On the Northeastern Florida shore, Jacksonville offers all the benefits of a beach town combined with city life and Southern charm. When you visit Jacksonville, you don’t have to choose between big-city amenities and the leisurely pace of coastal living. Whether the view from your getaway booking is skyscrapers or sawgrass, you’re never far from some sun, sand, and waves.
With more than 22 miles of beach and 40 miles of the Intracoastal Waterway, it’s no wonder Jacksonville is a popular watersports hot spot. Come surf, swim, and sunbathe along the city’s coastal shores at Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Mayport Beach. You’ll find not just surf and sand, but also surf shops, fresh seafood restaurants, and quaint beach boutiques. Spend time with calmer waters and explore the Intracoastal Waterway; it flows along the East Coast and divides the city’s south side from the beaches. With miles of canals and channels, it’s easy to spend an afternoon on a paddle boarding adventure or leisurely kayaking trip.
Experience the greener side of Jacksonville when you explore its wetlands, marshes, and woods. Start your day off with a breezy walk along the St. Johns River at Arlington Park which features a riverside boardwalk and miles of trails. Get your nature fix and then some with a visit to the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a national park that boasts 46,000 acres of waterways and wildlife as well as historic sites like Fort Caroline National Memorial. Stay within city limits to find more than 450 city parks. Some are oceanfront, while others are right on the St. Johns River. In the heart of downtown, Hemming Park’s fountain and shade trees provide a cool retreat from a long day of exploring, or a place to enjoy an afternoon picnic. Head to the Southbank on the St. Johns River to see the Friendship Fountain, one of the largest self-contained fountains ever built. Prepare yourself for a show: it has more than 60 nozzles that shoot water over 100 feet high. At night, the fountain lights up and music plays in time with the water. It’s truly a work of art.
For more classic art, visit one of Jacksonville’s museums. With more than 1,000 pieces in its permanent collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville is home to paintings, prints, and photography by some of the biggest names in visual arts. Located in the historic Riverside neighborhood, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens houses over 5,000 works spanning 8,000 years, including a renowned Meissen porcelain collection. Visitors can also tour the century-old formal gardens overlooking the St. Johns River.
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Things to do in Jacksonville.
- Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
- Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
- Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park
- Atlantic Beach
- Jacksonville Beach
- Neptune Beach
- Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
- Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville