Located on the banks of the Mississippi, Natchez is an old-fashioned river town with a modern makeover. The city is named after the American Indian tribe that originally lived in the region. Natchez pays homage to its founders’ history at the Grand Village, an archaeological site offering reconstructions of the original colony and a museum filled with artifacts excavated from the area.
Natchez’s riverside downtown is filled with shops, restaurants and art galleries. Walk along Silver Street, once a popular meeting place for river pirates and gamblers. Have a drink at Under-the-Hill Saloon, a bar in business since the 1800s.
Surrounded by Victorian architecture, taking a stroll down the streets of Natchez feels like a journey back in time. Complete your Antebellum Era experience with a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown. End your excursion at Historic Jefferson College, Mississippi’s first college, now a museum that re-creates the early 19th-century higher education experience.
Many of Natchez’s attractions tie to the Mississippi River. The waterfront is lined with walking and biking trails. Bluff Park is a perfect place to watch the sun set over the river. Visit Isle of Capri and Magnolia Bluffs, casinos designed to look and feel like historic waterfront gaming houses from the late 1800s.
Virtually every street in Natchez is punctuated by a grand historic home. Many offer tours daily: Rosalie Mansion, Stanton Hall, Magnolia and Longwood are must-see attractions similar to mansions from the film, “Gone with the Wind.” Drive a few minutes outside downtown to visit Natchez National Historical Park, where you can tour the William Johnson House. The home of a free black barber, it provides a rare glimpse into the lives of liberated slaves in the pre-Civil War era.
Located about 90 miles (140 kilometers) from Jackson and Baton Rouge, Natchez is easily accessible via U.S. Route 61, the famous road nicknamed the “Blues Highway” because of its connection to America’s musical movement in the mid-1900s. Bob Dylan’s honored the scenic byway in his album, “Highway 61 Revisited.”