“Let’s Discuss” -Jones County Influencer Landon Bryant

Jones County Influencer Landon Bryant Shares His Vacation Recommendations

Landon Bryant, known as @landontalks, is a dynamic, rising presence on social media, with an audience of 400K+ on Instagram alone. With a knack for engaging storytelling and insightful commentary, he captivates audiences with his unique takes on everything Southern culture. Born and raised in Jones County, Bryant's charisma shines through in his videos, where he seamlessly blends humor with thought-provoking perspectives. Keep reading to learn more about Bryant’s vacation recommendations in Laurel and Jones County!

Nestled in the heart of Mississippi's Piney Woods, Jones County is more than just a place on a map to me—it's the canvas of my life. Here, amongst the sprawling landscapes and the whispering pines, every nook from the quaint towns like Soso and Sandersville to the walkable streets of downtown Laurel and Ellisville has been a backdrop to countless memories. From my early days in local sports at the natatorium and my first shows with the Laurel Little Theatre to my first job at Carl's Catfish, Jones County has been a constant companion, shaping me from childhood to the person I am today.

This corner of the world is steeped in a rich history, known for its brave stand as the "Free State of Jones" during the Civil War. Visiting the courthouse in Ellisville is like walking through a portal to the past, surrounded by stories of defiance and resilience. The historic downtowns, with their timeless charm and thriving local businesses, echo the spirit of a community that's both proud and welcoming.

A great day starts with an espresso from Lee's Coffee Shop before relaxing at Renew Medi Spa. I love to head to the Bennie Bloomer to make my own bouquet. While I’m there, I always pop into Bennie & Mae's next door for a lil’ ice cream treat. I can spend hours exploring The Scent Library. My wife and I end up there at least once a week searching for a new candle scent, not only because the candles are lovely, but because it is not just retail- it’s an experience. I love to grab some jerky or fudge from The Knight Butcher to enjoy in the Art Park, where my son can play while I relax surrounded by the artwork of my friend Adam Trest.

Our natural beauty is unparalleled, with the Desoto National Forrest, serene parks, and meandering rivers offering endless avenues for exploration and tranquility. Whether it's the thrill of an outdoor adventure or the peace of a simple picnic, the landscape invites you to pause and appreciate. I grew up camping at Big Creek Water Park and I’ve spent so many afternoons hiking and jogging at the Laurel Sportsplex. When I wanna feel really country (and look the part), I like to head to Soso and pop into Royal's Western Store. We can do country here, but you won’t find me barefoot, unless I’m at Elysian Beauty Bar for a pedicure. To bring the outdoors in, I head to the Laurel Plant Parlor, and I always find a new plant that has to come home with me.

Jones County is culturally vibrant and boasts a rich tapestry of art, music, and culinary delights. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is phenomenal and captures the soul of the South with its collection of incredible artwork, while our local cuisine—every savory bite of it—tells its own story of tradition and togetherness at places like Pearl's Diner and Barry's Burgers. Anytime The Arabian Theatre opens its doors for a show, you’ll find me there absolutely loving it. Mimmo's Ristorante treats everyone like family, and Southwest Movie Theater at Sawmill Square is a very fun blast from my past because I’ve been watching movies there for decades, and now, they’ve even got recliners so it’s nostalgic AND cozy!

But above all, it's the warmth of the community that truly defines Jones County.  The genuine hospitality starts at our Visitor's Center and spreads throughout every inch of our county. Our shared sense of belonging makes it a place where anyone can feel at home. For me, it's not just the place I've grown up; it's a part of my identity. This place is a treasure that I'm proud to call home.

By: Landon Bryant