Listed in the book, “The 100 Best Towns in America”, Natchez, Mississippi is one of the jewels of the old South. As the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River, Natchez is home to sumptuous antebellum houses, raucous riverside gambling, and the cultural heritage of the Natchez Indians for whom the town is named.

Although small, with a population of approximately 16,000 people, Natchez offers more than enough activities to fill an entire day and leave you wishing you had more time to spend in this charming Southern town.

One Day Cruse Port Itinerary

Start your day off right with a gourmet coffee and breakfast at Steampunk Coffee Roasters. The cafe boasts a cool and funky vibe where travelers and locals alike come for the coffee and stay for the conversation. Although it’s a little off the beaten path, the quiches, fresh pastries and stand-out drinks make this a can’t miss stop.

Steampunk Coffee Roasters

114 High St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 870-6882

http://www.steampunkcoffeeroasters.com/

Once you have fueled up for the day ahead, head to the Natchez Visitor Center. There you can learn about the history of how the city came to be with a short 20 minute video, The Natchez Story. You can also pick up a tourist map of the town as well as souvenirs at the gift shop.

Natchez Visitor Center

640 S Canal St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 446-6345

http://visitnatchez.org/

After orienting yourself, it’s time to explore what Natchez is most famous for: the beautiful and majestic antebellum homes that dot the city. There are over 1,000 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and approximately a dozen of those buildings are protected as National Historic Landmarks.  Tour the last mansion to be build before the Civil War, Magnolia House, which features a costume museum and is famed for it’s Greek Revival Architecture.  The Monmouth Plantation, built in 1818, is one of the grandest homes in the region and features beautiful gardens and much of the original furniture. Dunleith House, a designated National Historic Landmark, is famed for being the only house in Mississippi to be surrounded by colonnades.

Magnolia Hall

215 S Pearl St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 442-6672

http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com/dailymagnolia.php

Monmouth Plantation

36 Melrose Ave, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 442-5852

http://www.monmouthhistoricinn.com/

Dunleith House

84 Homochitto St, Natchez, MS 39120

(800) 433-2445

http://www.dunleith.com/

After a long morning touring Natchez’s stately homes, you will have no doubt worked up a serious appetite. The Rolling River Bistro, in the heart of downtown Natchez offers healthy soup and salad combinations as well as local favorites like shrimp and grits or vegetable po-boy sandwiches.

Rolling River Bistro

406 Main St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 442-6601

http://rrbistro.com/index.php/menu/

Natchez is named after the local Indian tribes who inhabited the region prior to French settlement in the 1700’s. Their original base was the Grand Village, where the homes of great chiefs and sacred burial mounds were located. As the French settlers continued to arrive in greater numbers, the Indians were forced to abandon their territory to avoid persecution and possible slavery. Today, to recognize the difficulties of the native populations and honor their culture, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians stands as a museum and cultural center to teach about the complicated history of the region. The museum houses artifacts from the ancient village, reconstructions of Natchez Indian homes and the three prehistoric burial mounds that were so important to Natchez Indian culture.

Grand Village of the Natchez

400 Jeff Davis Blvd, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 446-6502

http://www.mississippi.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Designed to look like an old saw mill, the Magnolia Bluffs Casino, perched along the Mississippi river, is the only site in town where you can try your luck at poker, roulette or the slot machines. If you’re looking to check out the more exciting side of Natchez culture, this casino should do the trick. If gambling isn’t your thing, the deck overlooking the river is the perfect location to have a drink while watching the sun set on the delta.

Magnolia Bluffs Casino

7 Roth Hill Road, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 235-0045

http://www.magnoliabluffscasinos.com/

After a full day of sightseeing, dinner is likely first and foremost on your mind. Get a true taste of the south at The Castle Restaurant, located on the grounds of Dunleith House. Sample traditional cajun and creole cuisine, such as crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, or gumbo while dining in the historic original carriage house, which has been built to look like a mini-castle.

The Castle

Dunleith Historic Inn, 84 Homochitto St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 446-8500

http://www.dunleith.com/inn/the-castle-restuarant.cfm#menus

No trip to the South would be complete without finishing your night in a down-home live blues bar. Biscuit & Blues, which was voted “America’s Best Jazz Club” by the Memphis Blues Foundation, serves up the finest live music in Natchez.  

Biscuit & Blues

315 Main St, Natchez, MS 39120

(601) 446-9922

http://www.biscuitsblues.com/