Learn to be a Tourist in your own Hometown - Downtown Jackson

I was having lunch the other day with a friend and she mentioned how much she loved going to Chelsea and spending a day in their downtown and she wishes she could do that in our downtown. I work downtown so I spend a lot of time downtown. We have so much to be thankful for in our downtown and how far it’s come. So, I set out on a journey to see if one could actually spend a day strolling the streets and shops of our downtown. Because I had planned on spending the day walking around downtown it was a perfect opportunity to drop my car off at Kelly’s Imports and get a tune-up.

The first decision of the day was the hardest-where to have breakfast, Candi’s BZB or Steve’s Ranch House or Anna’s Porch Café? I have been to all of these locations and while they offer a different experience all are equally as good. In the end I went with Anna’s Porch Café because it took care of two desires-a great breakfast and shopping at a great local store. If you haven’t been to either of this locations I highly encourage you to pack up the family and start your day out enjoying a great quality local restaurant.

Once by belly was full and my wallet a little lighter from the store I set off to explore the streets of downtown and enjoy my day. Some of my highlights of the day were:

Carnegie Library-to pick up a book I had requested-what a true gem in downtown.

A Frame Above and 180 Chic Boutique-I never walk out of there empty handed. Wendy’s knack for finding unique quality items in unmatched.

Nostalgia Ink-I admit this isn’t a typical store that I frequent but I have two amazing sons who love this store and I can always find them a gift I know they will love.

Gilbert Chocolates-no trip downtown is complete without a stop in Gilbert Chocolates. The smell alone is worth it. With Mother’s Day coming up a trip there could benefit you and you can find an amazing gift for mom.

My next stop was Beads to Live By-I’m not a jewelry maker by nature but her one of a kind premade jewelry is right up my alley.

The Orange Peacock was next on my list. What an amazing store with unique items that supports our local creative sector. Be sure and check them out.

Now it's time for lunch. The decision for lunch was even harder than my breakfast decision as we have so many great quality and locally owned restaurants. Did I want to go to The Chop House and have a custom made salad? Crazy Cowboy? Mat’s Café? The Dirty Bird? The Chase? The Junk Yard Dog to name just a few. In the end I went with Mat’s Café and got a pulled pork sandwich.

After lunch I set off to complete my day downtown and stopped by Pedal and Tour, Jackson Antique Mall, Walt’s Health Food Store, Miller Shoes, and ended my day at Antique Mercantile. After a full day of shopping be sure and stop by Grand River Brewery and enjoy a growler or Jackson Coffee Company for a cup of joe or a smoothie.

So to all the nay sayers out there I say yes, you can spend a wonderful day in downtown Jackson supporting local business owners. Learn to be a tourist in your own hometown.

Downtown Jackson Photo coutesy of JTV.

Written by Valerie Herr

Director of Marketing and Development

Jackson Symphony Orchestra

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