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.

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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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

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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Things to Do in Laurel: Spring Edition

With so many things to do in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi, visitors want to come back time and time again. With events, races, cooking competitions, and so much more, spring is the perfect time for both new and repeat visitors to come get to know Laurel, MS.

 

Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook OffChili Cookoff | Things to Do in Laurel MS This Spring

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020

Laurel Main Street kicks off each new year with the annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off. The event takes place the second Saturday in February and is held in downtown Laurel with music, beverages, and teams vying for their chili to be named the best.

Mardi Gras Celebrations

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020 (Ellisville) & Saturday, February 15, 2020 (Laurel)

Family friendly Mardi Gras parades take to the streets in both Ellisville and Laurel during the Mardi Gras season each spring. The whole family is sure to enjoy the festivities.

 

First State Bank Laurel Leap Day 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

When: Saturday, February 29, 2020

 

In its inaugural year, the First State Bank Laurel Leap Day 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is set to be a slam dunk. Courts will be set up in the Front Street parking lot in Laurel, MS, along with a DJ, food vendors, and beverages. Participants and fans are welcome to attend!

 

Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50

When: Saturday, March 7, 2020

Both seasoned ultra-runners and first time long distance racers love the The Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50 which is held in early March each year on the Longleaf Horse Trail in the De Soto National Forest just south of Laurel, MS. Participants take in the beautiful natural scenery during the 20K, 50K, or 50 Mile run.

 

Laurel Main Street Touch-A-TruckTouch a Truck | Chili Cookoff | Things to Do in Laurel MS This Spring

When: Saturday, March 7, 2020

Touch a Truck provides a unique opportunity for children to explore vehicles of all types in one place – from emergency vehicles to delivery trucks. Personnel will teach the children about the equipment displayed and how these machines help us and serve their communities.

 

Landrum’s Homestead & Village Second Saturday Family Day

When: Saturday, March 14, April 22, May 9, June 13

Family Day is the perfect spring event for all ages! Families can enjoy time together touring the Homestead, taking wagon rides, watching wood carving demonstrations, sampling biscuits cooked on a wood stove, gem mining, and more! Food and snacks will be available for purchase from the smokehouse, and homemade ice cream is the perfect sweet treat for a spring (or summer) day. Admission is $10, Children 3 and under are free.

 

Wine Down Downtown

When: Friday, March 20, April 20, May 20, July 17, Wine Down Downtown | Things to Do in Laurel this SpringAugust 21, September 18

Presented by Laurel Main Street, Wine Down Downtown features extended shopping hours in downtown Laurel as well as wine tasting! Attendees start by purchasing a $15 re-usable, collector-style wine cup, which allows for unlimited wine tastings at all participating merchants. Non-wine drinking participants are welcome to join the fun for free. More than 30 downtown merchants and restaurants will be open and ready for a fun night downtown!

 

Catch a Show at Laurel Little Theatre

When: March 27-29 & April 3-5, 2020

Each season, the shows at Laurel Little Theatre are a joy to experience. In Spring 2020, Director Frankie Bennett will bring the comedy, “Doublewide, Texas” to the Arabian stage for two straight weekends.

 

Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest

When: Saturday, April 18, 2020

One of the most anticipated events of the year, Crawfest takes place each April in Downtown Laurel. This culinary competition features live music, beverages, and, of course, teams cooking up crawfish hoping to be named the winner. Teams offer tasting trays to serve their crawfish creations, and attendees get to cast their vote for People’s Choice of best overall boil.

 

Annual Day in The Park

When: Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Laurel Arts League’s largest annual event, the Day in the Park, offers a one-mile fun run and 5K run and a day of entertainment! Attendees can enjoy live music, student and juried art competitions, delicious festival cuisine, children’s activities, and the works of skilled craftsmen from across the region.

 

Mother’s Day Blues Festival

When: Sunday, May 10, 2020

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with the annual Mother’s Day Blues Festival? Gather your family and enjoy the day with blues entertainment and great food at the South MS Fairgrounds in Laurel, MS.

 

Still looking for more ideas of things to do in Laurel, Mississippi? Check out our bucket list-worthy round up of things to do during a stay in Laurel.

Laurel, MS is One of the Best Small Towns in America!

There’s no doubt about it that Laurel, Mississippi is a special place. Our hometown pride runs deep, but it’s more than just the locals who love Jones County, MS. With our beautiful oak-lined historic district, unique events throughout the year, charming downtown, military museums, a National Park, and so many things to do, it’s no wonder we’ve been touted as one of the best small towns in America.

Best Small Towns in America Laurel Mississippi

Renewed, Transformed, and Loved

When Laurel renovation pioneers Ben & Erin Napier introduced Laurel, Mississippi to the world on HGTV’s Home Town, a renaissance began. Like a cool fall breeze, a freshness settled upon our Mississippi small town, and the renewed energy is only growing. But the truth is, we were always one of the best small towns in America. Our town just needed a little love to revitalize it. And now we all have a deepened sense of pride in this little hometown of ours. Southern Living Magazine recently visited Laurel and described it perfectly.

 “The rebirth of Laurel, Mississippi, is proof of what real people can do with a little creativity, a lot of commitment, and a deep well of love.”

Best Small Town in America

There’s plenty to be proud of in Laurel and Jones County, MS, but we especially relish showing off our people, our passion, and what makes us such a unique little corner of the South. Our list of 7 things to do and see in Laurel features shopping, gaming, history, arts and culture, and more, and these must-see spots are just the start of why Laurel is one of the best small towns in America.

History and beauty run deep here. The Laurel Mercantile describe Laurel as “…a postbellum, culturally rich hamlet where creativity and industry mingle in our rich entrepreneurial history.”

History meets aesthetics in The Laurel Historic District which features the largest in-tact contiguous collection of turn-of-the-century craftsman & bungalow style housing.

From the Civil War to Masonite to our modern Main Street, there’s plenty of backstory, change, growth, and beauty to discover.

The appeal is only enhanced by the surrounding towns. In Ellisville, visitors will experience another historic downtown with shopping and dining options and unique spots such as the historic Deason Home which was built in 1845. Looking to try your luck? Head to Sandersville to roll the dice at Bok Homa Casino. Soso is home to Rasberry Greene, an event venue that features the much-anticipated Cotton Gin Market each year. There’s so much to do, see, and experience in Jones County, MS…and to eat, of course – there’s always plenty to eat.

As you stroll through the oak-lined streets, you’ll discover that Jones County and Laurel, Mississippi are more than just a place to stop and snag a few photos for Instagram (although we definitely think you should do that, too). It’s a small town with a big heart, palpable renewed spirit, a slow Southern pace, and it’s a true weekend destination. We can’t wait to welcome you!

 

Get a firsthand peek into HGTV’s Home Town with a tour of the spots featured on the show and let us help you find the perfect place to rest your head!

Laurel, MS: Experience the Filming Location of HGTV’s Home Town

 

Get a firsthand peek into HGTV’s Home Town with a tour of the area where the show is filmed: Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi.

The HGTV’s Home Town Experience

On HGTV’s Home Town, the darlings of Mississippi, Ben and Erin Napier take old houses and turn them into dream homes as they lovingly welcome people to Laurel, MS. With hotels, local Bed and Breakfasts, and Air BnBs, there’s plenty of room to make our hometown yours for the weekend so that you can enjoy Laurel, MS beyond the TV screen. Here’s a list of must-see places to complete your HGTV’s Home Town experience.

 HGTV Home Town Laurel MS | Ben and Erin Napier

 

Take a Historic Home Tour

Start your Laurel experience at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art or the Laurel Welcome Center where you’ll find the official Laurel Walking Tour brochure. Wandering the oak-lined streets of the Laurel Historic District will give you and up-close-and-personal view of so many historic and stunning homes, plus the beautiful parks and streets you’ve seen on episodes of HGTV’s Home Town.

Shopping

Laurel Mercantile Co in Laurel MS

Downtown Laurel is basically its own character on the show. Episode after episode, viewers will see the twinkling lights, plus watch Erin grabbing fabrics, antiques, knickknacks, and more from the darling shops throughout the town.

To truly get a sense of the style showcased on Home Town, start your shopping at Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman General Store. Style and American Made are the theme of Laurel Mercantile Co. This retail store includes apparel, candles (oh the candles!), sundries, kitchenware, bath-ware, home décor including pillows, fabrics, vintage finds, and art for your walls back home.

Meanwhile the Scotsman General Store is a step into Southern days gone by. An ode to general stores that were known across the south decades ago, visitors will find apparel, preserves (and other delicious perishables), soda pop, and a peek into Ben’s woodshop. Pro Tip: stop by during the filming of HGTV’s Home Town to watch him create custom pieces featured on the show!

For more places to find toys, apparel, accessories, and antiques, check out our list of where to shop in Laurel and Jones County.

 

Dining

If there’s one thing we Southerners know how to do, it’s gather around a table, so it comes as no surprise that there have been many dining establishments featured on HGTV’s Home Town. Here are a few fans may remember.

Sweet Somethings Bakery in Laurel MS

  • Pearl’s Diner is Southern cooking at its best. From fried chicken to mac ‘n cheese and everything in between, you’re sure to get your fill of both mouth-watering fare and sweet Southern hospitality.
  • Lee’s Coffee & Tea is the perfect spot to grab a cup of soup, a sandwich, fresh baked goods, and (as the name implies) a hot cup of coffee or tea.
  • The Loft on Central Avenue features seafood, steak, and pasta in a beautiful setting. Settle in for a perfectly cooked steak in the courtyard, and you’re guaranteed a perfect Southern night.

Beyond the show, Erin and Ben regularly feature all the best spots to grab a bite in Laurel on Instagram.  They’ve named many local favorites including Café La Fleur, David’s grocery, The Knight Butcher, Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar, PDI / Phillips Drive-In (we hear Ben gets the #3), Mimmo’s Restaurant, Sweet Somethings Bakery, The 5000 MS, and more!

For a full list of restaurants in Laurel and Jones County, head to our Where to Eat page.

 

Local Favorites Featured on the Show

Erin dropped the sweet tidbit that her parents went on their first date at The Little Laurel Theatre, and it’s definitely a must-see sight in Jones County, MS. Located in the heart of Downtown Laurel, Laurel Little Theatre features a varied season of shows every year, so check out what shows are playing during your visit. Be sure to nab a pic under the neon Arabian sign during your visit!

ThHGTV Home Town Stars Ben and Erin Napier | Discover Laurel MSe Loblolly Festival is one of the most annually anticipated events in Laurel. On the first Saturday of October, Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town is the center of attention as folks gather to celebrate, shop, and eat. This free festival features arts and crafts vendors, live music, rides, and all of the best festival food (hello, funnel cakes and corn dogs). Demonstrations take place throughout the day, and the local shops are available for perusing as well.

 

The murals seen on the show are a big thing here in Laurel and Jones County. Literally a big thing. Covering walls and the sides of buildings, these gorgeous quotes are both charming and Instagram-worthy. See how many you can find (and be sure to tag us in your Instagram posts).

 

Whether visiting in the fall, spending the holidays in Jones County, or joining us for a quick weekend getaway to Laurel, we’re so happy to get to share our little corner of Mississippi with you! Welcome to our hometown!

 

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.

A Laurel Bucket List: 7 Things to Do & See in Jones County, MS

There’s so much to do and see in Jones County, Mississippi, and it may be hard to decide where to start. When you’re visiting, be sure to stop by these must-see spots!

things to do in Laurel MS

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

This always-free museum opened in the early 1920s and is the oldest museum in the state. Exhibits paintings, pottery, and sculpture from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, plus Indian artifacts and more! It has also been recognized by Mississippi Magazine as one of the top museums in the state for many years.

Insider’s Tip: Start your day at the Lauren Rogers Museum Of Art not only for the amazing exhibits but for the staff who are in-the-know about what to do and where to eat in Laurel (& beyond).

 

DeSoto National Forrest

The largest National Forrest in Mississippi, the DeSoto National Forrest offers a wide array of diverse recreational opportunities and camping locations. Hiking, biking, and more are awaiting your inner outdoor enthusiast!

 

Laurel Little Theatre

Known for the neon Arabian sign that shines its light over Downtown Laurel, the Little Laurel Theatre has been the heart of the arts & culture scene in Jones County for nearly 60 years. To find out what shows are playing this season, visit LaurelLittleTheatre.com.

 

Historic Walking Tour

Laurel, MS simply oozes with charm, and there’s no solitary attraction that highlights it more than a walking tour through the Historic District. The homes are charming and the oak-lined trees and quaint parks make it simply magical.

 

Bok Homa Casino

If gaming is your thing, Bok Homa Casino definitely needs to be on your Jones County itinerary. More than 800 slot machines, old school classics, and new thrills plus dining options make a day of fun a sure bet!

 

Landrum’s Homestead & Village

Self-described as a living history museum, Landrum’s Homestead & Village is a replica of a standard 1800’s settlement and offers visitors a unique way to experience a time gone by. From a country store to family events, this exceptional attraction is definitely a must-see in Laurel!

 

Veterans Memorial Museum

The Veterans Memorial Museum in Laurel, MS houses thousands of military artifacts and memorabilia that reflect the service and sacrifice of countless courageous servicemen and women.  The museum also offers a reference library, guest speakers, book signings, reenactments, and special events.

 

Shopping

Shop ‘til you drop may be a silly saying, but it could easily become reality in Jones County. Explore our occasional markets and antique stores to find treasures of days gone by, including the Carpenter Brother’s Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots in Ellisville. Spend your day perusing popular downtown shops, plus sweet boutiques and places to grab a bite. Don’t forget to swing by the Sawmill Square Mall for the name brand stores you love. For a full list of places to shop, head to our Shop page.

 

For more things to do and see in Laurel and Jones County, MS, head to our Discover and Events pages.