3.5 out of 10


38.3541972218749 -120.772000027812
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Shopping Options
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5

"Historic Gold Rush Town"

As a resident of Amador county for more than 18 years, I have a pretty good sense of the small towns that make up the area here in the sierra foothills. From Sutter creek to Ione, from Plymouth to Pioneer and more. Let me start with Jackson since it is one of the few places that has had its share of recent changes.

When my family and I moved up here from the bay area years ago, the change of scenery and pace of life was a lot different than I was use to. Mostly the population was made up of your laid back retired folks and it still seems to be that way even today. Because its a town where everyone knows everyone and there business, it was easy for them to tell we were the new kids on the block. At first they are curious about you, until you say where your from then it becomes a "Really? So why have you chosen to move here?" It may seem like a rude attitude, but given time I have come to understand why the people of Jackson are the way they are. A lot of it has to do with the fact that these people come from families that have lived here for generations and have established roots in the area and they care deeply for there beloved Jackson. It shows too in the way they try to keep there historical points of interest and old buildings and houses maintained. They don't seem fond of growth happening so quickly because it would take away the peace and quiet of the town. However, in the past few years, growth has been happening, thanks to the casino located a mile out of town. Once a bingo hall of just a few employees, now one of the major employers of the area, things have started changing which has caused a sort of love/hate relationship among the people of Jackson. They love the place because it brings tourists to the area and the Family run casino has been very generous in helping the local community, what they hate about it is that its also attracting riff raff up this way. There are more and more homeless people that are starting to call the area home and can now be found pitching up tents along the Jackson creek, close to the hospital or sleeping under the bridges or on the benches of main street. Even under the library by the park. its rather unfortunate that the homeless shelter couldn't get enough funding to stay open and at least give these people a place to stay. Gangs from the Stockton/Modesto area are starting to home in on the area also. Its not uncommon now to catch a snippet in the local paper about some gang/drug related activities. Its just sad that they are targeting the younger adults in the area as potential buyers or even growers for them. I think Jackson wouldn't have as much problems either if they didn't build so many low income apartments around the town. They were suppose to be for your 55+ residents, but that's not the case today.

Speaking about housing, this ties in again with the whole slow growth thing. I have been noticing that prices have been going up for both to buy and rent places and its mainly due to the limited houses available in the area because the "good ol' boys" of family generations are also on the city council and discourage growth in the area. Sure you can buy a nice size piece of property relatively cheap and have your home built, but for what its going to cost in fees (hint: Rough estimate of over $125 k) you would be better off just buying. Another reason for the jump in prices is because the casino has put Jackson on the map and with it attracting people from the cities, they are amazed at how affordable it is compared to what they pay and see the location as ideal, since they can vacation up this way during the winter and be close to the snow and Tahoe, but still be 45 minutes to Sacramento or the up and coming hot spot, Folsom/El dorado hills. If I recall correctly, I think the last time Jackson had some nicely built homes in the area was back in 2004 or 2005. Since then, nothing. The houses that are on the market now that go for cheap ($200k and up) are nice, but dated. Anything below that price have some sort of issues. One of the things that amazes me is how with the prices of rent going up, the locals can even afford to live in the area, when most of the jobs nearby are low paying. A lot of people commute to Sacramento or Lodi or Stockton, I being one of those people. The only kind of jobs your going to find around Jackson that pay rather well is either at the hospital, the casino, or as an RN at one of the many resting/retirement homes. The rest is slim pickings from grocery stores, hotels, or restaurant/fast food joints. Unless you start your own business, you might do well.

So what are some interesting things in Jackson? What do people like to do? Again, the town is known for its history and part it played during the gold rush, so getting the chance to get out and see some of the historic points of interest may be the most appealing to people. Go antique shopping down main street, visit the old museum at the top of the hill full of gold rush memorabilia, or tour the mine. The local kids and teens hang out at the park and swimming pool during the hot summers. If they want to do anything else like go hiking or ride there bikes, go see a movie or even to go shopping would mean leaving the Jackson area because there are limited things to do that would keep them entertained enough. Jackson is exactly what it is, much like the rest of Amador county, a retirement community. Your elderly get involved with groups like the rotary club, women's support groups, art councils, old car clubs, quilting guilds and so on.

With all the information I have provided, I hope it gives people an idea of Jackson, CA. As a local, can I say its one of my favorite places in the county? Not really. It has never held any appeal for me. Its great to take family and friends from out of town to visit once in a while. It would make a good town for elderly people to retire that want to live the remaining of there lives in a laid back atmosphere. It would be fine for families, but just have a heads up that the work situation might be a challenge and after a while kids will get bored, unless they can easily adjust and embrace the country living lifestyle.
  • historic attractions
  • outdoor recreation
  • slow job growth
  • lower income population
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers

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