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Signature City Natchez: Jewel of History and Culture on the Mississippi

Program Number: 20379RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/10/2013 - 3/15/2013; 10/8/2014 - 10/13/2014; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/20/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/3/2015; 4/3/2015 - 4/8/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Natchez, Mississippi
Price starting at: $798.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities; History & Culture; Festivals, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; None    

Named after a Native American tribe, the Mississippi River settlement of Natchez absorbed French, English, and Spanish influences before becoming part of the U.S. Today it preserves the historic character of its landscapes and beautiful architecture as well as any American city. Join us to explore the oldest settlement on the Mississippi that became a center of wealth and culture in the antebellum era. Contrast lives above the bluffs with Natchez-under-the-Hill, examining the heritage of freed slaves and social realities that have changed from romantic notions of the Old South to the more egalitarian New South.




Highlights

• Field trips to great mansions, fascinating museums and historic sites tell the unique story of Natchez.
• Attend special events and presentations associated with seasonal activities in the bustling city of Natchez.
• Savor real Southern cooking including a private lunch at a 19th century downtown mansion.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day.



Participants split into smaller groups for some programming and meals.




Date Specific Information

3-10-2013

Enjoy the 81st annual Natchez Spring Pilgrimage to historic mansions and gardens, complete with evening entertainments especially designed to enhance the tours.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-8-2014

Enjoy the annual Natchez Fall Pilgrimage to historic mansions and flowering gardens, complete with evening entertainments especially designed to enhance the experience.



3-8-2015, 3-15-2015, 3-22-2015, 3-29-2015, 4-3-2015

Revel in the 83rd Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, which invites you to visit historically significant mansions, town houses and gardens. Enhancing the experience are mesmerizing speakers, evening entertainment and a special dinner at National Historic Landmark Dunleith, one of the most photographed mansions in the Deep South.




Natchez

Sitting high on a bluff above the Mississippi River, Natchez boasts the largest collection of antebellum homes in the U.S. The mansions and estates, built by 19th-century plantation owners, were largely spared destruction during the Civil War. Today, museums honor the city’s rich Indian, African-American and antebellum heritage.



Accommodations
The Natchez Grand Hotel in the heart of the historic downtown where the Natchez Trace meets the Mississippi River.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Vance Smith is a recognized authority on the history of Natchez, and is author of several non-fiction books about the region, including "Natchez: An Illustrated History" and "The Goat Castle Murder." She holds degrees from Mississippi University for Women and Vanderbilt University, and is president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Carolyn is also the founder of the annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, and in 1996, she was named Citizen of the Year in Natchez.
 
Marion Smith

Marion Smith is the only Natchez attorney — and one of 100 Mississippi attorneys — listed in Outstanding Lawyers in America. After earning B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi, he served as Adams County Senator to the Mississippi Legislature, where he was President pro-tempore. A former professor of law at Ole Miss, he is a frequent lecturer on Natchez history and has been involved in numerous organizations, including the Natchez Historical Society.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Natchez Grand Hotel
  Natchez, MS 5 nights
 Natchez Grand Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: This new hotel's location is the most historic on the Mississippi River. The spot is where the Mississippi River meets the ancient Natchez Trace. This overland route, now a national parakway, links Natchez, Miss.,444 miles northeast to Nashville, Tenn. The hotel, located near a 200-foot bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, offers nearby views of the river, including dramatic sunsets. The hotel.is in the heart of historic downtown Natchez, just steps from dining, shopping, entertainment, and historic attractions..
  Contact info: 111 S. Broadway St.
Natchez, MS 39120 USA
phone: 866-488-0898
web: www.natchezgrandhotel.com
  Room amenities: A safe, flat-screen TV, hair dryer, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, work desk wtih lamp, iron, ironing board, radio/arlarm clock.
  Facility amenities: Unlimited wired and wireless internet, unlimited local and long distance phone calls, guest laundry, fitness center, business center, on-site parking, nightly wine reception.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $125.00 Room rent includes breakfast. To reserve a room for up to two nights before the program and/or two nights after the program, call the hotel directly and identify yourself as a Road Scholar. Give the opening date of the program. This procedure guarantees that the room will be used throughout the stay and no changing of rooms will take place. Hotel phone numbers: 866-488-0898 or 601-446-9994.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $125.00 Room rent includes breakfast. To reserve a room for up to two nights before the program and/or two nights after the program, call the hotel directly and identify yourself as a Road Scholar. Give the opening date of the program. This procedure guarantees that the room will be used throughout the stay and no changing of rooms will take place. Hotel phone numbers: 866-488-0898 or 601-446-9994.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30-6:00 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby, a Welcome-To-Natchez reception at 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Natchez Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 11 a.m. Friday. You will be staying at Natchez Grand Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Natchez, MS
  Nearest city or town:  From Jackson, MS--103 miles and from Baton Rouge, LA-- 90 miles
  Nearest highway: Highway 61
  Nearest airport:  Baton Rouge Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Natchez, MS
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

To Natchez, Miss.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Greyhound Bus Service
phone: 225-383-3761

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$31 plus cost of taxi on each end
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

Taxi from airport to Baton Rouge bus station costs: $26. Cost from Natchez bus station to hotel costs $9. Bus departs Baton Rouge bus station daily at 12:55 p.m. Arrives at Natchez bus station at 2:45 p.m. Alternate plan: Use the Baton Rouge La., Airport Shuttle, available by calling 225-933-7107. This service costs $150 one way. The price is the same, whether for one person or up to six persons. Reservations are essential.

 

From Natchez, Miss.

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Greyhound Bus Service
phone: 225-383-3761

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$31
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

Taxi from Natchez hotel to bus station costs $9. Taxi from Baton Rouge bus station to airport costs $26. Bus departs Natchez bus station daily at 3:55 p.m. and arrives at Baton Rouge bus station at 6 p.m. ALTERNATE PLAN: Use the Baton Rouge, La., Airport Shuttle, available by calling 225-933-7107. This service costs $150 one way. The price is the same, whether for one person or up to six persons. Rservations are essential.

 
Driving Directions
  From Baton Rouge, LA From Baton Rouge, LA: Approximately 90 miles. Take Hwy 61N to Natchez. Turn West onto John R. Junkin Drive (Hwy 84W). About 1.5 miles to Canal St. Turn right on Canal (at Natchez Visitor's Center). Go to corner of Canal and Main streets. Turn left and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
  From Louisiana Highway 84 From Louisiana Highway 84: Cross the Mississippi River Bridge from Vidalia, Louisiana. Turn left at the first traffic light (Canal Street). Drive to corner of Canal and Main streets. Turn left and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
  From the North (Jackson, MS) From Jackson, MS: Approximately 103 miles total to Natchez. Take I-55 South to Brookhaven, MS; exit Hwy 84 (exit 38)and go west to Natchez. Follow Business 84 (becomes St. Catherine street and later becomes Jefferson Street). Turn left on Canal Street. Turn right one block later on Main Street and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street..
  From the north on Natchez Trace Parkway From Nashville, Tenn., or points south, enter the Natchez Trace Parkway, which begins in Natchez. Follow signage as you traavel south to Natchez. At the origin of the Trace, take Liberty Road west into Natchez. This road becomes Quitman Boulevard and then Main Street. At the corner of Main and Canal strees, enter the Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and overview of program
(Sunday, March 10)
   
 Afternoon: 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby. At 6:00 p.m. attend a Welcome-To-Natchez reception with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be in the hotel.
 Evening: Introductions of individuals, and overview of the week's program.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Buffet breakfast at the hotel/Lecture about Natchez history and culture. Guided walking tour along the Mississippi River. Dinner at a downtown restaurant in the historic part of town.
(Monday, March 11)

Note: 3 Lectures 1 Field trip



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served every morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: An overview lecture about Natchez history will precede a guided walking tour along the Mississippi River bluff and a guided visit to historic Rosalie, one of the most photographed mansions in America.
 Lunch: A picnic lunch overlooking the Mississippi River will be served (if inclement weather, picnic lunch will be in the hotel's dining room or in a nearby restaurant)..
 Afternoon: Lectures on the Natchez Trace and the Natchez Indians by experts in the fields..Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will follow the day's historical agenda. It will be in a downtown building in the historic part of town.
 Evening: After-dinner stroll by the river near the hotel
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lectures on Natchez architectural styles and decorative arts; exploration of the earliest churches and their histories; a dinner modeled after a Natchez meal in 1836.
(Tuesday, March 12)

Note: 1 Lecture 2 field trips I hands-on event



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A lecture on various architectural styles and decorative arts in Natchez buildings, from colonial to Greek Revival to Empire to Victorian, will precede a guided tour of a National Historic Landmark mansion, House on Ellicott Hill.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Carriage House on the grounds of palatial Stanton Hall
 Afternoon: A guided tour of National Historic Landmark Stanton Hall and beautiful St. Mary Basilica. Free time follows. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a downtown restaurant featuring delectable foods mentioned in William Johnson's 1836 diary entries, foods continually eaten in the Deep South until today..
 Evening: An informal discussion of William Johnson, his diaries, and a biography about the unusual African-American whose home has been restored by the National Park Service.Optional: Dutch-treat performance of "Southern Exposure" at Natchez Little Theatre.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lecture on the African-American culture of Natchez, featuring an impersonation of William Johnson, a Free Black; tour of the William Johnson House; tour of a photo gallery, lecture on Natchez and the Civil War; and Natchez Tableaux in song and dance
(Wednesday, March 13)

Note: Lecture: 2 Field trips: 2 Performance: 1



   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Lecture on the African-American history and culture of Natchez by a resident African-American scholar who impersonates the Free Black, William Johnson, who worked as a barber until his death in 1851. He kept a detailed diary for 18 years, which was published as "William Johnson's Natchez" in 1951 and later became the basis of a biography, "The Barber of Natchez." A tour is included of the William Johnson House, a multi-million-dollar restoration project of the National Park Service. Tour of First Presbyterian Church and its historic photo collection.
 Lunch: Lunch is Dutch-treat at one of many charming restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Natchez during the Civil War. Free time follows. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: Special seating at the Historic Natchez Tableaux, social history of Natchez in song and dance
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Morning lecture on literature inspired by Natchez, featuring Eudora Welty's story, "A Worn Path." Tour of a mansion with lunch there; tour of Jewish temple; Chopin and Champagne at historic home; dinner at restaurant; "Southern Road to Freedom" concert.
(Thursday, March 14)

Note: Lecture: 1 Field trips: 3 Performance: 1



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A program about well-known authors inspired by Natchez will follow the screening of "A Worn Path," based on Eudora Welty's story, "A Worn Path," set in Natchez. Guided tour of the mansion Magnolia Hall, with buffet luncheon in the dining room.
 Lunch: Lunch will be inside the mansion Magnolia Hall.
 Afternoon: Guided exploration of Temple B'Nai Israel,followed by tour of Joseph Stone House, where Chopin and Champagne will entertain and delight with classical piano music, followed by tour of the historic home and champagne.
 Dinner: A bountiful dinner will be at the Castle restaurant on the grounds of palatial Dunleith.
 Evening: The evening is a perfect finale for the week, with a performance by the Holy Family Catholic Church Gospel Choir, "Southern Road to Freedom."
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture on Post Civil War Natchez; checkout by 11 a.m. Tour of Trinity Episcopal Church (1822) with Tiffany windows. Lunch in the parish house at noon.
(Friday, March 15)

Note: Lecture: 2 Field trip: 1



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A lecture about Post-Civil War Natchez by a university professor will be followed by a tour and short concert at Trinity Episcopal Church, a Greek Revival building with Tiffany windows and outstanding organ.
 Lunch: Program ends after lunch at Trinity Episcopal Church's parish house, about 1 p.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Natchez, MS Free Time In Natchez
Participants have lots to choose from for their free time. They can take another three house tour, go on carriage rides, play golf or tennis, and shop, just to mention a few.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Natchez: An Illustrated History.


Author: David G. Sansing, Sim C. Callon, Carolyn Vance Smith


Description: The first and only full history of Natchez, Miss., with photographs.



Turning Angel


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



The Quiet Game


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



The Devils Punchbowl


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



Sleep No More


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



True Evil


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



The Barber of Natchez


Author: Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan


Description: A biography of William Johnson, a Free Black in antebellum Natchez, Miss., who owned barbershops. His downtown home is part of the National Park Service.



Black Boy


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by a Natchez native.



Native Son


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by Natchez native Richard Wright.



The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty


Author: Eudora Welty


Description: Many of Eudora Welty's short stories are set in or near Natchez, Miss., including some on the Natchez Trace.



The Outlaw Years


Author: Robert Coates


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



The Devils Backbone


Author: Jonathan Daniels


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



Rising Tide


Author: John Barry


Description: A history of the Mississippi River





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