“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde
Yup, It Happens
Natchez, MS – Here’s a first when it comes to HopAmerica.com’s small town series. Believe it or not, we haven’t covered the beautiful state of Mississippi just yet, which is why we decided to explore everything it has to offer for both career travelers and accidental stop-byers alike. And boy, were we surprised! Naturally, we knew that Mississippi was one of those Southern states that oozes layer after layer of charm, but we were very surprised to learn it was home to a small town as unorthodox and vibrant as Natchez. So, allow us to share our discoveries of late with you.
The county seat of Mississippi’s Adams County, Natchez is located across from Vidalia in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River. More precisely, it can be fund approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of Baton Rouge, LA and 90 miles (140 km) southwest of Jackson, MS. Named after the Natchez tribe of Native Americans, who inhabited a large portion of the area through the French colonial period, Natchez is today the 25th-largest city in Mississippi.
A Serene Southern Sanctuary, Indeed
Now, there’s a saying about this charming town that goes something like, “Natchez is what you love about the South.” From personal experience, every bit of it is true: whoever becomes immersed in the vibrant and rich history of this unusual town nestled on the Mississippi River tends to stay that way permanently. All jokes aside, though, one of the first things you notice upon arriving is the absence of the usual tourist traps, thrill rides and amusement parks. In other words, Natchez markets itself as THE destination for all those who are looking to get away from all of that.
That’s not to say there are no festivals, events and things to do here; whether you’re just passing through or are in town on vacation, you’re looking at a ton of interesting activities, ranging from getting to know Natchez’s interesting history, arts and culture, and restaurants, to checking out various local events, the town’s dynamic nightlife, pampering spa retreats and the inevitable outdoor activities.
Natchez, MS – Where The Hungry Are Full And The Tired Are Rested
Since food is something no one can go without, it seems like a logical thing to point out: regardless of whether you’re in the mood for a true, leisurely taste of the Deep South or just a quick bite, Natchez’s selection of restaurants and eateries is impressive, encompassing succulent seafood, exquisite fine dining, tangy barbecue, local diners, festive cantinas, juicy burgers, and of course, traditional Southern cuisine. Our recommendation: Be sure to check out La Fiesta Grande (288 J.R. Junkin Dr.), Magnolia Grill (49 Silver St.), Mammy’s Cupboard (555 Highway 61 South) and the Eola Hotel (110 Pearl St.).
Accommodations range from rustic cabins and cozy cottages to historic Victorian homes and antebellum mansions. It goes without saying that hotels/motels, as well as an RV park and campgrounds are also available for visitors. Our recommendation: You won’t make a mistake if you stay at the Mark Twain Guest House (25 Silver St.), the Eola Hotel (110 Pearl St.), Marciar’s Cottages (South Pearl St., Washington St., & Cemetery Rd.), or the Wilkins Townhouse (300 N. Commerce St.).
Don’t Make The Same Mistake, You’ll Regret It
Downtown Natchez is really where the beat of the town comes from, and that’s thanks to the fact that the Downtown is brimming with events, beautification, development and revitalization. On the other hand, if you’re not the urban type, there are plenty of tours and attractions in other parts of the town. For example, the center stage in Natchez is undoubtedly held by historic antebellum homes; however, they have an impressive supporting cast of interesting co-stars. And if you’re in the mood for the sound of the South, the Mississippi Blues Trail is where you want to be. It is guaranteed to take you on a journey back to the beginnings of the popular musical genre, since it features in excess of 120 historical sites and markers scattered across the state, including Natchez.
Museums are also a great opportunity to get to know a place, especially since they exhibit fascinating relics and artifacts from ancient civilizations. The museums in Natchez tend to focus on the Civil War, info on local celebrities and modern and contemporary art. And of course, who could forget the Natchez Trace Parkway? Spanning 444 miles from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN, the legendary Parkway offers visitors a chance to experience a breathtaking piece of America through horseback riding, biking, hiking, driving, and of course, camping. And, for the end, a piece of advice: we made the mistake of waiting this long to discover this gorgeous corner of the country. Don’t make the same mistake.