Seventy miles south of Vicksburg – at the end of the pretty Natchez Trace Parkway, the old Native American path that ran from here to Nashville – the river town of NATCHEZ is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. By the time it first flew the Stars and Stripes in 1798, it had already been home to the Natchez people and their predecessors, as well as French, British and Spanish colonists. Unlike its great rival, Vicksburg, Natchez was spared significant damage during the Civil War, ensuring that its abundant Greek Revival antebellum mansions remained intact, complete with meticulous gardens. Interspersed among them are countless simpler but similarly attractive white clapboard homes, set along broad leafy avenues of majestic oaks, making Natchez one of the prettiest towns in the South. Horse and carriagetours explore downtown, while a number of individual mansions are open for tours.

Though Natchez proper perches well above the river, a small stretch of riverfront at the foot of the bluff constitutes Natchez Under-the-Hill. Once known as the “Sodom of the Mississippi”, it now houses a handful of bars and restaurants, plus the 24-hour Isle of Capri riverboat casino.

Natchez’s history of slavery is chronicled with a rather pitiful display at the Forks of the Road monument, a mile east of downtown on Liberty Road at St Catherine, on the site of the second largest slave market in the South.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

Eating Baltimore: a foodie's guide to the city

A few hours’ drive from New York City (and just one hour from Washington DC), you’ll find Baltimore. Once viewed as a gritty seaport with a reputation for …

15 Aug 2017 • Phoebe Lowndes insert_drive_file Article
The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

The truth about tourism in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has experienced record-breaking visitor numbers over the past few years, but at what cost? Georgia Stephens journeyed deep into Wyoming to face the…

01 Aug 2017 • Georgia Stephens local_activity Special feature
Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

Summer of Love: a journey through San Francisco 50 years on

San Francisco was the epicentre of the Summer of Love, a movement intent on changing the foundations of American society forever. Half a century later, Tamara…

04 Jul 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month