We took a trip that combined equal parts outdoor adventure, fascinating history and nature sightseeing. We drove the Natchez Trace Parkway from bottom to top.
It was the best vacation we've ever had - I'm just going to get that out right from the start. With a passel of active boys, parents that are addicted to history, and a budget that begged to spend less on vacation and more on house projects this year, this was the trip that satisfied all interested parties.
Having never heard of the Natchez Trace Parkway until I stumbled upon a brochure in the Welcome Center in Natchez National Park, I did a ton of research before our trip. There were lots of recommendations about where to find cute shopping spots, great food and local events. But with five active kids and kosher dietary restrictions, I knew that the elements that attracted RV caravans of retirees wouldn't be the features we were looking for. After hours of research, I had yet to find a pre-charted path that would accommodate a camping family.
So, here you go: I've compiled a complete itinerary, perfect for the family that calls it a good day when they've seen something new and beautiful, and walked beside historic footprints and marveled at flora and fauna...and doesn't want to spend a wad of cash.
Destination: Natchez State Park
Distance: 2.5 hour drive
Soundtrack: Can You Canoe? by the Okee Dokee Brothers
We picked a week in early April and it was perfect. Dogwood blooming, wildflowers lining the road, not too hot...Early spring is definitely the time to go!
Day one was a Sunday and we spent the better part of the day packing, making it to Natchez State Park in time to pitch our tent and roll into bed just as it got dark. We'd wake up just a few miles from the southern terminus and be ready for a full day of fun ahead of us.
We picked a spot in the RV campground. We hadn't reserved one ahead of time, and there was only one spot left. Since the terrain is quite hilly, it was a little bit of a gamble whether we would be able to find spot big and flat enough to accommodate our giant tent. Thankfully, it worked out fine. The campground is very pleasant: a clean bathhouse (with warm and roomy showers), laundry facilities, a nature trail that started right around the corner from our campsite, and my phone had a signal.
If you don't know what the Nachez Trace Parkway is all about, check out the video below because if a picture is worth a thousand words, a good video is worth a bajillion of them.
Stay tuned for Day 2 of our Natchez Trace Parkway adventure! Did you ever chance a vacation at a spot you weren't exactly sure you'd like? How did it turn out? Sharing is caring! Leave a comment and tell me about it. :)
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