Sink your toes into Jacksonville's sandy beaches, abundant waterways, and the largest city in Florida. It is a natural paradise for visitors looking for a luxurious cruise vacation, with over 2000 animal species and 100 rare plants in Northeast Florida's premier zoo and botanical garden. Don't forget to explore the local art, music, theatre, restaurants, sports and community, and some top tourist attractions. Moreover, Jacksonville is the third largest seaport with a humid subtropical climate, warm to mild and drier winter to hot, humid summers. Its authentic multi-cuisine, thriving craft beer scene, and fun and cosmopolitan nightlife make Jacksonville worth visiting.
A family bucket list should include exploring Jacksonville, Florida. Please add it if it has not been added yet. Here are just a few of the reasons you should visit Jacksonville.
There is no other seafood scene on the Eastern Seaboard that offers as many quality options as Jacksonville's. At Jacksonville's many seafood restaurants, you will find spicy sweet Datil-based sauces, fantastic paella, and fresh Mahi and flounder dishes that are heavily influenced by the Menorcan and Balaeric populations of North Florida.
Jacksonville is on Florida's First Coast, where non-native settlements were first established. Several countries have ruled it in the past, so its stories date back long before most other places. For history buffs, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve should be the first stop on their exploration. This national park documents the history of the area's first residents. Spanish and British rule was previously in place in this area. It was a part of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Using the Jacksonville Historical Society's resources, you can discover those tales.
Near the St Johns River, the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens are must-see attractions. With a century-old history, these gardens are among the prettiest in North Florida. A visit to the Jacksonville Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a memorable experience. With labels describing plant life, the trails traverse 120 acres of forest.
Whether you're seeking a life-changing experience, a romantic getaway, a family reunion, a cultural offering, or a sunrise to inspire you, Jacksonville has it all. For visitors seeking a luxury getaway at an affordable price, Jacksonville is the ideal destination along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida.
A vital part of Jacksonville's history, commerce, and transportation is the St. Johns River. There are two sections of this pedestrian pathway along the river, the Northbank, and Southbank, which connect several hotels and attractions. The water becomes calm and tranquil as the city lights up on either side of the river at dusk. Street performers and bands often perform during the day, which is a fun way to spend a few moments. As well as good restaurants, there are some on the way. Besides walking, jogging, and running, biking and riding a bike are safe activities you can do here. Watch out for dolphins frolicking in the water because you may see them.
Fort George Island State Park is home to the Kingsley Plantation, the former home of Zephaniah Kingsley. A former plantation that exploited enslaved people, Kingsley Plantation hides a dark side of history. This horrendous period of forced labor can now be researched more easily. Despite how sad this is to read, it is something that should never be forgotten. Take a stroll along some of the trails within the park after taking in the accounts at the plantation. Watch out for the mosquitoes! It's a gorgeous area but be prepared for a lot of mosquitoes.
A wide variety of retailers, exclusive brands, restaurants, and bars are available at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville's Southside. This mall is located at North Beltway Boulevard and Turner Butler Boulevard. There are over 100 shops, including Anthropologie, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Nordstrom, and Tiffany & Co. The M Shack, Seasons 52, and The Capital Grille are some restaurants and cafes around the mall that offer lunch and dinner. Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails is a great place to unwind after shopping or to re-energize at The Cheesecake Factory.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love Hanna Park's oceanfront setting. As the first African American resort in Florida, it is situated between Mayport Village and Atlantic Beach. There is a scenic 60-acre lake at Hanna Park, previously known as Manhattan Beach. Adventure Kayak Florida offers several kayaking tours in the park because it is so beautiful. In addition to hiking trails with various difficulty levels, there are also 20 miles worth of courses for those who prefer to stay dry. Different types of terrain are used on the trails, including dirt, boardwalks, and sand. Hanna Park is a favorite spot for avid surfers in this part of Florida.
During the early 1990s, the City Of Jacksonville acquired the railbed for a multi-purpose trail that runs east-west along the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. A parallel equestrian trail runs similar to the paved route between Jacksonville and Baldwin, making it one of the state's first projects of this kind. There are 14.5 miles of Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail, which cuts through hardwood uplands, wetlands, and Flatwoods. There are several wildlife species you can expect to see if you take your time, including wild turkeys, hawks, alligators, rabbits, armadillos, and gopher tortoises, as well as some snakes.