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What to do, while in Natchez?

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Northampton, United...
Level Contributor
2,061 posts
79 reviews
What to do, while in Natchez?

Hi, Dad & DD21 will be in area mid-December. But I'm not actually sure of what's there is to do in Natchez, see historical homes etc, everyone has said you need to visit Natchez, but I been looking on websites, but I'm still not really sure what to do while there. Currently we have 4 nights in NOLA, 1 night Natchez & 3 nights Memphis.

The plan at the moment is;

Day 1: Full day in NOLA, sightseeing and drinking

Day 2: Was planning on doing the Honey Swamp Tour, & hitting some Plantations, [Evergreen, Laura, Oak Alley] not sure whether we have enough time to visit all 3, or whether we need to. 3-4hrs of driving

Day 3: Full day in NOLA, sightseeing and drinking

Day 4: Drive to Natchez, stopping at Avery Island for the Tabasco Factory 5-6hours of driving

Day 5: Natchez > Vicksburg > Clarksdale for dinner > arrive late in Memphis 5-6hours of driving

I'm not sure what to do while in Natchez? Will I be plantation-ed out? Is Day 2 too much? Is Natchez the right plan to stay for the night?

What's your thoughts? I don't know, how long we'll spend at Avery Island, but that's a must for us! Then what we'll do in Natchez that late afternoon/evening?

Also I can't decide where to stay in Natchez, there isn't a lot of choices, there's more B&B but they only come with one bed and we need 2. I was hoping for get somewhere for about $60-$80 a night, but that doesn't seem likely.

Thanks :D

Level Contributor
12,999 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

Four nights in NOLA is barely enough time to enjoy your visit. Skip the swamp tour and visit one of the plantations the day you leave NOLA. Avery Island is nice but I would skip it and head to Natchez. Visit a couple of homes there and have a nice dinner. Head N to Vicksburg and visit the National Military Park and have lunch at Walnut Hills. I would spend a night in Clarksdale. It's a fun town. Enjoy your trip.




MS BLUES TRAIL..............


Level Contributor
275 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

If I was effectively spending 3 days in New Orleans, I'd spend ALL of them in New Orleans.

If I had the choice between swamp tour or plantation, I'd take the swamp every time. However, in December a swamp tour will likely be a bust. You'll see nature but it won't be nearly as interesting as a spring/summer/fall trip.

If it was summer time, I might recommend driving way out of the way (effectively 2 hours west of New Orleans, adding 2 hours to your trip to Natchez) to see the Tabasco shop and the Jungle Gardens (the private plantation of the Mcilhenny family). During mid-December, there won't be as much going on nature wise there. It's a beautiful place but nothing will be blooming and wildlife will be fairly inactive. They have a good Tabasco Country store - but the Factory tour just isn't worth the drive. It's short, and the production line isn't always running. Even if it was, I wouldn't drive out there JUST to see the Tabasco factory.

I understand the desire to see Natchez/Vicksburg/Clarksdale - but honestly, Natchez vs Vicksburg's antebellum homes are a toss up for me. I would stay in Vicksburg over Natchez. You can ride up the Natchez Trace a bit visiting some cool sites (Windsor Ruins are cool) and then detour up to Vicksburg. Natchez has some interesting things to SEE but not a lot to DO.

The Vicksburg Military park is worth the visit, you can do it in a few hours or make a day of it. Dining options are better in Vicksburg than Natchez. I would avoid Walnut Hills. Over rated tourist trap - we've never had a great meal there and the last meal there featured a rotten steak.

Natchez and Vicksburg aren't that far apart. The trip from natchez to Clarksdale is a longer drive for sure (2.5 hours). I wouldn't spend days in any of those locations but they all have things worth seeing.

If it was me, I'd spend 5 days in New Orleans, spend the night in Vicksburg (maybe) then spend 2 in Memphis. That's just if I'd never seen any of it. Since I have - I'd spend the entire 7 in New Orleans.

Northampton, United...
Level Contributor
2,061 posts
79 reviews
3. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

Thanks for the suggestions guys. The Tabasco Factory for us is a must! I was orignally going to stay in Vicksburg, but others suggeted Natchez, I've really been struggling with hotels etc...for Natchez, so I think we might just change it and head to vicksburg isn't. It's just makes it quite a long days drive now NOLA>AL>Vicksburg about 7hrs.

Then we could spent the morning/lunch time in Vicksburg and head to Clarksdale for dinner, then arrive late in Memphis.

I need 3 nights for Memphis for everything I have planned, 2 nights would only give me 1 full day, which would only just been enough time to see Graceland and Sun Studio.

I dunno what to do about NOLA, do you think the Swamp Tour while be a waste of time in December? I really wanna see Oak Alley, just for the photo op TBH. These are the only plantations we'll be seeing on the trip, apart from going to Middleton Place in Charleston. If we just did the plantations the we'd have 2.5 days in NOLA to enjoy.

Level Contributor
275 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

Swamp trip in December will likely be a dud.

The Tabasco Factory is a very short tour. Just not much to it. I've done it before and wouldn't go out of my way again. Hell, if they didn't spend so much money marketing it, it wouldn't cost 3 to 4 times more than Louisiana (by Bruce Foods) or Crystal hot sauces - which are found in as many if not more restaurants in LA than Tabasco. You can buy the same Tabasco products in New Orleans at many stores (some have more than the store next to the factory). That's my personal opinion.

Both Vicksburg and Natchez have antebellum homes. Some will argue one is better than the other but there just isn't that much difference - both have River access but Vicksburg has the Military Park. Vicksburg has much more lodging and more dining options. There are also more (and better) casino options in Vicksburg. Granted, the casinos along the MS river pale in comparison to Las Vegas.

Where are you planning to eat in Clarksdale? As a Delta resident, nothing just jumps out there for me. You'd be better off driving straight into Memphis and eating there - or maybe stopping at the Blue & White in Tunica. Tunica isn't very far north of Clarksdale. It's roughly a 3.5 hour drive from Vicksburg to Memphis. You could stop in Clarkasdale, maybe to the Delta Blues Museum, check out the downtown area - then eat at the Blue/White. - Or skip Clarksdale and head on to Memphis.

What are your plans in Memphis? I can imagine it's Elvis, Rockabilly/Soul/Blues related - maybe BBQ? There are several "must do" things in Memphis, but to me almost all of them are one time deals. Of course, if this is your one trip..... then you have to do them.

Northampton, United...
Level Contributor
2,061 posts
79 reviews
5. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

For Clarksdale, I wanted to go to Ground Zero Blues Club. I have also heard good things about Blue & White too.

Plans in Memphis are; Graceland, Sun Studios, the Zoo [the pandas are a must see for me], Peabody, Civil Rights Museum & of course BBQ and evenings on Beale St.

For us, the Tabasco Factory, is a real sight of interest we don't know when we'll be back in the area again.

I can skip the swamp tour, I should get opportunties to go that again in a better season

But what about the plantations, would you not recommend taking half a day out of NOLA to go see Laura & Evergreen?

Level Contributor
275 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at Ground Zero. It doesn't have the best food. I mean, if you're not from the South it may seem great, but it's mediocre. It's not really a "real" blues bar, it's definitely a tourist trap created by a couple of millionaires to help out their home town. It has done that - 10 or 15 years ago there was no sure spot to see live music there. Now there are multiple places that have music at least one night per week. They've really made a push to sell the blues. I love the crossroads thing - but most likely it was NOT where 61 crossed 49. There will be music at Ground Zero, and that's the real reason to go there. Blue and White is more of a southern style restaurant.. Good food every time I've been there. People used to plan their trip to Memphis based on the ability to stop for a meal at the Blue/white.

We've been to the zoo multiple times since they've received the pandas on loan from China. Half of the time they were not on display. The other half of the time they were asleep. The Zoo itself, is awesome. Our experiences with the Pandas have not been.

Beale Street is about 3 or 4 blocks and it can be hit or miss. After Bourbon Street you'll be wondering why you left New Orleans. About 10 years ago Beale was improving, but it's been declining steadily for at least 5. The clubs can make more money playing rap/dance music - so they usually do that later in the evening. The trolley will take you up and down mainstreet and around the River. Unfortunately Mud Island will be closed that time of year, but you can walk along Tom Lee Park. On Main Street there are some neat shops. We love the Peanut Shoppe.

The best barbecue is not downtown or on Beale. The Rendezvous is a cool place to go one time, it's not bad but it's not the best. Of course, the best is subjective. The 'Vous is about the ambiance, for sure. Some of the other options are in the middle of town.

I haven't been to Graceland since Lisa Marie sold a big chunk of it to a promotional company so I don't know what changes they've made to the tour. It's worth seeing once. Definitely what a poor Mississippi redneck would do if he hit the lottery in the 60's. I can so see my dad decorating his house like that.

You can do what you want to do in Memphis in 2 days. Graceland is like an assembly line, they get you in/out. Sun Studios tour isn't that long. The Peabody doesn't take a lot of time to see, but it's worth seeing - I'm not sure what times the ducks come in/out but they'll be in the fountain during the middle of the day. . I've never been to the Civil Rights Museum but can't imagine it'd take that much time. The Zoo CAN take all day, but it doesn't have to. I don't know what all will be on display in December.

Our experience has been a Plantation home is a Plantation home. I wouldn't take 15 minutes of my time to see any of them if it meant missing out on New Orleans. Oak Alley pictures are cool, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it in person. That's my personal opinion. I can't remember anything about the tabasco tour but the Jungle Gardens were awesome, unfortunately they won't be as interesting during the winter.

That's my opinion on it. I guess growing up around Antebellum homes kinda makes it uninteresting - but they're all about the same to me.

I'm not trying to downplay Memphis as much as promote Nola. I've had some great times in memphis.

Level Contributor
39 posts
1 review
7. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

Skip Natchez, are you serious! Natchez is the antebellum capital. There is over 600 antebellum homes, some of the best dining on the Mississippi river, and one of the best views of a sunset you will ever see. There's a lot of restaurants bars, and a casino. There is a ghost tour and even horse drawn carriage tours that run day or night. You will love Natchez if you visit.

Galveston, Texas
Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

Skip Avery Island-not worth a detour at all. Natchez is just as charming as Vicksburg. Vicksburg has wonderful but depressing Civil War stuff. Driving the Trace is wonderful. the Civil Rights museum in memphis was the highpoint of my trip -worth several hours. Plus there is a history and art museum in Memphis. I enjoyed Beale St but it was 7 years ago. Forget the swam p tour and stay in New Orleans longer -or ride a riverboat for a while to get some fresh air. Enjoy

9. Re: What to do, while in Natchez?

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