A visit to Laurel, Mississippi
Nestled in the southeastern part of the Magnolia State, Laurel, Mississippi, stands as a charming and genuine Southern experience. Known for its starring role in the show Home Town with Ben and Erin Napier, this small town offers a delightful blend of tradition and modernity and good ole southern hospitality. Whether you’re an architecture and design enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a serene getaway, a visit to Laurel promises to captivate your senses and leave you with cherished memories. Join me on a trip with my mom and sisters as we tour this not-so-hidden-anymore gem in the Deep South.
We are all fans of the HGTV show, HomeTown, and in particular loved visiting their places of business where products made here in the USA are sold, along with art by Erin and woodworking by Ben.
A Tapestry of Architectural Marvels
One of the remarkable aspects of Laurel is its architectural heritage. The city proudly showcases an array of beautifully restored historical buildings, showcasing various styles from different eras. The renowned Laurel Historic District is a must-visit, where you can stroll along the streets and marvel at the grandeur of Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival homes. The iconic Laurel Mercantile, featured on the HGTV show “Home Town,” stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its architectural legacy.
Vibrant Downtown and Local Charm
Downtown Laurel is a vibrant hub of activity that embodies the essence of Southern charm. Lined with boutique shops, antique stores, and delightful eateries, the downtown area invites visitors to wander its string-lit streets and immerse themselves in the friendly atmosphere. The locally-owned businesses offer an eclectic range of goods, from handmade crafts to unique antiques, providing an ideal opportunity to find that perfect souvenir or gift. Don’t forget to visit the renowned Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of American and European artwork. The Laurel Mercantile, The Scent Library, Scotsman General Store and the Laurel Creamery are four you shouldn’t miss.
Be sure to have your picture made in front of the many town murals too. We tried not to miss a single one.
No visit to Laurel Mississippi is complete without savoring its delectable culinary offerings. From traditional Southern comfort food to innovative farm-to-table creations, the city’s dining scene has something to delight every palate. We had lunch at Lee’s Coffee and Tea. They offer great sandwiches and also serve breakfast.
Indulge in mouthwatering barbecue, sample soulful dishes at local diners, or relish farm-fresh ingredients at upscale eateries. Some require reservations, so be sure to call ahead. Laurel is also home to the renowned Pearl’s Diner, a local favorite, where you can savor a classic burger or a plate of fluffy pancakes while soaking in the nostalgia of a bygone era.
We had the pleasure of indulging in some of her fresh vegetables, fried chicken, sweet tea and friendly service. She even posed for this picture with these crazy tourists.
Nature’s Tranquil Oasis
While we were mainly in Laurel Mississippi for shopping and sightseeing, nature enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either. The town boasts an abundance of serene landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities. The nearby Masonite Lake offers a tranquil setting for fishing, boating, or simply unwinding amidst nature’s embrace. Visitors can also explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Landrum’s Homestead & Village or take a leisurely hike through the scenic Longleaf Trace, a picturesque rail-trail stretching across miles of beautiful countryside.
Warm Southern Hospitality
What truly sets Laurel apart is the genuine warmth and hospitality of its residents. Locals are known for their friendly demeanor, welcoming visitors with open arms and ensuring their stay is memorable. Whether you strike up a conversation at a local cafe or attend a community event, you’ll experience the true essence of Southern hospitality and leave with lifelong connections. No matter how many people we asked about Ben and Erin, everyone was quick to engage in conversation and help with our curiosity. They are very much loved and appreciated in Laurel.
Christmas gift to our mom
Our trip to Laurel Mississippi, was a gift to our Mom who loves to watch Ben and Erin on Home Town. I think I can safely say that she had a great time. With some mobility issues, we found a bench for her to rest and enjoy the glorious shade of a live oak tree while we shopped. It was picturesque. Even on a hot summer day, the town seemed to soothe and refresh with a nice breeze and the sound of the train whistle blowing as it rolled through the center of town.
Laurel is a destination that beckons travelers with its unique blend of history, culture, and Southern charm. From its architectural wonders and vibrantly restored downtown to its culinary delights and natural beauty, this town offers a tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a HomeTown fan, a lover of small-town ambiance, or simply seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a visit to Laurel Mississippi promises to be an enchanting journey that will leave you with cherished memories and a longing to return.