Easy Trips: Nashville to Natchez
Stretching from the rolling hills of Tennessee to the bluffs of the Mississippi, the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of America’s most scenic and historic drives. It’s also one of the most tranquil: semi trucks are banned from all 444 miles of the two-lane parkway. Today’s Trace was built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration along a well-trod route that carried wildlife, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. As part of Lonely Planet magazine’s “Easy Trips” section, we’re giving readers tips on how to get the most out of their time on this long-trodden route. With the blaze of summer behind us and autumn’s blazing foliage ahead, it’s the perfect season to discover the fascinating history, music and culture of the Natchez Trace.
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Natchez, Mississippi: History and Heritage On Every Corner
Nestled along the banks of the curvy Mississippi River and situated high on The Bluff is a piece of preserved United States history that tells a story for generations to come. Natchez, first settled by the French in 1719 – 1729 makes it the oldest city to be established along the Mississippi River! Once considered the second wealthiest city in the U.S. (behind NYC) in the 1800s, Natchez was a retreat for many well-known millionaires. There is no doubt that the history of Mississippi is the history of America. The Magnolia State continues to leave its imprint with playing a pivotal role in the Civil War and later serving as the setting for some of the landmark events in the struggle for Civil Rights. Today, Mississippi is easily regarded as a unique and rich intersection of history, architecture, commerce, culture, and the arts.
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Best Things to do in the South this Fall: Natchez Fall Pilgrimage
Natchez’s Fall Pilgrimage was recently selected as one of the best things to do this fall by Southern Living. One of the oldest river towns in America, Natchez features some of the most stunning historic homes in the South. Take this opportunity to see homes that are only open exclusively during Fall or Spring Pilgrimage. Fall Pilgrimage runs September 22–October 9.
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Natchez Awarded Best Weekend Trip in Mississippi
Celebrating over 300 years, this beautiful city overlooking the river boasts antebellum homes, delightful bed and breakfast escapes, fine dining experiences, and fun shopping. In Natchez, there is beauty among the history.
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Read about Orbitz writer Sheryl Nance Nash‘s trip to Natchez and all of the wonderful food, tours, history and southern hospitality she enjoyed while here. “The past is ever present in Natchez, Mississippi. There’s the history you see, like the majestic antebellum homes, and then there’s the invisible, yet palpable history that permeates the air like ghosts. At 301 years old, this town has stories and secrets. But just as fascinating as its past is its present and future.”
See full article: 3 Perfect Days in Natchez, Mississippi
Keep out of the rain with this list of indoor activities in Natchez, Mississippi!
For more information on these locations and more in Natchez, go to visitnatchez.org.
A lot has gone down in Natchez in the nearly 300 years of being founded. We’ve dug up some fun, interesting and off-the-wall facts about Natchez so without further ado…
- Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, known as the “Black Swan” was America’s first African American singer of classical music. She was born in Natchez in 1809.
- Emerald Mound is the second largest Indian ceremonial mound in the U. S. and is located northeast of Natchez.
- Longwood is the largest remaining octagonal house in the United States.
- Historic Jefferson College (circa 1802) was the first preparatory school established in the Mississippi Territory. Jefferson College also appeared in the movie based on John Jakes’ novel, North and South, to resemble West Point National Military Academy.
- You can get three different National Park Service Stamps for your NPS Passport book in Natchez.
- Linden’s front doorway was copied for the doorway of Tara in the 1939 classic, Gone With the Wind.
- There are over 80 geocaches within a 15 mile radius of Natchez. It is a way to see Natchez from a different perspective and great activity for kids.
- Memorial Park was once the final resting place for many in Natchez, until the City Cemetery was established in 1822. The remains from the old burial ground, located behind St. Mary Basilica, were gradually moved to the present site located just north of downtown. Today the park is a serene and shaded hideaway, popular with both locals and visitors.
- The Briars is renowned historically as the residence where Jefferson Davis married Varina Howell in 1845.
- Natchez had more millionaires per capita before the Civil War than any other city in the United States.
- Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest African American baptist congregation in the state with origins dating back to 1837.
- Texada is the first brick house in the Mississippi Territory and the oldest Capitol building in the State of Mississippi.
- Natchez is the Bed and Breakfast Capital of the South.
- The Museum of African America History and Culture is the nation’s first African American museum on Main Street.
- Did you know Natchez is home to New York Best Selling Author, Greg Iles and was home to Richard Wright?
- Natchez is the Biscuit Capital of the WORLD.
- And last, but certainly not least, Natchez is the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi River. We will be celebrating her 300th Birthday in 2016 and invite all to visit!