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

Program Number: 20379RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013; 10/8/2014 - 10/13/2014;
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; Gluten Free    

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

9-29-2013

Enjoy the annual Natchez Fall 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.




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.
 
Jim Barnett

Jim Barnett is director of historic properties for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Natchez. He is responsible for two historic sites with museums, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and Historic Jefferson College. A published author and an experienced professional lecturer for The University of Southern Mississippi and for the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, Jim is a member of the Mississippi Archaeological Association and the Southeastern Museums Conference.
 
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
 

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

   

Taxi from Natchez hotel to bus station: $9; taxi from Baton Rouge bus station to airport: $26. Bus departs Natchez bus station daily at 3:55 p.m. 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. Reservations are essential.

 

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: $26; taxi from Natchez bus station to hotel: $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.

 
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, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: 4:30-6 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby. At 6 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 by local historian.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Buffet breakfast at the hotel/Lectures about Natchez history and culture. Expert-ed walking exploration along the Mississippi River. Dinner in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Natchez.
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served every morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: An overview lecture about Natchez history and an expert-led program about the new Natchez Trails Project will precede an expert-led walking exploration along the Mississippi River bluff and an expert-led visit to historic Rosalie, one of the most photographed mansions in America.
 Lunch: A seated luncheon in a restaurant near the Mississippi River will be served.
 Afternoon: Lectures on the Natchez Trace and the issue of slavery in the United States by experts in the fields. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: A seated dinner will follow the day's historical agenda. It will be inside beautiful Dunleith, a National Historic Landmark mansion that is one of the most photographed houses in America.
 Evening: A guided tour of Dunleith mansion and grounds will be given by a staff historian.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture 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, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A lecture on decorative arts and various architectural styles in Natchez buildings, from Colonial to Greek Revival to Empire to Victorian, will precede an expert-led exploration of St. Mary Basilica, one of the grandest Roman Catholic churches in the Deep South. Built in the 1840s, it was first a cathedral.
 Lunch: A home-cooked luncheon will be at Trinity Episcopal Church, provided by the Churchwomen.
 Afternoon: An expert-led exploration of Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1822 and the oldest church building in Natchez, will be enhanced by a short concert of organ music. Next is an expert-led exploration and film at Temple B'Nai Israel, one of the oldest Jewish temples in the South. 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 stroll along the Mississippi River's historic trails to see the sunset and the lighted river bridge.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lectures on African-American history of Natchez, featuring impersonation of William Johnson. Exploration of historic photograph gallery. Tour of downtown mansion Pleasant Hill. Lecture about Natchez during the Civil War.
(Wednesday, October 2)
   
 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." An exploration is included of the William Johnson House, a multi-million-dollar restoration project of the National Park Service. Following is an exploration of First Presbyterian Church (1828) and its gallery that features "Natchez in Historic Photographs," a collection of incredible Henry Norman photographs that cover nearly 100 years, beginning in 1851.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at a downtown restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided tour of historic Pleasant Hill, a downtown mansion. Lecture on Natchez during the Civil War. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at an historic building near the hotel.
 Evening: Optional, Dutch-treat performance of "Little Women" at Natchez Little Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Transportation is on-your-own to the theater, about 10 blocks from the hotel. Tickets are $15 and can be bought after arriving in Natchz.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Programs about writers inspired by Natchez and the social history of Natchez. Field trips to two mansions, one with "Chopin and Champagne," a classical piano concert with champagne. Dinner at the Carriage House at Stanton Hall. Concert of gospel music.
(Thursday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A lecture is entitled "Natchez: A Rich Resource for Writers," to be given by a noted local author. Tour of House on Ellicott Hill, one of the earliest and most important mansions in Natchez.
 Lunch: Lunch will be downtown.
 Afternoon: Lecture on social history of Natchez. Field trip to the mansion Stone House, for "Chopin and Champagne," featuring a concert of classical piano music followed by a glass of bubbly. A tour of the mansion follows.
 Dinner: A bountiful, plantation-style dinner will be at the Carriage House restaurant on the grounds of palatial Stanton Hall.
 Evening: The evening is a perfect finale for the week, with a performance by Amos Polk's Voices of Hope Spiritual Singers at the Carriage House restaurant on the grounds of Stanton Hall. The choir presents stirring gospel selections.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture on Post Civil War Natchez; check out by 11 a.m.
(Friday, October 4)
   
 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. Hotel checkout by 11 a.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

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.


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