Southern hospitality is a life-long style that always remains on trend. It’s the holy grail trifecta: warm people, rolling landscapes, and delicious comfort food. Now, imagine what happens when an entire town of Southern hospitality – practicing folks hosts a party. We can taste the fried catfish and greens already.
Your celebration destination is Natchez, Mississippi, the oldest city along the Mississippi River and known as the hub of the steamboat era. (As you explore the city you’ll notice the steamboat anthem throughout.) In 1716, the French established the riverside city then named it after the American Indian tribe in the area called the “Natchez”.
This year, Natchez celebrates its tricentennial on August 3rd as the “Jewel of the Mississippi”. The events include a street party, commemorations, a 300-gun birthday salute, and fireworks. Perhaps one of Mike’s favorite Natchez native bands, Bishop Gunn, will give a performance? Fingers crossed!
In this city “where the river is wide and the history runs deep” you’ll find plenty to satisfy every single sensation. But before all the bottle tops get popped, you’re going to want to add these eats and adventures to your agenda.
With more than 100 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, and about a dozen actually designated as National Historic Landmarks, it’s not difficult to learn something interesting while in Natchez. Besides seeing antebellum mansions like Glen Auburn, Rosalie, and Stanton Hall, you also need to take a solemn stroll about the Natchez Cemetery established in 1822. Its angelic stone statues, cast iron fences, and sunken Confederate headstones will change you.
Want to save your spending for something special? Check out all the freebies in the city from wine tastings, browsing Antique Row, and catching mighty Mississippi River sunsets at Bluff Park. Don’t miss the Natchez National Historical Park where you can see many preserved, historic sites!
When the day is done, you’re going to want a soft place to rest your head and hang up your party hat. Southern hospitality is alive and well in all of Natchez’s bed and breakfasts. Take your pick from places like Bisland House, which was built in the early 1900s; The Burn, with its weathered brick swimming pool and three acres of gardens; and Rising Sun, whose neighbors include Antique Row and downtown Natchez. Each one is ready to make you feel extra special and perhaps even toss a few extra eggs in your omelet. It’s the Southern way.
If crawfish, BBQ, and hush puppies don’t whet your appetite, no worries. In Natchez, food is available in all fares, like Pearl Street Pasta whose menu will satisfy your Italian craving. Mississippi Magazine voted Pearl Street “the restaurant most likely to ruin your diet.” That’s a heck of a superlative and we look forward to learning that in person. In case you are hankering for some home-cooked southern style cuisine, Jughead’s Fish Fry, The Camp, and Pig Out Barbecue are all good options for fried, smoked, or grilled meals. It’s a good idea to pick up something sweet at The Donut Shop after to cleanse your palate. If you feel like putting on your fancy pants and dining in a 1790s carriage house that resembles a castle and houses thoroughbreds, make reservations at The Castle Restaurant & Pub.
When the sun goes down on the river, you’ll want to make your way over to Under the Hill Saloon. This place is the perfect balance of townie and quirk. You can pull a seat up at the bar inside, sit outside in the Elephant Room, or stand and groove to the house band. Just look at the photos and see for yourself. Check out Bowies Tavern in the Historic District. Once a cotton warehouse, Bowies is ready serve you a frosty, local beer on their 1880 mahogany bar.
Before you leave, take home some local treats like Darby’s Fudge, muscadine hot sauce, and rum that’s made with sugar from a Louisiana sugar mill a few hours away!
A good or bad cup of coffee can set the tone of your day. Luckily, they only serve the good kind in Natchez. We recommend Steampunk Coffee Roasters and Natchez Coffee Company. When you’re ready for something stronger, drop in for tours and tastings at Natchez Brewing Co., Old South Winery, and local favorite Charboneau Rum. If drinking isn’t your thing, pick up a commemorative, customized Coca Cola bottle for the tricentennial celebration. Cheers, y’all!
The Deep South is calling! Natchez, Mississippi awaits your RSVP!
As a theme of celebrating the South, pick up some of our USA-made, paper coasters for your next BBQ or patio party. Made with love in Alabama!