Natchez is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of historic homes – found on every street corner. It seems as if history fell asleep and awoke unscathed by the changing of times in this magical port. Natchez is home to over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes survived the American Civil War and their history flows in abundance along the Mississippi. Natchez has a long and fascinating history, dating back to 1716, making her the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi. Even before Natchez was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Natchez Indians, noted for being the only Mississippian culture with complex chiefdom characteristics to have survived long into the period after the European colonization of America began.
The Natchez District, along with the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, pioneered cotton agriculture in the United States. The city recovered from its post-war decline to become one of the state’s leading industrial centers. Today the production of wood pulp, lumber, petroleum, and natural gas form the basis of the economy; tourism – including casino gambling – and the manufacture of tires are also important. Shops and restaurants now occupy the site of Natchez Under-the-Hill, a 19th-century town of bordellos and taverns that was a haven for outlaws and boatmen. During your visit, explore the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historic homes, all of which inspired Hugh Bayless to include Natchez in his book “The 100 Best Towns in America.”