Tourists, retirees love Natchez for its history, architecture and hospitality _lowres

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MARY RICKARD -- Stanton Hall Plantation will be one of the stops on the Jan. 27-29 tour.

Preserve Louisiana is hitting the road for Natchez, Mississippi, this month, and it's looking for company. 

This is the former Foundation for Historical Louisiana's first Cultural & Architectural Tour. The host of the Jan. 27-29 trip will be Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, the creator and author of "Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde … Life Stories about Food."

Sweeney-McDonald, in partnership with Preserve Louisiana, will explore the culture and history of Natchez and neighboring cities, a news release says.

“These trips are more than a cultural and architectural tour as we will be mingling and dining with local Natchez personalities and hearing their personal and touching stories around their culture and food,” Sweeney-McDonald said. “It will truly be a tasty journey of ‘Meanwhile, Back in’ Natchez.”

Stops will include the Rosalie Plantation, Stanton Hall Plantation and downtown Natchez, offering the Courthouse and the Thomas H. and John W. Gandy Photograph Collection. Attendees will also eat at the Carriage House by Mississippi celebrity chef Bingo Starr; have a barbecue lunch at the Pig Out Inn; take part in a tasting tour of the award-winning Charboneau Rum Distillery; dine at Dunleith Plantation; and see the "Meanwhile, Back at Café Du Monde…" show. 

Sweeney-McDonald will emcee the show with local foodies, including chef Charboneau; owner of Darby’s Famous Fudge, Darby Ward Short; editor of Country Roads Magazine, James Fox-Smith; and Dunleith’s popular mixologist, Mark Brockway.

The tour also features dinner and wine at the Twin Oaks Plantation, the private home of best-selling cookbook author/chef Regina Charboneau.

The tour covers transportation, a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel set on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, meals, tours, and the show.

For more information and booking, call Sweeney-McDonald at (310) 709-2851 or email

Tennessee, Maine trips

There are a few spots remaining on a seniors citizens' bus trip to Tunica, Mississippi, the "Casino Capital of the South" and bluestown Memphis, Tennessee, March 20-24.

Cost is $439, and includes transportation, lodging, most meals and entrances to all attractions, including Graceland, home of Elvis Presley. 

The Maine trip is set for May 19-29. Cost is $979. 

For more information on either trip, call Leslie Tassin at (225) 769-5872 or go to

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.