Small Town, Safe Travel

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

 

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 LaurelResidents 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.

 

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.