The Natchez Trace Parkway - located in the Southern states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi - is famous for its unspoilt rural setting and the history of the small towns and former trading posts that it passes through.
The Natchez Trace Parkway takes at least 9 hours to drive, so we recommend you break the trip up and stop overnight. Our top picks for where to stay include Tupelo, Florence, Jackson, French Camp, Port Gibson and the historic Canemount Plantation.
As road trips go, the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway is perfect for enjoying over a long weekend, so keep on reading to find out which of the amazing overnight stops will suit your style best.
Our top picks for where to stay along the Natchez Trace Parkway
For the purposes of this guide, we've assumed that you'll be starting your drive in Nashville and ending in Natchez, and this is how we've calculated distances and driving times.
However, you can also use the table below to quickly see how these stops work out if you're traveling the other way, from Natchez to Nashville.
|Stopping point||Where to stay||Time from Nashville||Time from Natchez|
|Nashville, TN||The Graduate||Starting Point||9 hours 10 minutes (470 miles)|
|Port Gibson, MS||Collina Plantation||45 minutes (40 miles)||8 hours 30 minutes (430 miles)|
|Florence, AL||The Stricklin||2 hours 50 minutes (140 miles)||6 hours 50 minutes (360 miles)|
|Tupelo, MS||Hotel Tupelo||4 hours 30 minutes (210 miles)||5 hours (270 miles)|
|Fulton, MS||The Cabins at Midway||4 hours 40 minutes (220 miles)||5 hours 15 minutes (290 miles)|
|French Camp, MS||French Camp Historic Village B&B||5 hours 50 minutes (290 miles)||3 hours 20 minutes (180 miles)|
|Jackson, MS||The Westin||7 hours 30 minutes (380 miles)||1 hours 50 minutes (110 miles)|
|Canton, MS||Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites||7 hours 30 minutes (390 miles)||2 hours 10 minutes (120 miles)|
|Lorman, MS||Canemount Plantation Inn||8 hours 40 minutes (450 miles)||50 minutes (40 miles)|
|Natchez, MS||Monmouth Historic Inn||9 hours 10 minutes (470 miles)||Destination|
Where to stay along the Natchez Trace Parkway
The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway is closed to commercial traffic, and speed limits are mostly 50 mph or under, so you'll find that this is a relaxed cruise from Nashville.
On the way, you'll take in some beautiful scenery and get the opportunity to reflect on the experiences of generations gone by through some incredible historical monuments.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a fantastic choice for a scenic road trip, with plenty of opportunities to stop and learn about your surroundings. All you need now is to choose a hotel that fits your personality, preferences and budget.
1. Where to stay if you want to split the trip in half: Tupelo, MS
Almost exactly halfway along the parkway, Tupelo is the ideal place to stop if you're planning a one-night/two-day road trip. It's right on the Natchez Trace Parkway so you won't add many miles to your drive if you stay in the city.
It's most famous as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, but it's also where you'll find Natchez Trace Parkway HQ, as well as being one of the larger cities on the route.
Few travellers come here without visiting Elvis Presley's birthplace. The music legend was born and raised in this small home, and nearby, the Elvis Presley Museum has more extensive exhibits dedicated to the King.
If you're interested in looking a little further back in history, you can also head out to Tupelo National Battlefield. There was no clear winner in this major Civil War battle, but you can visit the memorial here to find out more about what happened in the battle and how it helped to shape the modern US.
Back out on the Natchez Trace Parkway and Dogwood Valley, named after the beautiful wildflower that grows here extensively, is just outside Tupelo.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in the city, then check out Hotel Tupelo. Guests rave about this hotel, which has a great central location - it's in walking distance of Elvis's birthplace - and welcoming and helpful staff.
Bold, modern design with 1960s touches gives the hotel a distinctive style that perfectly matches its location and extends through to the stylish bar and lounge. There's also a fitness center for guests to use.
2. The most romantic place on the Natchez Trace Parkway: Canemount Plantation in Lorman, MS
Time from Nashville: 8 hours 45 minutes (450 miles)
Set among large grounds, the historic Canemount Plantation is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the perfect place to explore on a romantic break.
Located in Lorman, MS, Canemount is one of several historic plantations in the area, making it a great stop for anyone looking to connect with the past (and each other!) in a beautiful setting.
On a visit to the Plantation, you can learn more about daily life on a 19th-century plantation. You can take a tour of the grounds, and your hosts will share over 150 years of the inn's history, from the time when slaves worked the land here, through to their liberation, and right up to the present day.
You'll feel the romantic atmosphere at Canemount Plantation Inn, Westside, from the minute you turn onto the drive and make your way along the avenue of trees draped with Spanish moss. Built in 1855, parts of the estate date back even further.
The beautiful plantation grounds are a peaceful place to explore after you've enjoyed a personal welcome and an introduction to the estate from your hosts. There's even an outdoor pool to cool down through the summer months, and rooms have cozy fireplaces to warm you up in winter and jacuzzi tubs to relax and unwind.
Not far from the property, you'll find Windsor Ruins, 29 massive columns that are all that's left of the historic Windsor Plantation. In its day the house on Windsor Plantation was one of the largest mansions in Mississippi, well situated right beside the river, but it was burned to the ground more than a century ago.
Rodney Ghost Town was once a major town on the Mississippi, when the river changed course most of the town's trade and population moved with it. It's an adventurous backroad drive or hike to get here now and explore the mostly empty buildings.
3. The best back-to-nature escape on the Natchez Trace Parkway: Fulton, MS
Time from Nashville: 4 hours 40 minutes (220 miles)
If you're looking for lake views and a peaceful out-of-town stay, take a short detour off the route from Tupelo for a really unique accommodation choice compared to the inns and motels you'll have passed along the Natchez Trace Parkway.
A peaceful retreat at the Cabins At Midway maintains the outdoor vibe of a trip along the Natchez Trace Parkway. You'll be able to watch the sun setting across the waterway from your private deck.
The cabins here are traditional but extremely well-equipped. You'll find big, comfortable beds and lounge areas, with a wood-burning stove to keep the cabin warm and cozy on cooler days. There are also BBQ facilities if you want to cook for yourself, otherwise, it's just a short hop back into nearby Fulton if you want to get a meal or stock up on BBQ supplies.
During your stay, you can carry on visit Tombigbee State Park, where you can hike, fish, cycle and swim in this beautiful state park centered on Lake Lee.
Or across the waterway in Mantachie is Bond House, a historic merchant house where you can view archives and artefacts which tell the story of life in this rural part of Mississippi.
When you're ready to continue your journey along the Natchez Trace Parkway, it's an easy drive back along I-22 to rejoin the main route outside Tupelo.
4. The best value stopover on the Natchez Trace Parkway: Canton, MS
Time from Nashville: 7 hours 30 minutes (390 miles)
There are plenty of budget hotels which sit just off the parkway, but out of all of them, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Canton is one that visitors rate highly.
Canton isn't far from Jackson, and it's easily accessed from the Interstate, so the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Canton is a quick and easy detour off the Natchez Trace Parkway. You can also visit Lake Caroline on your way into the town.
Although it's a budget-friendly option, the great thing about this hotel is that it's reasonably priced without cutting corners. It's clean, spacious and with helpful, welcoming staff. There's even an outdoor pool, perfect to cool off after a long day in the summer heat.
A stay here also gives you the chance to explore Canton, a town that's known for its blues heritage. Canton was the home of legendary musician Elmore James, and features on the Mississippi Blues Trail. You'll get a feel for small-town Mississippi life during your stay.
Take a walk-through Hickory Street Historic District, which is sometimes called The Hollow, an African American community hub that brought people together from surrounding rural areas.
There's also the excellent Multicultural Center & Museum in the town, where you can reflect on Mississippi's black heritage and its role in the civil rights movement.
Elsewhere in Canton you can browse the antique shops dotted around the town, or pay a visit to Madison County History Museum, which offers tours of the Old Jail and other historic buildings.
5. The best place for a city break on the Natchez Trace Parkway: Jackson, MS
Time from Nashville: 7 hours 30 minutes (380 miles)
Where better to take a city break on the Natchez Trace than Mississippi's state capital? Jackson is known for its delicious barbeque cuisine and blues and bluegrass music, so you'll find plenty to entertain you during your stay here.
Get your bearings by following the waterways through the center of Jackson, or take a kayak tour, then take a stroll through the Fondren District, where you'll find hip and quirky cafes, restaurants and bars.
Seeing as you'll be driving through hundreds of miles of countryside, a trip to the Mississippi Agriculture Museum also feels appropriate! You'll travel back in time to get a real feel for what the Natchez Trace was like nearly a century ago.
One of the best places to stay for a city break is the superbly comfortable The Westin Jackson. It's just a couple of blocks off State Street, one of the main routes through the city, so it's easy to get to if you're coming into town off the parkway.
There's a pool and spa on-site, which is perfect if you want to throw some relaxation time into the mix on your road trip. Enjoy a drink or a meal at the on-site bar and bistro, which also has an outdoor terrace or take your pick of nearby bars and restaurants which are within walking distance.It's also just across the road from the Mississippi Museum of Art, and within easy walking distance (less than 5 minutes) to the Old Capitol Museum and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, so you'll be able to leave your car behind for a day or two. With on-site parking available, including EV charging, which makes it the ideal place to stop.
6. The most historic stop on the Natchez Trace Parkway: Port Gibson, MS
Time from Nashville: 45 minutes (40 miles)
Port Gibson is a lovely small city (population 1,800) right on the parkway, and the closest stopping-off point to the popular Sunken Trace. It's known for its historic buildings and churches, and the Mississippi Blues Trail passes through the city too.
Just outside Port Gibson, the atmospheric Sunken Trace cuts a hollow through the surrounding land, thought to have been shaped by so many years of people, animals and wagons traveling along the path. As you follow the hiking trail it will feel like you're walking through a woodland tunnel.
An overnight stay at Collina Plantation Inn in Port Gibson means that you won't be in a rush to explore this fabulous part of the Old Trace, and you can really immerse yourself in the history of the route with a stay at this beautiful antebellum home.
The hotel, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is situated in an 1830s planter's cottage on a beautiful estate where you'll find shady woodland and manicured gardens.
The cottage is surrounded by a balcony where you can sit out and imagine yourself transported back in time, and the rooms are immaculate, full of period details, with stunning wooden beds, cozy throws and art. A fabulous breakfast is available too.
To carry on with the historical theme, you can visit Grand Gulf Military Park during your stay, which is just a few miles out of Port Gibson. On the site, where a significant Civil War battle took place, there's now a museum, cemetery, memorial chapel, and plenty of hiking trails.
You can also visit Rodney Ghost Town and Windsor Ruins from Collina Plantation Inn - take a look at the entry for Canemount Plantation to find out more about these two intriguing attractions.
7. Our top pick for a stay in Natchez: Monmouth Historic Inn
If you are ending your Natchez Trace Parkway road trip in Natchez, our top pick for a stay in the city is Monmouth Historic Inn. This amazing hotel could easily fit in some of our other categories too – it's a historic, romantic, luxury hotel that's right in the heart of the city.
Situated in a historic Antebellum mansion that's tastefully decorated with antiques throughout, you can explore the beautiful gardens here at your leisure. The place is full of charming nooks where you can sit and relax after a road trip.
Be sure to try out the amazing Southern breakfast too! If you want to sample more, including the delicious hors d'oeuvres served during the complementary trip of the Mansion, then head to the fabulous restaurant on-site to try out the authentic antebellum experience.
When you are taking a leisurely stroll among the landscaped gardens on the property, you might think that you are somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the city but the inn is located only a short drive to Natchez city center.
The stunning views of the Mississippi River are a short distance away while you can easily visit the National Landmark Historic district and The Grand Village of the Natchez easily, using the hotel as your base.
Natchez is known for the tourists who flock to its streets to marvel at the gorgeous antebellum buildings and their gardens, so keep in mind to make time for an architectural tour of the city during your stay.
8. Our top pick for a stay in Nashville: Graduate, Nashville
If you are ending your Natchez Trace Parkway road trip in Nashville, consider booking in at Graduate Nashville. It's right on the road that will bring you into Nashville from the Natchez Trace Parkway, and in a great location near Music Row, but once you arrive, you'll see it has even more going for it.
Quirky, colorful Dolly Parton-inspired design runs throughout the hotel, so it's a bright and fun contrast to the more historic places you might have stayed in on your road trip.
The stylish rooms still come complete with four poster beds, patterns and drapes that offer a modern nod to the region's traditional style.
The theme continues with a gorgeous outdoor terrace and rooftop bar (with skyline views!) which is the perfect place to wind down after a busy day in the city or at the end of a long drive. You can also enjoy a meal at the upscale restaurant on the property.
As an added bonus, the Graduate, Nashville is reasonably priced for the city, and you can expect a warm welcome from the minute you drive up.
When you are ready to explore, The Parthenon is a short distance away from the property and you will find Ryman Auditorium an easy drive away from the hotel.
9. Where to stay on a long weekend trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway (2 stops)
With so many places along the Natchez Trace Parkway to stop and explore, many travellers find that it's best to allow 3 days to drive the full length of the route. This gives you time to enjoy the trails, towns and monuments you'll find along the way, without ever feeling rushed.
If this is how you're planning on organizing your road trip, we've selected two options which spread the driving time equally over all 3 days, as well as being interesting locations to arrive in at the end of a day on the road.
Stop 1: Florence, AL
Time from Nashville: 2 hours 50 minutes (140 miles)
The thriving and entertaining town of Florence is one of the larger towns you'll pass on your road trip. It's a couple of miles off the parkway itself, around a bend in the Tennessee River, and perfectly located if you're splitting up the drive into a 3 day/2 night trip.
The nearest section of the parkway is where you'll find Rock Springs Nature Trail and also the old Colbert Ferry Park. It's the site of George Colbert's family plantation but, through his Native American Chickasaw mother, he was also able to run a river ferry service, which cemented Florence's place as an important settlement on the journey towards Nashville.
Rolling forward to the twentieth century, you can also visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House. It's Alabama's only house designed by the renowned architect, and now offers tours and talks so that visitors can learn about the world-famous architect.
The “father of the Blues” William Christopher Hardy was born in the city, and went on to develop some of the most iconic Blues tunes. The W. C. Handy Museum is a great stop-off for music lovers, based in his small Florence home.
When it comes to choosing somewhere to stay in Florence, our top pick is The Stricklin Hotel, Florence. It's centrally located, in an art deco building which has been tastefully renovated, with period features woven through every room.
The hotel has its own little bowling alley – a fun way to end a day on the road! Then, to set yourself up perfectly for a day exploring the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway, be sure to check out the Big Bad Breakfast, which guests rate highly.
Stop 2: French Camp, MS
Time from Nashville: 5 hours 50 minutes (290 miles)
As well as being located one-third of the way along the Natchez Trace parkway, French Camp is one of the best places to immerse yourself in the history of this cross-country route.
This town is known to date back to circa 1810 when Louis Lefleur, hailing from France, established a trading post and inn. The Choctaw natives ended up calling this place "The Frenchman's Camp", and this is how the town got its name.
It's known for its historic village, which sits on the site of a trading post dating back over 200 years. In fact, you can really get closer to history with a stay here at French Camp Historic Village - Bed And Breakfast.
You'll stay in reconstructed log cabins which were originally built in the 1800s and now offer cozy but extremely comfortable accommodation, with balconies and outside decks to sit out and relax. Don't miss out on the fantastic breakfast is served on site.
Guests here can enjoy some time at the living history attraction, which includes a number of reconstructed buildings that help tell the story of the Natchez Trace.
There's also the chance to visit the nearby Rainwater Observatory. Sit out and watch the stars here, or walk through the exhibitions in the planetarium, but check ahead for the dates of the public opening.
In addition to being incredibly scenic and brimming with history, Natchez Trace Parkway provides amazing stopover alternatives right en route. From the most romantic settings to properties with historic significance, you will find an impressive variety of options if you extend your drive into a road trip and stay overnight at one of our favorite hotels.