For a perfect guys’ weekend, you need a place where the rules are a little different. A place where you can spend your day sipping a beer and shooting sporting clays over a river. Then spend your night drinking without concern for a closing time.
But in this era, you also need a place with wide open spaces, where you can play like you were kids, then party like adults. Where you can eat pasta and burgers and tamales the size of your head. And wash it all down with a Knock You Naked Margarita. You need safety. You need fun. And you need a place where boys can be boys with nobody standing between you and a good time.
Fellas, that place is Natchez, Mississippi. Not just because it’s a riverside town with a rough-and-tumble pedigree. But because it’s a place that won’t ever limit your fun, and offers more to do in a small city than places ten times its size.
Outdoor redneck adventures you’ll never have back home
Perhaps you and your friends have never heard of noodling or frog gigging. Maybe you’ve never gone turkey hunting in thick pine forests or shot sporting clays over a tranquil river. And you may never have done it all while sipping an ice cold daiquiri you scored from a drive-thru liquor store. These are the kinds of distanced, outdoor adventures your crew will experience when you link up with Jim Bob Allgood and his Redneck Adventures.
Whether you’re looking for a simple fishing trip, or want to try grabbing catfish with your bare hands, Jim Bob will show you how to do it like a pro. Wanna trap shoot over the swamp? Jim Bob brings the guns and ammo, you just need to pick up the drinks. You and your boys can spend the day blasting clays and talking trash, with nobody telling you to stop until your shoulder gets sore. All of it outside and free from concerns about large crowds.
Drink without ever having to look at the time
Drinking in Natchez is another adventure entirely. The first time I came to town, I asked the owner of the Under the Hill Saloon what time the bars closed.
“Whenever we feel like it!” he yelled with a hearty slap on the back. “I think tonight, that’ll be pretty late.”
His bar is the city’s most historic, set in the Under the Hill historic neighborhood that was once a hotspot of gamblers, thieves, hustlers, and ladies of the night set to separate them from their money. The place has cleaned up since then, but the devil-may-care spirit lives on. Granted, all of Natchez’s bars follow CDC protocols with masks and limited capacity. But none of those protocols include a closing time.
You can find just as much fun up the hill too.Smoot’s Grocery is a converted juke joint that’s now Natchez’s best place for live music. It brings back the rock and blues vibe that fueled Mississippi nights in years gone by, a shining example of live music living on during the pandemic., Proper distancing and smaller, seated audiences allow Smoot’s to showcase some of Mississippi’s best bands, all while keeping their customers safe.
It’s not all historic saloons and juke joints in Natchez, though. If your crew wants something a little more sophisticated (and outdoors) you can toast cocktails at the new rooftop bar atop Natchez Manor. Here you’ll enjoy the city’s top best cocktails overlooking historic downtown, with glorious open air and safely distanced crowds.
And if you want a classic dive where you can meet locals who’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the city, stop into the Corner Bar on Canal Street. Everyone in place will know you’re new in town from the second you walk in, but they’ll welcome you like you’ve been going there for years.
No rules eating for three solid days
The word “calorie” and “carb” shouldn’t even be in the vocabulary of a good guys’ weekend, and for meals your scale can worry about on Monday Natchez has you covered. If you manage to start your weekend early, hit The Kitchen for Thursday Bourbon and Burger night. Your crew can belly up to the bar and experience a mouth-stretching burger, seared in bacon fat and topped with bacon and caramelized onions. Pair it with a special bourbon of the week, and then teach you all about the booze before you sip it alongside the black angus masterpiece.
No trip to Natchez is complete with a trip to Fat Mama’s, home of the Knock you Naked Margarita. Please note, that while the rules may be a little different in Natchez, you are not, in fact, allowed to take this drink’s name literally. So no matter how many you have, please remember this is not sophomore year spring break in Cabo. And you’ll need to keep your clothes on. Still, the drinks are strong and the frito pie is even better, so don’t hold back when you order.
For group dinners where you’ll feel a little more like grown men, head back Under the Hill to The Camp and Magnolia Grill. Both spots offer spectacular views of the Mississippi, and plate food just as good as you’d find further down river in New Orleans. Fried green tomatoes are a must at Magnolia, and if you’re not already burgered out from The Kitchen, the Camp Burger can make a case as the best in town.
Watching sports while you win back the cost of your trip
If your crew likes to play the tables, and watch sports with the added excitement of money on the line, there’s no need to drop a mortgage payment and go to Vegas. Natchez has the Magnolia Bluffs Casino, which in addition to all your favorite table and card games also boasts the best sports book in Mississippi. It’s another way Natchez lets your group do things you might not be able to back home. Even if it does mean you end up rooting for points instead of teams.
A guys’ weekend in Natchez is an escape to a world without the confines of home. It’s a place to play in the woods like you’re all kids again, then finish off the night like legitimate, over-21 adults. You can eat without concern, drink without time restraints, and play without anyone telling you to come inside for dinner. And by the end of the weekend, you might not feel better. But you’ll definitely feel younger.