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Explore Jackson

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Type of Activity

Local Attractions

In the heart of California’s Gold Country sits Jackson, the city that produced more than half the gold pulled from the Mother Lode during the Gold Rush. What began as a mining town in 1848 is now full of unique specialty shops, restaurants, nature trails and historical attractions like the Kennedy Gold Mine and the former home of Armstead C. Brown, now the Amador County Museum, and many other places to explore.

Travel back in time at the Kennedy Gold Mine, famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world at 5,912 feet and producing approximately $34,280,000 in gold. Every weekend and holiday, surface tours of the mine are offered to explore how the gold rush defined the way of life in California. Pan for gold, push an ore car, or walk where miners walked, followed by a picnic on beautiful grounds surrounding the mine. Don’t forget to check their calendar when you are in town! The attraction offers special live events including speaker series, arts and craft shows and much more. And, while you’re there, visit the Kennedy Tailing Wheels Park, which preserves two of the remaining Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheels, iconic relics of the state’s hard rock mining era. Although these wheels were built in 1914, the 58-foot-tall Kennedy Tailing Wheels are a one-of-a-kind creation visitors flock to for photos.

Overlooking downtown Jackson, the Amador County Museum is a historic 15-room Greek Revival-style home, constructed in 1854 to be the home of Armstead C. Brown, one of the founding fathers of Amador County. Now the Amador County Museum, his home holds collections that include a Gold History Exhibit, fashions of the past, a Victorian bedroom and parlor, a Native American collection, a Chinese American collection, and much more. A separate building houses the Mine Model Exhibit, which displays working models built to scale of a Kennedy Mine tailing wheel, a hard-rock mining head frame, and a stamp mill. 

The Amador County Museum also hosts a Historic Walking Tour of downtown Jackson, which includes The National Hotel, Jackson Community Cemetary, Mother Lode Market and more. The stroll takes you through historic Main Street. Listed as a historic district in the National Register, downtown Jackson was founded during the raucous Gold Rush era. Jackson grew out of its wild west past to be one of the Mother Lode’s most successful towns. Visitors will discover antiques galore, hand-made pottery, beading and fiber arts, American west and Indian crafts, a trading company, unique cookware, rare edition books, Celtic imports and so much more. 

After a day of sightseeing, stop by some of Jackson’s beloved restaurants, including Rosebud’s Café and Market, a farm-to-fork café featuring locally grown foods from their farm, Majestic Oak Farm and Gardens or Teresa’s Place, a quaint family-owned establishment serving traditional Italian cuisine since 1921. If you are looking for a little nosh, check out Brickhouse Brews, located in a retro-décor building on Main Street which offers micro brews, local wines and inspired pub food.

End the day down the road at Harrah’s Northern California to place a winning bet or relax while overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountains. A state-of-the art, 71,000 square-foot entertainment destination, the property boasts 950 slot machines, 20 tables games, three fast-casual dining concepts and the casual elegant Louie Oliver’s Restaurant & Bar, which features an array of local fare and fresh, farm-to-fork selections. 

Jackson offers the perfect weekend getaway, one you will return to again and again. For more information about Jackson and what to do on your next trip to Harrah’s Northern California, visit the Jackson Civic Center or just ask one of our friendly team members.