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.

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

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.