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

Program Number: 20379RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/14/2013 - 5/19/2013; 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; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015;
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: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

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

5-14-2013

During this week, you'll have special seating at concerts provided by the 23rd annual Natchez Festival of Music. Venues include concert halls, churches, and private mansions. You'll get to meet the artists from New York and elsewhere.
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.



9-27-2015, 10-4-2015

You`ll enjoy visits to public and private mansions opened especially for the annual Fall Pilgrimage tour to historic homes and gardens. You`ll also enjoy special evening entertainment offered only during the two-week fall tour season.




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 after breakfast Sunday 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 Baton Rouge, LA

 

From 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 Baton Rouge airport to bus station costs $26. Taxi from Natchez bus station to hotel costs $9.Bus departs Baton Rouge bus station daily at 12:55 p.m. and 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 preson or up to six persons. Reservations are essential.

 

From Natchez, Miss.

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Greyhound Bus Lines
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. 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
(Tuesday, May 14)
   
 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, overview of the week's program, and overview of Natchez's history.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lectures about Natchez history and culture and the Historic Trails project. Guided walking tour along the Mississippi River. Tour of historic Rosalie mansion. "Chopin and Champagne," a concert at an historic house. Dinner at an early building.
(Wednesday, May 15)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served every morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A lecture about slavery and its impact on Natchez history and a lecture by the city engineer, who designed the Historic Trails project will set the stage for the Natchez visit.
 Lunch: A lunch will be in a downtown restaurant.
 Afternoon: A guided walk along the river bluff will lead to the historic mansion, Rosalie, where experts will lead you through. A piano concert by an Eastman School of Music graduate in his historic home will be followed by champagne and a tour. The event is called "Chopin and Champagne."
 Dinner: Dinner will follow the day's historical agenda. It will be at one of the oldest buildings in town.
 Evening: Informal discussion of points of interest in the historic cotton warehouse, now converted to an upscale restaurant and lounge. A stroll along the river will be highlighted by a magnificent sunset and lighted river bridges.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture on Natchez architectural styles and decorative arts. Exploration of an early church and a temple. A dinner modeled after a Natchez meal in 1836. A lecture about "The Black Swan," Elizabeth Greenfield, born a slave and an international singer.
(Thursday, May 16)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A lecture on architectural styles and decorative arts in Natchez buildings will precede a guided tour of St. Mary Basilica, one of the grandest Roman Catholic churches in the Deep South. Built in the 1840s, it was first a cathedral. The morning also includes a guided tour of Temple B'Nai Israel, one of the earliest Jewish congregations in the South.
 Lunch: Luncheon at a downtown site.
 Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon. Free wine at the hotel prior to an early dinner.
 Dinner: An early 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. It precedes a 7 p.m. lecture.
 Evening: Noted historian Dr. David Sansing of the U. of Miss. will speak at 7 p.m. on "The Black Swan," Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, who was born a slave in Natchez. Her owner recognized her unusual vocal gifts, took her to Philadelphia for vocal training, and away she went to great fame and success in the U.S. and abroad. She sang a command performance for Queen Victoria. This is part of the Natchez Festival of Music and leads up to a concert by a contemporary vocalist using Ms. Greenfield's scores. The program will be at historic Trinity Episcopal Church. After the program a guided tour of the church will take place.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Program about William Johnson, a Free Black; visit to his home. Lunch in a mansion. Tour of First Presbyterian Church and Historic Photographs gallery. Lecture on the river and the Civil War. Concert at Cherokee as part of Natchez Festival of Music.
(Friday, May 17)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Program about the Free Black, William Johnson, who died in 1853, with visit to his downtown home, which was restored and is now managed by the National Park Service.
 Lunch: A private, specially arranged luncheon will be at a downtown mansion, Magnolia Hall. A guided tour of the mansion will be included.
 Afternoon: Guided tour of First Presbyterian Church (1828) and its gallery, in which is a collection of more than 500 historic photographs, called Natchez in Historic Photographs." Lecture on the Mississippi River and its importance during the Civil War. At 5 p.m. is a concert, "The Black Swan Returns," at the mansion Cherokee, part of the Natchez Festival of Music. Diana Thompson, soprano, will perform.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a downtown location.
 Evening: Screening of the dramatization of Eudora Welty's story, "A Worn Path," set in Natchez and on the Natchez Trace.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Program about social customs in the Deep South, 1790-1860. Tour of National Historic Landmark Stanton Hall. Lunch at the Carriage House. Tour of Dunleith gardens. Performance of "Kiss Me, Kate," part of the 23d annual Natchez Festival of Music.
(Saturday, May 18)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Program about less than genteel social customs in the Deep South, 1790-1860. Tour of Stanton Hall, a National Historic Landmark.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Carriage House on the grounds of Stanton Hall mansion.
 Afternoon: Tour of Dunleith gardens surrounding the mansion, a fully colonnaded structure dating to the 1850s and a National Historic Landmark.
 Dinner: An early dinner at The Castle on the grounds of Dunleith.
 Evening: A performance of "Kiss Me, Kate," a part of the Natchez Festival of Music
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Buffet breakfast and farewell
(Sunday, May 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Check out of hotel 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.
  Natchez, Miss. Historic Mansions of Natchez
Visit historic mansions, such as Longwood, uncompleted since 1861 when the Civil War broke out and Northern artisans fled back home. 140 Lower Woodville Rd, Natchez, (601) 442-5193. Rosalie, overlooking the river, and other houses, churches, and buildings: www.rosaliemansion.com For additional information, visit www.visitnatchez.com
  Natchez Museum of African-American History and Culture
Exhibits include "Portraits of Black Natchez," from the Norman Collection, “The Rhythm Night Club Fire,” and “Natchez Beginnings of America's Cotton Kingdom.” Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. 301 Main Street, (601) 445-0728.
  Natchez in Historic Photographs Gallery
Located in the First Presbyterian Church, this collection features the photography of Henry Norman, who photographed Natchez from 1870 until his death in 1913. Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 405 State St. (601) 442-2581. For additional information, visit www.natchezms.com
  Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest church building in Natchez and the oldest existing Episcopal church building in Mississippi. The interior decoration includes two stained-glass windows designed and installed by Tiffany. 305 South Commerce Street, Natchez, (601) 445-8432.
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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