Laurel & Jones County Nominated in Mississippi Magazine’s ‘Best of Mississippi’ Reader Poll

We are so excited to share that some of your favorite spots in Laurel & Jones County are nominated in more than 50 categories for Mississippi Magazine’s ‘Best of Mississippi 2021!’ Featured, is everything from dining and fashion to local activities and home and garden and we would love your support to show why Jones County is the best place to be!

 

Crave-Worthy

Food always holds a place in our hearts and we hope it does for you too. While dining isn’t the only thing to do in Jones County, it is definitely one of our favorites past times and we’d love to know which local eatery is your go-to, so make sure to vote!

Best of Mississippi 2021

Charlie’s Catfish House

Dining Category

Mimmo’s (Pizza & Italian Food)

The Loft (Steak)

Phillips Drive In (Hamburger)

Café Le Fleur (French Fries)

Pearl’s Diner (Fried Chicken)

Hog Heaven (Barbeque)

Smokehouse of Laurel (Barbeque)

Blue Crab Grill (Catfish)

Charlie’s Catfish House (Catfish)

Sake Café (Sushi)

Pearl’s Diner (Cornbread)

Lee’s Coffee & Tea (Sweet Tea)

Julia’s Bakery (Tamales)

Reyes Mexican Grill and Bar (Tamales)

Blue Crab Grill (Seafood)

Pearl’s Diner (Ethnic Food & Blue Plate Special)

The Loft (Fine Dining & Outdoor Dining & Appetizer)

Lee’s Coffee & Tea (Deli & Coffeehouse)

Gecko’s Fresh Eats (Healthy Restaurant)

The 5000s (Food Truck)

Bird Dog Café (Outdoor Dining)

Shug’s Cookie Dough & Bakery (Sweet Shop/Bakery & Dessert)

Sweet Somethings Bakery (Breakfast/Brunch & Sweet Shop/Bakery)

Small Coffee Big Taste (Coffeehouse)

Café Le Fleur (Dessert)

 

Cast your vote for each Dining category.

 

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop

The charming boutiques and shops are where you can find us most weekends. Whether you’re looking for apparel, a good book or something for man’s best friend, Jones County has it all! The categories below represent a variety of shops favorited by the locals and a must see by visitors.

Best of Mississippi 2021

Guild and Gentry

Fashion Category

The Pink Anchor (Accessories)

Quarter Century (Quarter Century)

Guild and Gentry (High End Men’s Apparel)

The Pink Anchor (Teen/Tween Apparel)

What a Girl Wants (Teen/Tween Apparel)

Plaid Pecan (Clothing Consignment)

The Remnant (Clothing Consignment)

Guild and Gentry (Men’s Casual Clothing)

 

Cast your vote for best Fashion stores.

 

Specialty Retail Category

The Cotton Boll (Gift Shop)

Hill’s In House Jewelers (Antique Jewelry & Fine Jewelry)

The Bookstore in the Window (Bookstore & Stationary Shop)

Sawmill Animal Hospital (Pet Goods and Services)

 

Cast your vote for best Specialty Retail.

 

Health & Beauty Category

Epic Style (Salon & Beauty Enhancements)

Faith N Fitness (Fitness Center)

New State CrossFit (Fitness Center)

 

Cast your vote for the Health and Beauty category.

 

Fun for the Whole Family

Everyone knows if you’re looking for something to do, you don’t have to look far in Jones County. Activities and events are hosted every year and gives you a chance to visit the local farmers market or have a relaxing day of golf! What is something you look forward to each year?

Best of Mississippi 2021

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Activities Category

Downtown Laurel (Overall Shopping Destination)

Laurel Loblolly Festival (Fair or Festival)

Downtown Laurel Farmers Market (Farmer’s Market)

Peddler’s Junktion (Flea Market)

Rusty Chandelier (Flea Market)

Laurel Little Theater (Performing Arts Venue)

Laurel Street Park (Park)

Mason Memorial Park (Park)

LRMA (Museum)

Laurel Country Club (Golf Course)

Pine Cone Drop New Year’s (New Event)

Wine Down Downtown (New Event)

 

Cast your vote for best Activities.

 

Home and Garden Category

LOTT Furniture Co. (Furniture Store & Home Décor and Accessories)

Southern Antiques Gift Mall (Home Décor and Accessories & Places to Find Antiques)

Rusty Chandelier (Places to Find Antiques & Home Décor Resale/Consignment)

LRMA (Art Gallery)

Pinehurst Rathskeller (Art Gallery)

Laurel Mercantile Co. (Kitchen Shop)

Southern Antiques Gift Mall (Kitchen Shop)

The Cotton Boll (Kitchen Shop)

Laurel Nursery & Garden (Yard and Garden Shop)

 

Cast your vote for the Home and Gardens Category

 

The final results of the 2021 Best of Mississippi reader poll will be released on February 15, 2021. Cast your vote daily between now and then!

Instagram-Worthy: Where to Snap a Photo in Laurel & Jones County

The saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and when you visit Laurel & Jones County, that couldn’t be truer. You might come for that perfect shot, but find yourself staying for that familiar feeling we like to call ‘home.’ With its historic charm, small-town feel and the great outdoors, you’ll be sure to snap the perfect photo just about anywhere you turn in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, but where are those spots that are completely Instagram-worthy? Here are a few of our favorites.

 

Where to take a photo in Laurel MS

 

As Seen on TV

There’s nothing quite like visiting a spot you’ve seen on the small screen – especially here in Laurel and Jones County! Pair our locals’ hometown pride with the renaissance happening thanks to HGTV’s Home Town, and our beauty is definitely something worth snapping a photo of! If something looks familiar to you, it’s likely what you’ve seen on TV!

For example, you might have come across the iconic blue truck that sits outside of Laurel Mercantile Co. Since its opening in 1901, the building has served many purposes for this small town and now you can catch it as the backdrop for so many photographs as people come to visit Ben & Erin Napier’s store.

If you were searching for something nostalgic, you’ve come to the right place.  Inside you will find the LMCo. original collection, vintage décor, and that perfect take home gift to have memories for a lifetime. Don’t miss the life size Ben & Erin cut outs inside the store!

After you grab a pic and souvenir for friends back home (plus one or two for yourself), you can head over to the Scotsman’s General Store & Woodshop and watch the team hard at work creating one-of-a-kind pieces for locals and visitors alike. If you are lucky you might even see Ben Napier working on his next big thing for Home Town. Now that is a moment you definitely want to catch on camera!

 

Where to Snap a Photo in Laurel MS

 

Murals, Murals, & More Murals

For true Jones County fans, our murals are instantly recognizable, so they definitely couldn’t be left off the photo op list. From Ellisville to Downtown Laurel and beyond, iconic murals abound!

This one is located on Commerce Street and might be one of the town’s most popular to date. The vibrant colors and creative design will surely make your photo pop! A timeless mural backdrop never makes for a bad photo.

Check out these other murals around Jones County:

  • Welcome to Historic Downtown Laurel – Located on Central Avenue
  • Laurel Looks Good on You – Located on North Sixth Avenue
  • Be Kind – Located on North Sixth Avenue
  • Greetings from Laurel – Located on Central Avenue
  • Loyal as a Book – Located at the Laurel Library
  • Everything is Gonna Be Okay – Located in Ellisville
  • I Believe in Laurel – Located in Maker’s Alley
  • The City Beautiful – Located on the corner of Oak and Front Street
  • Welcome to Laurel Mississippi The City Beautiful (purple) – Located

 

Where to Take a Photo in Laurel MS

 

In the Great Outdoors

Looking for something a little more “natural?” Head towards downtown and visit our beautiful Trustmark Art Park. Because who doesn’t love a little greenspace? With green grass all year round, there’s never a bad time for a phot op! It’s the ideal spot for a day with the kids or to just bask in the beautiful sunlight. You’ll have the perfect lighting right at your fingertips.

Ready for something more off-the-beaten-path? Look no further than the Desoto National Forest.  With over 300,000 acres belonging to this beautiful park, the Desoto National Forest is the largest district in Mississippi. With activities such as biking, hiking, and bird watching, there are plenty of ways to keep busy and more than enough opportunities for a photo op.

 

Laurel and Jones County are just getting started and luckily for visitors, the appeal keeps on growing. So next time you’re visiting our neck of the woods, remember to snap a photo and be sure to use #VisitLaurelJonesCounty to share with us!

 

Looking for even more must-see spots in Jones County? Check out these historic landmarks or this bucket list-worthy guide!

Experience a Laurel & Jones County, Mississippi Winter Weekend Escape

If you’re looking to experience an affordable weekend away this winter, Laurel and Jones County Mississippi are a winter wonderland of Southern proportions. When you visit for a winter getaway, you’ll be sure to find a plethora of unique history, local shopping, and Southern charm!

Grab a cup of coffee during a Winter Weekend in Laurel MS

Sip Something Brewed

Mississippi weather is typically pretty mild, so when the temperatures drop (even if only slightly), grabbing a hot cup of coffee or tea is a must. Our local coffee shops are always brewing up something delicious. Grab a cup to-go before you get your day started, or find a cozy table, booth, or seat outdoors to enjoy your cup of joe! Try sipping something at The Coffeehouse at Brookside, Lee’s Coffee & Tea, Bird Dog Café, Higher Ground Coffee Shop, Jitters Coffeehouse, or Small Coffee Big Taste.

 

 

Go antiquing during your winter weekend in Laurel MS

Find Something Vintage

From sipping to shopping, our picturesque storefronts of downtown Laurel and Ellisville, plus the warehouse-sized antique stores

throughout Jones County are ready for every type of collector, browser, and shopper! Three must-see stores for antique and vintage lovers include Peddlers Junktion, Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots, The Rusty Chandelier, and Southern Antiques.

Get a full list of shops and stores on our shopping listings

 

Visit Pinehurst Park during your winter weekend in Laurel MS

Discover Something Local

With our mild winters, our parks are the perfect spot to explore, take a break, or settle in for a picnic lunch.

Located in Laurel, Leontyne Price Musical Park is a unique downtown gem. Discover musical instruments and why locals love Laurel-born Leontyne Price.

Also worth a stop are Euclid and Gardiner Parks, where you can take a break from exploring the beautiful historic homes in the Laurel Historic District to gather your crew for a picnic. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Laurel Historic District is a must-see.

Situated on North 5th Avenue & Oak Street, next to the Arabian Theatre is a memorial park on the site of the famous Pinehurst Hotel. Pinehurst Park is an iconic Jones County landmark and features a gazebo, fountain, and is a picture-perfect spot to snag a photo (be sure to use #VisitLaurelJonesCounty to share with us)!

 

Even more trip ideas for your weekend in Laurel and Jones County:

 

Find out more about how to Visit Mississippi responsibly, and be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.

Your Jones County Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for the joy of gift-giving, and when you’re shopping in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, finding the perfect present is easy! Make your list, check it twice, then get ready to spread some yuletide cheer with these gifts that are sure to bring a smile to the faces of your friends and family!

Holiday Gift Guide | Laurel MS

 

For the Hostess with the Mostess

If you’ve been to Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, then you know The Knight Butcher for both their delicious jerky as well as their mouth-watering fudge. Either treat makes for the perfect hostess gift! Don’t forget about Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar for holiday decorated sweet treats!

Laurel Nursery & Garden has beautiful plants and flowers perfect for any hostess, plus their fresh, Mississippi-grown pecans are always a welcome gift. Bonus points if you turn them into a homemade pie or pecan divinity for your family, friends, or neighbors!

For the Coffee Drinker

For the cold coffee drinker, a gallon of Iced Lattes with your choice of syrup can be found at Lee’s Coffee and Tea and is sure to make for a very merry caffeine lover! Go ahead, grab yourself a sweet goodie or some pimento cheese while you’re there – your gift-giving heart deserves a treat!

Both men and women will be happy to receive a Laurel tumbler from Guild & Gentry, which feature a map of our area. Prefer to drink from glass? Guild and Gentry also has beautiful Laurel glass coffee mugs. Should you round out your gift with Mississippi coasters to keep table tops safe in Mississippi style? Well, of course you should!

For the Tiny HGTV Fan

It’s sure to be a holly jolly Christmas with a beautiful coloring book for all of the littlest HGTV fans on your list. Grab Erin’s Sketchbook Coloring Book at Laurel Mercantile Co.

Gifts for the little ones can be found throughout Jones County, but definitely make sure to check out the offerings at Bookstore in the Window! Santa’s elves will be thrilled to find a variety of puzzles, books, and unique stocking stuffers.

For the Lover of Laurel

Laurel and Mississippi sweatshirts are a perfectly cozy gift for so many on your list! Grab a snuggle-worthy sweatshirt from Allie’s on Magnolia Boutique or head upstairs to the bookstore in Lott Furniture for seriously soft sweatshirts!

Be sure to swing by The Coffeehouse at Brookside in Ellisville for delightfully-scented bath and body gifts, seasonal mugs, comfy sweatshirts, and more! Plus, grab yourself a coffee for a mid-shopping pick-me-up!

Even if your giftee can’t whip up a classic and mouth-watering Southern meal like Ms. Pearl, she can still dress the part with an apron from Pearl’s Diner!

Rubie’s Home Furnishings and Hand+Made both feature a variety of beautiful Laurel and Jones County home décor items, plus dozens of Mississippi-made products. Whether purchasing a beautifully painted dough bowl, a Laurel frame, or creating a work of art of your own, you are sure to find a beautiful gift for everyone from your boss to your bestie!

For…well, everyone

When you don’t know what to get someone, a candle is always a well-received gift! The Stockbridge from Laurel Mercantile Co. is one of the most popular “holiday” scents! Meanwhile few things are more southern than a glass of sweet tea, and a Tea candle from Lott Furniture will bring the front porch sipping fun indoors. Many other shops have wonderfully scented candles available including The Cotton Boll, the gift shop at Landrum’s Homestead and Village, and Bella Bella.

 

Looking for even more gift ideas? Don’t miss our full holiday shopping guide! Find out more about how to Visit Mississippi responsibly, and be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.

Small Town, Safe Travel

From the long list of things to do to the delicious dining options and the fabulous shopping, we love our hometown for so many reasons! We’re pretty convinced it’s the best small town in America, and our local response to Covid-19 is just one more reason to add to the list of reasons to love Jones County, Mississippi. We’re keeping safety a top priority, and when you’re ready to travel, we’re ready to welcome you!

Fewer Crowds than Cities

Travel safely in Downtown Laurel Jones County MS

Locals to Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi take cleanliness – and charm – seriously!

Residents and visitors are encouraged to follow both the Center for Disease Control and Mississippi Department of Health’s guidelines, which includes practicing social distancing.

Restaurants are operating at 75% capacity, and al fresco dining is an option at spots like The Loft, PDI / Phillip’s Drive In, and more. Of course, with such beautiful weather here in Mississippi (hello, mild winters!), ordering to-go and spreading out in picnic fashion at some of our parks is always an option!

Shopping, dining, and attending fabulous events are absolute must-dos when you’re visiting Laurel and Jones County, MS, but don’t underestimate the availability of outdoor activities while you’re here! Check out our favorite ways to enjoy the Great Outdoors during your visit!When it comes to shopping, our boutiques, shops, and stores are taking precautions to ensure your safety during your visit! Retail businesses are also asked to keep capacity to 75%, and individual merchants may require additional safeguards to be taken. Plus, small-town shopping means smaller crowds!

 

Our Accommodations are Ready

Our local accommodations are ready to welcome travelers safely by redefining cleaning and safety standards. Guests’ standards have undoubtedly changed, and although our accommodation providers have rigorous cleaning methods already in place, the commitment to safety provides even more confidence for travelers.

Travel safely in Laurel | Grandiflora Bed and BreakfastLocal spots such as are open to travelers, and are committed to providing a safe environment. For example, the Grandiflora Bed and Breakfast is not only disinfecting the whole house on a regular basis, but the large rooms are separated far apart, and guests have no problem distancing from other guests. They also offer physically distanced breakfast settings.

Our name-brand hotels also have increased their cleaning standards. Hampton Inn & Suites in Laurel utilizes Hilton’s CleanStay program, which gives its guests the comfort of knowing industry-leading hygiene practices are providing the cleanest – and safest experience possible.

Each of our lodging providers has its own set of cleaning standards and safety protocols, so if you’re curious about specific steps being taken, we recommend you reach out to your potential hotel, bed and breakfast, AirBnB, or rental home.

For a full list of places to lay your head while you’re in Jones County, be sure to check out our guide. Camping and RV lodging are also options when you’re in Jones County, MS!

 

We will do our part to ensure all visitors can experience the joy of traveling to Mississippi. We hope you will help too when you #VisitMSResponsibly! Be sure to visit our FAQ page for the most current community and safety information.

 

A Homeschool Field Trip to Laurel & Jones County, Mississippi

Whether you’re virtual schooling, homeschooling, or just looking for an educational road trip, Laurel and Jones County is ready for your little learners! From history to art, these fun and informative activities are sure to entertain your whole family!

 

Landrum’s Homestead & Village Educational Field Trip Laurel MS | Landrums Homestead and Village

History comes to life at Landrum’s Homestead and Village here in Laurel, MS. With a step back in time, your family is in for a uniquely educational experience! The homestead – which is a recreation of an 1800s settlement – spans more than 30-acres and has more than 85 buildings, display, and exhibits. When you’re at Landrum’s, you’ll find an 1863 log house and corn crib, barn and farm animals, blacksmith shop, restored houses, village chapel, one-room school house, antique farm and tool equipment, a barber shop, watermill gristmill, and so much more!

Bonus Idea: Events at Landrum’s such as Old Tyme Fall Festival, Christmas at the Homestead, and Christmas Candlelight Tours offer even more homestead excitement with fun activities for all ages!

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Unique History: Must-See Historic Spots in Jones County

From Civil War history to beautiful stately homes and even haunted tales, these landmarks are must-see spots for any history-buff. Start planning your historical tour of Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi!

 

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Located in the heart of Laurel, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is known as one of the must-see spots in Jones County, but it also serves as one of the most historic spots to visit! Erected in 1923, the museum was built upon the foundation of Lauren Rogers’s house, which was incomplete at the time of its namesake’s death. Walking into the lobby of the museum, visitors will find the main structure is reminiscent of a stroll through some of the most beautiful historic homes found across the South. The Georgian Revival structure features quarter-sawn golden oak paneling and cork floors, double-hung sash windows, handwrought iron gates, railings, and hardware, and many other beautiful design features. Building additions and renovations were completed in 1925, 1983, and 2013, bringing the Museum to its present size of 27,500 square feet – an absolute must-see when you’re in Laurel, MS!

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Shop ‘til You Drop: Where to Shop in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi

Shopping in Laurel, MississippiShopping in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi is more than just strolling through one street with a few shops. It’s a veritable shopping mecca of various districts filled with antique shops, trendy boutiques, eclectic gift shops, name brand stores, and so much more! Get ready to shop ‘til you drop when you visit Laurel and Jones County!

 

Laurel, Mississippi: Small Town, Big Shopping

Downtown Laurel and 16th Avenue are truly a shopper’s delight! We just hope you left room in your suitcase for all of the home furnishings and accessories, wardrobe staples for every season, and antiques galore! Continue reading

Plan a Fall Getaway | 5 Things to Do this Fall in Jones County, MS

There’s nothing quite like fall in the South, and Jones County, Mississippi is no exception. This season, we’re giving you permission to slow down – to sit on the porch of your B&B and slowly sip your coffee in the morning. To wander with no destination in mind as the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls wafts through the downtown streets. The views are Gingko trees in shades of gold, shops that are blissfully less crowded than big city destinations, and restaurants serving up their best and most delicious fare al fresco. Here, you’ll enjoy temperate weather – rarely needing more than a light sweater in the evenings. Autumn in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi is something special, and we hope you’re making plans to experience it! Here are five things to do while you’re here this fall. Continue reading

Gather the Girls: Plan a Getaway to Jones County

Laurel is the perfect destination for a girls getaway! Especially if you’re a fan of Ben and Erin Napier’s home renovations on HGTV’s Home Town. Gather up your girlfriends because there’s plenty to see and do – both what you’ve seen featured on the small screen and beyond!

Plan a girls getaway to Laurel, MS!

Photo by allyelyse04 via Instagram

Road Trip-Worthy City

When you and your girlfriends are ready for a weekend-long, quiet getaway, Laurel and Jones County offer the perfect respite from crowded city scenes and beach towns. With plenty of cozy B&Bs, name brand hotels, and Airbnbs to rest your head, Jones County is an ideal girlfriend getaway destination. While you’re here you and your girls can shop, explore history, discover the beauty of Southern architecture, and eat to your heart’s (and tummy’s) content! Continue reading