15 best places to visit in Jacksonville : Jacksonville, Florida, sometimes referred to as “Jax” locally, is the meeting point between the South and the North. The prideful tradition of southern gentility, neighbourliness, and gastronomy continues today. Although this city has a rich cultural and historical past, there are still plenty of contemporary sites and activities to enjoy.
However, despite the big office buildings and high-rise buildings in the city, the locals still firmly hold onto small-town ideals. The differences are maybe more striking and startling than anywhere else in Florida.
Life in this river city is centred on the St. Johns River, which flows directly through it, and the ocean to the east. Jacksonville also has a tonne of surprises to offer. For instance, few people are aware that Jacksonville was the birthplace of Hollywood.
We have prepared a list of 15 best places to visit in Jacksonville, so without wasting any time lets get into it.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
The Zoo is a fantastic family adventure with over 2.000 unique and exotic animals and 1,000 different plant species. We welcome you to connect with people, animals, and the environment at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, whether you are a tourist to Florida’s First Coast or a lifelong resident.
On a breathtaking riverside backdrop, the Jacksonville Zoo has promoted wildlife conservation since 1914. Both adults and children will enjoy seeing the otters swim in the Wild Florida exhibit and feeding the giraffes at the African Overlook. The zoo also has an Australian Adventure with lorikeets, which are vibrant birds. In its award-winning display, Jaguars steal the show as tigers wander above in the Land of the Tiger.
This Jacksonville District is frequently described as eclectic, bohemian, historic, and trendy. The Riverside/Avondale region, recognised as one of the nation’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods and included in the National Registry of Historic Places, is a special fusion of culture, history, charm, and contemporary architecture. The district’s “Five Points” sector is a bohemian neighbourhood with creative coffee shops, outdoor cafés, fantastic local cuisine, unique shopping, nightclubs, antique stores, and more. It is only a few blocks from the St. Johns River. Another attraction of this area is The Shoppes of Avondale, which features a diverse array of locally owned eateries, apparel stores, and streets lined with oak trees coated with Spanish moss.
In Riverside/Avondale, magnificent old mansions and expansive city parks are the norm.
Catty Shack Ranch
The conservationist goal of this tiger-focused ranch frequently involves saving tigers and other large animals from cruel captivity. Volunteers lead tours of the ranch while explaining in-depth information about the cats’ backgrounds and how they operate. Purchase tickets in advance for a night feeding. It is an experience unlike any other to see the cats walk about their cages while tearing into complete corpses.
Little Talbot Island
Enjoy a five mile stretch of pristine shoreline amid a maritime forest. Little Talbot Island is home to dozens of native wildlife species. Fishing enthusiasts are likely to catch flounder, sheepshead, and more. Bring your binoculars for a chance to view birds of prey perched in the treetops or comb the shore for glistening seashells.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
This stunning coastal municipal park in Atlantic Beach boasts miles of white sand beaches, a lake for fishing and paddle boarding, access for kayaking, and more than 20 miles of bike and hiking paths that range in difficulty. One of Jacksonville’s top surfing places is located near Hanna.
Big Talbot Island
There are wetlands, marshes, bike lanes, and undiscovered beaches in Big Talbot, which adds to its allure. The attractions include Blackrock Beach and Boneyard Beach; don’t forget to go on a guided kayak excursion or go hiking.
Kingsley Plantation, which is situated on the marsh side of Fort George Island, has a significant historical significance in Florida. The National Park Service’s preservation of the 1814 plantation home and the surrounding buildings has allowed them to provide insight into a distinct period in Southern history. Spend some time exploring the fascinating tabby homes that the slaves of the plantation built and called home. You may schedule a tour with a park ranger or enjoy a self-guided audio tour.
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The Cummer offers magnificent art and gardens with European influences along the St. Johns River. The museum, which was once the residence of art collector Ninah Mae Holden Cummer, emphasises diverse, dynamic art and the wonders of nature. The Cummer is the ideal destination for art fans of all ages because it has a sizable, engaging children’s exhibit.
St. Johns Town Center
The St. Johns Town Center, which has more than 1.2 million square feet of outdoor shopping space, 175+ businesses, and 20+ eateries, is Jacksonville’s premier shopping destination. Whether you’re a wise saver or a luxury enthusiast, there is something for everyone, from Target to Tiffany & Co. You may shop till you drop within the St. Johns Town Center because there are three hotels there.
MOSH (Museum of Science and History)
Imagine travelling through the visible universe and into outer space without ever leaving Earth. At MOSH’s Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, one of the biggest single-lens planetariums in the country, that is how it seems (translation: expect cutting edge technology for razor-sharp viewing and immerse experiences). One of the museum’s most renowned attractions is its planetarium, but there are other things to enjoy as well. A few kid-friendly exhibitions with topics spanning science and environment amuse and excite visitors.
Beaches Town Center
Some of Jacksonville’s greatest food and shopping can be found in this charming area, which is where Atlantic and Neptune Beach converge. Wander through unique boutiques, beachy shops, art galleries, and mouthwatering restaurants only steps from the seaside.
Fort Caroline National Memorial
This is a historically significant reconstruction of the fort built in Jacksonville by French colonists in 1564. The Spanish invaded and destroyed the French colony in 1565. With cannons and flags, the reproduction fort portrays what the old Fort Caroline might have looked like. The St. Johns River mouth is admirably visible from the fort’s upper levels. The park has a 1.3-mile nature walk. It is a circle route that travels through a hardwood and marine hammock. A museum devoted to the history of the region is also present. You’ll find a recreation of a Timucua house outside the fort, replete with a canoe that is still being built. The National Parks Service is responsible for looking after this historic site.
TIAA Bank Field
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium is a draw in and of itself. You may experience The Bank on game days or every Saturday during guided tours. It has dazzling swimming pools and cabanas, one of the largest video boards in the world, many cutting-edge conference rooms, neighbourhood eateries, and stunning murals created by local artists.
Riverside Arts Market
Every Saturday morning, local crafters, artists, and farmers assemble beneath the Fuller Warren Bridge’s canopy for the unveiling of this outdoor memorial. The Riverside Arts Market, often known as RAM, provides exceptional entertainment with a St. Johns River perspective that is unmatched. At this neighbourhood celebration, take advantage of live music, food trucks, and free yoga.
Huguenot Memorial Park
It combines a park and a beach on the ocean. Being the only beach in the Jacksonville region where cars are permitted makes it unique. It’s a terrific idea to visit Huguenot Memorial Park for a day of beach activities, bird viewing, kiteboarding, and other fun activities. It is conveniently reachable by the Mayport Ferry or Heckscher Drive and is situated on Ft. George Island on the city’s Northside. On-site camping is also available.