Love stories abound on the Natchez Trace Parkway, thanks to
romantic getaways and gifts, and settings that set the heart afire.
The history of love affairs on the Natchez Trace is long and documented. Future President Andrew Jackson and his new bride Rachel Donelson Robards enjoyed a rustic Trace honeymoon, sharing a blanket under the stars—a fact that would feed the fires of scandal after it was revealed that during the honeymoon Rachel had still been legally married to another man! On the run from charges of treason, former Vice President Aaron Burr tarried for two long days in Natchez romancing an attractive widow. Only when he realized his beloved Madelyn would never marry him did he finally flee the territory.
But then it’s no wonder people have a way of falling in love here, on a road blessed with natural beauty and inviting spots for heart-to-heart moments, where the possibility of romance seems to bloom around every bend. Hollywood fell in love and shot a blockbuster romance here; the romantic image of the Trace highwayman inspired Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Eudora Welty’s famous tale of The Robber Bridegroom, and today brides and grooms and couples at every stage still find all the elements for their own classic love story right here on the Parkway.
Romantic backdrops are everywhere on the Parkway, perfect spots to steal a kiss or pop the question. Couples can choose from literally hundreds of settings to create their own romantic moments, such as:
- A nighttime carriage ride through antebellum Natchez, now one of the Southeast’s most popular choices for destination weddings.
- An intimate walk under the moss-draped canopy of the darkly beautiful Cypress Swamp.
- A sail into the sunset on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, or a scenic perusal through the exquisite crafts at the Mississippi Crafts Center, overlooking the Reservoir.
- A stroll among the art at the Mississippi Museum of Art, or Nashville’s Frist Center for Visual Arts.
- A rendezvous at the Ruins of Windsor, with its 23 elegant and ghostly columns, which set the scene for the cinematic passion of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in the classic movie Raintree County.
With Hollywood-ready scenery very nearly as beautiful and unspoiled as it was in Andrew and Rachel Jackson’s day, sharing a blanket under the stars is still a romantic possibility in any of the many campgrounds on and around the Parkway. However, for those who prefer sleeping in the great indoors, Parkway lodging offers a variety of welcoming options, everything from charming B&B’s to four-star hotels with a wide range of choices in between. Dining is equally varied and sumptuous.
Shopping to woo and win:
From Natchez to Nashville, the Parkway unrolls an unrivalled retail adventure, with venues ranging from charming town squares to big city boutiques and all manner of emporiums in between, so that finding the gift to win a true love’s heart is so simple, and simply delightful, that shopping here is a great couples activity. In Ridgeland alone, variety is the spice of life and love, with choices such as:
- Mississippi Crafts Center, offering one-of-a-kind creations made by the artisans and craftsmen of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi.
- The Antique Mall of the South, the second largest antiques mall in the state.
- Northpark, Mississippi’s largest indoor mall, and Ridgewood Court, its sister center only a minutes away.
- Renaissance at Colony Park, offering premier brands in a European style village, welcoming visitors with fountains, outdoor cafes, benches and attractive green spaces.
- The Township at Colony Park, offering the latest in shopping and dining with the charm and friendliness of an old-fashioned neighborhood, in Mississippi’s most outstanding example of New Urbanism.
Getaways for getting closer:
- City lights or small town escapes—Whether the excitement of Nashville or the Clinton-Jackson-Ridgeland area, or the charm of communities like Natchez or the Shoals cities, the Parkway lets couples get away in just the right style.
- Rendezvous with history–Historic districts, landmarks and sites are an integral part of the Parkway experience, from the antebellum mansions of Natchez to Nashville’s Hermitage, the historic home of those scandalous honeymooners, Mr. and the not-quite-Mrs. Jackson. Major Civil War battles sites and Native American sites run the entire length of the route. Exploring vital and exciting national history is a great way for couples to create their own personal histories and special memories.
- Outdoor adventures–From the Spanish moss of Natchez to the gently rolling hills of Nashville, the Trace welcomes couples with an ever-changing array of breath-taking vistas , so that even a leisurely drive down the Trace is an experience to savor, an opportunity to recharge together. With over 60 miles of National Scenic Trail, and 52 different hiking, nature and horse trails, couples also enjoy almost 100 miles to roam, soaking up the splendid scenery on foot, bicycles (for two, if you like!) and horseback. And when it comes to the birds and the bees, the Trace has them, too: approximately 150 types of birds and 350 different types of wildlife, including at least 22 federally listed threatened or endangered species.
Famously, a poet once said, “How do I love you? Let me count the ways.” When it comes to the Natchez Trace Parkway, today’s couples—like the famous ones before them—are writing their own love stories, finding the romantic possibilities endless and irresistible.
FOR VISITOR INFORMATION: 866-TRACE 56