts of the Freedom Summer of 1964 lends an appreciation for what Black Americans have been through. It’s such an important story that this is one thing I would make sure my teens explored. 

The audio driving tour takes about 90 minutes and is something you can do in all weather. Head to the for the map and audio tour of this important trail.

hburg art trail - light bulb brain sculpture

HBurg Public Art Trail

We had such a good time keeping our eyes open for murals as we drove around the city. Featuring more than 100 stops, the HBURG Public Art Trial is huge! You’ll find more than 40 murals, lots of sculptures, and painted utility boxes too! 

You can pick up a formal brochure if you want a list of official trail stops, or you can just keep your eyes peeled and get excited when you spot another piece of art! They really are all over town!

bacon jam burger Royal Spices restaurant

Hatties[Burger] Trail

Did you know that people who live in Hattiesburg are called Hattiesburgers? 😀 It’s true! And they are so proud of their burgers that they created an entire Hatties[Burger] Trail that highlights almost 40 local restaurants! 

I was on a healthy eating kick when we visited so I only tried the Bacon Jam Burger at Royal Spices – but it was phenomenal! My travel buddy had the burger at Coney Island Cafe and she said it was quite tasty. Bring your appetite! There are so many great places to eat in Hattiesburg.

facade of the Bank of Commerce

Downtown Walking Tour

I’m not sure that teens would enjoy this tour as much as I did, but I really enjoyed walking around downtown. So I will mention it. This self-guided walking tour helps you learn the history behind the town through the stories of its many historically significant buildings. Some of my favorites include:

  • Saenger Theater
  • The Brass Footprints of Wes Fairley
  • The Art Deco Kress Building
  • The facade of the Bank of Commerce
  • The Historic Train Depot
  • Eureka School
  • Osceola McCarty House Museum

If you’re interested in neat old buildings and their interesting pasts, grab the Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Walking Tour Brochure and get some steps in!

tiny house rentals at longleaf piney resort

Hotels in Hattiesburg Ms

If you’re wondering where to stay when you visit Hattiesburg, here are three of our top recommendations:

Tiny House at the Longleaf Piney Resort

Perfect for a quiet long weekend getaway or even spring break, the tiny houses at Longleaf Piney Resort are comfortable, fun, and well appointed. You’ll relax among the pine trees, have super easy access to the Longleaf Trace Trail, plus bikes and games are available too!

Book your tiny home near the Longleaf Trace!

Holiday Inn Express on Thornhill Drive 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly hotel in Hattiesburg, we recommend the Holiday Inn Express. This hotel features a free breakfast, an indoor pool and fitness center, and comfortable rooms. 

Book your room on for a great price.

Hotel Indigo in Midtown

Want a boutique hotel for a romantic weekend away? Stay at the new Close to restaurants and campus, this boutique hotel is swanky, pet friendly, and super cute!

Book Hotel Indigo on for a great rate!

Thanks again to Visit Hattiesburg for a really fun trip! Head over here more help with a Hattiesburg Vacation Guide.

Hattiesburg is one town I never knew I needed to visit. I hope you’ll make an effort to check it out too.

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *