Nestled along Florida’s picturesque northeastern coast, Jacksonville is a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of modern amenities and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or someone seeking thrilling adventures, Jacksonville has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Jacksonville, ensuring that your visit to the “River City” is nothing short of extraordinary.
Discover the Beauty of Jacksonville Beach: Jacksonville boasts 22 miles of stunning coastline, and Jacksonville Beach is a must-visit destination. Relax on the sandy shores, take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean, or stroll along the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier. With its vibrant atmosphere and an array of beachside restaurants and shops, Jacksonville Beach is the perfect spot for a leisurely day by the sea.
Immerse Yourself in History at the Cummer Museum: For art and history enthusiasts, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is a treasure trove. Set amidst beautiful gardens along the St. Johns River, the museum features an impressive collection of European and American art. Take a leisurely walk through the meticulously landscaped gardens, adding a touch of tranquility to your cultural exploration.
Adventure Awaits at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park: Nature lovers will find solace in Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, a sprawling 450-acre oasis offering hiking trails, a freshwater lake for kayaking, and pristine beaches. Whether you’re into biking, fishing, or just enjoying a picnic surrounded by nature, this park provides a welcome escape from the urban hustle.
Explore the Eclectic Riverside Arts Market: Dive into Jacksonville’s vibrant arts scene at the Riverside Arts Market. Held every Saturday under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge, this market showcases local artists, farmers, and musicians. From handmade crafts to fresh produce and live performances, it’s a lively celebration of Jacksonville’s creative spirit.
Witness Jaguars’ Roar at TIAA Bank Field: Sports enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the chance to catch a game at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just want to experience the electric atmosphere of an NFL game, cheering on the Jaguars is an essential Jacksonville experience.
Take a Stroll Through Historic St. Augustine: While not in Jacksonville per se, the historic city of St. Augustine is just a short drive away. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the nation’s oldest city, exploring Castillo de San Marcos, strolling down St. George Street, and savoring the charm of this colonial gem.
Savor Culinary Delights in Five Points: Foodies will find their haven in Five Points, a trendy neighborhood known for its diverse culinary scene. From upscale dining to quirky food trucks, Five Points caters to all tastes. Be sure to explore the boutiques and art galleries that add to the neighborhood’s unique charm.
Marvel at Marine Life in Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: Spend a day exploring the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, home to over 2,000 animals and an array of beautifully landscaped gardens. The zoo offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to get up close with wildlife from around the world. Don’t miss the award-winning Range of the Jaguar exhibit.
Enjoy Waterfront Dining at The Jacksonville Landing: The Jacksonville Landing, situated along the St. Johns River, is a hub for entertainment, dining, and shopping. Enjoy a meal with a view at one of the waterfront restaurants, explore the boutiques, and catch live music performances. The Landing frequently hosts events, so check the calendar for festivals and concerts during your visit.
Cruise Along the St. Johns River: Take a scenic cruise along the St. Johns River for a different perspective of Jacksonville. Several companies offer river tours, ranging from narrated sightseeing cruises to romantic dinner cruises. Enjoy the city skyline and learn about the history of the river, making for a relaxing and informative outing.
Bike the Baldwin Rail Trail: For outdoor enthusiasts, the Baldwin Rail Trail provides an excellent opportunity for biking, jogging, or a leisurely stroll. This 14.5-mile trail winds through scenic landscapes, including forests and wetlands. Bring your own bike or rent one locally to enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty.
Attend a Cultural Performance at the Florida Theatre: Immerse yourself in Jacksonville’s cultural scene by attending a performance at the historic Florida Theatre. Built in 1927, this beautifully restored venue hosts a variety of events, including concerts, Broadway shows, and classic films. Check the schedule for upcoming performances during your visit.
Shop and Dine in Avondale: Avondale, known for its historic charm and tree-lined streets, is a great neighborhood for shopping and dining. Explore the unique boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries. Afterward, savor a meal at one of the local cafes or bistros, making it a perfect afternoon outing.
Visit the Museum of Science and History (MOSH): Ideal for families and science enthusiasts, MOSH offers interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and live science demonstrations. Learn about the region’s natural history, explore the cosmos, and engage in hands-on activities that make science fun and accessible for all ages.
Kayak or Paddleboard on the Intracoastal Waterway: Experience the tranquility of the Intracoastal Waterway by renting a kayak or paddleboard. Paddle along the water, taking in the scenic views and perhaps spotting some of the local marine life. Rentals are available at various locations along the coast.
Jacksonville, Florida, is a city that invites exploration and promises a myriad of experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re basking in the sun at Jacksonville Beach, immersing yourself in art and history, or indulging in the local culinary delights, the “River City” is sure to leave you with lasting memories. So, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Jacksonville!