Let the Show Begin: Theater, Festivals, & More are Back!

This fall and winter, there’s plenty to do in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi. Take in a show, shop at local boutiques, and explore our unique attractions. Get ready to breathe in the heart and soul of our little corner of Mississippi with events, performances, and a whole lot of Southern hospitality!

Loblolly Festival | Events in Laurel MS

 

Loblolly Festival

Arguably the most anticipated annual event in Jones County, the Loblolly Festival is back this year and sure to be better than ever! Loblolly, which celebrates Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town, is held on the first Saturday of October. The arts and crafts festival features a variety of vendors, plus kid-friendly activities, craveable fair food, various demonstrations (including a chainsaw artist), and an appearance from Mr. Loblolly himself! We’ll see you on October 2, 2021.

Music & Theatre Take the Stage

Theatre is back in Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi! Located in the iconic Arabian Theatre building, Laurel Little Theatre is taking patrons back to the stage in 2021 and 2022! The 61st Season of shows includes Steel Magnolias (September 24-26 & October 1-3), The Last Night of Ballyhoo (February 11-12 & 18-20, 2022), and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (June 2-5, 2022). Get details and tickets.

From the stage to the streets, musical treats can be found at the Live in Laurel Fall Concert Series. These family-friendly performances feature shows by Grayson Capps, Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds, and Latisha & Friends! Grab a chair and head to Trustmark Art Park on September 11, October 23, and November 13, 2021.

One of our favorite events every month is Wine Down Downtown! Get ready to shop, sip, and savor the fun in Downtown Laurel. Hosted by Laurel Mercantile Co. and Laurel Main Street, Wine Down Downtown is the perfect way to experience our small-town charm, explore shops, and “wine” down! Wine Down Dates for the fall are on September 17, October 15, and November 12, 2021.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Landrum’s Homestead & Village’s annual events are a magical way to celebrate the holidays! Plan to attend the Old Tyme Fall Holiday Events in Ellisville MS | Laurel and Jones County MSFestival (October 17), Christmas at the Homestead (November 28-29), or the Christmas Candlelight Tour (December 5, 12, & 19). Whether you come to see the mystery house in the fall or the thousands of twinkling lights at Christmas time, guests are guaranteed to find fun for the whole family.

Merry Marketplace is the one-stop shop you need to find a gift for everyone on your list (and maybe a little something for yourself too)! Make plans to attend this indoor market on Saturday, November 20, 2021, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

 It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping – especially when shopping means time spent in Downtown Laurel! The Annual Downtown Christmas Open House takes place each holiday season in Laurel, MS. Make your list, check it twice, and kick off your holiday shopping with in-store specials, giveaways, music, & more!  Don’t miss out on even more ways to experience yuletide cheer with parades, tree lightings, and more!

 

  For even more events in Laurel & Jones County MS such as Bingo Night at the YWCO, Trivia Night at 320 Fifth Street, and more, check out our full events calendar.

 

The Great Summer Road Trip: Laurel, MS is a Must-Stop Destination

There are few things more quintessentially Americana than the go-at-your-own-speed adventure of a road trip! Whether you’re headed to New Orleans to laissez les bon temps rouler or beach bound for some fun in the sun, Laurel and Jones County, Mississippi is a must-stop spot when you hit the open road this summer! 

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Welcome to Our Hometown 

Start your road trip with a visit to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Nestled among towering oak trees and sprawling jasmine, this piece of Laurel history is the perfect place to get your arts and history fix. Not only will you get a dose of culture, but it’s the ideal place to start the tour every lover of HGTV’s Home Town wants: the walking tour of Laurel’s Historic Homes

Bonus: Don’t stop with just one tour! Laurel and Jones County murals are not only Instagram-worthy, they’re a tour of culture, restaurants, as seen on TV locations, and more! Find all 12 must-see murals.

Burger and Fries in Laurel MS

Let’s Eat! 

After a leg-stretching tour, make the most of your visit with some delicious Mississippi eats. Use our signature interactive map at VisitJones.VisitWidget.com to discover mouth-watering fare sure to curb your cravings! Find everything from Southern cuisine to local cafes, burgers, steaks, seafood, and more! 

Bonus: Why limit yourself to just one destination? Make the most of your visit by grabbing to-go orders from some of our most famous casual dining restaurants, and plan a picnic in one of our parks! Try Trustmark Art Park for family-friendly green space year round. 

Landrums Homestead and Village in Laurel Mississippi

Indoor & Outdoor Stops

Once you’ve dined, keep the adventure going by hitting our local shops, antique markets, and loading up on souvenirs. Shopping is around just about every corner in Jones County, Mississippi. Check out our Jones County Shopping Guide for ideas on which shops to hit in Downtown Laurel, Downtown Ellisville, and more! 

A quick trip on US 15 leads to lots of opportunities for fun for the whole family. Begin your post-lunch journey by stopping to explore at Landrum’s Homestead and Village where you’ll find activities that cater to retirees, active adults, and curious kids alike. The gift shop is a must-see for souvenir seekers, and be sure to check for any events going on during your visit for patriotic, family summer Saturdays, fall and magical holiday events.

If your road-tripping crew includes some outdoor enthusiasts, then it’s happy trails and fishing tales in Jones County! Be sure to add a stop at Big Creek Water Park on US 84 or the Desoto National Forest on US 15. 

If you’re feeling lucky, then it’s on up US 11 to Bok Homa Casino. Gaming? Check. Slots? Check. Sportsbook? Check! Play to your heart’s content, then grab dinner at the casino before you hit the road! 

Bonus: Does your road trip include making stops on the Mississippi Blues Trail? Don’t miss the marker right here in Jones County!

 

Start Planning

When you’re planning your summer road trip, don’t forget to check out our events calendar where you’ll find everything from parades to plays, cookoffs to block parties, and so much more! .

From Soso to Sandersville and from Ellisville to Laurel, there’s something for everyone in Jones County, Mississippi! Check out our brochure for attractions, restaurants, photo ops, and more! 

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!

 

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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