Just 90 minutes northeast of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, you can retire in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The town was named after Hattie Hardy, wife of the founding father. Founded in 1882, the town was first a lumber and railroad town. Now home to the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg is a college town that cherishes its place in history. There are many architectural gems, both on and off campus, including the train depot, the Saenger Theatre and the historic old town. You will also find a charming shopping district.
Hattiesburg has several interesting things to do. You can visit the African American Military History Museum, visit the award winning Rose Garden at the University, or visit the Hattiesburg Zoo. This is small town America with bowling alleys, Historical Society, baseball, a very nice library, and several very nice galleries.
For the outdoors, there are 8 golf courses in the neighborhood, great fishing, canoe rentals, the Paul B. Johnson State Park, and a very nice RV park.
Hattiesburg is actively converting an old railway right of way, the Longleaf Trace, to a hiking, running and biking trail connecting the city to Prentiss, some 42 miles away. The trail runs through several little towns and is a favorite among locals.
The Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood was named one of the “Great Places in America” by the American Planning association. This is due to a 25 square block neighborhoods with restored or renovated Victorian homes.
Home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University, 31% of those over 25 have a university degree. There are over 46,000 people living here and 10.8% are over the age of 65. The median value of an owner-occupied home is $117,000. Rentals run in the $600 a month range – but seniors won’t like living near the colleges! The crime rate is 2.53, while the rest of the state is 2.61 and the national median is 3.9, making Hattiesburg a very safe place to live. As with most of the cities in America, the crime rate is higher in the city center.
The climate is strongly influenced by the Gulf of Mexico. Summers are hot and humid with thunderstorms and winters are quite nice.
But I think the best part about Hattiesburg is that the Chamber of Commerce quotes Hattie as saying “Calories Don’t Count on the Weekend! With all the down home southern cooking, barbeque, and pie in this town, it’s a good thing calories don’t count.
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!