Layla Essary
Stone County Economic Development
Partnership/Explore Stone County
Office: (601) 928-5418

Stone county Logo without Mosaic

Stone County, Mississippi Introduces New Tourism Brand and Campaign

Explore Stone CountyFor media assets associated with this release visit this Dropbox Link.

STONE COUNTY, Miss. June 25, 2024 –– Whether it’s embarking on a restful escape or navigating the creek on a kayak, Stone County, Mississippi has one-of-a-kind destinations and events ready to explore. That message is the focus of a new brand and advertising campaign released today by the Stone County Economic Development Partnership (SCEDP) entitled Explore Stone County: Hidden Gems Await.

The new brand is inspired by the numerous mosaic murals located across Stone County, which has been named by the State of Mississippi as “The Mural County.” The campaign’s logo (shown here) is in the shape of one of the murals in Blaylock Park in Downtown Wiggins and embodies the essence of Stone County’s landscape – long-leaf pines, creeks, camping and rolling hills.

Explore Stone County Ad“Our beautiful county has evolved over the years into a well-rounded tourism destination,” says Layla Essary, SCEDP Interim Executive Director. “Stone County has always had outdoor attractions and beauty, and with an outpouring of investment from local business owners and state parks, we’re offering more attractions, lodging, restaurants and shops to visitors than ever before.”

The new Explore Stone County brand includes the tagline Hidden Gems Await, an aspirational invitation to potential visitors to come and discover “gems” throughout the county.

“We want people to discover all sorts of recreational offerings in Stone County, such as hiking trails that lead to breathtaking views and white sandy creek-bed beaches connected to campgrounds and cabins,” said Essary. “We’re proud of our landmark eateries and an assortment of new restaurants that have recently opened both in Wiggins and across Stone County. Whether visitors are seeking serene getaways, unique shopping experiences, delicious cuisine or thrilling outdoor adventures, Stone County has a treasure trove of gems waiting to be explored.”

The tourism campaign will highlight getaways for families and couples, plus trips suited for both guys or girls and anyone looking for unique events, such as festivals, triathlons or the annual Scarecrow Convention held each fall. Plus, Stone County’s proximity to the Mississippi Gulf Coast makes it a great destination for out-of-town guests looking to enjoy cost-effective longer stays within driving distance to the beach.

Explore Stone County Website Rebrand“We have launched new tourism social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and have rebranded the current tourism website at,” said Sherrice Wright, SCEDP Community Development Coordinator. “The new, interactive website will be released later this year, which will showcase Stone County assets and include an interactive map that can be filtered by different interests.”

Essary and Wright believe that the ultimate success of this new tourism campaign will come from local stakeholders embracing the Explore Stone County message and helping spread the word to people beyond Mississippi.

“We want the whole community to become tourism ambassadors by following the new social media accounts for Explore Stone County and sharing the content with friends and family,” said Essary. “That’s how we can grow awareness organically to attract visitors from outside of the area. There’s no telling how far our message will travel if everyone gets involved.”

Below are a few of the new messaging examples:

  • Hidden Escapes Await—From cozy cabins nestled in the heart of nature to waterfront short-term rentals, Stone County has the perfect accommodations to make your next getaway serene or full of adventure.
  • Hidden Treasures Await—Unearth one-of-a-kind finds in our eclectic shops and boutiques.
  • Hidden Flavors Await—Savor our diverse culinary offerings and explore local landmark eateries.
  • Hidden Adventures Await—Embark on exciting outdoor activities, from camping and fishing to hiking scenic trails.
  • Hidden Wonders Await—Get up close and personal with exotic animals, go sightseeing on horseback, take a scenic driving tour or pick perfect produce straight from the stem.
  • Hidden Happenings Await—Experience one-of-a-kind events for all ages, from festivals and live music to hunts for Big Foot and an annual Scarecrow Convention each fall.
  • Come and discover the hidden gems of Stone County, Mississippi. Your adventure starts here!
  • With our blend of natural beauty and Southern charm, Stone County is a delightful escape for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the Magnolia State. If you’re ready to make memories that last long after you’ve left, you’re ready to find the hidden gems that await.


Stone County’s tourism initiatives through the Stone County Economic Development Partnership (SCEDP) are partially funded by a 2% tax on gross proceeds of sales derived from restaurants and lodging. The new tourism campaign is supported in part with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds which are focused on driving visitation from outside of Mississippi and were allocated through the State Legislature as a result of initiatives of the Mississippi Tourism Association.