The moment you set foot in Jacksonville, Oregon, you’re no longer in the 21st century. Named a National Historic Landmark due to its rich history as a gold rush town, Jacksonville prides itself on its preservation of the past―a sentiment that’s evident in the town’s annual Victorian Christmas celebrations.
Christmas in Jacksonville is not just a holiday, it’s a month-long event. Each year, festivities begin the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the community tree lighting ceremony. Folks from all over town gather downtown to enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes as they watch Father Christmas himself light the tree and officially mark the beginning of the holiday season.
The following weekends are just as festive, as everyone is invited to partake in holiday activities such as horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Father Christmas. Strolling carolers decked from head to toe in Victorian costume and free apple cider complete the town’s transformation into the perfect winter paradise. The streets feel magical, as if straight from the pages of a storybook.
There’s no better place to get your holiday shopping done than in some of Jacksonville’s unique shops and boutiques. Carefree Buffalo sells goods that call up images of the Old West, such as leather goods and wool blankets in addition to other items for the home. If you’re in the market for antiques, there are a variety of antique malls across town that are full of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. Rebel Heart Books is the town’s bookstore, carrying general fiction as well as young adult and children’s books, and Scheffel’s Toys & More is full of an assortment of games and toys for all ages. Open only during December is Mrs. Beekman’s Christmas Bazaar, located in the historic Beekman House, where toys, crafts and Victorian-era gifts make holiday shopping a special event.
Once you’ve finished exploring for the day, you can unwind in one of the Jacksonville Inn’s eight rooms, or in one of their four cottage suites. You’ll need to make reservations, as the Inn is one of the town’s most popular bed and breakfasts, and it’s easy to understand why. Each room is carefully, and comfortably, furnished so that they are in keeping with the town’s vintage charm, while not sacrificing the comforts of the modern era.
With so much to enjoy, Jacksonville makes for the perfect holiday getaway for couples and families alike.