Review of Hattiesburg, Mississippi


Culture, what culture?
Star Rating - 1/10/2011
Well, I hate to bash, so I will try not to...
I've lived in several different places in my 30 years including overseas, and this is my least favorite (My family moved here in 1993). My husband and I are, at the moment, getting ready to relocate to Texas.
There are two good universities here, none of which I went to (I attended college out of state). My sister attended USM, and was ecstatic to be done with that particular institution. I have only heard positive things about William Carey, although it does not have as many programs to offer as USM. Even having two universities and a community college located in city limits has not made this town a true "university town". I understand that several years ago it was voted one of the best towns to retire in, and that sounds more accurate to me. Rent is high and so are housing prices despite the economy.
I do not live IN Hattiesburg, but 10 miles outside (Sumrall). We do most of our shopping and what-not in Hattiesburg. There are several little towns around Hattiesburg. It is referred to as the Hub City because it is just that. Hattiesburg is right in between Jackson and Gulfport (about and 1.5-2 hour drive to either city depending on how you drive.
The medical facilities are great here...there are two hospitals (I prefer Forrest General). There seems to be a clinic on every corner...just like the churches. There are several large churches in the area and even more smaller ones. I think you can find just about any religion here.
My main complaint - and the reason my husband and I want to move our family away from here - is the culture...there is none. There's not really anything to do besides shop or eat at a chain restaurant (or one of our MANY asian restaurants), or sit around and talk about each other. There is a small zoo, which is much nicer than it used to be, but really not comparable to the Audubon at all (it is not an AZA zoo). That's about it. Downtown Hattiesburg is trying to revive itself, but seems to be taking quite a long time to do that.
I would not consider this town to be "family oriented"... or maybe just not enough for me.
We have state income tax, federal, and all of the other wonderful deductions...land taxes are pretty good in rural areas, but in Forrest County and the more developed parts of Lamar County (the two that make up Hattiesburg) the land taxes are very high - higher in forrest than lamar. And if that isn't enough, check out the license plates...$350 for a 2011 Nissan sentra (Lamar County). But wait, it gets better...that price might go down to $300 the following year. I have a 2008 NIssan quest and just paid $315 (in Lamar County). I don't even want to know what it would cost in Forrest. We are the poorest state (or one of the poorest), but I think we are one of the most ignorant as well...we let our government take everything that we work for...and our schools are still rated at the bottom of the pole.
So, if you are considering moving to the Hattiesburg area, you might want to do some research ON EVERY LITTLE COST before you do.
If you want the small town feel and don't mind the gossip that comes with the true small towns that surround Hattiesburg and bleed into it, then you will probably be fine. It is in a good spot to visit the mountains in about 10 hours or the beach (a good one) in about 3. Other than that...shop till you drop...have fun! I'm out.
kmv | Sumrall, MS
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