9 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Natchez
The little town of Natchez in southwestern Mississippi, founded in 1716, was once the most important port on the Mississippi in the heyday of the cotton trade. As a result the town has many beautiful mansions and estates, mostly in Greek Revival style, which bear witness to the wealth of those days. Several of these buildings are open to the public and offer tours.
1 Stanton Hall
Stanton Hall is one of the largest antebellum mansions in the USA. It was built in 1857 for Frederick Stanton and encompasses an entire block. Over the years it fell into a state of disrepair but was brought back by the Pilgrimage Garden Club who restored the property. Visitors can tour the house, which is filled with original and antique furnishings.
Longwood was built in 1858. It is a brick octagonal house with a large dome-shaped roof. Built by Dr Haller Nutt, it is thought to be one of the largest octagonal houses in the USA. The interior was never completely finished but the family area on the first floor is furnished with heirlooms. The unfinished upper floors reveal the architectural work behind the construction of the home.
Address: 140 Lower Woodville Road, Natchez, MS 39120, United States
3 Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway is a tourist road following the line of the Natchez Trace, an old route from Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee, which is first mentioned in 1733. It was at its busiest between 1800 and 1820, when the crews of boats that had sailed down the Mississippi to Natchez returned home on foot or horseback. The Parkway runs past Emerald Mound, 12 miles north of Natchez, the second largest pre-Columbian site in the United States. It was occupied between 1250 and 1600 by the Mississippi people, ancestors of the Natchez and Choctaws.
Other highlights along the route include Mount Locust, built in the 1780s, and the Chickasaw Village Site.
4 Rosalie Mansion
The brick Rosalie Mansion sits on the site of the former French Fort Rosalie in Natchez. The home was built in the 1820s and is furnished in period. The four-acre grounds also include the Rosalie Historic Gardens. The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 100 Orleans Street, Natchez, MS 39120, United States
5 Natchez City Cemetery
The Natchez City Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains graves dating back to the 1700s. The cemetery is nicely maintained with uniquely designed iron fences, benches, and some elaborate monuments and tombstones.
Address: 2 Cemetery Road
6 Auburn Museum and Historic Home
Auburn is an 1812, red brick mansion which was later often emulated in other homes. The grand entrance features Corinthian columns and an upper level balcony. Inside is a free standing, unsupported spiral staircase. It was considered one of the finest homes in the area in its time. The interior has been restored and furnished in period.
Address: 400 Duncan Avenue, Natchez, MS 39120, United States
7 Natchez National Historical Park
Natchez Historic Park deals with the cultural history of the town of Natchez. The park contains three important sites; Fort Rosalie, William Johnson House, and Melrose Plantation. The Melrose Estate and William Johnson House are open to the public. At Melrose visitors can stroll the grounds, see the outbuildings, and enjoy the gardens.
8 Emerald Mound
Emerald Mound, near Natchez Trace Parkway, is the second largest ceremonial mound in the United States. The Mound covers 8 acres and was created by depositing earth along the sides of a natural hill and creating an enormous artificial plateau. Emerald Mound was used from 1250 to 1600 AD as a ceremonial center and is today a designated National Historic Landmark.
9 Port Gibson
The small town of Port Gibson is a nice side trip, either from Natchez or Jackson. It was thought by General Grant to be almost as beautiful as Natchez, which explains why it has remained relatively unspoilt and still has some lovely pre-war houses. The famous Windsor Mansion, south of the town, was not so lucky, and all that remains of that mansion are some impressive ruins.
The First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson features a unique gold-leaf hand on the steeple. The interior of the church houses chandeliers from the Robert E Lee steamboat.
Port Gibson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.