Saturday, August 3, 2019

Exploring Natchez Mississippi


We had been to the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace several times but never to the southern terminus so decided it was a trip we must make.  I love riding the Natchez Trace!  So up at the crack of 7:30 am we showered, dressed and loaded the bikes.  Out the door by 9:00 am and it was already HOT!  We quickly gassed up the bikes and jumped on the Trace for a leisurely 250 mile ride to Natchez, MS.  Our plan was to spend a few days there and explore the historic town.

As usual, the Trace did not disappoint.  The weather was fantastic, sunny and warm.  As long as we were moving it didn't seem so hot.  Our high temp for the day was 91.5 and our high speed for the day was 53, lol.  (No, we did hit freeway speeds for one mile when we stopped for lunch off the Trace).

After an hour or so we took our first rest at Pigeon Roost.

We stopped for a lunch break in Ridgeland, MS at a restaurant called Another Broken Egg.  Yummy!  Eric had the Louisiana Crawfish Skillet that had scrambled eggs, crawfish tails, andouille sausage, onions, red peppers, country potatoes and jack cheese with an English muffin and I had French Toast, scrambled egg and the BEST BACON EVER!!!  We both agreed that we would definitely eat here again!  Another Broken Egg

 It was just a picture perfect day.  Little to no traffic on the Trace made for a wonderful ride.  Both our bikes were running like tops.  Yes the 50 mph speed limit was kind of a bummer but heck, we weren't in a hurry and the scenery was glorious.  We saw several rafters of turkeys, a turtle, a dead deer and a live dear.  Our second rest stop on the Trace was at Holly Hill.

Back on the Trace we journeyed further south.  We made another stop at Rocky Springs and had a good laugh that the facility was locked up tight.  No potty break here!

Eventually we came to the southern terminal of the Trace and into the town of Natchez.  We only had a mile or two of riding before we came to our hotel, the Natchez Grand Hotel.  Situated just above the Mississippi River, it's an iconic Natchez hotel.  Natchez Grand Hotel.  Fancy!

Oh my, what a nice place!  I admit, I splurged on this.  We got a good package deal with a room upgrade to a King Suite with River View Balcony(s).  Wow, what a score!  Entrance hall shows the lovely kitchen area leading to the desk and dining area.
 Ohhhhh, plush robes in the closet!
 King bed in a separate room with doors leading to the front balcony.

Super large bathroom with double vanity!

 Generous living room with doors to the side balcony and front balcony!  Yes TWO balconies!!

 View from the front balcony overlooking the great Mississippi River!
 View from the side balcony with street view.
 Another couple views from the front balcony.

 Yes, it was a wonderful room and we were going to spend two nights here!  Yippee!

Now off to dinner!  We debated where to eat and decided to check out the local Magnolia Bluffs Casino and called for their shuttle.  When we got to the casino, well, we were a bit disappointed. It was very small and the only dining option for a Monday night was the buffet.  They have a nice steakhouse and a bistro but neither were open.  It was getting late and neither of us wanted to search further so to the buffet it was.  Ummmm…..I don’t generally like buffets and this was one of the worst buffets I’ve ever seen.  GACK! Fried chicken, fried fish, fried everything.  No green veggies, except for salad which I did have.  Lots of southern fried everything.  No carving station, no pasta station, not even any pizza, lol.  No shrimp or crab.  Only one style of dinner roll.  BLECK!  Oh well, Eric managed to win enough at the slots to cover one of the $17 buffets. Magnolia Bluffs Casino

We decided to walk back to the hotel.  It was a LONG, STEEP climb to the top of the hill and back to our hotel.  Got our exercise today, lol.

Tomorrow we're going to to the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour and stop at all the places to see and do in Natchez!  Stay tuned :-)


We both had a bit of a fitful night and got up around 7:30 am to attack the day.  However, the day was attacking us with RAIN.

No problem, we’ll have brekkie and wait a bit before getting our Hop On Hop Off bus tickets.  A decent breakfast was served at our hotel and included in our room fee so we enjoyed that.  While we were eating it rained even harder.  Oh well, we’ll go up to our room and get ready for a day out.  I decided I wanted to take my umbrella and hat both of which were out on the bike so back downstairs we went.  Unfortunately, when we went outside it poured even harder!  So hard you couldn’t see across the street!  YIKES.  We’ll wait a bit….so back into the lobby to inquire about the Hop On Hop Off bus tickets.  Oh, so sorry, no bus today because of the rain.  Well crap!  Guess we’ll have to walk.  In the rain.

Lol, we waited a bit longer and decided to finally just go.  Eric had a rain jacket and ball cap and I had my fleece, ball cap and umbrella.  From the map given to us by the receptionist, it didn’t look like the Natchez Visitor Center was too far so that’s where we headed.  In the rain.  Now, keep in mind neither of us had closed shoes.  I had on my Keens and Eric had Tevas so in no time at all our feet were wet.  No problem, it was pretty warm.  However, after about two blocks my capris were soaked in the front and plastered to my skin.  Eric in his shorts didn’t fare much better.  And still we trudged on toward the Visitor Center. 

We passed the Rosalie Mansion which we wanted to visit on our return from the Visitor Center.  We kept walking through puddles and tried to avoid getting big splashes from passing traffic.  Goodness, where was that damn Visitor Center?  Finally, we saw a sign and after another few blocks we arrived dripping wet.  It was so nice to go inside.  This was quite an adventure!

The Natchez Visitor Center was very nicely laid out with exhibits and info stations.  We probably spent close to two hours reading through the exhibits and history of Natchez. Of course, by then my pants had pretty much dried as had Eric’s and best of all, it quit raining!!!  Yippee!

Re-tracing our steps we headed back toward the Rosalie Mansion only to find out it was closed from noon to 1 pm for lunch.  Okay, we went passed the mansion on to Silver Street to descend down to the area known as Under the Hill which was the original beginning of Natchez.  A spot down along the river when the boats landed, saloons were plentiful, lowlife thrived, brothels were the norm and life was just generally seedy.  Now, Under the Hill is a touristy little place with two restaurants, a saloon, and gift shop.

We opted to have lunch at The Camp, a small pub with outstanding food.  They offer a nice selection but we were both thrilled that they offered their full size sandwiches and burgers in a slider size, win/win!  The food was excellent and we truly enjoyed our lunch (unlike the previous night’s casino buffet, lol!). The Camp Restaurant

After lunch we took a look at the other businesses there.  The Under the Hill Saloon is the oldest saloon on the Mississippi River and was a treat to explore.  UTHS  The place was packed with "stuff" and had several rooms, each unique.  No food except chips and nuts but plenty of booze with live music several nights a week.  Obviously a popular place!

 Some locals enjoying an afternoon beverage.

 Restrooms .... ummmm...I'll pass thanks :-)

 Oh surprise, an atrium!

We also peeked at the gift shop before the LONG, STEEP trek up the hill back to the Rosalie Mansion.   By now, the sun was actually trying to come out and it was heating up quickly.  We were relatively dry but now we were going to fight sweat rather than rain, hahahaha.  This photo shows how much water fell from the sky in a short period. This puddle was at least two feet deep!
Cloudy skies over the mighty Mississippi.  However, the clouds were starting to break up and the rain quit for the day, hooray! 

We finally arrived at our destination, the Rosalie Mansion!

We checked in at the Mansion gift shop to purchase our tour tickets and had a 15 minute wait before the tour began.  What an impressive, lovely antebellum mansion with a storied history.  Fortunately, because of the rain I’m sure, our tour only had six other people making for an intimate viewing of the mansion.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and made everything interesting for us.  Our group behaved nicely and everyone had the opportunity to see all the exhibits.  No photos allowed inside but you can go to Rosalie Mansion to see more of the mansion.  We thoroughly enjoyed this tour although it was a bit expensive at $15 per person.  

View from the upstairs balcony of the Mansion.  Exquisite grounds and views!

This bell was hidden in the gardens!

We took a different street back toward the hotel and passed several historic landmarks and buildings.  Sorry, didn't take any photos but I did spy this piggy and took pictures ;-)

Although we didn't eat here we could smell the bbq and boy oh boy was it smelling awesome!

It was now pressing 3:30 or so and both of us had tired feet and hips. Time to take a break and have a cocktail or two.  So back to the room for us to rest up a bit (hey, I’m a retired senior citizen, I need rest, lol.)  Wish I had thought to turn on my phone walking app.  Not sure how many miles we walked but it was plenty and lots of downhill – uphill trekking.  It felt soooooooo good to take off my wet shoes and put on my flip flops!

Although we were very disappointed the Hop On Hop Off bus was cancelled, we still managed to see some of the highlights that were on our agenda.  We didn’t get to see and do all but then you never do.  Perhaps a good reason for a return visit sometime.  We’ll rest up a bit and then go out and walk around some more, find dinner and call it a night.

Well, lucky us, the restaurant across the street, 100 Main, is open tonight (was closed yesterday) and so dinner for us was just a quick walk across the street!  It was a rather trendy, pub type place with plenty of activity.  We scored on a patio table where the noise level was acceptable and ordered drinks!  

 And then dinner!  We shared a grilled chicken/bacon sandwich and salad.  It was delish!

Tomorrow is the return home via the Natchez Trace.  Hoping the weather is nice to us!

Stay tuned to find out :-)


Morning dawned and we eased out of bed after a good night's sleep.  It was sunny!  And, getting warm quickly.  We went down to brekkie and the room was full.  Last night two tour buses had arrived full of peeps and they were all hungry this morning!  Oh well, we weren't in a hurry and took our time.  Back upstairs we packed our belonging and made two trips down to the bikes to get them all packed and ready to roll.

We left around 10 am and our first stop was for fuel.  Then, after a booboo (technical term for going the wrong way) we corrected and hopped back on the Natchez Trace for the leisurely ride home.

Our first stop was at the Lower Chocktaw Boundary.

 We then stopped at the Parkway Information Cabin just north of Jackson.  It was closed and only open on Friday and Saturday.  Cool place to stop!

 Then we made a stop at River Bend.  Wow, what a treat!  Beautiful rest stop and campground right on the Pearl River just north of the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir.  If I were camping, I'd definitely stay here!

 By now it was way past lunch time and our tummies were growling.  A quick peek at the GPS showed some eateries in Kosciusko, MS just a mile off the Trace so that's where we headed.  We had a choice of a Chinese Buffet (remember how much I like buffets?), Pizza Hut or The Old Trace Grill.  I voted for the grill so that's where we went.  Well, because that's how my honey rolls.  He likes me to be happy :-)

And happy we were!  Just entering the driveway I could see the parking lot was clean, the lawn well cared for and everything was tidy.  That's what I like to see ;-)

Eric ordered our lunch...
 While I snapped a few photos of the interior.  Sorry, forgot to take food pics but it was wonderful and we will definitely stop here again.  Generous portions of well cooked food and pleasant owners!  Win/win!  Old Trace Grill

 Back on the bikes we returned to the Trace for the last leg home.  We encountered a few thunderstorms which was welcoming because it had become very hot and humid.  We stayed dry in our gear and had no issues.  Our final stop before home was the Line Creek pullout.


And then, just like that, we were home.  Barely 5 pm and just in time for evening cocktails!  It was a delightful adventure and we got to explore a bit of Natchez.  We will go back another time to see the things we missed on this trip.  It's always a treat to ride the Natchez Trace.  Yes, I know it's slow, only 50 mph, but it is so beautiful, serene, peaceful, scenic, etc., etc.  I love it!  Each time we ride the Trace we stop at new pullouts and rest stops and we have plenty more to explore.

Our total trip was only about 550 miles round trip plus the million or so miles we spent walking in the rain, lol.  It was just a lovely adventure.

So what's next you ask?  Well, do stay tuned because Sunday, August 4, we are off on another adventure that I suspect might last three weeks.  I'll try to post as we have internet!

As always, thanks for following.



  1. Nice little adventure! Experiment with Uber or Lyft for a ride next time!

  2. Thanks! No Uber or Lyft in Natchez :-( We've used Uber in the past when on bike trips and we wanted to go to dinner or whatever and not ride the bikes!