Natchez has a great visitor's center with a neat model of the town and lots of exhibits.
Once we had the lay of the land we unloaded our bikes and toured around the city for a couple of hours. There's a great waterfront park overlooking the Mississippi River.
This historic home was owned by William Johnson, a freed slave. He opened a very popular barber shop in town and also had other businesses such as a bath house, bookstore, and other land holdings. Johnson kept a detailed diary from 1835 until his death in 1851. Unfortunately, he was killed over a land dispute.
Natchez has a remarkable collection of historic mansions.
This is Stanton Hall.
Just across the street... you could own this one!
My favorite, in a more New Orleans style.
The riverfront was known as "Natchez under the Hill". This is where all the debauchery used to happen.
Cool manhole cover with a paddle steamer on it.
Of course, there's a gambling boat.
The Melrose mansion, now a National Historical Park.
The slave quarters.
"The Mississippi River brought prosperity to some and enslavement to others"
Quote borrowed from the park's literature.
On our way out of town, we made a stop at the Old South Winery.
Here, they make muscadine wine from muscadine grapes that only grow in the south.
We didn't get this young lady's name but she was fun and informative and let us taste all their different varieties. Most ran a little sweet for our taste but we found a few that we liked and left with 4 bottles!
Part of the vineyard at Old South Winery.
We drove north out of town via the Natchez Trace Parkway which parallels the original Natchez Trace Trail. About 20 miles out of town we visited Mount Locust.
Flatboat men, known as "Kaintucks," because many were from Kentucky, used to float down river with their boats loaded with crops and other goods to sell in Natchez and New Orleans. They rode the current south but couldn't return by boat so they would sell the boats for lumber and walk home on the Natchez Trail! It took about a month. This is the last remaining homestead that catered to travelers. The home is in amazing condition.
Next: Mississippi Petrified Forest!?!