Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jacksonville charms with history, beauty, tranquility, small-town charm

Jacksonville, Oregon, may be a small town known but it's known for its large atmosphere and broad appeal.
Spring has sprung, in all its glory, in Jacksonville, Oregon. 
THE ENTIRE town is on the National Historic Register.
Its trees, flowers are orchards handsomely groomed and abundant.
The food is tasty and varied. Fruit and cheese are stars, with vineyards and tastings galore.
The people are smart, friendly and welcoming. "Could you direct us to the closest winery?" we asked. "I'm going that way," the man in the truck motioned. Come on, follow me."
WE RENTED a car to cap our week of play-going at nearby Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I'd remembered a long-ago concert at the world famous Britt Festival and knew that Jacksonville was a pleasant, half-hour drive away.
Jacksonville sports several fun coffee houses.
IT WAS A pastoral journey down memory lane, through land glorious with fruit tree blossoms. As we entered the pretty town, we felt immersed in its history. At every turn are proudly maintained homes, churches, public buildings. More than 100 historic structures stand in the town founded in 1852.   Horses, dogs and cows seem content.
The Jacksonville Inn offers elegant, boutique style digs.
Yet the landscape trumps everything in this breathtakingly beautiful town in southern Oregon.
JACKSONVILLE got its start during the "gold fever" days, for it was here that the Pacific Northwest's earliest gold discoveries occurred.
The woods and world class music are part of  the Britt Festival's appeal.
The front-and-center Jacksonville Inn welcomed us with its Western antiques and old-fashioned ambience.  The Inn has served several U.S. Presidents and is proud of its restaurant's carefully chosen menu. There are plenty of eateries, cafes and coffee shops, B&Bs, shopping and attractions, including a vintage trolley which will take you around in leisurely and colorful fashion.
ONE OF THE town's stand-outs, perhaps its most colorful offering, has put Jacksonville on the map.  It's the Britt Festival, a star of my youth, a musical extravaganza played out in a lovely wooded area right on the edge of town.  Last season's offerings ranged from  Cindy Lauper to Jeff Bridges, Michael Franti, REO Speedwagon, Kenny Loggins to the Doobie Brothers.
Southern Oregon is full of unusual,
fun small businesses, such as Gary West
Artisan Smoked Meats. Yummy.
Jacksonville's charming City Hall.
WHILE YOU'RE in a southern Oregon frame of mind, consider a trip to the coast.  Winchester Bay is one of the busiest fishing ports and you can book a scenic or sport fishing journey.  There are plentiful vineyards, and delightful shopping all along the way.
Southern Oregon is generating tremendous interest among companies looking for a laid-back lifestyle in a setting where they can also compete. San Francisco is seven hours south and Portland five hours north! Medford offers direct flights to both cities. While in southern Oregon, you'll feel small-town charm with big-city appeal!

COMING SOON: A world famous festival unfolds in nearby Ashland, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Three unique theaters and a creative roster of plays charm visitors from all over the U.S.
We blog about places, cruises, hotels, the hundreds of plays we see and the actors who perform in them. Let us know what you'd like to read about in our world travels: www.whereiscookie.com  Remember to explore, learn and live.  And please tell your friends.

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