Perched on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the hamlet of Natchez is ideal in the springtime. A walk down the oak-lined streets of this southern Mississippi town leads you to some of the most preserved antebellum homes in the country. And between tours, there’s plenty to keep you sated.
Glimpse the past with a tour of the Longwood estate ($18; 140 Lower Woodville Rd., 601-446-6631, stantonhall.com). The octagonal National Historic Landmark was built in the mid-19th-century Moorish Revival style, but was never completed. Expect to spot Southern belles in vintage clothing walking the ornately furnished property or on the dozens of arched balconies.
The Towers ($20; 801 Myrtle Ave., 601-446-6890, thetowersofnatchez.com), an Italian villa-style 18th-century mansion, served as the headquarters of the Union Army. Legend has it that General Ulysses S. Grant rode his horse through its front hallway, and his ghost still haunts it. Owner Ginger Hyland offers guided tours year-round. Admire the whimsical décor and rare antiques, from delicate inkwells and lace sheers to a large collection of antique beaded purses.
The Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture (FREE admission, opens weekdays 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekends by appointment; 301 Main St., 601-445-0728) shares the city’s painful history and guides visitors through exhibits on freed slaves, freedom fighters and artists.
EAT & DRINK
Local art adorns the walls at the Natchez Coffee Company (509 Franklin St., 601-304-1415, facebook.com/natchezcoffee), the perfect spot for your morning coffee fix and biscuits and gravy. Kids get their own little play corner.
At King’s Tavern (613 Jefferson St., 601-446-5003, kingstavernnatchez.com), noted chef Regina Charboneau and her family serve up flatbreads and wood-fired peppered oysters in a historic building.
Tamales are a big hit among locals and tourists alike at Fat Mama’s Tamales (303 S. Canal St., 601-442-4548, fatmamastamales.com).
GOOD TO KNOW
Getting there: Direct flights are available from NYC airports to New Orleans, which is a three-hour drive from Natchez. The city is also accessible from airports in Baton Rouge and Alexandria in Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi.
Getting around: Use Uber or Lyft or a car rental to visit attractions.
Where to stay: The Natchez Grand Hotel and Suites (111 Broadway St., 601-446-9994, natchezgrandhotel.com) stands atop the Mississippi River bluffs, a few blocks from downtown attractions.