Ah, Jacksonville! It’s a city that often flies under the radar, but let me tell you, it’s a hidden gem on Florida’s northeastern coast. With its sprawling parks, historic neighborhoods, and miles of stunning beaches, there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re planning a visit or just curious about what this vibrant city has to offer, buckle up! I’m about to take you on a whirlwind tour of the 10 best things to do in Jacksonville.
First up, let’s talk about the beaches. Jacksonville boasts some of the most beautiful coastlines in the Sunshine State. One of my personal favorites is Jacksonville Beach. It’s perfect for a day of sunbathing, surfing, or just strolling along the pier. And if you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of seaside eateries where you can grab a bite and soak in the ocean views.
Explore the Riverside Arts Market
Every Saturday, under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge, you’ll find the Riverside Arts Market. It’s a bustling hub of local artisans, farmers, and performers. I always find something unique here, from handmade jewelry to fresh produce. Plus, the street performers are not to be missed – they truly bring the market to life!
Take a Stroll through the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The Cummer Museum is a cultural jewel in Jacksonville’s crown. With its impressive collection of art spanning from ancient times to the contemporary period, it’s a feast for the eyes. The gardens are equally stunning, offering a tranquil escape with their beautifully manicured landscapes and serene river views.
Get Wild at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For animal lovers and families, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must-visit. It’s home to over 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 plant species. I always recommend the Land of the Tiger exhibit – it’s an immersive experience that brings you up close with these majestic creatures.
Indulge in a Craft Beer Tour
Jacksonville’s craft beer scene is hopping! Pun intended. 😉 Local breweries like Intuition Ale Works and Bold City Brewery offer tours and tastings. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if you’re a fan of a good brew.
Discover the History at Kingsley Plantation
History buffs will appreciate a visit to Kingsley Plantation. It’s the oldest surviving plantation house in Florida. The stories of the people who lived there, both the plantation owners and the enslaved, are poignant reminders of our past.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Little Talbot Island State Park
If you’re into hiking, fishing, or just enjoying nature, Little Talbot Island State Park is your spot. With its untouched beaches and diverse wildlife, it’s a slice of paradise. I’ve spent countless hours exploring the trails and have never been disappointed.
Experience the Thrills at Adventure Landing
Adventure Landing is a family-friendly amusement park with something for everyone. From mini-golf to go-karts to a water park, it’s a place where you can let loose and have some fun. It’s one of those spots that’ll make you feel like a kid again.
Take in a Show at the Florida Theatre
The Florida Theatre is one of those places that just oozes history. Since 1927, it’s been the go-to venue for live entertainment. Whether you’re into concerts, ballet, or comedy, check out their schedule. The theatre’s stunning architecture alone is worth the visit.
Visit the Friendship Fountain
Last but not least, Friendship Fountain is one of Jacksonville’s most iconic landmarks. Located in St. Johns River Park, it’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploring. At night, the fountain lights up and is absolutely mesmerizing.
- What’s the best time of year to visit Jacksonville?
Spring and fall are fantastic, thanks to the mild weather. But honestly, Jacksonville is a year-round destination.
- Are there any good spots for foodies in Jacksonville?
- Is Jacksonville family-friendly?
Definitely! With parks, museums, and the zoo, there’s plenty to keep kids entertained.
In conclusion, Jacksonville is a city brimming with activities and sights that cater to all tastes. From its stunning beaches and vibrant arts market to its rich history and family-friendly attractions, there’s no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, make sure to explore these top 10 spots – they truly showcase the best of what Jacksonville has to offer. So, pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the hidden treasures of this Florida City!
Remember, whether you’re soaking up the sun at Jacksonville Beach, sipping on a craft beer, or delving into history at Kingsley Plantation, you’re in for a treat. Jacksonville is a city that will surprise you with its charm and keep you coming back for more. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the excitement and let Jacksonville’s allure sweep you off your feet!