Take some time to tour your hometown
By Jennie Guido/columnist
One thing I’ve learned since joining the team at Monmouth Historic Inn is that you need to know Natchez well. Luckily, I’ve got some experience when it comes to the nooks and crannies of downtown; and I know a thing or two about great places to stop going and coming to Natchez, too.
Guests are always asking where to eat lunch, what’s the must-see place, can I walk around downtown, what time is sunset, and what’s your favorite place as a local.
That makes a good point. As locals, we know this place better than anyone. Guests come here from all overlooking for an experience unlike any other, and Natchez is the perfect place to find just that. When I’m working with a guest, I have three insider tips to Natchez that I like to offer during their time with us.
The most obvious adventure to me is a trip to the Natchez City Cemetery. Even though “Angels on the Bluff” is only one weekend a year, the cemetery is open all year round. With the option of a self-guided tour, guests can easily spend as much time as they would like wandering the grounds and taking in the history.
If you run into Adam Gwin around town, ask him what parts of the cemetery he likes best. He knows that history like the back of his hand. Personally, I like to suggest heading back to Catholic Hill and seeing the many bishops buried here while Natchez was the seat of the Diocese. I also like to recommend the Jewish cemetery since those graves have such detail and interesting heritage.
Another excursion I suggest is the Natchez Trails throughout downtown. There is so much history packed into a quick walk around our one-way streets that you can feel like a local. Of course, walking the trail along the bluff and riverfront makes for a fantastic scenic view and quite the front-row seat for the sunset. If you follow Natchez Inc.’s executive director, Chandler Russ, you will see that he is no stranger to these sunsets and shares them with us as often as possible.
Finally, I also tell people to visit St. Mary Basilica. While I may take it for granted because I’ve spent my entire life inside that sanctuary and experienced so many milestones in those pews, for an out-of-towner, just walking in the door from the vestibule is breathtaking. After the renovation in the early 2000s, I will admit I spent many-a homilies staring at the ceiling. The artwork is phenomenal. The stained glass is full of history. The grandeur of the entire Cathedral is like nothing in Mississippi.
So, take some time, get out, and be a tourist in your hometown. Find those hidden gems to share with someone you meet having a beer at Natchez Brewery or grabbing something sweet at Rolling in the Dough. They will appreciate what we take for granted daily, and you will have made a mark on their trip to Natchez.
Jennie Guido is a community columnist for The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.