Natchez Mississippi

Natchez is a city in Mississippi located along the Mississippi River with 300 years of history and culture. In addition to breathtaking views of the Mighty Mississippi, Natchez features beautiful parks, restored antebellum homes, southern home-cooking, history and informative city tours. 

Natchez was founded in 1716  by the French and was named Fort Rosalie. 

A great view of the Mighty Mississippi River looking north from Highway 425. Louisiana is on the left and Mississippi is on the right.

The Natchez-Vidalia Bridge over the Mississippi River on Highway 425 is the tallest bridge that spans the Mississippi River and has 125 feet of clearance below the bridge. The westbound bridge was opened in 1940 and the eastbound one opened in 1988. Currently the westbound bridge is closed for repairs and the eastbound bridge temporarily carries two-way traffic during the closure. 

Life on the Mississippi in the heyday of the steamboat lives in our imaginations through the artistry of Mark Twain, Edna Ferber, and Hollywood films, or perhaps a glimpse of a salvaged riverboat living out its last years as a theme restaurant. Surely the Mississippi steamboat era is among the most colorful and romantic in our history.

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Natchez was a capital city in Spanish Colonial days. 

The Natchez Visitor Reception Center is the place to go for information about the city. Very helpful employees offer suggestions of things to see and do while in the area. The Center also allows overnight RV parking free for up to two days. 

The Visitor Center also serves as a Great River Road Interpretive Center for the Great River Road National Scenic Byway which traces the course of the Mississippi River through 10 states from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. 

“An accurate and authentic account of the entire 10,000 years of… the Old Natchez Trace and the modern parkway.” – John Mohlhenrich, former Chief Park Interpreter of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Illustrated and indexed.

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City tours are available at the Visitor Center. 

Antebellum homes are also available to tour in Natchez. 

Stanton Hall aka Belfast circa 1858 is the former home of cotton broker Frederick Stanton and is currently operated as a historic house museum by the Pilgrimage Garden Club. 

Myrtle Terrace circa 1844 is the former home of Thomas Leathers who piloted the riverboat Natchez in the famous 1880 race against Robert E. Lee. The home is currently for sale and lists at $625,000.

We’re not sure of the current ownership of the Dorsey House circa 1835, but it was listed for sale July 2013 for $550,000. 

The Natchez water tower is easily seen from many of the antebellum houses. 

Flooding from the Mississippi River caused the closure of Silver Street in downtown Natchez. The river crested at 57.12 feet on March 20, 2018, the third highest crest in Natchez’s recorded history. Interestingly it was also the day we arrived in the city. 

A platform mound at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. The village served as the tribe’s main political and religious ceremonial center in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. 

Watch your step! This sign was posted at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indian site. Very thankful we didn’t see any snakes during our visit there. 

The Melrose, an 1800’s Greek revival-style mansion built in 1841 by the John T. McMurran family, is now maintained by the National Park Service as part of the National Historic Park in Natchez. The house is open for guided tours while the 80 acre grounds are available for self-guided tours. 

One of many huge trees located on the grounds of the Melrose house at the National Historic Park. The base of the tree has a circumference of 75 feet. Amazing!

Mammy’s Cupboard restaurant located on Highway 61 just south of Natchez. It was built in 1941 in the shape of a mammy archetype with the skirt holding the dining room. The founder of the restaurant was a former antebellum house tour guide and thought tourists would be interested in this type of restaurant. An interesting note is that Mammy’s earrings are actually horseshoes. 

Natchez is a must stop location when in the area. There are activities for people of all ages and interests. We highly enjoyed our stay there and look forward to visiting the area in the future. 

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