As one of the oldest settlements on the Mississippi River once controlled by the Spanish, French and British, there is a great deal of history in the old town of Natchez. With everything from history and nature to music and food, Natchez has big group appeal.
“Our local community is very proud of Natchez and happy to share her stories with guests in town,” said Lynsey Smith, director of sales at Visit Natchez. “No matter where your group is coming from, you will never meet a stranger here, only friends.”
Smith provided this seven-day group itinerary.
After checking into one of the downtown accommodations, which include numerous bed and breakfasts and historic inns, start the trip by heading to the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. There, groups can buy home tour tickets and event tickets, read interpretive panels, view the mighty Mississippi River and watch a 20-minute movie on the history of Natchez.
Start the day off by visiting Longwood. Credited as the largest octagonal mansion in the United States, it is considered the crown jewel of antebellum Natchez. Construction began on Longwood in 1860, but soon after, the Civil War broke out, sending Northern workers back home. As a result, only the ground level interiors of the home were completed.
Pick up lunch and take it to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. There, groups can have a picnic next to the 128-acre Grand Village site, which features a reconstructed Indian house, a museum and three ceremonial mounds. On the nature trail, native trees, flowers and shrubs are identified. Head to St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the migration of a variety of birds throughout the year. The refuge also offers guests the opportunity to canoe or kayak, much like Everyday Adventures or Quapaw Canoe Company can take groups on the Mississippi River.
During free time, browse the downtown shops and boutiques. Have lunch at one of the many local restaurants. After lunch, walk the Natchez Trails while enjoying the history of Natchez’s architectural treasures. During the afternoon, enjoy a free tour at any of the museums or take a specialty tour with local tour guides, such as a city sightseeing tour on a double-decker bus or a heritage tour.
Discover libations while touring Natchez Brewing Company, Charboneau Distillery or Old South Winery. Take home Fat Mama’s “Knock You Naked” margarita mix or D’Evereux Foods’ hot sauce as gifts for loved ones at home. Don’t forget Darby’s famous fudge.
The Natchez National Historical Park is an important partner in the community and a must-see for groups. Rich with history, Natchez is home to four National Park Service sites, making it a great destination for history buffs.
Depart on Highway 61, also known as the Blues Highway.