Recently named as "One of America's Top 10 Coolest Small Towns" by Budget Travel Magazine, and listed as one of 18 "Best Places to Live" by Men's Journal, Jacksonville combines the gentle ambiance of a historic small town with a vibrant cultural scene. Offering a summer long music and performing arts festival, over 20 wineries and tasting rooms, unique shopping and dining options and an easy-going attitude, Jacksonville is a perfect destination – for a weekend or for an extended stay.
Having preserved its gold rush roots from the 1850's, it is one of the few select towns to be designated as a National Historic Landmark town. But this town will charm you with more than its history. The quaint brick and wooden buildings now house an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, spas and unique lodging – not to mention fantastic wine tasting rooms. The Woodlands Trail System offers 20+ miles of trails for hiking and biking where you a can take in the scenery, learn some history and enjoy our fresh air.
Gold was first discovered in Jacksonville at Rich Gulch in 1851. Within months the area was filled with prospectors seeking their fortune. From out of the boisterous mining camps emerged a boom town originally named Table Rock City, which became Jacksonville. The town thrived as the county seat and the largest city in Southern Oregon until the railroad bypassed the town in 1884. The boom was over and businesses and residents moved away over the next 50 years.
These unfortunate events actually helped preserve the town's rich historical legacy. With no economic reason to improve the local building, much of the original architecture remained intact, which is the primary reason Jacksonville was designated a National Historic Landmark town. There are over 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and the overall look and feel of the historic core give you the sense that you have come to a place where time stopped.
Winter in Jacksonville is a special time when the pace slows down even more. In December, Victorian Christmas Celebration with historic dignitaries dressed in 19th century period costumes, twinkling lights, strolling carolers and horse-drawn wagon rides is a "must see event". Additional events can be found on the City of Jacksonville Events Calendar, along with more information about Jacksonville. Your holiday gift shopping can be a truly enjoyable experience when you combine it with a stay in Jacksonville.
The festivities continue in February with a Chinese New Year celebration in recognition of the contribution Chinese immigrants gave to the development of Jacksonville in the early mining years. It is a great time to visit town and see how the locals live.