Sample antebellum living on the the Mississippi
Looking for a getaway with world-class spas, stunning river views and amazing history? Adventure through some of the most scenic plantations, listen to lively stories from a time when plantations ruled, and enjoy the blues, jazz and folk songs of the South at the Delta Music Museum.
Named after its founder, Spanish explorer Don Jose Vidal, this charming Louisiana town sits on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River, across from its sister city, Natchez, Mississippi, on the opposite side of the "Big Muddy." Vidalia, known as the "City on the Move," is in the Concordia Parish in Louisiana, which serves as a northern gateway to the Atchafalaya Trace Heritage Area. This large area encompasses 13 parishes surrounding the beautiful Atchafalaya Basin.
You'll take a trip back in time when you visit the historic Tacony Plantation in Vidalia. As the last remaining brick antebellum house in the Vidalia area, it boasts a compelling history. It was originally the residence of Alfred Vidal Davis, Sr., who was known for his considerable stature. Hence the nickname, "tacony," which translates to "big man" in the local Native American language. Tacony Plantation plays a significant role in African American history. John R. Lynch, Mississippi's first black U.S. representative and speaker of the state house, was born a slave on the Tacony Plantation in 1847. The recently restored plantation home is available for insightful individual and group tours by appointment only.
The 1,800-acre Frogmore Plantation puts a unique twist on the phrase, "living history." The insightful owner-led tour literally takes you through a working cotton plantation, from 1790 to today. Visitors to this sprawling property can see an 1800s-era cotton gin, which is still being used today. During your visit, you'll have the opportunity to listen to the secret music of slaves and related slave customs, plus hear the unexpected stories of the sometimes-surprising relationships between the master, mistress, overseer and slaves.
Take a walk back in time and experience a rare steam gin, authentically furnished slave quarters and 19 historical buildings. The tour takes visitors through eight furnished historical buildings on the plantation as well as to a place where you can pick cotton (available 10 months out of the year). Countless visitors of Frogmore have been thoroughly impressed with the plantation. It's won several awards, including the "Rural Tourism Award for the State of Louisiana" and has even been featured in high-profile magazines and documentaries.
The Delta Music Tour at the Frogmore delves into the history of the region's indigenous music, highlighting outstanding vocalists and stellar musicians. The tour starts in a rare find: an 1800s plantation church with the original pews. Take you an unforgettable journey of the South through song. The historical narrations and songs continue as you walk through the furnished cabins, relaying the triumphs, trials and realities of life on the plantation. After quick refreshments in the plantation store, the tour continues on to the State of Louisiana Delta Music Museum.
The Delta Music Museum offers free admission (donations accepted) and celebrates the lives of many famous local musicians, including Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Howard K. Smith. The museum houses six fascinating life-sized exhibits, among other interesting relics. The guided tour relates intimate stories surrounding the Delta musicians, including Conway Twitty, Aaron Neville, Percy Sledge, among others, and then plays some of their famous songs.
Visitors can enjoy the restaurants, specialty shops, an amphitheater, a pubic boat ramp and more on the new and improved Vidalia Riverwalk. The development reflects the "rivertown" look and feel of Vidalia's vibrant past, and after a stroll down the riverwalk, guests can enjoy a meal and spa treatment at the Riverfront Royale Salon and Med Spa. From just about anywhere in this luxurious and peaceful setting, you can experience the beauty of the Great Mississippi River, within easy view right outside the Salon and Med Spa.
No matter the season, Vidalia has a wide variety of outdoor opportunities that include golfing, skiing, fishing or biking. Stop in and maybe even catch some live music at the Ferriday Arcade.
Just across the river in Vidalia's sister city of Natchez, visitors can enjoy touring the Natchez Historical Park. From the downtown home of William Johnson and pillared portico of the Melrose mansion to the natural beauty of the cypress swamp, this park is open year round and offers a unique experience touring the antebellum South.
Embrace southern history with plantation tours, museums and glorious music while gallivanting on the banks of the Mississippi.
For More Information:
Vidalia Conference & Convention Center
Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism