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

Program Number: 20379RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/23/2014 - 3/28/2014; 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: $878.00 - 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

3-23-2014

Enjoy the annual Natchez Spring Pilgrimage to historic mansions and flowering gardens, complete with evening entertainments especially designed to enhance the experience.
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 after breakfast on final day. 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, March 23)
   
 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 a plated meal.
 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. Guided walking tour along the Mississippi River. Field trips to two historic mansions. Dinner in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Natchez.
(Monday, March 24)
   
 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 program about Natchez Historic Trails, which will be enjoyed throughout the week.
 Lunch: Lunch will be in a downtown restaurant.
 Afternoon: Lecture about Natchez, the river's influence, and the Civil War's influence. Field trips to historic Rosalie and Texada, two of the mansions featured on Spring Pilgrimage tours. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will follow the day's historical agenda. It will be in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Natchez.
 Evening: A stroll along the river near the hotel to see the lighted Miss. River Bridge.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture on Natchez architectural styles and decorative arts; exploration of an early church, a temple, and a home; "Chopin and Champagne," a classical concert with champagne and tour of mansion; a dinner modeled after a Natchez meal in 1836.
(Tuesday, March 25)
   
 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 a guided tour of one of the city's earliest mansions.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at a downtown restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided tours of Temple B'Nai Israel, one of the oldest Jewish temples in the South, and St. Mary Catholic Basilica, with its gorgeous architecture and interior decorative arts precede "Chopin and Champagne," a classical piano concert with champagne and tour of historic Joseph Stone House. 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: Natchez Little Theater's spring production.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lecture on the African-American culture of Natchez, with an impersonation of William Johnson, a Free Black; tour of William Johnson House; tour of historic photograph gallery and Trinity Episcopal Church with its Tiffany windows; Historic Natchez Tableaux with song and dance
(Wednesday, March 26)
   
 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 i n1851. 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. Next is a tour of "Natchez in Historic Photographs," a collection of incredible Henry Norman photographs that cover nearly 100 years, beginning in 1851.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at historic Magnolia Hall, one of the mansions on the Spring Pilgrimage.
 Afternoon: Guided tour of Magnolia Hall, a Spring Pilgrimage tour house, followed by a tour of Trinity Episcopal Church and its Tiffany windows. Free time follows. Wind up the day with complimentary wine reception at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be downtown.
 Evening: Historic Natchez Tableaux, an entertainment depicting Natchez history in song, dance, and colorful costumes.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Morning lecture about writers who have been influenced by Natchez, particularly Eudora Welty. Field trip to Stanton Hall, a mansion featured on the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage. Lecture about Reconstruction. Gospel concert at Holy Family Catholic Church.
(Thursday, March 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: A program about writers who have been influenced by Natchez, particularly Eudora Welty. Field trip to Stanton Hall, a mansion that is the most photographed in the South.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the famed Carriage House on the grounds of the mansion Stanton Hall.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Natchez and Reconstruction after the Civil War. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at The Castle on the grounds of the mansion Dunleith.
 Evening: The evening is a perfect finale for the week, with a performance by Holy Family Gospel Choir at Holy Family Catholic Church. The choir has performed at the New Orleans World's Fair, in Los Angeles, and elsewhere.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program ends after breakfast. Check out by 11 a.m.
(Friday, March 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: 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.

Suggested Reading List


Black Boy


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by a Natchez native.



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.



Native Son


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by Natchez native Richard Wright.



Rising Tide


Author: John Barry


Description: A history of the Mississippi River



Sleep No More


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez



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.



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 Devils Backbone


Author: Jonathan Daniels


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



The Devils Punchbowl


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez



The Outlaw Years


Author: Robert Coates


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



The Quiet Game


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



The South: The Guide for All Budgets, Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore On and Off the Beaten Path, 27th edition


Author: Karen Cure, editorial director


Description: This is the best general guidebook available. It contains much information about and numerous maps of the four cities featured in the program.



True Evil


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



Turning Angel


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez





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