Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Day Trip to Natchez, Mississippi

When you hear the word Natchez, what images come to mind? — Grand antebellum houses? Towering moss-covered oaks? Azalea and magnolia blossoms? Steamboats on the Mighty Mississippi? All of the above?

Well, Natchez is, indeed, all of that — and much more.

Located just an hour south of Vicksburg, Natchez is one of our favorite "getaway" places, and it was such a gorgeous Fall day Friday, my husband and I decided to drive down the Natchez Trace and eat lunch at Fat Mama's — one of our favorite places for hot tamales. The Trace is always beautiful and peaceful, no matter what time of year you travel it, and Friday was no exception.

The trees are just beginning to turn and the sky was a brilliant blue — a perfect day to be out enjoying God's glory.

About halfway to Natchez, we stopped at a creek bed that was almost hidden from the road.

It was dry this time of year, but when we walked down to it, it was like entering a secret hideaway. It was cool and shady, and leaves were drifting down on us from the trees overhead. It was one of those "serendipity" moments, and I'm so glad I captured some of its magic in my pictures.

When we arrived in Natchez, we discovered that our timing wasn't that great — it was the weekend of The Great Mississippi Balloon Race, and there were hundreds of visitors in town.

After lunch at Fat Mama's, I had hoped we could drive through some of the Garden District neighborhoods so I could take pictures of some of the houses there. But, unfortunately, traffic was congested — and to further complicate matters, one of the high schools was having its Homecoming Parade downtown. Not a good day for a leisurely drive and photo shoot.

After fighting the traffic for a while, we finally managed to make our way into a less congested area where I was able to capture a few pictures of some houses that caught my eye.

This house is my favorite ...

It is called "The Keyhole House," and it was built in 1890 ...

Isn't it unusual!

I love the wraparound porch on this pretty house ...

I don't particularly care for the color scheme on this house, but I have to admit that it did catch my eye.

I love this charming little house, with its elegant Corinthian columns gracing the porch, and the "fishscale" trim at the top.

And here's another house with "fishscale" trim. I love those huge dormer windows!

Even though we were in a residential area, the traffic was still pretty steady, and it got to be very frustrating for me (and especially for my husband/chauffeur). I kept saying, "Stop! I need a picture of that!" ... and, of course, he couldn't just stop in the middle of the street with cars backed up while I jumped out to take pictures. So, needless to say, I had to leave LOTS of pictures of some really good stuff there in the Natchez Garden District. I did manage to shoot these two pictures (without getting out) while we were stopped at stop signs ...

Everywhere I looked there were pictures just begging to be taken, so perhaps I can go back to Natchez sometime (maybe on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning) when there won't be much traffic, and I can stop at all the places I didn't get to stop Friday. [Sigh] ... So many pictures, so little time!

12 comments:

Jenni said...

Oh wow! Once again you have taken us on a fun and interesting "tour"...

Thanks so much dear Lagniappe Lens!

Especially since the Natchez Trace and her people and homes and "views and vistas" are things that I've really wanted to see for so many years....

racheld said...

Of all the delightful places to visit, and of all the people who travel from a world away---do you know I've never seen Natchez?

It was always, somehow, a faraway place, a never-considered-for-a-weekend place, like California or the Nile.

And I love that the vistas are all GOING somewhere, all beckoning us on into the green tunnels and what's around the next curve.

I DO wonder if Keyhole House has an immense Key for that Keyhole, secreted away somewhere like pirate treasure, and would it be a wind-up key, for a delightful music box, or an OPENING key, to click and slide and lead to other realms?

DO go back soon---I've never seen it, and you're the BEST guide!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

She really was and still is the belle of the River! Lovely, Janie, and I'm glad that you focussed on some of the later Victorians in these shots because they are beautiful and often overlooked due to their famous neighbors of the antebellum period. Natchez is an architectural gem, and I think it is truly one of the prettiest towns in the entire South. Thank you for sharing these shots with us. And I loved seeing the Natchez Trace... that drive is one of my favorites anywhere in the world.

Thank you for sharing! Have missed you and appreciate SO much your sweet comments to me this morning. I hope to be back blogging on a more regular basis.

Love you much...

XO,

Sheila :-)

southerninspiration said...

Oh my hometown! I love Natchez! I want to go home and be a tourist because sometimes as a native you don't take advantage of the things around you! I plan to do that sometime soon!
Thanks for sharing!
Suzanne

Judy said...

Still bringing back those memories of our trip to Natchez last February. Thanks to your suggestions we also ate at Fat Mamas. I wish we didn't live several hours away cause now you've got me wanting to jump in the car and head back to Vicksburg/Natchez/St. Francisville.

Judy

Carolyn said...

Natchez is one of my favorite southern places. I have been several times, but have never eaten at Fat Mama's. With a name like that, it has to be good! Beautiful pictures of some of the many beautiful houses there. I love going on your day trips. Keep taking us along!
Carolyn

Shantybellum said...

Enjoyed your pretty shots of Natchez. You might not have noticed the burn marks near the roof of the house with the Corinthian columns. It caught fire a little over a week ago; most of the damage is in the back.

http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/news/2010/oct/03/fire-damages-house-linton-avenue/

Come back again when it's quieter and you can enjoy a more leisurely visit.

Randy Fought said...

Love the pictures of the houses in Natchez. Balloon Festival weekend is the busiest weekend of the year in Natchez. It is also the last weekend of the Fall Pilgrimage of Antebellum Homes.

Deb said...

great day trip...beautiful photos...

Elizabeth said...

My family went to Vicksburg and Natchez when I was 11. We were living in Memphis at the time (we are originally from NC). I will never forget how beautiful it all was. It was in the Spring during the old homes tours, when many residents were dressed in costume. It was just great.

I love the keyhole house. And the beautiful Corinthian columns on the other house. Wonder about the age of that house.

Thank you for this link!

Soli Photography said...

I loved stumbling onto your blog! I was born in Natchez, moved to Dallas, TX at age two, then back to Natchez my senior year in high school....one sweet girl that befriended me actually lived in this house. It's even more beautiful and unique inside! She would tell me all the stories about the house being haunted and hearing music playing upstairs in the playroom/attic (: Natchez really is a fantastic town, so glad you enjoyed it. Next time go and stay at Bowie's on the river one night....if you get the room with a balcony view over the river make sure it's on a night when they don't have a band playing downstairs (:

Southern Lady said...

Thank you for taking the time to write me about my post on Natchez. It is truly a beautiful and unique town and I never fail to find something new and interesting to photograph on my visits there. I hope you can return for a visit soon.