Welcome to Jacksonville, Florida, the largest city in the state, with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene. Known for its beaches, parks, museums, and sporting events, Jacksonville has something for everyone. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for a fun getaway, Jacksonville has plenty to offer.
Jacksonville is located in northeastern Florida, approximately 330 miles north of Miami and 140 miles south of Savannah, Georgia. The city is served by Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which is located approximately 15 miles north of downtown Jacksonville. The airport offers nonstop flights to many major cities in the United States, as well as international destinations in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
If you're driving to Jacksonville, the city is easily accessible from Interstate 95, which runs along the eastern coast of the United States. You can also reach Jacksonville via Interstate 10, which runs from west to east across the northern part of Florida.
Once you're in Jacksonville, there are several ways to get around the city. The most popular mode of transportation is by car, and you can rent a car at the airport or in downtown Jacksonville. The city also has a public transportation system called the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), which operates buses and a monorail system called the Skyway.
Another great way to get around Jacksonville is by bike. The city has more than 80 miles of bike trails, including the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail, which is a 14.5-mile paved trail that runs from Jacksonville to Baldwin.
Things to Do
There are plenty of things to see and do in Jacksonville, whether you're interested in history, nature, or entertainment.
History: If you're a history buff, be sure to visit the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, which features more than 5,000 works of art and 2.5 acres of beautiful gardens. You can also check out the Kingsley Plantation, which dates back to the early 1800s and was once a working plantation.
Nature: Jacksonville is home to several beautiful parks and beaches. The most popular beach is Jacksonville Beach, which offers miles of sandy shoreline and plenty of water activities, including surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Another must-see destination is the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which is home to more than 2,000 animals and 1,000 varieties of plants.
Entertainment: Jacksonville is also known for its vibrant cultural scene. The city hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, which is held annually in May. The city is also home to several theaters and performing arts venues, including the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and the Ritz Theatre and Museum.
Sports: Sports fans will love Jacksonville, which is home to several professional sports teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the city's NFL team, while the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are the city's minor league baseball team. The city also hosts several college sports events, including the annual Florida-Georgia football game, which is held at TIAA Bank Field.
Where to Eat
Jacksonville is home to a variety of restaurants, offering everything from seafood to barbecue to international cuisine. Some of the top-rated restaurants in the city include:
Black Sheep Restaurant: This restaurant is known for its farm-to-table cuisine and craft cocktails.
The Bearded Pig: This barbecue restaurant serves up some of the best brisket, ribs, and pulled pork in the city.
Gilbert's Social: This restaurant offers a mix of international cuisine, including Korean fried chicken, ceviche, and jerk chicken.
Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant: Located in Mayport Village, this restaurant offers fresh seafood and a beautiful waterfront view.
Where to Stay
Jacksonville offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and style. From luxury hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts, you'll find a place to stay that meets your needs.
Omni Jacksonville Hotel: This upscale hotel is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville and offers stunning views of the city skyline.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island: This luxurious beachfront resort is located just a short drive from Jacksonville and offers world-class amenities, including a spa, golf course, and several restaurants.
Hotel Indigo Jacksonville-Deerwood Park: This boutique hotel offers stylish accommodations and is located in the upscale Deerwood Park neighborhood.
Riverdale Inn: This charming bed and breakfast is located in the historic Riverside neighborhood and offers cozy accommodations and a delicious breakfast each morning.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Jacksonville is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. The summer months can be hot and humid, but it's a great time to hit the beach and enjoy the water activities. If you're a sports fan, consider visiting in the fall to catch a Jaguars football game or in the spring to catch a Jumbo Shrimp baseball game.
Jacksonville is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone. From the beaches to the museums to the sports events, you're sure to have a great time in this Florida gem. Whether you're planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, Jacksonville is a destination worth considering.