Natchez is a city founded on culture, tradition and respect for the past and excitement for the present. Known as the Mississippi River’s oldest settlement, Natchez is rich with fascinating and opulent mansions, beautiful parks, shaded riverfront viewpoints and scenic trails.
You won’t find amusement parks or tourist traps throughout this city; instead, you’ll discover charming character and unforgettable stories about past residents and prominent historic events.
The city comes together throughout the year for annual celebrations, including spring and fall pilgrimages, rodeos, and story-telling, literary and cinema festivals. Those planning a trip in the middle of October could be treated to incredible sights of the Great Mississippi River Hot-Air Balloon Race. For other times, there’s nothing quite like watching river traffic go by as you sit near the unspoiled banks of the Mississippi.
If you’d like to experience Natchez’s culture and explore other Mississippi River port destinations, book an adventure on a popular cruise line such as America Cruise Lines.
Cruise ships typically dock at the Natchez Adams County Port in the southwest area of the city.
There are not many passenger facilities located near the terminal, so it is best to head straight into Natchez proper. Fantastic restaurants, bars and cafés are located throughout the town, as well as a few popular shopping departments.
How to Get Around
Taxis and buses are some of the most popular modes of transport throughout Natchez. For a special treat, look into riding a horse and carriage next to the Mississippi River, or rent a bike and ride along beautiful downtown trails or the Natchez Trace Parkway. There are some walking trails throughout Natchez as well, but it is recommended to take advantage of a form of transport to get from attraction to attraction.
Travel times from Natchez Adams County Port:
It is a 7 minute journey to Longwood
It is a 12 minute journey to Natchez National Historical Park
It is a 24 minute journey to Natchez Trace Parkway
It is a 9 minute journey to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians
It is a 29 minute journey to Emerald Mound.
Currency – Pay for your souvenirs and local cuisine with the United States dollar (USD). There are seven coin denominations: 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c and both a silver and a gold USD$1. Bills are printed in seven denominations: USD$1, USD$2, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50 and USD$100.
Time Zone – Natchez follows Central Standard Time (CST), which puts the town 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The clocks move forward 1 hour during Daylight Savings Time, which begins on March 8 and finishes on November 1.
Weather – When you step off the cruise ship, you’ll typically be welcomed by a warm and humid climate. Natchez experiences hot summers and no dry season, so if you’re travelling during the warm season (May to September), it’s important to wear lightweight clothing. The cold season extends from November to February, but average daily temperatures only fall to around 17 degrees Celsius. January 23rd is the coldest day of the year, with average lows of 4 degrees Celsius and average highs of 14 degrees Celsius.
Longwood – One of Natchez’s crowning jewels is Longwood. Built in 1858, this grand 6-storey mansion was designed for Haller Nutt, a wealthy planter, and his wife, Julia. Longwood serves as a strong symbol of the rise and fall of the South during the Civil War. Before the mansion could be completed, workers packed up and fled due to the turmoil surrounding the war. After Nutt died in 1864, his wife stayed in the mansion’s first floor – the only completed floor of the house. Nowadays, visitors can walk through and spot original family furnishings. What really generates interest around Longwood, however, is its unfinished upper 5 storeys. Visitors can see where both construction and time stopped. Guided tours explain the history of the house and the surrounding stories of Natchez’s place in the war.
The Mississippi River – The moment you turn back towards the Mississippi River during your adventure through Natchez, you’ll understand why this city is said to have the most beautiful and majestic views. The Natchez Bluff attracts visitors and locals alike due to its incredible vantage point of the river and the west. Throughout the year, festivals, activities and celebrations are held here.
Natchez Trace Parkway – Take a trip back through North American history by driving, cycling or horseback-riding through Natchez Trace Parkway. If you’re visiting this 714-kilometre-long national park during October, you’ll be treated to an incredible palette of warm orange and red foliage. Maples, oaks and hickories all change colours and prove to be a delightful sight and photo opportunity.