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Things to Do in Laurel Mississippi

Journey through Laurel, Mississippi for a delightful mix of history, shopping, dining, outdoor activities, art, and sweet treats.



explore laurel mississippi s activities

When in Laurel, Mississippi, start with a Historic District Walking Tour to admire 24 unique homes. For shopping, explore Scotsman General Store and Laurel Mercantile Co. Then, savor Southern dishes at Pearl's Diner and handmade treats at Ben's Workshop. Outdoor lovers can visit Mason Park for tranquility or kayak on nearby rivers for scenic views. Art enthusiasts must visit Lauren Rogers Museum of Art for diverse artistic works. Unwind at Gardiner Park with playgrounds, walking trails, and sports facilities. Discover the Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge for hiking and birdwatching. Lastly, relish the flavorful snowball treats at Scotsman Snowball Stand.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Laurel's Historic District with 24 unique homes.
  • Shop at local stores like Scotsman General Store and Ben's Workshop.
  • Enjoy culinary delights at Bird Dog Cafe and Shug's Cookie Dough.
  • Experience outdoor adventures at Mason Park and nearby rivers.
  • Visit Lauren Rogers Museum of Art for cultural immersion.

Historic District Walking Tour

Take a self-guided Historic District Walking Tour in Laurel, Mississippi to explore 24 old homes showcasing unique architectural styles. As you begin this walking tour, you can immerse yourself in the rich history of Laurel while admiring the intricate craftsmanship of the well-preserved buildings. By obtaining a self-guided tour brochure, you have the flexibility to wander through the historic district at your own pace, allowing you to appreciate the architectural details of each home.

The tour provides a glimpse into the past, offering insights into the different architectural styles that have shaped Laurel's landscape. As you stroll through the charming streets, you can witness the diverse range of designs, from Victorian to Craftsman, showcasing the artistry and skill of the builders from bygone eras.

This self-guided exploration allows you to explore further into the architectural wonders of Laurel, providing a unique and educational experience for history enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike.

Downtown Laurel Shopping Spree

exploring downtown shops together

Begin a delightful shopping adventure in Downtown Laurel, where a variety of unique stores like Scotsman General Store and Ben's Workshop await your exploration. As you explore the charming streets, you'll come across small businesses offering a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items. Here are some must-visit spots for your shopping spree:

  • Scotsman General Store: Step into this quaint shop to uncover a delightful array of gifts, home decor, and artisanal goods.
  • Laurel Mercantile Co.: Explore this local gem known for its curated selection of home goods and gifts crafted by artisans.
  • Ben's Workshop: If you're a fan of HGTV's Home Town, you can't miss the chance to visit Ben's Workshop for handmade treasures and unique finds.
  • Lott Furniture Co.: Immerse yourself in history at this storied establishment, offering a charming collection of furniture and decor pieces.
  • Adam Trest Home: Discover beautiful home decor items at Adam Trest Home, a popular destination for those seeking distinctive pieces to adorn their spaces.

Culinary Delights and Local Eateries

foodie haven in town

Explore Laurel's vibrant culinary scene, showcasing an array of local eateries and culinary delights waiting to be savored during your visit. From charming cafes to traditional Southern cuisine restaurants, Laurel's dining scene offers a unique dining experience for every palate. To help you plan your culinary journey, here are some featured spots worth exploring during your stay:

Local Eateries Highlights
Bird Dog Cafe Known for its cozy atmosphere and fresh menu.
Pearl's Diner A local favorite for classic Southern dishes.
Lee's Coffee & Tea Perfect for a relaxing break with specialty drinks.
Shug's Cookie Dough Indulge in sweet treats and unique cookie flavors.
The Loft Bakery & Cafe Enjoy freshly baked goods and artisanal coffee.

Outdoor Adventures in Laurel

wildlife spotting and hiking

When exploring outdoor adventures in Laurel, Mississippi, you can discover a variety of nature trails and parks perfect for hiking and birdwatching.

Kayaking on the nearby rivers offers a unique perspective on the picturesque landscapes surrounding the area.

Additionally, camping under the stars provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature while creating lasting memories with friends and family.


Nature Trails and Parks

Discover the array of nature trails and parks awaiting outdoor enthusiasts in Laurel, Mississippi.

  • Mason Park: A serene spot in Laurel offering green spaces perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and various outdoor activities.
  • Gardiner Park: Another must-visit outdoor destination in Laurel, ideal for relaxation and family gatherings amidst nature's beauty.
  • Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge: Immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings of this wildlife refuge near Laurel, a haven for nature lovers.
  • Slowboat Brewing Company: While not a typical park, this unique outdoor experience in Laurel combines craft beer with a relaxed atmosphere for a distinct outdoor adventure.
  • Local Trails: Laurel boasts a network of local trails providing opportunities for hiking, biking, and birdwatching, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to connect with nature.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll in the park, a family picnic surrounded by nature, or exploring wildlife refuges, Laurel, Mississippi offers a diverse range of outdoor experiences waiting for you to explore.

Kayaking on Rivers

Amidst the picturesque scenery of Laurel, Mississippi, immerse yourself in thrilling outdoor adventures by kayaking on the nearby rivers. The historic small town of Laurel provides the perfect starting point for your exploration of the southern waterways. The downtown area serves as a convenient hub for accessing rental services and guided tours, making it easy for both beginners and experienced kayakers to start on their river adventures.

Check out the table below for a summary of kayaking opportunities in Laurel:

Features Details Availability
Rental Services Kayak and gear rental options Daily
Guided Tours Expert-led tours on the rivers Weekends
Scenic Routes Tallahala Creek, Chickasawhay River Year-round

Kayaking in Laurel offers a unique way to connect with nature, spot local wildlife, and unwind in a serene environment. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or a more adventurous journey, the rivers near Laurel promise an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Camping Under Stars

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Laurel, Mississippi by starting a camping adventure under the stars. Laurel offers camping opportunities at nearby locations like Lake Bogue Homa and the serene De Soto National Forest, where you can experience the tranquility of the night sky. Here are some reasons why camping under the stars in Laurel is a must-try outdoor adventure:

  • Engage in activities like hiking, fishing, and birdwatching amidst the peaceful setting of Laurel's natural surroundings.
  • Experience the beauty of nature up close and unwind in a serene environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Enjoy the amenities provided at Laurel's campgrounds, including restrooms, picnic areas, and fire pits for a comfortable stay.
  • Disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with nature while camping under the starlit sky in Laurel, Mississippi.
  • Immerse yourself in the quiet beauty of the night, surrounded by the sounds of nature and the twinkling stars above.

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

magnificence in laurel mississippi

Discover the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi to uncover a renowned collection of artistic works and enjoy a self-guided walking tour. The museum offers a cultural and educational experience, showcasing a diverse range of artistic works that engage visitors.

As you set out on the self-guided walking tour, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and creativity on display. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is known for its exceptional art collection, drawing praise from all who visit.

The museum provides a detailed map for the walking tour, enhancing your experience as you navigate through the various exhibits. This cultural gem in Laurel, Mississippi, offers a unique insight into the world of art, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

Don't miss the chance to explore this captivating museum and delve into the beauty of its curated collection.

Gardiner Park Exploration

exploring gardiner park s beauty

With its sprawling 40 acres of green space, Gardiner Park in Laurel, Mississippi offers a diverse range of recreational amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park provides a perfect setting for outdoor activities, community events, and family-friendly fun.

Here's what you can expect when exploring Gardiner Park:

  • Playgrounds: Children can frolic and play in well-maintained playgrounds.
  • Walking Trails: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike along scenic walking trails.
  • Picnic Areas: Pack a delicious lunch and relax in the designated picnic areas.
  • Sports Facilities: Engage in friendly matches of basketball or tennis at the park's sports facilities.
  • Community Events: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Laurel by attending the various community events and festivals hosted at Gardiner Park.

Whether you seek relaxation or active recreation, Gardiner Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to unwind or have some family-friendly fun in Laurel, Mississippi.

Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge Visit

exploring pine belt refuge

When visiting the Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi, you can discover over 28,000 acres of diverse habitats waiting to be explored. Located near Laurel, Mississippi, this refuge offers a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts.

The refuge's trails provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife photography, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings. With a variety of bird species, including migratory birds and resident species, the refuge is a reflection of the importance of conserving and protecting our natural resources for bird lovers.


Additionally, Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge welcomes fishing, hunting, and nature appreciation activities, catering to a wide range of outdoor interests.

While Laurel boasts charming downtown shops and historic buildings, a visit to the Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge offers a different kind of experience, highlighting the natural beauty and serenity of the area. Amidst the small-town southern charm that defines Laurel, the refuge stands as a representation of the importance of conserving and protecting our natural resources.

Scotsman Snowball Stand Treats

delicious treats at stand

When visiting Scotsman Snowball Stand in Laurel, Mississippi, you'll find a wide array of popular snowball flavors to choose from, including classic options like cherry, grape, and lemon.

Locals and tourists alike rave about the must-try snowball combinations available at Scotsman Snowball Stand, making it a go-to spot for a rejuvenating and delicious treat on hot summer days in Laurel.

With its nostalgic charm and tasty offerings, Scotsman Snowball Stand is a popular destination for families and individuals seeking a sweet and satisfying treat in the area.

Popular Snowball Flavors

Explore the popular snowball flavors offered at the Scotsman Snowball Stand in Laurel, Mississippi, including Tiger's Blood, Wedding Cake, and Blue Raspberry. At this iconic spot, you can immerse yourself in a world of delightful icy treats with a wide array of choices:

  • Pink Lady (Watermelon and Pink Lemonade): Enjoy a sweet and tangy combination perfect for a hot summer day.
  • Blue Moon (Blue Raspberry and Bubblegum): Indulge in a whimsical mix of flavors that will surely satisfy your taste buds.
  • Cherry, Grape, and Lime: Immerse yourself in the traditional flavors that never go out of style.
  • Bahama Mama and Nectar: Experience a flavor adventure with these unique and exotic options.
  • Root Beer, Strawberry, and Orange Creamsicle: Take a trip down memory lane with these classic favorites that evoke nostalgia.

Whether you're into classic flavors or seeking more adventurous choices, the Scotsman Snowball Stand has something for everyone. Don't miss out on their invigorating snowballs like Pina Colada, Bahama Mama, and Green Apple to cool off during your Laurel escapade.

Must-Try Snowball Combinations

Indulge yourself in a delightful array of must-try snowball combinations at the Scotsman Snowball Stand in Laurel, Mississippi.

Scotsman offers a range of flavors to tantalize your taste buds, including classic options like strawberry, wedding cake, and blue raspberry.

For a unique experience, treat yourself to special combinations like Tiger's Blood, Georgia Peach, and Bahama Mama snowballs.

The Scotsman Snowball Stand takes customization to the next level, allowing you to enhance your treat with toppings such as condensed milk, gummy bears, and sour spray.

Whether you prefer a traditional flavor or want to explore something new, Scotsman has a cooling snowball to suit your cravings.


During your visit to Laurel, Mississippi, don't miss the chance to savor these flavorful creations that promise to cool you down on a hot day.

Experience the perfect blend of flavors and textures in each delicious snowball at Scotsman Snowball Stand.

Local Favorites Dining Experience

taste of the town

Wondering where to savor delightful local flavors in Laurel, Mississippi? The culinary scene in Laurel offers a variety of locally owned dining establishments where you can experience Southern cuisine and unique dining.

Here are some local favorites to ponder during your visit:

  • Bird Dog Cafe: A charming spot known for its Southern comfort food and welcoming atmosphere.
  • The 5000: Explore this unique dining experience for a taste of upscale Southern cuisine with a twist.
  • Sweet Somethings Bakery: Indulge in delicious treats like cakes and pastries that locals rave about.
  • Lees Coffee and Tea: A cozy cafe offering a selection of beverages and light bites for a relaxing meal.
  • Shugs Cookie Dough & Candy Bar: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to this popular spot for desserts in Laurel, Mississippi.

Don't forget to plan your meals ahead, as most locally owned dining spots in Laurel are closed on Sundays.

Enjoy the blend of Southern hospitality and local flavors that Laurel's culinary scene has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Laurel, Mississippi Worth Visiting?

Yes, Laurel, Mississippi is worth visiting for its small-town charm, historic architecture, and unique shopping experiences.


It serves as the filming location for the popular HGTV show 'Home Town,' making it a must-visit for fans.

The town offers a range of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and delicious Southern cuisine.

As one visitor shared, 'Laurel's blend of history, culture, and hospitality creates a memorable experience worth exploring.'

Do Ben and Erin Live in Laurel, Ms?

Certainly, Ben and Erin Napier do live in Laurel, Mississippi.

Noteworthy, the couple not only resides in Laurel but also actively contributes to the town's revitalization.


According to Southern Living, Erin expressed, 'We're really proud to live here and be part of the community.'

Their presence in Laurel extends beyond their TV show, reflecting a genuine commitment to the town's growth and preservation efforts.

What Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Laurel, Mississippi?

The best time to visit Laurel, Mississippi is during the spring months of March to May or in the fall from September to November. Spring offers mild and pleasant weather, while fall boasts cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage.

Summers can be hot and humid, so consider early morning or late afternoon visits for outdoor activities. Winter is mild compared to northern states, making it a viable option for a winter getaway with fewer crowds.

How Many Days to Visit Laurel, Mississippi?

You should plan to spend at least 2-3 days to fully explore Laurel, Mississippi. This timeframe allows you to immerse yourself in the town's rich history, visit museums, and enjoy outdoor activities.


A weekend trip provides an in-depth experience, including shopping, dining, and cultural exploration. By staying for a few days, you can tour historic districts, attend local events, and uncover the unique charm of this Southern town.


To sum up, Laurel, Mississippi offers a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

From exploring the historic district and indulging in local cuisine to immersing oneself in nature at the Pine Belt National Wildlife Refuge, there's something for everyone in this charming town.

So, whether you're a history buff, a shopaholic, or an outdoor enthusiast, Laurel has something to offer that will surely leave you with lasting memories.

Plan your trip today and experience all that Laurel has to offer.

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Family Beach Escape to Ocean Springs, MS

Lose yourself in the charm of Ocean Springs, MS with top-rated accommodations, family-friendly dining, and exciting activities – the perfect recipe for a memorable beach getaway.



relaxing getaway on coast

For a fantastic family beach escape to Ocean Springs, MS, consider Pineville Cottage and The Bird House for top-rated accommodations with full kitchens and fenced yards. Enjoy family-friendly dining at The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint for fresh seafood, Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant, Leo's Wood Fired Pizza, Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant, and Pop Brothers for homemade ice cream. Immerse yourself in family attractions like Ship Island for sandcastle competitions, Gulfport Beach for family-friendly activities, and East Beach for kayaking. Remember essential beach safety tips, pack wisely, and explore diverse culinary options. Discover a memorable getaway filled with fun and relaxation.

Key Takeaways

  • Stay at Pineville Cottage or The Bird House for a cozy family vacation rental with full kitchens and fenced yards.
  • Enjoy family-friendly dining at The Shed BBQ, Leo's Wood Fired Pizza, or Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant.
  • Explore Ship Island, Gulfport Beach, and Biloxi Beach for sandcastle competitions, swimming, and beach buggy tours.
  • Pack beach essentials like sunscreen, towels, snacks, and water bottles for a safe and enjoyable beach day.
  • Conclude the day with a family meal at a nearby restaurant like Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant or The Greenhouse on Porter.

Ocean Springs Family Beach Activities

For a memorable family beach experience in Ocean Springs, MS, explore a range of engaging activities at East Beach. The family-friendly activities at East Beach make it an ideal spot for a day trip with loved ones. You can swim in the calm waters, relax on the sandy shores, and unwind in the peaceful surroundings.

East Beach in Ocean Springs provides a relaxing environment perfect for families looking to spend quality time together. After a day of fun in the sun, there are several nearby restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious meal with your family. These dining options offer convenience and a variety of choices to suit everyone's tastes.

Whether you prefer seafood by the beach or a cozy café setting, Ocean Springs has something for every palate. Make the most of your family beach escape by indulging in these delightful activities and dining experiences at East Beach.

Best Family Accommodations in Ocean Springs

ocean springs family getaway

When planning your family getaway to Ocean Springs, consider the top family resorts and ideal vacation rentals available in the area.

These accommodations, such as Pineville Cottage and The Bird House, have received high ratings from numerous guest reviews, highlighting their suitability for families.

With amenities like full kitchens, fenced yards, and modern furnishings, these rentals offer a comfortable and convenient stay for you and your loved ones.


Top Family Resorts

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Ocean Springs, discover the top family resorts offering exceptional accommodations for your beach escape.

Lemon Cottage in Ocean Springs stands out as a perfect choice with a 5.0/5 rating based on 290 reviews. This family-friendly resort boasts new construction, two porches, and close proximity to local attractions.

Another top-rated option is Pineville Cottage in Pass Christian, a kid-friendly rental with a 4.99/5 rating from 135 reviews.

The Bird House in Ocean Springs is highly recommended, holding a perfect 5.0/5 rating from 241 reviews, providing spacious and entertaining stays for families.

Cheerful Cottage in Ocean Springs is another excellent choice, scoring 4.96/5 from 198 reviews, featuring a full kitchen, king bed, fenced yard, and smart TVs.


Lastly, the Twin Oaks Tiny House in Ocean Springs offers privacy, comfy beds, and modern furnishings, garnering a 4.91/5 rating from 238 reviews.

Choose one of these top family resorts for an unforgettable beach vacation in Ocean Springs.

Ideal Vacation Rentals

Discover the best family accommodations in Ocean Springs by exploring the ideal vacation rentals for a memorable beach getaway. When planning your family-friendly trip, consider these top-rated options in Ocean Springs and Pass Christian:

Vacation Rental Location Rating Reviews
Pineville Cottage Pass Christian 4.99 135
Cheerful Cottage Ocean Springs 4.96 198
Lemon Cottage Ocean Springs 5.0 290
Bird House Ocean Springs 5.0 241
Twin Oaks Tiny House Ocean Springs 4.91 238

Pineville Cottage in Pass Christian offers a fantastic family beach escape with its high rating and positive reviews. Lemon Cottage in Ocean Springs provides new construction and proximity to attractions for a memorable family vacation. The Bird House stands out for its spacious and family-friendly accommodations. Cheerful Cottage offers a king bed and a fenced yard for family enjoyment. Twin Oaks Tiny House provides privacy and modern furnishings perfect for a family getaway in Ocean Springs.

Family-Friendly Eateries Near Ocean Springs

family friendly dining in ocean springs

Explore family-friendly eateries near Ocean Springs for a variety of delicious dining options during your beach escape. Indulge in fresh seafood at The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint, offering a casual atmosphere and live music for a fun dining experience.

Sample Mediterranean cuisine at Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant, where you can enjoy a family-friendly meal in a welcoming setting.


Craving some wood-fired pizza? Head over to Leo's Wood Fired Pizza for a selection of mouthwatering pizzas and classic Italian dishes.

For a taste of Southern comfort food, Aunt Jenny's Catfish Restaurant is the place to go, known for its fried catfish and delectable hushpuppies.

And don't forget to treat yourself to some homemade ice cream and sweet treats at Pop Brothers, perfect for a delightful dessert with the family after a day at the beach.

Enjoy a mix of flavors and atmospheres at these family-friendly eateries near Ocean Springs.

Top Family Attractions in Ocean Springs

family friendly attractions in mississippi

For a memorable family outing in Ocean Springs, immerse yourselves in a range of top attractions that cater to all ages and interests. Head to Ship Island for sandcastle competitions, swimming, and leisurely strolls accessible via a picturesque ferry ride.

Gulfport Beach offers soft white sand and family-friendly activities, with added security provided by Sheriffs Beach Patrol. Harrison County Sand Beach in Gulfport provides clean shores for daytime swimming and wading, with evening bonfire opportunities for family bonding.


Biloxi Beach boasts shallow waters suitable for all ages, beach buggy tours, and a laidback atmosphere ideal for family relaxation. If you're looking for a family day trip, East Beach in Ocean Springs is perfect for kayaking, sunbathing, and enjoying nearby restaurants, offering a relaxing environment for all.

Explore the variety of family-friendly activities available on the white sand beaches of Ocean Springs and neighboring areas for a memorable family vacation.

Beach Safety Tips for Families

beach safety for families

To guarantee a safe and enjoyable beach experience for your family at Front Beach in Ocean Springs, it's important to be aware of some essential beach safety tips. While swimming is allowed, exercise caution due to the presence of jellyfish and currents. It's advisable to swim near lifeguard stations and educate children about water safety.

Additionally, when fishing at Front Beach, always be mindful of sharp hooks and practice proper handling of equipment to avoid accidents.

When enjoying a barbecue at the beach using the provided grills, make sure that all flames are fully extinguished before leaving the area unattended. Remember to dispose of trash properly to prevent any harm to wildlife or marine life.

The small outdoor showers available at Front Beach are perfect for rinsing off sand before heading home. By following these beach safety tips, you can make the most of your family day trip to Front Beach while prioritizing everyone's well-being.


Family-Friendly Day Trips From Ocean Springs

day trips for families

Consider taking a ferry ride to Ship Island for an unforgettable family-friendly day trip from Ocean Springs. The ferry offers stunning scenic views of the coastline, and if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of playful dolphins in the Gulf waters.

Once on Ship Island, engage in sandcastle competitions, take a dip in the invigorating waters, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores.

For more beach fun, Gulfport Beach is a fantastic choice with its soft white sand and a plethora of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. Harrison County Sand Beach in Gulfport is known for its pristine surroundings, making it an ideal spot for family outings.

If you're looking for a laidback atmosphere, head to Biloxi Beach where you can unwind and relax with your loved ones. These destinations promise a day filled with enjoyment and relaxation for the whole family.

Packing Essentials for a Family Beach Trip

beach trip packing list

What essential items should you pack for a family beach trip?

When preparing for a day of fun in the sun, it's important to bring along beach trip essentials to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience. Remember to pack sunscreen to protect your family's skin from harmful UV rays, along with beach towels, swimwear, hats, and beach toys for endless entertainment by the shore. Don't forget to include snacks, reusable water bottles to stay hydrated, a beach umbrella for shade, and a first aid kit for any unexpected incidents.

Enhance your beach outing by packing beach chairs, a cooler for cool drinks and snacks, and a beach bag to keep all your essentials organized. Consider bringing sunglasses, flip flops, a beach blanket, and a waterproof phone case for added convenience. For extra enjoyment, bring a portable speaker, sand toys for the kids, a beach tent for shelter, and a camera to capture precious moments on your family beach escape.


Ocean Springs Family Vacation Itinerary

exploring ocean springs together

When mapping out your Ocean Springs family vacation itinerary, it's crucial to take into account activities that cater to all ages.

From sandcastle competitions to swimming and strolling on Ship Island, there are plenty of options for family fun.

Additionally, exploring dining options suitable for families can enhance your overall vacation experience.

Activities for All Ages

Experience a range of activities suitable for all ages during your Ocean Springs family vacation itinerary. Head to Gulfport Beach for a fun-filled day with the family. The soft white sand and shallow waters make it ideal for young kids, while the Sheriffs Beach Patrol guarantees safety.

Engage in sandcastle competitions, swimming, and leisurely strolls along Ship Island, accessible via a scenic ferry ride. For a more laidback vibe, Biloxi Beach offers shallow waters, beach buggies for tours, and a relaxing atmosphere suitable for all ages.

If you're looking for some adventure, East Beach in Ocean Springs is perfect for kayaking and sunbathing. After a day of beach activities, enjoy a delightful family meal at one of the nearby restaurants.


Whether you prefer the calm waters of Gulfport Beach or the adventurous spirit of Ship Island and East Beach, there are plenty of options to keep everyone entertained during your family vacation in Ocean Springs.

Dining Options for Families

Looking for delicious dining options that cater to families during your Ocean Springs family vacation itinerary? Ocean Springs boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering a range of dining options from seafood restaurants to cafes and ice cream shops. Whether you're looking for casual dining experiences or upscale restaurants, there is something to suit every family's taste.

For a unique dining experience, consider visiting The Greenhouse on Porter or Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant, local favorites known for their exceptional food and family-friendly atmospheres. Many restaurants in Ocean Springs also feature outdoor seating, allowing families to enjoy their meals while taking in the scenic views of the area.

To help you plan your dining experiences in Ocean Springs, here's a table highlighting some of the dining options available for families:

Type of Dining Restaurants
Seafood Restaurants The Greenhouse on Porter
Cafes Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant
Ice Cream Shops Various locations in town

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Swim in the Ocean at Ocean Springs, Mississippi?

Yes, you can swim in the ocean at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.


The beaches in Ocean Springs offer shallow waters perfect for swimming. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing swim in the family-friendly environment provided by these beaches.

According to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the waters at Ocean Springs beaches meet water quality standards for swimming, making it a safe and enjoyable experience for all beachgoers.

What Is the Prettiest Beach in Mississippi?

The prettiest beach in Mississippi is subjective, as each beach offers unique features. Ship Island in Gulfport stands out for its scenic ferry ride and potential dolphin sightings.

Gulfport Beach boasts soft white sand and a Sheriff's Beach Patrol for safety.

Biloxi Beach is known for its shallow waters and laidback atmosphere.


Each beach has its charm, catering to different preferences. It ultimately depends on what you value most in a beach experience.

Is Ocean Springs MS a Good Place to Raise a Family?

Ocean Springs, MS is indeed a good place to raise a family. The town offers a family-friendly atmosphere with clean and quiet beaches, various outdoor activities, and cultural attractions.

According to, Ocean Springs boasts a crime rate much lower than the national average, indicating a safe environment for families. The presence of quality schools and family-oriented amenities further enhances the town's appeal for families looking to settle down.

Is Ocean Springs MS Worth Visiting?

Ocean Springs, MS is worth visiting for its pristine beaches and array of family-friendly activities. You can explore the clean shores, perfect for swimming and fishing, while enjoying amenities like outdoor showers and picnic areas.

Take a break from the beach to visit attractions like the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Gulf Hills Golf Club. Immerse yourself in a relaxing beach environment, with opportunities for kayaking, sunbathing, and dining at local restaurants.



To sum up, Ocean Springs, MS offers a perfect family beach escape with a variety of activities, accommodations, eateries, attractions, and day trips to keep everyone entertained. Remember to follow beach safety tips and pack essentials for a stress-free vacation.

As author John Steinbeck once said, 'What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?' Embrace the summer warmth and create unforgettable memories with your family in Ocean Springs.

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Things to Do in Jackson Ms

Discover captivating activities in Jackson, MS, including exploring unique geological sights, immersing in history, and uncovering Native American heritage.



jackson mississippi tourist attractions

In Jackson, MS, you have a range of activities to enjoy. Head to Ross Barnett Reservoir for boating and fishing amid scenic views. Lakeshore Park beckons with serene picnic spots and kids' activities. Explore the unique geological sights and try gem mining at Mississippi Petrified Forest. Immerse yourself in history at Vicksburg National Military Park with its Civil War memorials. Uncover Native American heritage at Boyd Mound Discovery site. Mississippi State Capitol showcases grand architecture on guided tours. Mississippi Museum of Art houses extensive American artworks. For a deeper exploration into civil rights, the interactive Mississippi Civil Rights Museum awaits. Discovery awaits at every corner.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Ross Barnett Reservoir for boating and water sports.
  • Visit Vicksburg National Military Park for Civil War history.
  • Experience the Mississippi Museum of Art with 5,000+ American art pieces.
  • Hike the Mississippi Petrified Forest for unique geological formations.
  • Discover the rich architectural features of the Mississippi State Capitol.

Explore Ross Barnett Reservoir

If you're looking for outdoor adventure near Jackson, Mississippi, exploring Ross Barnett Reservoir is a must-do activity. Located just a short drive from the city, this 33,000-acre lake offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, or engaging in water sports, Ross Barnett Reservoir has something for everyone.

Pelahatchie Park, situated along the shoreline, provides a serene setting to watch the sunset and bask in the beauty of the outdoors.

As you venture to Ross Barnett Reservoir, you'll find yourself immersed in the tranquility of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The reservoir serves as a perfect escape for those seeking a peaceful retreat surrounded by lush landscapes and serene waters.

Picnic at Lakeshore Park

sunny day by water

Explore Lakeshore Park in Jackson, MS for a delightful picnic setting by the tranquil waters of Ross Barnett Reservoir. Families visiting Lakeshore Park can revel in the beauty of the Mississippi State scenery while enjoying a leisurely picnic amidst the peaceful surroundings of LeFleurs Bluff.

Children can play on the grassy shoreline, partake in water activities, and create cherished memories in this idyllic setting. The park's picturesque ambiance provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation, allowing visitors to start their picnic adventure while being serenaded by the calming sounds of nature.

Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to witness the breathtaking sunset views at Pelahatchie Park, conveniently located near Lakeshore Park. Outdoor enthusiasts will find Lakeshore Park to be a haven for capturing stunning photographs that encapsulate the beauty and tranquility of the area.


As you begin your picnic experience at Lakeshore Park, immerse yourself in the natural splendor that Mississippi has to offer.

Hike Mississippi Petrified Forest

exploring mississippi s petrified forest

When hiking at the Mississippi Petrified Forest, you'll encounter unique geological formations that showcase trees turned to stone millions of years ago.

Guided tours are available for visitors wanting a deeper understanding of the park's ancient history.

Nature photography enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of these petrified wood landscapes.

Unique Geological Formations

Discover the fascinating world of unique geological formations by hiking through the Mississippi Petrified Forest, where ancient trees have been transformed into stone over millions of years. This natural wonder offers visitors a chance to explore nature trails and boardwalks among the petrified trees, providing a glimpse into the Earth's ancient history.

The park's friendly feline mascot adds to the unique experience, welcoming guests as they venture through this geological marvel. Make sure not to overlook the opportunity to capture memorable photos on Caveman's Bench, a popular spot within the park.


For those with a passion for gems, try your luck at mining gems from the park's gem flume attraction, adding a touch of excitement to your visit. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature's creations as you witness these incredible petrified trees, standing as a reflection of the passage of time and the enduring power of geological processes.

Guided Tours Available

As you begin your visit to the Mississippi Petrified Forest, be sure to make the most of the guided tours offered to explore further into the ancient forest's history and geological wonders.

The park's guided tours provide an excellent opportunity to investigate the unique petrified trees and geological formations that make this forest a must-see on your Mississippi events list.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the nature trail and boardwalk, where you can witness the park's charm firsthand. The friendly feline mascot, a beloved part of the guided tour experience, adds a delightful touch to your adventure.

During the guided tours at Mississippi Petrified Forest, you'll have the chance to visit remarkable attractions like Caveman's Bench and the park's gem flume, ensuring a thorough exploration of the area.


Learn about the park's rich history and geological significance from experienced guides, offering you insights that go beyond the surface.

Make the most of your visit by immersing yourself in the wonders of this official Jackson attraction, a true gem along the Blues Trail.

Nature Photography Opportunities

Explore the Mississippi Petrified Forest for stunning nature photography opportunities amidst ancient petrified trees and enchanting landscapes. The park, home to trees turned to stone millions of years ago, provides a unique backdrop for capturing the beauty of nature through your lens.

As you wander along the nature trail and boardwalk, you'll have the perfect setting to snap shots of the petrified wood that has stood the test of time. Keep an eye out for the park's friendly feline mascot, adding a touch of charm to your photography experience.

Don't forget to strike a pose on Caveman's Bench, a popular spot for picturesque shots in the forest. Additionally, take the time to explore and photograph the diverse landscapes within the park, including the Cypress Swamp and Boyd Mound, an ancient burial site.


Mississippi Petrified Forest offers nature photography opportunities that aren't only visually mesmerizing but also rich in history and natural wonders.

Mine Gems at Gem Flume

collecting gemstones in nature

Engage in gem mining excitement at Gem Flume within the Mississippi Petrified Forest, where visitors of all ages can sift through gravel to uncover colorful gemstones. This interactive experience at the park's gem flume allows guests to enjoy the thrill of discovering unique gems while exploring the natural surroundings.

The gem flume activity is designed to provide an engaging and educational opportunity for families and individuals interested in gemstones. As you sift through the gravel, you may come across a variety of colorful gemstones, which you can take home as souvenirs to remember your adventure.

This hands-on experience adds an element of excitement to the nature trail and boardwalk activities available at the Mississippi Petrified Forest. Mining gems at the gem flume is a popular choice for families and gemstone enthusiasts visiting the park, offering a blend of entertainment and discovery for all participants.

Visit Vicksburg National Military Park

explore civil war history

Discover history come alive at Vicksburg National Military Park, a site where you can immerse yourself in Civil War battles and explore a vast collection of monuments. The park boasts 1,340 monuments spread along a 16-mile loop, offering a unique opportunity to explore the past.

One of the park's highlights is the chance to tour the USS Cairo, an ironclad warship from the Civil War era, where you can marvel at its well-preserved artifacts. As you stroll through the park, you'll encounter life-size figures depicting historical personalities, providing a tangible connection to the events of that time.

The visitor center at Vicksburg National Military Park serves as an educational hub, offering insights into the history of the Civil War and its profound impact on the nation. It's a place where you can truly grasp the sacrifices and struggles of those who fought in this defining conflict.


Discover Boyd Mound

ancient native american site

Nestled in Mississippi, Boyd Mound stands as a significant ancient burial site that offers a fascinating window into the region's rich cultural heritage. This archaeological gem allows you to explore the past and uncover the mysteries of the Native American civilizations that once inhabited the area.

By investigating Boyd Mound, visitors can witness firsthand the archaeological remains that serve as a proof of the historical significance of this site. It provides a unique opportunity to connect with the rich history of Mississippi and gain insights into the traditions and customs of the ancient peoples who called this land home.

As you wander through Boyd Mound, you'll be immersed in a world of ancient rituals and beliefs, gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage that has shaped this region. The site offers a glimpse into the past, allowing you to appreciate the legacy left behind by those who came before us.

In the words of archaeologist Dr. Johnson, 'Boyd Mound is a treasure trove of knowledge, shedding light on the vibrant history of Mississippi and its indigenous peoples.'

Tour Mississippi State Capitol

explore historic mississippi building

When you tour the Mississippi State Capitol, you'll discover its rich historical significance as the seat of the state government.

The architectural features of this Beaux-Arts style building provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Guided tours are available for visitors to explore the Capitol's grand interior and learn about its role in shaping Mississippi's political landscape.


Historical Significance of Capitol

Curious about the historical significance of the Mississippi State Capitol? Completed in 1903, the Capitol stands as a tribute to the state's rich political history. Serving as the hub for the legislative and executive branches, this architectural gem features a striking Beaux-Arts style with a dome reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol.

The Capitol's intricate design elements and details reflect its storied past and showcase the grandeur of early 20th-century architecture.

As a significant historical landmark in downtown Jackson, the Capitol offers visitors a peek into Mississippi's political heritage. Guided tours provide insight into the building's historical importance, while self-guided tours allow for a more personalized exploration.

Parking is conveniently available around the Capitol area, making it easily accessible for those keen on delving into the state's past.

With its blend of historical importance and architectural beauty, the Mississippi State Capitol is a must-see destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Rich in history and political significance, the Capitol invites visitors to immerse themselves in Mississippi's intriguing past.


Architectural Features to Explore

Explore the intricate architectural features of the Mississippi State Capitol during your visit to downtown Jackson. The Capitol, located at 400 High Street, boasts a stunning Beaux-Arts style, a proof of its completion in 1903. One of the most striking elements is its dome, reminiscent of the iconic United States Capitol building. This architectural gem serves as the seat of both the legislative and executive branches of the state government. As you wander through the Capitol, you'll be captivated by the grandeur and historical significance ingrained in every corner.

To investigate further into the architectural marvel of the Mississippi State Capitol, take a look at the table below showcasing some key features:

Feature Description Location
Beaux-Arts Style Elegant and ornate design aesthetic Throughout the exterior and interior
Dome Inspired by U.S. Capitol Grand dome crowning the structure At the center of the Capitol
Legislative Chambers Richly decorated rooms where laws are debated East wing of the Capitol
Executive Offices Offices for the Governor and executive officials West wing of the Capitol

Guided Tours Available

Explore the opportunity to uncover the rich history and architecture of the Mississippi State Capitol through engaging guided tours. The Capitol offers visitors a chance to delve into its Beaux-Arts architectural style and historical significance. During these tours, you can learn about the legislative and executive branches housed within the Capitol and gain insights into the completion of the building in 1903.

The Capitol's dome, reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol, stands out as a notable feature that you can admire up close. Moreover, these guided tours provide a valuable educational experience about Mississippi's political history. Visitors can access helpful information and assistance throughout the tour, enhancing the understanding of the state's governance.

  • Learn about the legislative and executive branches within the Capitol.
  • Admire the Capitol's dome, inspired by the U.S. Capitol.
  • Gain insights into the completion of the Capitol in 1903.
  • Discover the historical significance of the Beaux-Arts architectural style.
  • Access helpful information and assistance during the tour.

Marvel at Mississippi Museum of Art

art museum in mississippi

Marvel at the impressive collection of over 5,000 American art pieces housed at the Mississippi Museum of Art located on 380 S Lamar Street in Jackson. This institution showcases a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations, providing visitors with a thorough look at the evolution of American art.

The museum features both rotating and permanent exhibits, ensuring that there's always something new and exciting to explore. Additionally, Mississippi Museum of Art offers various programs such as workshops, guided tours, and special events to enhance the visitor experience.


Known for its engaging and informative displays, the museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and those looking to appreciate the cultural heritage of Mississippi. As one visitor remarked, 'The Mississippi Museum of Art truly captures the essence of American art through its carefully curated collection and educational programs.'

Whether you're a seasoned art connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of art, this museum promises a rewarding and enriching experience.

Reflect at Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

visit mississippi civil rights

When you visit Jackson, MS, take time to reflect at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This 30,000 square foot facility opened in 2017 and features eight interactive galleries that showcase the struggles and triumphs of civil rights activists and events.

The central space, 'This Little Light of Mine,' is designed to promote understanding and impact of the civil rights movement. As you explore the museum, you can explore over 15,000 years of Mississippi's civil rights history through multimedia exhibits and artifacts.

This museum stands as an essential educational resource, honoring the sacrifices and contributions of those who fought for civil rights.

  • Immerse yourself in the exhibits that highlight the key moments of the civil rights movement.
  • Experience the emotional impact of 'This Little Light of Mine' as it captures the essence of the struggle for equality.
  • Engage with interactive displays that bring the history of civil rights in Mississippi to life.
  • Reflect on the resilience and courage of the individuals who paved the way for social justice.
  • Leave with a deeper appreciation for the ongoing fight for civil rights in America.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Spend a Day in Jackson Ms?

To spend a day in Jackson, MS, start by visiting top attractions like the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Mississippi State Capitol, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. These sites offer a diverse mix of history, art, and culture.

Additionally, explore downtown Jackson with its hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options. A well-rounded day in Jackson guarantees you experience the city's rich heritage and vibrant atmosphere.


Is Jackson MS Worth Visiting?

Yes, Jackson, MS is worth visiting for its rich cultural heritage, diverse attractions, and vibrant community.

From interactive museums to historical landmarks, the city offers a unique experience for all interests.

As stated in USA Today, 'Jackson is a hidden gem with a plethora of activities and attractions.'

Whether you're exploring the arts neighborhood in Fondren or savoring delicious Southern cuisine, Jackson has something for everyone to enjoy.

What Is Jackson, Mississippi Most Known For?

Jackson, Mississippi is most known for being the capital city of the state. It holds a significant place in the Civil Rights Movement, showcasing pivotal events and activists.


The city thrives with a diverse arts and cultural scene, featuring museums, galleries, and performance venues. Jackson's culinary landscape is a blend of traditional Southern flavors and innovative dining options.

Additionally, the city boasts a rich musical heritage, particularly in blues and gospel genres.

Is Jackson MS a Walkable City?

Getting around Jackson, MS on foot may pose challenges in certain neighborhoods due to its layout and infrastructure, with a Walk Score of 31 out of 100.

While areas like Downtown and Belhaven allow for some errands on foot, many residents still rely heavily on cars for daily transportation.

The city's spread-out nature hinders overall walkability, making it less pedestrian-friendly compared to more compact urban areas.


As a result, traveling on foot in Jackson may be difficult in certain neighborhoods.


So, next time you find yourself in Jackson, MS, be sure to check out these amazing attractions.

It's guaranteed to be a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

Remember, there's always something new to discover in this vibrant city, so don't miss out on all the excitement waiting for you.

Get out there and explore everything Jackson has to offer!

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