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Established first as a French fort site overlooking the Mississippi River in 1716, then laid out as a new town by the Spanish in the 1790s, Natchez became part of the United States with the establishment of the Mississippi Territory in 1798 and served as the first capital for the new State of Mississippi in 1817.
Mild climate and rich soil brought planters to the area, who made their fortunes in cotton and slaves and built one of the South's most charming cities. A place resplendent with natural beauty, Natchez is perched over 200 feet above the Mississippi River, with 30-mile views along the river both north and south. Today, it's a thriving location for Mississippi tourism.
Because Natchez did not hold a strategic position during the Civil War, it was spared much of the damage other cities suffered and remains home to more than 600 examples of antebellum architecture — more than any other city in the South. These homes and buildings, along with historic churches and other heritage sites, make Natchez a treasure trove for history buffs.
Of course, it is also the namesake for the Natchez Trace, the centuries-old, 444-mile path from Natchez to Nashville, long used by American Indians before becoming a U.S. thoroughfare. Today the Natchez Trace Parkway provides beautiful picnic areas, the rare Emerald Mound burial ground, and the historic Mount Locust Inn, all just a few minutes' drive from downtown Natchez.
But Natchez is more than history. It's what you love about South — easy elegance and casual charm, true hospitality, lush gardens and moss-covered oaks and delicious down-home fare — with the attractions of a great small city: a state-of-the-art convention center and spacious meeting venues, shopping, nightlife and gaming, a safe, walkable downtown, and a rich cultural scene.
Located inside the Natchez Visitor's Center on Canal Street, the Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau can provide you with Mississippi tourism information and the history of Natchez and its surrounding areas. If you're planning a convention or corporate retreat and need a site that combines excellent pricing with great facilities and services, we will personally show you how Natchez can meet your meeting needs.
If you're planning a wedding, we will connect you with some of the best caterers, florists, entertainment, photographers, and other wedding necessities south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you are after a romantic escape, group tour or just a girlfriend getaway, give us a call, and we will help you book the ideal hotel or bed and breakfast. And whatever your plans, drop in for a friendly crash course on local lingo — you will be talking like a Natchez native in no time!