20379
Natchez
Signature City Natchez: Jewel of History and Culture on the Mississippi
Get to know Natchez on the Mississippi through expert lectures, excursions to antebellum mansions, cultural performances and the down home taste of authentic Southern cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20379RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Natchez, MS
D
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Afternoon: 4:30-6 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby. At 6 p.m. attend a Welcome-To-Natchez reception with complimentary wine..

Dinner: Dinner will be in the Natchez Grand Hotel.

Evening: Introductions of individuals, and overview of the week's program by Carolyn Vance Smith, author of "Natchez: An Illustrated History" and other non-fiction books about Natchez

DAY
2
Lectures on Natchez culture, the river, freed slaves; music
Natchez, MS
B,L,D
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Breakfast: Breakfast is served on weekend mornings beginning at 7 a.m. in the hotel dining room.

Morning: An overview lecture about Natchez history precedes a lecture about the changing course of the Mississippi River by the author of a new book on the subject. Winding up the morning will be a program about William Johnson, a freed slave whose home has been restored by the National Park Service and is open to the public.

Lunch: Buffet luncheon at the hotel.

Afternoon: A guided walking tour along the Mississippi River Bluff leads to the William Johnson House and a self-guided exploration of the two-story brick building. Next is a visit to Rosalie mansion, a National Historic Landmark, overlooking the river. Complimentary glass of wine or soft drink at the hotel concludes the afternoon.

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: "Mississippi Medicine Show" at the Natchez Little Theatre is a hilarious re-creation of a Mississippi River traveling show. Music by Jerome Kern, Stephen Foster, and Roger Miller accompanies the wit and wisdom of Mark Twain, all performed in period costumes.

DAY
3
Lecture on slavery, mansion tours, piano concert
Natchez, MS
B,L,D
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel dining room beginning at 7 a.m.

Morning: A lecture about Natchez and slavery precedes optional attendance at one of many historic downtown churches.

Lunch: Lunch is at historic Magnolia Hall, a downtown mansion that is headquarters of the Natchez Garden Club, a group of hundreds of women interested in historic preservation.

Afternoon: Exploration of Magnolia Hall and its impressive collection of costumes and other items precedes a guided exploration of Pleasant Hill, a favorite Fall Pilgrimage mansion that is home of John and Valerie Bergeron. Afterward is complimentary soft drink or wine at the hotel.

Dinner: A 6 p.m. guided ride around Natchez and its environs leads to dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Mississippi River.

Evening: "Chopin and Champagne" is a delightful concert of classical piano music by a trained musician who performs in his historic home, the Joseph Stone House. Awaiting after the concert are a tour of the collections as well as champagne, wine, and juice.

DAY
4
Lectures on Civil War and architecture; slave story
Natchez, MS
B,L
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Breakfast: A full breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Morning: A lecture on Natchez and the Civil War precedes a lecture about architecture and decorative arts in Natchez.

Lunch: Lunch at Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1822, is home-made with love by members of the Churchwomen, who use proceeds from the meal for their numerous outreach projects.

Afternoon: An expert-led exploration of Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1822, the oldest church building in Natchez, and home to incredible Tiffany and LaFarge windows, 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. Wind up the day with complimentary wine or soft drink at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner will be on your own. Choose from an upscale, white-tablecloth restaurant to a cozy, informal cafe, or something in between. Staff will help with reservations.

Evening: "Narrative of a Natchez Slave" is a one-man enactment of a true Natchez slave who achieved freedom in the North. The performance is followed by a guided exploration of the Natchez Museum of Afro-American History and Culture.

DAY
5
Lectures on Reconstruction and famous Natchez writers
Natchez, MS
B,L,D
Natchez Grand Hotel

Activity note: walking required

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Morning: A lecture on Reconstruction in Natchez and the Deep South precedes a program called "Let Natchez Live On in Your Life...Through Books." Featured famous writers inspired by Natchez include Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Greg Iles, and others. Suggested but not required readings: Two short stories, "A Worn Path" by Welty and "Almos' a Man" by Wright. Be one of five volunteers who read aloud from Eudora Welty's story.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a downtown restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip destinations include St. Mary (Catholic) Basilica and its breathtakingly beautiful marble, gilt, stained glass, and faux graining, and Natchez in Historic Photographs, a collection that spans more than 100 years of photographs of Natchez scenes and citizens. Complimentary soft drinks and wine at the hotel conclude the afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the Carriage House on the grounds of 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.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Natchez, MS
B

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.