Greenwood, Natchez and the Mississippi Gulf Coast welcome girls-only groups with unique itineraries and a warm reception
Celebrating its bicentennial in 2017, Mississippi has been rolling out the red carpet to visitors all year. Long before the special observance, destinations in the Magnolia State were welcoming ladies’ groups with itineraries based on their interests. Here are three places to get you started.
There’s no better way to begin your coast getaway than dinner featuring fresh-caught seafood, even if your choice is a steak smoth-ered with local crabmeat. From fine dining to local dives, there’s sure to be a spot that satisfies your taste buds. Complete your evening at a music club or with entertainment and gaming at one of a dozen casinos.
Let your creativity flow at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi. Works by George E. Ohr, the self-proclaimed “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” is featured along with rotating exhibits. Take a walk in the Rue Magnolia Arts District, which has galleries, gift shops and a craft center to fill your morning. After lunch enjoy a relaxing afternoon sailing on the Biloxi Schooners. Later, there’s a chance to show off your hidden originality. A few bottles of wine and a private event at Cocktails and Canvas or BYOB Brush are perfect.
The coast offers ample experiences to fill your adventure time. Consider kayaking the Davis Bayou or Pascagoula River or guided tours deep into the bayous. Test your skill at stand-up paddleboarding along the beaches. Visit a gator ranch and cuddle a baby gator followed by an exciting airboat ride into the marshland. How about a day of deep-sea fishing? The captain and crew will do all the work and even recommend a restaurant that will prepare your catch.
Quiet time is always needed. Maybe you’re perfectly satisfied catching some sun on coast beaches. Perhaps renting a cabana at one of the casino resorts is more to your liking. The preferred choice of many ladies is a visit to a luxurious spa for a calming and restorative treatment. You’ll find most every service, from massages and aromatherapy to wraps and facials available. Relax. You’re at the coast.(gulfcoast.org)
Located about 100 miles from Jackson, Greenwood sits on the eastern edge of the Mississippi Delta. Blues music and movie-site touring, cooking and rejuvenating spa experi-ences continue to attract girlfriend getaways.
Arrive in Greenwood early enough to do a driving tour of the eight markers on the Mississippi Blues Trail in Leflore County. The story of Baptist Town is one of Greenwood’s oldest African-American communities and the legendary blues singers who passed through. Blues Deejays tells of the radio disc jockeys who were responsible for the spread of the blues. Again, you’re part of blues history when you view the sign for Elks Hart Lodge No. 640, an important venue for rhythm and blues from 1940 through 1960. The WGRM Radio Studio broadcast gospel in the 1940s and often featured Riley King on guitar. Later in Memphis, Riley became known as B. B. King.
Grab lunch at the Crystal Grill. The building may be old, but it’s well maintained and the food is nothing short of delicious. Most say it’s the coconut pie that keeps them coming back. Take a few hours in the afternoon for The Help Driving Tour. Filmed in Greenwood, The Help garnered numerous awards, including a 2012 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role to Octavia Spencer. The tour takes you to filming locations and favorite spots of the cast and crew.
This evening, class is open at the most pleasurable school around, Viking Cooking School. Even if you feel cooking isn’t your thing, you’ll leave with ideas for entertaining and an appreciation of great food. The three-hour Culinary Basic workshops are perfect for visitors.
Begin your second day in Greenwood with a visit to the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, which explores art, archaeology, agriculture, antiques and animals. Take a moment before entering the building to study the Robert Whitfield mural that spans the front. Before departing Greenwood, enjoy lunch and a relaxing spa treatment at The Alluvian Spa. Its popular “Girlfriend Getaway” package consists of three hours of treatment while enjoying each other’s company.
While Mississippi is commemorating its bicentennial year of statehood, Natchez, Mississippi’s first state capital, has just completed its tricentennial celebration. The city’s antebellum architecture and historic homes are perfect for history buffs and lend themselves to a special girlfriends getaway.
Progressive dinners at antebellum homes, with a different course (appetizer, entree and dessert) at each, have become a popular evening option. Due to time restraints, the evening includes a scaled-down tour of the house. Each house on the rotation is able to provide any course, which is often left to the group’s preference.
Along with being a favorite stop on progressive dinners, The Towers offers two special tours: “The Haunting of The Towers,” a tour of the paranormal, and “The Jeweled Christmas at The Towers.” The later was named by USA Today as one of the 10 most unusual displays in the United States. Natchez Specialties does the catering for owner Ginger Garland.
Choctaw Hall was built around 1836, and today’s owners David Garner and Lee Glover were charmed at first sight while in Natchez looking for a weekend cottage. Purchased in March 2014, Choctaw Hall is now a popular event venue and part of Natchez Pilgrimage Tours. The owners do the cooking themselves.
Magnolia Hall was the last of the great Natchez mansions to be completed before the Civil War. Although occupied by the Union Army, Natchez was not strategic, saw limited engagements and its architecture survived. Today, the Natchez Garden Club owns Magnolia Hall. Natchez Specialties handles the catering. On the tour take note of the doll collection and a unique pilgrimage costume.
A lovely evening deserves a nightcap and the Linden is the perfect spot. Current owners the Feltus family are the sixth generation on the property. Jeanette Feltus is well known for her very own Natchez Brandy Milk Punch, served with cheese straws. One interesting side note states that the door on Tara from Gone With the Wind was modeled after the front door of the Linden. Yes, there’s a Gone With the Wind tour.
Begin planning your getaway with Visit Natchez, visitnatchez.org.