Fan-Favorite Spots in Laurel and Jones County: Top Places to Eat, Shop, and Play 

If you’re planning a trip to Laurel and Jones County, we have plenty of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your visit. Whether it’s the top casual dining spots, a perfect itinerary for a couples getaway, or new things to do in Jones County, we have all the intel you need to dine, shop, and play like a local. But don’t just take our word for it! We have visitors who vacation in our hometown season after season, and they are sharing the best ways to explore Laurel and Jones County.

Shop Eat and Play in Laurel Mississippi

Insider’s Tips from Repeat Visitors 

Those who visit Laurel and Jones County fall instantly in love with our small town. For some, they keep coming back again and again, and we definitely don’t blame them! Here are some great tips from folks who have traveled here multiple times. 

Downtown Laurel is just as cute as what you see on the show…If you go to the museum, be sure to play the Art Bingo game. No prizes but it’s fun and a great way to really see everything. – Shellye C.

Definitely go to Lott Furniture! Great people, great furniture and accessories! Just down from Laurel Mercantile. Also, the Loft Restaurant is fabulous!! Make a reservation. We also LOVE 320 Fifth Street, casual dining and live music at 320 W Fifth Street with outdoor dining… -Barbara K. 

Be sure to check out Hellfighters…One of the best shops in town… jewelry, motorcycles, clothes, black rifle coffee, purses, yard art, etc…A wonderful staff that supports a great mission…the store itself is beautifully decorated!! You will be so glad you went by… -Gail B.

The walking tour is awesome! The guide is so knowledgeable and super fun. The weather in the spring was perfect and the flowers were so beautiful! -Delaney F. 

 

Fan Favorites Spots

Our community has a deep commitment to hospitality, so deciding where to eat and shop can be tricky since everywhere you turn, you’re sure to find a restaurant serving delicious cuisine and a shop ready to welcome you with souvenirs, clothes, home décor, and top-notch customer service. Our fans are dishing on their favorite spots to shop and eat during a Jones County getaway. 

Most Recommended Restaurants 

 

Most Recommended Shops

 

Are you already a repeat visitor? If you’re planning your second (or third or fourth) trip to Jones County, here are some great spots to add to the itinerary of your next visit

 

 

Explore Jones County: What to Do in Ellisville, MS 

When you’re ready for a small town getaway, Ellisville, Mississippi is an ideal place for the whole family to enjoy. Get ready to dine and play in Jones County! 

Where to Eat 

If you’re anything like us, much of your travel plans revolve around where to eat next. Fortunately, a jaunt through Ellisville, Mississippi, also means being surrounded by fabulous restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

No Southern vacation is complete without something expertly fried and served in heaping portions. In Ellisville, the must-stop spot for just that is Charlie’s Catfish House. Open Thursday-Saturday, Charlie’s Catfish has been voted best catfish in the state by Mississippi Magazine for good reason! Regulars will tell you the recipe for the catfish hasn’t changed since it opened, and that’s the highest compliment since customers – locals and tourists alike – have flocked to Charlie’s Catfish for generations.

Barry’s Burgers is a new spot by the same owners of PDI / Phillips Drive-In located in Laurel. Since they opened in 1948, the PDI has been serving up some of the best burgers in Mississippi, so you know Barry’s Burgers is a must-try. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads are on the menu for lunch, while breakfast options are delectably Southern treats such as chicken and waffles, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, and more.  Check out the full menu here.

The Humble Place may be too humble to brag, but we will happily do it for them. Delicious, Southern cuisine and excellent hospitality are on the menu. With a full playground and kid-approved food options, it doesn’t get much more family-friendly than The Humble Place. No matter how filling your lunch or dinner is, make sure to try the bread pudding – trust us! 

 

The Great Outdoors 

In our corner of the country, we’re surrounded by hard working people with wonderful small businesses. We have endearing shops, crave-worthy restaurants, and beautiful historic districts, but the charm doesn’t stop there. We’re lucky here in Jones County, Mississippi to be home to the DeSoto National Forest. Year-round recreation opportunities abound for the hiker, bicyclist, camper, canoeist, horse enthusiast, hunter, and fisherman. Discover this treasured piece of nature during your Jones County getaway.

The outdoor fun doesn’t stop there – there are more opportunities to cast your line. Bogue Homa Lake is a 882-acre lake located in Jones County, offering a beautiful fishing retreat just minutes away from the downtowns seen on the small screen. Fish from the shore or on one of three piers for bluegill, crappie, catfish, and largemouth bass. 

 

Arts & Culture 

This April, music will fill the air on the campus of Jones College. The Spring Recital Series gathers musicians from the region and music from around the world. The series continues on Friday, April 8, when guests can catch a performance of The Impromptu Piano Trio. April 22, will feature Keys, Bow, an da Slide, and the series ends with A Mezzo’s Three Course Meal, on Friday, April, 29, 2022. All concerts are free and open to the public. Be sure to follow the Jones College School of Art, Music, and Performance for details.

Jones College has an active calendar of fine arts and sports throughout the academic year. Visit JCJC.edu for more information.

 

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel & Jones County

When you’re in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, there’s so much to do and see! Whether taking photos, discovering our unique history, shopping our boutiques and name-brand stores, or exploring the great outdoors, you’re sure to work up an appetite in our hometown. Lucky for you, there are casual meals served up deliciously at these must-try restaurants throughout Laurel and Jones County!

 

Eat Like a Local at our Must-Try Casual Restaurants

These destination-worthy restaurants are some of the top-mentioned by our Facebook and Instagram fans – and for good reason! Dishing up seafood, comfort food, breakfast, desserts, and so much more, Laurel and Jones County’s casual restaurants offer varied selections to curb whatever you’re craving!

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Pearl's Diner

Pearl’s Diner

Pearl’s Diner

At Pearl’s Diner, you’ll find Ms. Pearl serving up tasty renditions of classic soul food. From fried chicken and collard greens to mac & cheese and banana pudding. She loves catching up with her customers when they come in so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation while you’re there. If she’s not in, don’t worry, you can catch her serving up her famous dishes on HGTV’s Home Town in Season 2! Beat the rush by getting there early on the weekends and listen to some live music while you wait. Come for the food, stay for that small town hospitality!

 

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Bird Dog Café

Bird Dog Café

Bird Dog Café

As seen on Season 4 of HGTV’s Home Town, Bird Dog Café is the Bell brothers way of giving back to their hometown of Laurel. The café features everything from lattes and scones to soups, chicken salad, and decadent dinner dishes. Truffled short rib pot pie anyone? Check out their Facebook page for specials.

 

Corn Dog 7

Dining at Corn Dog 7 is like being able to eat fair food even when the fair isn’t in town! Funnel cakes, corn dogs, seasoned fries, and fresh squeezed lemonade. It’s #BetterThanGood.

 

320 Fifth Street

If you like your dinner with a side of live music, add 320 Fifth Street to your itinerary! Casual dining and live music every Friday and Saturday night! Looking for a Sunday brunch spot? This is your place!

 

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Lee's Coffee & Tea

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Lee’s Coffee & Tea

Our walkable Downtown Laurel offers many dining establishments, and Lee’s Coffee & Tea is a must-stop! While perfect for a breakfast drink or afternoon caffeine jolt, this coffee shop is just as well-known for their delicious lunch offerings. Does Lee’s have the best pimento cheese in Laurel? You be the judge!

 

PDI / Phillip’s Drive-In

If you’re looking for a burger and fries, definitely swing through the drive through at PDI / Phillip’s Drive-in. A local icon, the PDI is known for burgers, shakes, and all the nostalgia of a classic American drive-in!

9 Casual Dining Spots in Laurel and Jones County - Bosun Joe's of Ellisville

Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville

Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville

Looking for more Southern cuisine? Try family-owned and operated, Bosun Joe’s of Ellisville. Fried catfish, po’ boys, turnips, and delicious four layer homemade cakes by the slice (or whole!).

 

The 5000

When it comes to delicious dining options, brick and mortar eateries aren’t the only option. The 5000 food truck offers signature sandwiches, salads, gourmet grilled cheeses, and specials for lunch (and dinner some nights). Don’t miss their Saturday breakfast!

 

Touted as some of the best dining spots in Mississippi by Mississippi Magazine’s reader poll, our local eateries are ready to for dine-in, outdoor dining, and takeout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! For a full list of restaurants in Laurel and Jones County, MS, be sure to check out our Eat Page.  

 

Couples Getaway: A Romantic Weekend in Laurel & Jones County

Looking for a weekend escape full of charm, relaxation and small-town hospitality? From laid back and romantic to lively and entertaining, Laurel and Jones County has something that every couple will enjoy.

Where to Stay?

Couples Getaway Weekend - Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast

Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast

Laurel and Jones County has found the perfect way to combine romance and history throughout their area and while it might sound crazy to some, it definitely works for visitors looking for that ideal getaway. If you head down to Laurel’s charming historic district, you will find the Grandiflora Bed & Breakfast. Built in the early 1900’s, this luxury Bed & Breakfast will take you back in time with antique décor and vintage furniture, at the same time providing its guest with modern amenities to make your stay the most enjoyable.

Wanting to connect a more with nature (and maybe as a couple)? Do some camping at Big Creek Water Park or Lake Bogue Homa. Both with scenic views and a mild climate all year round, you’re always able to take in the countryside and enjoy a romantic picnic while you’re at! These outdoor sites are just a few of the hidden treasures Laurel and Jones County has to offer.

Other travel and lodging can be viewed here.

 

Date Night

Be sure to make a good impression and book those reservations in advance. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Laurel’s own, Café La Fleur is a local favorite inspired by the Cajun experience and definitely a place you’ll want to experience for yourself! With classic Cajun fare and homemade desserts, it’s easy to see why people can’t get enough of this local restaurant.

If you’re looking for tasty, innovative dishes, make sure to check out Edgar’s Steakhouse, located in the Dixie Golf Club. Go for lunch and try their blue-plate special if you’re looking for an all-in-one meal or really impress your date and go all out with a perfectly hand cut steak.  And don’t leave without trying their homemade praline bread pudding! We always like to end the night with something sweet.

 

The Loft Restaurant

The Loft

 

Sit back and relax while you enjoy some live music when you dine at The Loft on Central Ave. Steak and seafood are their specialties and you’ll never leave hungry! Having a more upscale feel, The Loft will be sure to impress any date and may even land you a second!

View our other dining options here.

 

A Weekend Full of Fun

Looking for something to bond over but that won’t break the bank? Then the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, might be the perfect place for you and that special someone. Luckily for visitors, the LRMA has countless collections and multiple exhibitions throughout the year that anyone can enjoy.

If you’re wanting something a little more “hands on” look no further than HAND + Made. You’ll find a little bit of everything at this interactive retail and studio and be able to see what makes it unique to Laurel and Jones County. From apparel and take home diy kits to classes offered right there at the studio, they definitely know how to add a personal touch.

 

Couples Getaway Weekend Ideas - 320 Fifth Street

320 Fifth Street

Although we love experiencing new things, music is something we can always count on to bring people closer and Laurel and Jones County have just the spot! Throughout the year you can support local artists and head down to 320 Fifth Street for some live music and good times! No matter how you choose to spend your time in Laurel and Jones County, you can always count on it be memorable. If those don’t strike your fancy, we suggest other fun filled activities you might enjoy such as shopping in Laurel and Ellisville or testing your luck at Bok Homa Casino!

 

Your Guide for a Day Trip to Laurel, MS

Only have one day to spend in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi? It’s a choose your own adventure whether you’re here for a day trip or are spending a whole week with us, and with these ideas, you’re sure to see a little bit of everything the New State of Jones has to offer.

Day Trip to Laurel

Photo courtesy Christine Johnson

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