Jackson, in the central-southern part of the state, is a diversified commercial and manufacturing center with some ties to the auto industry. Cost of living is moderately low, air quality is good, and it has a smaller feel than most other Michigan industrial centers.
Downtown is plain but clean by regional standards. Nearby Michigan International Speedway is an attraction, as are numerous festivals through the year including a month-long Shakespeare festival. The city benefits from college-town amenities in nearby Ann Arbor and Lansing-East Lansing.
The area sits at the confluence of several creeks running into the Kalamazoo River. The surrounding terrain is rolling and wooded with many small lakes nearby. The climate is mainly continental with a Great Lakes influence depending on wind strength. Summers are hot and humid, and winter temperatures are among the coldest in the state. Strong winds and storm fronts bring a variety of clouds, precipitation, and winter wind chill. Snowfall is moderate, and clouds and snow cover are common during winter. First freeze is early October, last is early May.