THE COLLEGE GUIDE TO DOWNTOWN
With its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and countless attractions, restaurants, and events, downtown Hattiesburg is the spot for college students to be. Whether you are looking for a weekday lunch, an evening out with friends, or a late-night adventure, downtown has it all, and it’s right down the road from both The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. So why go home for the weekend when you can experience all that downtown has to offer?
Start your morning off right with a hearty breakfast. Southbound Bagels and Coffee is serving delicious breakfast options on a college budget until 2PM daily. Bagels not your thing? Try the historic Coney Island Cafe. The diner turns 100 in 2023 and is still serving up the same delicious food it has since day one. (Protip: Bring cash!) Still hungry for more? Brunch is served every weekend at Blu Jazz Cafe, where you can sip your mimosa on Front Street, conversations only mildly interrupted by the signature train horn as it rumbles through downtown.
After breakfast, we recommend filling your day by shopping at locally owned stores downtown. A trendy bookstore, The Author Shoppe is pet friendly AND serves beverages on tap, so bring Fido along for this stop. Next door is Sage Den, with holistic, nature-inspired, and handmade essentials. You can even have your Runes read here! Need some new clothing for your next #datenight? fivetwentyfive is the hottest boutique downtown. Let Adam and the team style you! Make sure to stop by Twin Forks Wine & Provisions to ask about their college student specials on their great selection of cheese and provisions. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Lucky Rabbit, of course! From television-inspired sets and boutique clothing to antiques and little reminders of your childhood, you’ll find some of what you need (and some of what you don’t) in this two-story store.
All that shopping is sure to make you hungry for lunch, so stop by Fairley’s Wings & More for the best wings in town. With fifteen flavors of wings plus burgers and salads, you won’t be hungry for long! GrateFull Soul is a blue plate-style restaurant, open Monday through Friday, serving comfort food and more in a homey atmosphere that will have you over your homesickness in no time. Catfish Fridays are the crowd favorite.
Now, let’s get active! Alley Cats Axe Throwing Co. and Category 5 Smash Room are great options for getting out finals week tension. Plus, you might just find out that you are a unicorn at this sharp, yet fun, game. Stretch your legs by enjoying the HBURG Public Art Trail’s nearly 100 installations, a large number of which are in downtown Hattiesburg.
When it’s time to get the night going, downtown has countless options for fun, and all of them are locally owned. Catch live music at most restaurants, the SwitchYard, and Grill & Grocery almost nightly. Keep an eye on our events calendar to plan ahead. For those 21+ students (we see you fifth year seniors), The Porter and Southern Prohibition are both breweries with full bars and plenty of space for you and all your friends. Grab a late night meal or get the gang together for weekly trivia tournaments. You’ll find fun around every turn.
No need to call it a night just yet. Downtown is home to Mississippi’s tiniest museum, which happens to be open 24/7. Immerse yourself in the whimsical wonders surrounded by twinkling lights at the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum. In this creative alley, you can watch a movie at the Pocket Theatre or snap the perfect Instagram post with nearly a dozen interactive art installations.
Downtown Hattiesburg is for everyone of every age! There’s so much to enjoy, so whether you’re a Golden Eagle, Crusader, or even a Bobcat, don’t miss out on tons of fun waiting for you when you #GetDowntown.