Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Travel: Abbeville, LA to Vidalia, LA
Distance Covered: 180 miles
Parked at: Riverview RV Park, Vidalia, LA
Originally, we had planned to spend only one night in Natchez, MS, on our way back to Illinois. The drive from Betty’s in Abbeville, LA to Natchez, MS, was an uneventful 180 miles.
We selected the Riverview RV Park based on recommendation from our dear fellow RVers and also because they took one night of Passport America meaning that we’d get a site for 1/2 price. As it turns out, they actually will take Passport America for three nights so we were able to get a $40 site for $20. The 4th night we used our Escapees discount which is 15% at this park. Since I’ve budgeted for an average nightly stay of $25 per night, which I’m finding is optimistic, at least this very nice location came in at $23.50 per night average.
This park is actually in Vidalia, LA which is directly across the bridge from Natchez.
Not a bad price when this is the view from your site.
There is a long river walk there at the edge of the river that is perfect for taking the dogs meandering.
We have even taken advantage of the very neat and clean hot tub / pool area. There was one other couple there at the time who happened to be on one of their first trips in their new Phaeton so that made for good conversation while relaxing in the hot tub and getting a little sun.
As you can see from the picture below, we have a large site with lots of room all around us. That block building to the North is part of the reason my preference has been to stay at this park instead of drive in to the heart of the current tornado producing storm system. I figure if our weather radio informs us of a tornado warning we have a very short sprint to those shower stall door where we’d be fully surrounded by a concrete block structure. While I do feel safer in windy thunderstorms in a 26,000 lb motorhome than I did years ago in our tiny little tin can of a travel trailer, I’m still going to be heading for something more substantial if there is a tornado warning and always have an eye to where that might be whenever we are parking at a time when there is potential weather issues.
In front of that building is the pool area. There is an extra nice reception area inside with a pool table, flat screen TV/seating area and a gift shop and laundry room. I did do a few batches of laundry since we were so close and sitting longer than planned. Laundromat is one cost I have to add to my budget but, even at that, we’ve had such good luck with cleanliness and convenience of these laundry rooms so far that I certainly would not pay the price in space or dollars to add washer/dryer to our rig even though it is set up for it.
We were set up at the park by mid-afternoon and so decided to follow the advice of fellow RVer’s Darrell and Judy Patterson and try out the barbeque at the Pig Out Inn in Natchez. It is also the #1 rated Natchez restaurant on TripAdvisor as well. This is less than a mile after crossing the bridge and a great find!! This is now our new favorite barbeque restaurant, and while all of the food was absolutely delicious, it has THE BEST BAKED BEANS we’ve ever tasted.
After we ate we took a drive around the historic area of Natchez. Both Ken and I had envisioned Natchez as much larger than it actually is. The population is only around 18,000. But, for a small community there is no shortage of beautiful and historic sites.
This is the Rosalie Mansion, sitting high on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi. It was built in 1820 at the site of the Rosalie Fort which was the original Natchez settlement that dates all the way back to 1716. It was built by the grandson of George Washington’s physician.
This is the back of the St. Mary Basilica. We’ve never seen a Catholic church designed quite like this.
I snapped the pictures below in the lovely Confederate Memorial Park located behind the basilica.
Like our own hometown of Quincy, IL, Natchez is built on a bluff. However, this bluff has a fairly steep cliff between the main part of the city and the river. At the bottom of this bluff is quaint historic section called Natchez Under the Hill.
That’s it for this installment. I’ll try to catch up on all the other Natchez adventures while sitting here in the rain!!