Welcome to Natchez
The easy-going city of Natchez is the oldest civilised
settlement on the Mississippi River, perched on the highest
promontory north of the Gulf of Mexico, 200ft (61m) above the
rolling river. Across the river, which forms the state border,
Natchez looks down on Louisiana.
Natchez was an Indian settlement for centuries before being
colonised first by the French in 1716, then the British in 1763,
the Spanish in 1779 and then joining America in 1798. The city
became the first capital of the State of Mississippi in 1817 and
experienced an economic boom as a centre for the export of cotton
by river steamer. The cotton poured in from the vast rich
plantations of Mississippi and neighbouring Louisiana.
Today Natchez has more antebellum houses than any other place in
the United States, with nine available for daily tours and many
more opening their doors during spring and fall pilgrimages. Many
hundreds of the beautiful homes are privately owned and stand to be
admired by passers-by. The city's downtown area is packed with late
19th-century buildings housing antique shops, hotels, churches and
restaurants, and more than 40 Bed and Breakfast establishments. In
addition to all the historic fare, Natchez is a recreational centre
offering a semi-tropical climate and numerous hunting, fishing,
hiking and biking opportunities. The city is also the starting
point for the famous Natchez Trace Parkway; a 450-mile (724km)
national park route based on ancient Indian trails, which connects
Natchez to Jackson, the state capital, 105 miles (169km) away, and
ends in Nashville, Tennessee. All this, plus a healthy dose of
southern hospitality, cuisine and exciting riverboat casinos, makes
Natchez a tourist's delight.
Information & Facts
Natchez has a semi-tropical climate with warm summer weather and
fairly mild winters. The average temperature in winter is 53°F
(12°C), while autumn and spring are quite comfortable with
temperatures averaging about 65°F (18°C). Natchez summers are
generally much warmer, with temperatures averaging 85°F (29°C), and
frequent afternoon rain showers.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.