Jacksonville is one of Florida’s most popular cities due to its thriving arts scene, friendly residents, and stunning beaches.
Located in the northern region of the state, Jacksonville has cultivated a reputation as a bustling, vibrant destination with unrivaled attractions. Whether you’re moving to the city or simply visiting for a weekend, here’s everything you need to know about Jacksonville.
Where is Jacksonville Located on the Map?
Jacksonville, also known as Jax, rests on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. It is located near the St John’s River and boasts over 1,000 miles of shoreline. It is only 25 miles from the state line of Georgia.
Quick Facts About Jacksonville
Jacksonville is home to over 1.6 million residents and has an eclectic population mix. People from all over the world come to the city to enjoy what it has to offer.
Jacksonville’s climate is best described as subtropical. Summers are usually very hot and dry whilst the winters are far cooler due to the oceanside breeze. Whilst not as hot as cities in Southern Florida, the weather is still very warm in Jacksonville most of the time.
Rainfall tends to be brief, but intense. Expect heavy downpours in the final third of the year as this is typical of tropical locations.
Jacksonville is not short of attractions and you’ll definitely be busy exploring it. You’ll notice a bright, bustling atmosphere whilst in the city whether you’re at a park. bar, restaurant, or music venue.
Top Jacksonville Attractions
There are hundreds of things to do in Jax and we couldn’t possibly cover all of them in one article. However, we can offer you a handful of the best, most fun things to do in the city. Here are some of the top-rated tourist attractions in the city:
Jacksonville Beach is an immaculate stretch of coastline enjoyed by people of all age groups. Its sugar-white sand and emerald waters are perfect for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.
Make sure you take plenty of sunscreen with you before you depart, and keep hydrated before a day in the sun.
In the evening, you can head to Jacksonville Beach Pier and enjoy a stunning sunset view.
Kingsley Plantation House
One of the most powerful historical attractions in Jax, the Kingsley Plantation offers an insight into life in the 19th-century.
The house is perfectly preserved to represent what life was like during the slave trade. Kitchens and cabins are exactly how they were, and the beautiful scenery on the perimeter acts as a juxtaposition with the horrors of those enslaved.
The Kingsley Plantation is located on Fort George Island. It may not be in the center of Jacksonville, but it’s not too far away and is worth the additional effort if you’re a history buff.
Riverside and Avondale
Looking for some fast-paced action? The districts of Riverside and Avondale have all you need.
Featuring charming, picturesque streets and quaint houses, these two districts are ideal for those hoping to delve into Jacksonville’s cultural side.
The two districts are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and feature stunning art galleries, vibrant bars, and an abundance of quirky and independent businesses. Check out the Riverside Arts Market if you’re eager to meet the creative folk and sample their work.
There’s also the famous Shoppes of Avondale. These outlets focus on the local craftsmen and chefs. A visit here is ideal for a laid-back day of sightseeing and you’ll be able to try some delicious food.
Jacksonville Zoo; Gardens
Perfect for animal lovers of all ages, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the city’s most beloved tourist attractions.
The 73-acre zoo contains over 200 species of animals and over 100 plant species. Some of the animals residing here include apes, elephants, monkeys, and giraffes. There are also several aquatic animals here, which is fitting given the city’s proximity to the ocean.
Best Time to Visit Jacksonville
The best time to visit Jacksonville is during the summer due to a large number of outdoor attractions such as parks, markets, beaches, and gardens.
Though the weather may get a little too hot for some, the breeze coming from both the Atlantic Ocean and the st. John’s River acts as an effective cooling agent. This comes in handy when you’re walking around the streets of the city soaking in the atmosphere.
Is Jacksonville Worth Visiting?
Yes! Jacksonville is a city brimming with amazing attractions, a diverse arts scene, delicious food, and wonderful natural scenery. You’d be hard-pressed to find a city with as much going for it as Jacksonville.
Where to Stay in Jacksonville
We recommend staying in the downtown area if you can. Prices are cheaper and it’s far easier to find a hotel slightly out of the city limits rather than right in the center.
There are hundreds of good hotels in Jacksonville so finding one won’t be an issue. If you have money to burn or don’t fancy a short commute, you could always stay in a more central location, though keep in mind that demand for these hotels is a lot more substantial.
Most of the most opulent hotels can be found in Deerwood. Another hotspot for fancy hotels is St John’s Town Center. You have plenty of options when it comes to staying in Jacksonville, so there’s no need to panic about finding a bed.
Jacksonville is one of Florida’s gems. Miami may get all the headlines, but Jax offers a cultural experience like no other. It’s definitely worth visiting if you’re looking for a new and exciting vacation spot and exploring the nooks and crannies of the city will keep you entertained for several weeks.
Whether you fancy a city break or a long, lazy, beachside holiday, Jacksonville has everything you could possibly need.