It's time to hit the road again. While you're traveling this season, don't pass up on the chance to see Erin and Ben's hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. It's a small town that is worth the detour, and thankfully, it's not far off the beaten path. Laurel is centrally located near many southern cities and is a convenient day trip whether you're en route to New Orleans, the East Coast, Florida beaches, or more destination spots!
One thing we often hear is where is Laurel? Take a glance at a map or a quick search on Google, and you'll find that Laurel is comfortably situated in southern Mississippi. It's only two hours northeast of New Orleans, three hours from Birmingham, and four hours away from the central Florida beaches like Orange Beach, 30A, and Santa Rosa Beach. Though it is further away from some bigger cities, it's worth the trip, and here's why.
People travel from all over the US to experience southern hospitality, culture, food, and the arts. For decades, Laurel has continually attracted local and nationally recognized craftsmen for its dedication to the arts.
Please stop by and visit Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Mississippi's first art museum, to see what we mean. Surrounded by turn-of-the-century homes and towering trees, the museum was founded in 1923 by the Rogers family as a "living monument" to Lauren, the only son, and grandson of one of Laurel's founding families. The museum is home to various collections — art, documents, and relics of bygone eras. Recently it hosted a national exhibit, Medieval to Metal, an exploration of the art and evolution of the world's most well-known instrument — the guitar.
Laurel has been the talk of the state, if you will. Our little town has drawn curiosity from all corners of the earth because of the hit HGTV home renovation show, Home Town, hosted by Erin and Ben Napier. If you're a fan, take the scenic route down the historical avenues to spot some of the homes seen on the show!
Don't forget to visit us at Laurel Mercantile Co., our flagship store and a treasure trove of American-made items. The original Laurel Mercantile closed in the 1930s. In 2016, the Home Town couple and Emily and Josh Nowell and Jim and Mallorie Rasberry, partnered to restore the building and business to its former glory.
Just two minutes down the road sits the Scotsman General Store, our old-time general store, where you can shop American-made wood products, flannels, tools, grab a vintage glass bottle of soda or your favorite snack. If you stick around long enough, you might get to see Ben and his team filming the next season of HGTV's Home Town.
The Scotsman Snowball Stand a flavorful and refreshing destination spot located in the Scotsman General Store. With endless flavors and unique combinations, treat yourself to a tasty, frozen dessert on a warm, southern afternoon.
While you're there, grab a bite at the Scotsman Food Truck Park next door and enjoy a vast menu selection from The 5000 and Papa Dough's Pizza! Relax and play games with your family on the turf and enjoy the sounds of oncoming passenger trains trekking past while you eat. Be sure to visit the second floor of the observation deck to spot incoming trains and welcome them with our pull cord train whistle!
The best part is venturing around to spot familiar places seen on Home Town or even witnessing small town revitalization in the making. Be sure to stop by our neighbors and shop and eat as you go. The extensive list of Downtown shops and restaurants is found here.
You can easily make a day trip to Laurel or stay for a long weekend at a charming AirBnb in the historic district. No matter how long you stay, we promise it'll be the best detour you'll ever take.
Resources: Artwork by Laura Jones