Baseball season is almost upon us. The Mississippi State Diamond Dawgs open their season on the road this Friday in Hattiesburg. Hattiesburg is only a 3 hour drive south from Starkville. But how much do we really know about Hattiesburg?
Here in the post and subsequent posts I would like to attempt to provide Bulldogs fans with a guide to where the Bulldogs travel.
After a grassroots research effort I have done my best to include the best that Hattiesburg has to offer. I know that I will no doubt miss some places that you may find deserve a spot in this article. Please comment below and let everyone know what they are missing!
The city the size of Hattiesburg is not supposed to have many solid food options, but it does. From the reliable chains to local favorites, Hattiesburg will not disappoint your taste buds. Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn is a nondescript building off US 98 on the west side of town. Originally beginning in Foxworth, MS, the owner moved to Hattiesburg in 2000. It has since become a staple for the locals craving the famous sweet but tangy BBQ sauce. About 15 minutes south of the Southern Miss campus on US 49 is Donanelle’s Bar and Grill. They offer up a variety of steaks, ribs, and seafood in cozy, cabin-like digs. Patio 44 advertises themselves as “casual dining at its finest.” It does seem to evoke a hybrid of casual fine dining. If the weather is right, their extensive patio might be exactly what you’re looking for. They’re open til 1am on the weekends and offer a Sunday brunch complete with that Bloody Mary you’ve been craving. If you’re tired of the same ole burger and fries type of experience then look no further than Super King Buffet. Located close to US 59 and Hardy Street this more recent addition to Hattiesburg offers all you can eat Chinese food, sushi, and a Hibachi grill.
When you come to Hattiesburg you would do yourself a service by visiting one of Robert St. John’s Restaurants/Bars. You could spend an entire weekend eating and drinking at every stop and still not have really tried them all. All are walking distance from each other near the intersection of Hardy and N 39th Ave. Visit Robert St. John’s website to view details on each restaurant, but I would not skip Ed’s Burger Joint or Crescent City Grill. I know every city has chain restaurants, but not every city has a Cane’s. Unfortunately I live in a city without one. But if you’re reading this then your probably going to Hattiesburg. And they’ve got one! I was introduced to Raising Cane’s the day after Mississippi State beat LSU in 2014 down in Baton Rogue. Just the smell evokes positive emotions for me personally. It’s simple, but oh so good. Take yourself, take the family, and treat yourself to some Cane’s.
As I’m writing this there seems to be a decent chance of rain this weekend. Let’s hope not because Hattiesburg has a lot to offer for those seeking outdoor refuge. Longleaf Trace is a 41 mile paved trail that begins on the Southern Miss campus. I have not confirmed this but there may be an extension of the trail into historic Downtown Hattiesburg. At the Trace gateway on the Southern Miss campus you can ask for information about the Trace, get maps, and rent bikes. There are various rest stops along the Trace with restrooms and vending machines as well. I heard through the grapevine that the Hattiesburg Zoo used to have free admission. Unfortunately, now there is a price. But fortunately, it’s only $5 for children and adults.
The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum has a collection of exhibits highlighting Mississippi’s role in the United States Armed Forces. The main gallery includes artifacts, documents, and video on World War I, World War II, and others. There is free admission and open Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 4pm. If you are the active type you can run in “The Children’s Center Classic: I Can Run Race”. The race offers a 10K, 5K, and a 1 mile Fun Run. They offer Saturday race day registration and all of the profits from the registration fee and/or fundraising will go directly toward The Children’s Center. The Southern Prohibition Brewery is opening their taproom for a cajun tasting and brewery tour on Saturday 2/17 from 12-4pm. The event costs $15 and includes six 6-ounce beer samples paired with a variety of tapas from local Hattiesburg restaurants including Keg and Barrel and Crescent City Grill to name a few.
Downtown Hattiesburg has seen a resurgence in the past few years with new businesses opening up. I previously mentioned Southern Prohibition Brewery. They have some of my favorite Mississippi beers including a sour beer and chocolate milk stout. Go check out their rustic taproom located in downtown Hattiesburg. I have to be in the mood for live music. It’s not always a welcome sight or sound for me. But if you like live music, then you’ll love the Thirsty Hippo. Happy hour is on Friday from 5-8pm with live music starting Saturday around 8pm. The Porter is also located downtown. They offer food and drinks in a casual and friendly atmosphere. Families and large groups are welcome. The first time I visited Hattiesburg, my first stop was the Keg & Barrel. I did not regret that decision. I enjoyed my food and drink as much as talking to the friendly locals. I had my State gear on at the time and no one gave me a hard time. If you’re looking for a nightcap from a weekend full of Mississippi State Baseball, look no further than Keg & Barrel.
If I missed your favorite spot, comment below!