city in Jackson County, Michigan, United States

Jackson is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County in the south-central part of the state of Michigan, halfway between Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, forty minutes south of Lansing and about an hour west of Detroit. Its population is 31,347 (2021) and combined with the county has a metro population of 160,050. Its tall buildings show a Jackson more populated than today, for the population had been declining since 1950 or so, but efforts have begun to flatten the curve and make the city diversified and vibrant.

Downtown Jackson

Get in edit

Jackson Amtrak Station

By car edit

Jackson is served by Interstate 94 which runs east to west on the north side of town. To the west, I-94 continues to Kalamazoo and Chicago before heading further west to the Great Plains; it continues to the east through Ann Arbor to Detroit and ends in Port Huron. Jackson is also served by US 127 which runs north to south through the city. It enters Jackson on the northwest side and runs concurrent with I-94 for a few miles, then splits and goes south. US 127 goes north to Lansing and Mount Pleasant before merging with Interstate 75. It also goes south to intersect with US 12 and US 223 before continuing on into Ohio. M-50 is the major state highway running through town, following a northwest to southeast path. It goes northwest to Eaton Rapids and Lowell (near Grand Rapids) and southeast to Tecumseh, Dundee and Monroe. The eastern terminus of M-60 is at I-94 just west of Airport Road. M-60 continues southwest toward Three Rivers and Niles, in southwest Michigan. M-104 is a minor state highway servicing the city.

By plane edit

Jackson County Airport (Reynolds Field) services the county's small private aircraft, but does not service commercial airlines. The largest nearby airport with commercial flights is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DET), a 55-minute drive east of Jackson. The next largest airport in the region is Grand Rapids International Airport (GRR). Slightly smaller and slightly further away than the Detroit airport, this is the growing air hub of western Michigan and offers nonstop flights to more than 30 major destinations and one-stop flights to almost anywhere in the world. Smaller airports in the area with commercial flights include: Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Airport (AZO); offers flights to Chicago and Detroit, as well as a seasonal flight to Orlando, Florida. Capital Region International Airport (LAN) offers flights to Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, and a seasonal flight to Orlando.

By train edit

See also: Rail travel in the United States
The Detroit Amtrak station

Get around edit

Map of Jackson (Michigan)

The city of Jackson is in a rough grid shape, with Interstate 94, US 127, Kibby Rd/McDevitt Ave, and M-60 roughly defining the north, east, south, and west borders of the city, respectively. Some major east-west thoroughfares running through the city are, starting from the north side, Monroe St, Argyle St, North St, Michigan Ave, Franklin St, Morrell St, High St/McCain Rd, Prospect St, South St, Kibby Rd/Park Rd/McDevitt Ave. Major north-south thoroughfares are, starting from the west side, M-60, Robinson Rd, Airport Rd, Brown St, West Ave (US 127 BUS, M-50), Lansing Ave, Jackson St, Cooper St, Elm Ave, Dettmann Rd. Other major thoroughfares that do not follow any grid-like pattern are Wildwood Ave, Boardman Rd, Spring Arbor Rd, Greenwood Ave, Weatherwax Dr, Page Ave, and Clinton Rd.

See edit

Jackson is a very historic city, and thus has many historic landmarks and attractions. With ties to the automobile industry and disputed birthplace of the Republican Party, there is a lot for history-lovers, but also many modern attractions for the family or single traveler. Some noteworthy sites include:

  • 1 Under the Oaks Park, 418 2nd St (in downtown Jackson), +1 517 788-4040. An historical site honoring the birthplace of the Republican Party.
  • 2 Ella Sharp Museum of Art & History, 3225 4th Street (on the south side of Jackson), +1 517 787-2320, . Five galleries, including the Midwest's finest wildlife art collection, in Ella Sharp's 19th-century farmhouse with impressive Greek Revival and Italianate architecture added on. Ella's Granary Restaurant, a log cabin, a country store, a school, and a beautiful museum campus are part of the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds of the Ella Sharp Park and Museum were farmland owned by Ella Sharp's grandfather, father, and husband. Upon Ella's death in 1912, she bequeathed the site to the City of Jackson to be transformed into a museum and a park.    
  • 3 Jackson County Airport, 3606 Wildwood Ave (2 mi (3.2 km) W of downtown). A private aviation airport. The airport hosts Jackson County Aviation Day which allows tours and rides in vintage World War II aircraft. There is a restaurant on site and a viewing center for visitors to watch the small planes take off and land.    

Do edit

There are many attractions in Jackson that appeal to a wide variety of individuals. The most notable of these include:

  • Nixon Pool and Skate Park, 400 E North St.  Phone|+1 517 788-4070. Outdoor waterpark with two large waterslides, a wading area, and an outdoor cafe with drinks and snacks. Also has a shallow area for younger children. Great large community pool and perfect cooldown spot in the summer. The pool is open from mid-June to mid-August. Skate park also on site. Nice skateboard course with board, helmet, and pad rentals. The skate park is open from mid-June to mid-August. Great place for summer fun!
  • Ella Sharp Park, 2800 4th St. In addition to the large museum, this public park (Jackson's largest) includes an 18-hole golf course, 18-hole mini-golf course (very fun!), 18-hole disc golf course, trails, a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, baseball, softball, and soccer fields, nature areas, and pavilions. Open year-round and hosts many events.
  • Hot Air Jubilee. This event is a highlight of Jackson's summer fun. For 3 days in July every year, dozens of hot air balloons take to the skies beginning at Ella Sharp Park and drift all over Jackson and the surrounding area. Fun to chase over country roads, and some offer rides high above the area or tethered rides when they have landed.
  • 1 The Cascades Falls, 1992 Warren Ave. 11AM-11PM. This park occupies 465 acres and contains the illuminated Cascades, a giant waterfall and six fountains over which water tumbles in continually changing patterns. There also is a small museum depicting the history of Cascades Falls, two golf courses, tennis courts, a picnic area, lagoons, paddle boats, batting cages and a miniature golf course.    

Buy edit

Jackson boasts many large stores concentrated in four main areas.

  • Jackson Crossing is by far the largest shopping mall in the city and the area, boasting over fifty stores and such big box stores as Target, Hobby Lobby, Burlington, Ross, Best Buy, Dunham's Sports, Five Below, OfficeMax, PetSmart, Lowes, and Kohls. There are also many restaurants in the mall, and a US Post Office branch as well. Home to Jackson's movie theater
  • Westwood Mall is the next largest mall in the city and the only other enclosed shopping mall. Not as upscale as its big brother to the north, but certainly boasts a variety of shops, the largest being JCPenney and Walmart (the only one in the city and surrounding area). A few restaurants are also located in the mall.
  • Airport Road Shopping Center. This shopping center is on Airport Rd between I-94 and Springport Rd on the northwest side of Jackson, just north of Jackson County Airport. This shopping center has a Meijer grocery store and gas station, a few fast food restaurants, a Holiday Inn Express and a Home2, a Jackson County Library Branch, and a Tractor Supply Co. on the east side of Airport Road. South of the freeway and a turn on O'neill Dr and there is a Sams Club, another Holiday Inn, and a couple of nicer restaurants (Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Culvers).
  • Michigan Ave Shopping Center. This shopping center, on the east side of the city, has a Meijer, Rite Aid, Tractor Supply Co., Great Clips, and a few restaurants. This shopping center is located at the Michigan Ave/US 127 interchange and is the main business district for Michigan Center and Vandercook Lake

Eat edit

  • The Parlour, Wildwood Ave at Daniel Road. Pleasant, somewhat "old-fashioned" ice cream parlour with delicious and generous servings of a variety of sundaes, sodas, shakes, etc. Many flavors to choose from. A Jackson tradition. Opened in 1944.
  • Hinckley's Bakery (Hinkley's Donuts), 700 S Blackstone St. Excellent donuts.

Drink edit

  • Ogma Brewing Co. (Ogma), 29 E Michigan Ave (downtown), +1 517 888-7001. 11AM - 11PM. Community chill spot with house-brewed beers and nice food.

Sleep edit

Go next edit

  • Spring Arbor University is 8 miles from Jackson in Spring Arbor (on M-60) and is a small, Christian liberal arts university. There are frequent musical, theatrical, and athletic events at Spring Arbor University, many of them free. Downtown Spring Arbor is a quaint
  • Marshall, 32 miles west of Jackson, is the quintessential American hometown. It is full of lovely Victorian homes and shops that have been beautifully restored. In addition to being home to a number of small museums and antique shops, it hosts the Historic Home Tour every September. Other festivals are held throughout the year.
  • Lansing the capital of Michigan, is 38 miles north of Jackson. Home of Michigan State University, two large shopping malls, and Lansing Lugnuts Minor League baseball, there is much to do here.
  • Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, is 37 miles east of Jackson. Slightly nicer than Jackson and large college town. Great healthcare facilities as a result of the University of Michigan.
  • Hell, Michigan. This tourist attraction 15 miles NW of Ann Arbor is little more than a spot on the map, but has earned international fame through its name, which is registered on the list of unusual place names. Favorites include bumper stickers saying, "I survived the trip to Hell and back!" "Greetings from Hell!" "This place is Hell on Earth!" and Hell themed decor. Don't miss Satan's arrival by helicopter at Satan's Hills.
  • Chicago, Illinois is about three and a half hours from Jackson, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana are about 2 hours and 3½ hours away, respectively. Toledo, Ohio is 90 minutes away, Cleveland, Ohio is 3 hr 15 min away and Columbus, Ohio is 4 hours away. These larger cities are great launching points for a trip into Jackson, or leaving Jackson. They offer a wider range of activities and attractions. Also great for a weekend getaway from Jackson.
  • Michigan International Speedway, a NASCAR speedway 35 minutes south of town in Lenawee County. To get there from downtown, find S Cooper St (US 127 BUS/M-50) and head south. You'll meet up with US 127 and head south. You'll turn left onto US-12 just south of the county line and follow signs for Michigan International Speedway, which will be on your left. If you've gone past Brooklyn Rd, you've missed it, and you will need to turn around.

Cope edit

The city has deep religious roots. Though most businesses do not close on Sunday, they stay closed until churches let out. Even Jackson Crossing mall does not open until noon on Sunday. Though secularization is gradually weakening the roots, a lot of the population attends a service of some sort on Sunday. Places of worship in Jackson include:

  • Heart O' the Lakes Church -- Jackson Campus. This church, formerly Pathway Community Church, is part of the United Brethren denomination. 5225 Clinton Rd. Also has a campus in Brooklyn.
  • JaxNaz Church. Large Nazarene church in Jackson. 3905 Clinton Rd, Jackson
  • First Baptist Church of Jackson. 201 S Jackson St
  • Ganson Street Baptist Church. 637 W Ganson St
  • Bethel Church. 1691 Springport Rd
  • First United Methodist Church. 275 W Michigan Ave
  • St Paul's Episcopal Church. 309 S Jackson St
  • St John the Evangelist Catholic Church. 711 N Francis St
Routes through Jackson
ChicagoBattle Creek  W   E  Ann ArborDetroit
KalamazooMarshall  W   E  ChelseaAnn Arbor
Mackinaw CityLansing  N   S  → Jct W   E → Jct   EBryan
LowellEaton Rapids  W   E  → Jct W   E → Jct N   SDundeeMonroe

This city travel guide to Jackson is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!