December 1-6, 2020
Day 1: Christmas in the South is on our minds as we board the coach. The first night is in Marshall, TX. Tonight we start our Christmas tour enjoying their famous lights. The downtown area is wonderfully decorated with millions of lights and the grand feature is the courthouse.
Day 2: No matter how you pronounce it, Natchitoches in Louisiana has the history, mystery, and charm of New Orleans without the big city hassle. With our local step-on guide we explore this historic town, including the Cane River National Heritage Area. We take a driving tour of the plantation homes along the river. Our included Southern dinner is in the midst of warm southern hospitality. Following our meal, we are out to see the fairyland of lights, strung throughout the city. Our overnight is in Natchitoches. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Heading east across the state we arrive at Frogmore Plantation for a tour of an old cotton plantation. Listen to the slave customs, secret music, and their surprising relationships with the master, mistress, and overseer. Walk through furnished slave quarters, see a rare steam gin and other plantation dependencies. Enjoy Christmas in the Quarters at the plantation church with vocalists singing gospel music blended with traditional Christmas hymns. Then we cross the mighty Mississippi River and enter Natchez, MS. Lunch is included at The Castle Restaurant located in Dunleith Plantation’s original carriage house and stables, built in the 1790s. After lunch, we tour this old settlement with a local step-on guide. What an unusual treat is in store for us as we check into the Monmouth Plantation for two nights. This carefully restored antebellum plantation is a glorious return to the antebellum south. It sits on 26 beautifully landscaped acres and is lavishly decorated for the holidays. After settling in, enjoy a four-course candlelight dinner at the plantation. It is one of those extraordinary, unmatched festive experiences. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Following breakfast at Monmouth Plantation, our first stop is at The Towers. Named one of the top unusual Christmas displays, the Jeweled Christmas Tour at The Towers is truly where “Whimsy meets Bling.” Thousands of pieces of vintage costume jewelry covers every tree, table, mantel, and deer in exquisite fanciful vignettes in every room in the mansion. This afternoon our local step-on guide takes us down the Natchez Trace Parkway. It roughly follows the "Old Natchez Trace," a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, "Kaintucks," European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. Today, we make some interesting stops along our way. After dinner, sit back and enjoy the Natchez Christmas Cabaret, “Ringin’ Swingin’ Christmas.” (B, L, D)
Day 5: This morning we make our way north to Vicksburg. Our first stop is at the Vicksburg Military Park visitor center to watch a short film. Following the film, we tour the park with a licensed guide. They have excellent knowledge of the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg and the confederate surrender in 1863. This evening takes us to Christmas in Roseland. The American Rose Center is transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland featuring thousands of twinkling lights, dozens of lighted displays, and giant Christmas Cards to the community. We overnight east of Dallas. (B, D)
Day 6: Today it is time to get home to prepare our own festivities with family and friends. We have gathered some unique ideas to make our own celebrations special! (B)