Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is known to many by its nickname, “the Hub,” which stems from its proximity to the coast, Jackson and New Orleans. Hattiesburg has recently acquired a new nickname as the third most visited city in Mississippi.
“This kind of shocks me just because I have lived here my whole life, and I often forget how unique of a city Hattiesburg truly is,” Hattiesburg native and freshman exercise science major Hadley Fortenberry said.
With Southern Miss at its center, Hattiesburg has become “a hub for growth.” With so many activities and opportunities open to a range of individuals, there is no question as to why Hattiesburg is such an attraction. It is possible for just about anyone to go see a new genre of music almost on any given night in Hattiesburg.
Executive Director of Visit Hattiesburg Marlo Dorsey credits Hattiesburg’s music scene for the city’s diverse appeal.
She told the “Mississippi Business Journal” that Hattiesburg is open so many different music genres because it is a university town.
“We have a lot of new elements to enhance our local culture. What we’ve seen is a renaissance of music,” Dorsey said.
Music has become such a big part of Hattiesburg’s nightlife scene, many college students in particular enjoy seeing bands at local bars. A favorite among many students is The Prom Knights, a band native to Hattiesburg.
Music is not the only thing that brings people to Hattiesburg. Many local shops, including The Lucky Rabbit, are very good at bringing in people from all around.
“I love going to the Lucky Rabbit weekends to see what’s going on,” senior marketing major Michelle Le said. “The limited edition T-shirt’s always get me. I love exploring downtown’s little bakeries and shops too. I love T-Bones’ coffee and desserts.”
The Lucky Rabbit is a locally owned business that sells a variety of vintage items and is only open once a month. These limited openings allow for many patrons to schedule time to travel to Hattiesburg.
Food is also a great way to bring people together – or in this case, down to Hattiesburg.
It’s a nice alternative to the traditional coffee shops on campus,” Le said.
Many popular restaurants include T-Bones, which doubles as a record store, and Ed’s Burger Joint. T-Bones entices students with a variety of offerings to come to their store. Students come to study, eat, buy records, listen to new music, stand-up or poetry.
“It’s a nice alternative to the traditional coffee shops on campus,” Le said.
The food in Hattiesburg comes in quite a variety. You can find hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurants like Sakura, or even smaller coffee shops with a fantastic food menu like The Depot.
More activities for families, couples, friends and people of all ages can enjoy include going to Kamper Park, the Hattiesburg Zoo or even walking around the revamped Downtown Hattiesburg area. The zoo is home to more than 100 different animal species, including two golden eagles.
Downtown Hattiesburg recently passed a Go Cup ordinance, which allows people to walk within the designated district with alcoholic beverages at events like Live at Five – a free event held weekly. This event caters to all ages and is sponsored by local businesses.
“Hattiesburg is a melting pot that keeps on growing, and it’s going to be on a list of ‘must visits’ in the near future,” Le said.
“[Hattiesburg is] a natural overnight stay. We’re not just a stop; we’re a significant stop,” Dorsey said.