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Natchez

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Natchez is a city near the southwest corner of the U.S. state of Mississippi. This historic town is perched on a high bluff above the Mississippi River 100 miles upriver from New Orleans. It was an important, wealthy city before the Civil War. That history gave it the South's grandest collection of antebellum homes.

One of the 19th century mansions seen on the walking or driving tours of old Natchez

Get in[edit]

  • From I-55/Brookhaven, MS - take U.S. Highway 84 approximately 60 miles west to Natchez.
  • From I-20/Vicksburg, MS - take U.S. Highway 61 approximately 70 miles south to Natchez.
  • From I-10/Baton Rouge, LA - take U.S. Highway 61 approximately 90 miles north to Natchez.
  • From I-49/Alexandria, LA - take LA Highway 28 approximately 35 miles east to U.S. Highway 84. Take U.S. Highway 84 approximately 40 miles east to Natchez.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway - Natchez is the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway, a parkway administered by the National Park Service. The Parkway follows the old Natchez trace from Natchez to Nashville. The trace originated as a footpath used by Native Americans and early explorers to travel across the region and was later improved upon by the U.S. government in the early part of the 19th century. A combination of low speed limits and no commercial traffic make for a very relaxing and enjoyable drive.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • Visitor's Center is just on the Natchez side of the bridge over the Mississippi River just a couple minutes by car from the center of the old part of town. Free maps and visitor information, in addition to historical exhibitions and souvenirs for sale.
  • Natchez Under-the-Hill is, as the name suggests, under the bluff by the Mississippi River at the end of State St. It used to be a rootin' tootin', wild-wild-west kind of place complete with saloons and gunslinging. Unfortunately, later floods washed much of it away, but there is still a restaurant, an old-timey saloon, and a casino left.
  • Natchez Pilgrimage, +1 601-446-6631. Private homes are opened to the public for tours for 5 weeks during March and April and again for 2 weeks in September and October.
  • Historic Natchez Pageant (Historic Natchez Tableaux). Also known as the "Historic Natchez Tableaux", this annual event is presented by over 200 local performers in elaborate costumes, recreating the romanticized eras of old while illustrating the town's history from its founding all the way to the modern era. The Tableaux was founded jointly by the Natchez Garden Club and the Pilgrimage Garden Club, but in 2017/2018, the groups have split and now offer separate events during Spring Pilgrimage. The Tableaux is held Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings during the Spring Pilgrimage season. Tickets are available online or at the Natchez Visitors Center.
  • Antebellum Houses. Natchez is famous for its many Antebellum houses that are open to the public for tours. Houses that are open for tours year round include Auburn, House on Ellicott Hill, Longwood, Magnolia Hall, Melrose, Monmouth, Rosalie, Concord Quarters, Stanton Hall, Briars, Dunleith, and The Towers. Tickets are available through the website or at the Natchez Visitors Center. Individual house - $10 for adults, $8 for children. Three house package - $24 for adults, $18 for children.
  • Longwood, 140 Lower Woodville Rd. Longwood is probably the most famous of the antebellum mansions in Natchez. It is the largest octagonal (eight-sided) house in the United States. Construction of Longwood was started in 1860. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, all of the workers (who were from Pennsylvania) returned to the north, leaving the house unfinished. Dr. Haller Nutt, the owner of the house, finished out the basement (6000 sq feet) for his family to live in. Dr. Nutt died of pneumonia in 1864 without ever having finished the house, and the upper floors of the house remain unfinished to this day. The house was donated to the Pilgrimage Garden Club in the 1970's and is on tour daily.
  • Natchez in Historic Photographs, 405 State St, +1 601-442-2581. A wonderful collection of historic photographs of Natchez people and places. The photographs were taken between 1870 and 1913 by Henry Norman. The collection is open to visitors Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm. Donations are accepted.
  • Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau (Natchez CVB), 640 S. Canal Street, toll-free: +1-800-647-6724. For all your visitor information needs visit the Natchez CVB. The Natchez Visitor Center is located at the head of the Mississippi River Bridge, where Highway 84 meets Louisiana. Find brochures, maps, guides, attraction information, tour and event tickets and more.
  • Royal Evenings at Longwood (Evenings at Longwood Under The Stars), 140 Lower Woodville Rd.. A new event, added to the annual Spring Pilgrimage season in 2018, invites visitors for an evening of dance, music, and song at "the most intriguing house in Natchez." The program recounts the history of Longwood House with performers in elaborate period costumes. The evening ends with a champagne toast and appearance from the current Pilgrimage Queen, King, and Court. Pre-event tours of Longwood are offered for an additional $15. Admission $15.

Do[edit]

  • Walking tours and driving tours. The Natchez Visitors' Center gives free maps and pamphlets for doing driving or walking tours of the sights of the historic old section of town.
  • Southern Carriage Tours - Enjoy the luxury and charm of a horse-drawn carriage tour through the streets of Natchez' historic district. Your experienced tour guide will bring back the thrill and excitement of yesteryear as you enjoy some of the finest and most significant landmarks in antebellum Natchez. Tours depart from the Canal Street Depot. Tickets are also available at the Natchez Visitors Center. $15 for adults, $5 for children. The tour guides also point out restaurants and hotels.
  • Old South Winery, 65 S Concord Ave, +1 601-445-9924. Old South Winery locally produces 12 varieties of muscadine wine. The wines come in red, rose, and white varieties of varying sweetness. The winery is open for tours M-Sa 10AM-5PM.
  • Emerald Mound. The second largest ceremonial Indian mound in North America, Emerald Mound was built by the Natchez Indians. Emerald Mound is located about 10 miles northeast of Natchez. Take the Natchez Trace Parkway to Route 553 and follow signs to the site. Open daily, free admission.

Seasonal Events[edit]

  • Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. Voted the best annual event in Mississippi by readers of Mississippi Magazine. The Balloon Race happens every year on the third weekend of October. Two flights take place each day, in addition to a "balloon glow" Friday night and great musical acts all weekend. The actual festival takes place on the grounds of Rosalie Mansion, and you can catch a great view of the balloons from many places around town. Make your reservations for a room early as this is a very busy weekend in Natchez.
  • Natchez Food & Wine Festival. Enjoy a weekend of good food and good drink in Natchez. Guest chefs of regional and national renown prepare four-course meals Saturday evening at several antebellum mansions around Natchez. Other events include a biscuit bake-off, beer tasting, bocce ball tournament, and brunch on Sunday to wrap up the weekend. Make reservations for Saturday evening early as seating is limited.
  • Angels on the Bluff. Each year, usually the first weekend in November, the Natchez City Cemetery offers guided tours. Guides direct groups from grave to grave where local actors, dressed in period costumes, tell stories about the lives and/or deaths of various people buried here. The exact times and dates vary from year to year, so be sure to check the website or call the Natchez Visitors Center.
  • Natchez Festival of Music (Natchez Opera Festival), 64 Homochitto Street, e-mail: . Every Tuesday through Saturday evening during the month of May, Natchez is host to a wide range of musical events featuring the rich musical history of Mississippi and world-class singers that come specifically for this event. The Natchez Festival of Music hosts a wide slate of shows spanning from operas, operettas, Broadway musicals, classical concerts and recitals to the more contemporary fare of Blues, Jazz, and more. Admission pricing varies by event, though there is usually one free event per season.

    Home to the Festival is the Natchez Performing Arts Center at Margaret Martin (Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center, 64 Homochitto Street.) Performances and concerts are also held at other local Natchez venues such as Bowie's Tavern, Smoot's Grocery, the antebellum mansions and stately churches of the region, and other local historical sites.

Buy[edit]

  • Darby's Fudge, 410 Main St, +1 601-446-9737. This gift shop on Main Street has everything you could want and the best fudge around. Don't forget to stop in and get a pound. Many flavors available.

Eat[edit]

The startling novelty architecture of "Mammy's Cupboard" on Highway 61, south of town, is hard to miss.
  • Breaud's, 511 Main Street, +1 601 445-8502. Steaks, seafood, and New Orleans style cuisine.
  • The Carriage House, 401 High St, +1 601-445-5153. The Carriage House Restaurant at Stanton Hall is known for its delicious fried chicken and homemade buttered biscuits. Open for lunch 11am-2pm. Reservations recommended.
  • The Castle Restaurant, 84 Homochitto St, +1 601-446-8500. The Castle Restaurant is located in the carriage house on the grounds of Dunleith Plantation. Excellent food with a great wine list to compliment.
  • Fat Mama's Tamales, 303 S Canal St, +1 601-442-4548. Opened in 1989, Fat Mama's has become a local favorite, serving tamales, chili, Gringo Pie (tamales topped with chili and cheese), nachos, and Cajun boudin.
  • Magnolia Grill, 49 Silver St, +1 601-446-7670. Enjoy dinner with a great view of the Mississippi River from their glassed-in porch under the hill. Excellent burgers and sweet potato french fries are favorites on their menu.
  • Mammy's Cupboard, 555 Hwy 61 N (about 5 miles south of town on Hwy 61), +1 601-445-8957. Another local favorite. Open for lunch and serving delicious sandwiches and homemade desserts. The novelty architecture alone is worth going for a look.
  • Pearl Street Pasta, +1 601 442-9284. Pearl Street just south of Main Street. Very good lunch & dinner items (mostly pasta based as the name suggests).

Drink[edit]

  • Andrew's Tavern, 325 Main St, +1 601-445-0702. A little bar on Main Street with a dart board and a juke box.
  • Bowie's Tavern, 100 Main St, +1 601-445-6627. A big screen TV and great beer selection make this 1840's cotton warehouse a great place to relax.
  • Fat Mama's Tamales, 303 S Canal St, +1 601-442-4548. Anyone in Natchez will tell you that Fat Mama's "Knock-You-Naked" Margaritas are the best around. Don't forget to stop in this funky little restaurant.
  • Under-the-Hill Saloon, 25 Silver St, +1 601-446-8023. An old-style saloon located under-the-hill with a great view of the Mississippi River.
  • Smoot's Grocery, 319 N. Broadway St.. This former "mom-and pop" store has been turned into a popular Blues lounge and live music venue, with a full bar. Many local musicians have gigs here. Great place to get a beer and listen to some tunes.

Sleep[edit]

  • Dunleith Plantation, 84 Homochitto St, +1 601-446-8500. Dunleith was built in 1856 after the original house on the site, Routhland, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Dunleith has rooms in the main house, wing, and dairy barn. Also, rooms are available in the Cotton Warehouse at the end of Main Street, overlooking the Mississippi River. Rates include a tour of the house and a full Southern breakfast at The Castle Restaurant.
  • Monmouth Plantation, 36 Melrose Ave, +1 601-442-5852. Originally built in 1818, Monmouth has been completely restored to its original grandeur. Monmouth has 30 rooms and suites both in the mansion and eight outbuildings. Rooms include a complimentary Southern breakfast.
  • Natchez Eola Hotel, 110 Pearl St, +1 601-445-6000. Built in 1927 in the heart of downtown Natchez, the Natchez Eola Hotel offers its guests the ambiance and charm of the Old South with the convenience of modern amenities.
  • Country Inn & Suites, 111 Broadway St, +1 601-446-9994. Opened in March 2008, Country Inn & Suites is conveniently located in downtown Natchez, just across Canal St from the Natchez Convention Center.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites, 627 S Canal St, +1 601-446-6770. Opened in December 2007, Hampton Inn & Suites is located near the south end of Canal Street across from the Natchez Visitors Center.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Natchez
VicksburgPort Gibson  N US 61.svg S  St. FrancisvilleBaton Rouge
MansfieldVidalia  W US 84.svg E  BudeBrookhaven
END  W US 98.svg E  BudeMcComb
JacksonPort Gibson  N Natchez Trace Parkway Logo.gif S  END


This city travel guide to Natchez is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.