Darby and Dennis Short have a front row seat to watch all the action going on in downtown Natchez. From the balcony of their apartment overlooking Main Street, they can enjoy all the sights and sounds of the busy and fun-filled holiday season.
Overlooking the city, the first view of the bell tower St. Mary’s CathedralBathed in late fall sunshine, it stands like a beacon for miles around, urging visitors and friends to gather where all the fun happens. Starting at noon on November 13, with a holiday home open in downtown stores and ending on King’s Day, January 6, 2023, with a festive dinner, Natchez offers near-non-stop holiday entertainment to satiate one’s desire for festive Christmas fare and crap.
Make plans for a post-Turkey day to attend the official lighting of the Christmas tree at Natchez, which is prominently located at the intersection of major thoroughfares and business boulevards in the heart of downtown. The event, which takes place at 6 p.m., November 26, features lights, music, and fireworks and launches the holiday community with plenty of fanfare. It’s an old-fashioned tradition and Natchez pulls it off with style.
A MUST SEE is the home tour sponsored by Natchez Garden Club. Six historic private homes are open to wander and some feature candlelit dinners and tours. Sunnyside offers great dinner events on special dates, and the Victorian décor of Magnolia Hall is not to be missed. The towers boast a tree in every room, decorated with ancient jewels sparkling from every bough. A progressive candlelight tour of Choctaw and Myrtle Terrace on December 9 will set the perfect mood for enjoying the holiday. Tours include homes that aren’t usually open to the public, such as Thomas Stanforth’s house, whose simple, festively decorated exterior contrasts with the palatial, tasteful rooms inside.
The coronation event on January 6th ends the season with dinner at 7 p.m. at Myrtle Terrace. Find tour dates and times on the Natchez Garden Club Christmas Tour Facebook page or at www.visitnatchez.org.
The annual Christmas Parade takes place on the evening of December 3 in downtown Natchez, along Franklin and Rankin Streets and Main Streets. “A Storybook Christmas” is this year’s theme. Santa makes a sensational debut, ending the show with an actor from the raucous, fun-loving “Santa Club”. If you know, you know - so you should go see this for yourself. Definitely don’t leave early!
Darby It’s become a destination for visitors and locals alike, looking for unique clothing, gifts, and Mississippi-inspired food—cheese straws are a delicacy. They’ve expanded their retail empire, nestled among several buildings on Main Street, to include upscale home décor, such as antique rugs, specialized lighting, designer pillows, and original artwork. Don’t leave Darby’s without getting their namesake dessert, made fresh daily with many unique flavours.
Adding to the downtown retail scene is gorgeous and eccentric olivinaIt includes gifts, clothing and decor items to delight children and adults alike.
Natchez Olive MarkT is full of delicious goods like artisan bread, hard-to-find cheeses, and an amazing selection of olives and olive oils.
The next station is LiveFranklin Street, the store where you’ll find the most beautiful plants, orchids, and fresh and luxurious flowers. Hal Garner at Nest, a vintage store, continues to offer the best cutlery available curated by John Grady Burns. As a gifted gift to the Natchez community, Burns continues the tradition started by Hal Garner decades ago of providing brides and hostesses in the area with choices from United, Haviland, and Juleska, to name a few.
Taste the Natchez
Start your visit to Bluff City with brunch at a restaurant a little easy, near the river, where you can sit outside and enjoy the city atmosphere. For lunch, chiefunder the hillAlong the riverbanks to campground, it offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and a huge menu serving delicious sandwiches, tacos and salads.
stops at Fat mamas On South Canal Street for margaritas and tamales, a Mississippi culinary tradition. Book in advance for fine dining at the castle Restaurant, located in Denlith, or have dinner and drinks around the piano bar at Kitchen On the main street.
The newcomer to the food scene is Frankie On Maine, described as New York meets New Orleans in “Little Easy.”
It is not too late this year for accommodations in the city as there are many hospitable hostels and plenty of short-term accommodation available. As always, the Grand Hotel is reliable and well located within walking distance of everything you want to do during your visit.
Denlith And the Monmouth The mansions, to name a few, offer a bed and breakfast experience, but the rooms sell out quickly. VRBO and Airbnb are great sources for short-term stays like Dixon at 514 Main, perfect for a large gathering.
Like Hallmark Christmas
Natchez is a favorite and easily accessible destination for people throughout Louisiana. It’s like the Christmas season in a Hallmark movie. In fact, it was the setting for one of the network’s namesake holiday movies in 2021. The producers discovered the beautiful, historical city and fell in love with its people while filming there.
Finding a better place in the South to get in the holiday spirit is tough.