by Shellie Bailey-Shah
Travel back in time with a walk, horse-drawn wagon ride, trolley tour or Segway ride through a fully intact late-1850s boomtown, complete with Western facades and historic Victorian homes. You’ll find it hard to just window shop as you pass by the downtown shops with their artisan wares, unique clothing and antique finds — places like Farmhouse Treasures, La Boheme and Pickety Place Antiques and Collectibles. The lodging options are just as alluring — from boutique hotels to inviting bed-and-breakfast inns to upscale cottages with flower gardens and white picket fences. And of course, Jacksonville’s ideal proximity to farms and ranches means menu offerings here are truly fresh and locally sourced. At the end of the day, sit down and savor a glass of vino at one of the five wine-tasting rooms around town, like South Stage Cellars, which features a European-style wine garden.
English Lavender Garden in Applegate
Wine and Lavender Delights
No doubt, you’ll want to use Jacksonville to explore the full wonder of Rogue Valley Wine Country from Grants Pass to Ashland. In Jacksonville, you can tour any of the seven wineries along the Jacksonville Wine Trail, all within a mile of Oregon’s most beautifully preserved gold-rush-era town offering an astounding array of fine wines, from Rhones and Bordeauxs to some of Oregon’s most sensational Pinot Noirs. The town is also the jumping-off point for the Applegate Wine Trail, a collection of 18 family-run wineries, specializing in chardonnay, viognier, syrah and Bordeaux red varietals — proving there’s more to Oregon wine than just pinot noir. To the north, discover the Umpqua Valley Wine Trail and the Upper Rogue Wine Trail; to the south, follow the Bear Creek Wine Trail. If you’re not a wine connoisseur, you still can enjoy a day’s drive in the countryside along the fragrant Southern Oregon Lavender Trail, best enjoyed in full bloom in June and July.
Nearby Nature Trails
Get out into the wide-open spaces at Jacksonville Woodlands, a 320-acre park with 18 miles of interpretative trails. Rich in history and once rich in gold, volunteers raised $4.5 million dollars to preserve the area. While on the trails, see if you can spot the showy red bells of the rare Fritillaria gentneri, an endangered species that only grows in and around Jacksonville. In addition, explore 1,100-acre Forest Park and its 30-plus miles of multi-use trails, just 2 miles from downtown.