If you like architecture and/or southern U.S. history Natchez is a must see. I was there for the Spring Pilgrimage 2013. My companion and I mixed six of the Pilgrimage home tours (private homes open only during Pilgrimage) with visits to three of several plantation homes that are open all year round. (We saw Longwood, Melrose and Stanton Hall.)
The people giving tours of the private homes seemed delighted to spend time with visitors and to answer our questions. The current owners of The Burn gave a stand-out tour on a miserable, rainy afternoon to a large group of people.
My least favorite experience was seeing Stanton Hall. The house is fabulous but our guides were bored and curt-- one was a total smart aleck. We were there in early afternoon and there were only four people in our group. What should have been a fun, personalized tour was rude and rushed. I wish I had asked for a refund. By contrast at Melrose and Longwood we had wonderful tours. Melrose is run by the National Park Service. Longwood and Stanton Hall are both run by The Pilgrimage Garden Club so I don't understand the disparity in the quality of those two tours.
Another fun outing was Frogmore Plantation across the MS River in Vidialla LA. The farm is a group of old plantation outbuildings (slave quarters, cotton gin, kitchen, etc) lovingly collected by the owners of Frogmore. Their tour gives information about the hard lives of the slaves and the growing/harvesting of cotton in the 1800's. It was interesting to contrast the stark homes of the slaves with the opulent plantation homes. Overall, I highly recommend a visit to Natchez!
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