The southern Mississippi city of Hattiesburg has a rich, varied past, having served as a pivotal center of the Civil Rights movement and a longtime home to the National Guard at Camp Shelby. The Forrest County seat is known for its blues and hospitality, as well as its beautiful outdoor surroundings.
People looking for Hattiesburg apartments for rent will love its college town environment, its proud business community and its historical legacy.
Named after its founder's wife, Hattie Hardy, Hattiesburg was incorporated in 1884, growing as a railroad town and eventually earning the nickname "Hub City" due to its role as a transit center. Local universities and nearby Camp Shelby fueled its expansion, while its place in the middle of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s put it on the map.
Today, the city of around 47,000 provides residents with great opportunities for learning and work, as well as a distinctly Southern character. Hattiesburg apartments offer access to the area's stunning natural attractions, its many historic neighborhoods and the exciting dining, shopping and nightlife of its downtown.
With more than 20,000 students enrolled at its two major universities, Hattiesburg has an unmistakable college town feel. William Carey University offers a range of studies on its scenic 140-acre campus, and Southern Mississippi University provides degrees in more than 180 areas, with particular acclaim for its Gulf Coast and marine biology programs. A local campus of Pearl River Community College also offers classes to Hattiesburg students.
Nearby Camp Shelby is a major driver of the local economy, as are the local universities, and all serve as prominent employers. Hattiesburg has been lauded as a great small business destination and boasts a strong retail base. Industrial employers include Kohler Co.'s engine division.
With its large student population, Hattiesburg can be a competitive market for renters, but it is also very renter-friendly, with a large supply of apartments catering to students and other residents. Around 60 percent of Hattiesburg residents rent, enjoying a very reasonable cost of living.
U.S. Census Bureau data showed the median gross rent from 2008 to 2010 was $641. Additional research found one bedroom apartments renting for between $600 and $845 per month.
Hattiesburg's rich history is a source of local pride, and residents can get a sense of the past by strolling its Historic Downtown District, which includes landmarks such as the Old Federal Courthouse and the Saenger Theater, a notable Art Deco performing arts venue. Other historic neighborhoods along North Main Street and Mobile Street provide more classic architecture, while drivers can also head out on a tour of the Freedom Summer Trail, which commemorates important sites in Hattiesburg's Civil Rights history. The African American Military History Museum is another acclaimed historical draw, while the arts and cultural resources of the local universities keep residents engaged.
Hattiesburg enjoys the natural beauty of southern Mississippi, and residents can head to outdoor destinations such as De Soto National Forest, Paul B. Johnson State Park, Leaf River, Bowie River, Red Creek and Black Creek for canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking and more. Longleaf Trace, a converted railway, is popular for biking and equestrian activities, while the Hattiesburg Zoo is a big draw for animal lovers.
The Mississippi Miss Hospitality pageant is one of Hattiesburg's most popular events, while arts festivals all summer long celebrate the city's rich culture and unique Southern charm.
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