The city of Jacksonville is a coastal city overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and is the largest city in the state of Florida with a population of more than 1.25 million people. This Florida city boasts a diverse arts and cultural district, and also has a busy downtown area that serves as a commercial and entertainment hub. You can enjoy the best of both worlds when planning a Jacksonville vacation, because you will be within easy reach of the coast and can enjoy the metropolitan lifestyle. Jacksonville caters to all types of travelers, including families, business travelers, singles and couples looking for a romantic getaway. Whether you settle in to one of the historic neighborhoods or spend all of your time on the beach, you’ll find a variety of things to do and enjoy around this beautiful city.
Unlike other beaches in northern Florida, the beaches in Jacksonville aren’t especially crowded year round and you can find a number of beach homes and condos located right on Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach. If you’re interested in shopping, don’t miss the chance to explore The Landing, the downtown shopping district that boasts a thriving nightlife scene and also hosts a grand New Year’s celebration. Head to Old Town in Jacksonville to visit some of the cultural attractions and historic sites. Art galleries, museums, gardens and The Metropolitan Park are a few highlights of this area. The more luxurious and upscale part of Jacksonville is located in Ponte Vedra, an exclusive beach setting that is surrounded by luxurious mansions. If you ‘re looking for a less exclusive area and a more casual, relaxed setting, head to Jacksonville Beach or Neptune Beach a short drive north of Ponte Vedra.
Jacksonville is also an idyllic destination for a family vacation, the place to enjoy over 20 miles of gorgeous beaches and visit some off-the-beaten-path attractions and sites. From kite boarding and fishing, to water sports and cruises around the shore, you’ll find a wealth of interesting things to do and sites to explore around this historic city. Whether you’re planning to stay in the area for a single day or an extended vacation, you’ll find dozens of unique activities to add to your itinerary.
Jacksonville Weather and Best Time to Visit
The city and beaches of Jacksonville boast comfortable temperatures year round, so you can expect to enjoy a fun and relaxing vacation any time of year. Temperatures are relatively mild compared to other major cities in Florida, but it can become fairly cool during the summer months. If you’re visiting during the months of December through April, you will experience some heavy rain showers but these are fairly short in duration and won’t completely ruin your vacation.
Peak season in Jacksonville is from May through September, and you can expect large crowds and higher rates on accommodations during these months. If you are traveling to the area during peak season, be sure to plan your trip a few months in advance and shop around to find the best rates. If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations and low-season rates, plan to visit Jacksonville during April or May, or from September through November. Not only can you enjoy fewer crowds and lower pricing at your destination of choice, but you’ll also be treated to a more comfortable climate.
Most people heading to Jacksonville head straight to the beaches, the place to enjoy the nightlife scene, relax under the sun, shop at local souvenir shops and boutiques, and take in some free entertainment around the boardwalk. The beaches of Jacksonville are surrounded by a paved boardwalk and some are within easy reach of the famous Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier. The pier is open to pedestrians for only $1, and those who want to fish can settle in for the day for just $4.
You can learn about the rich and colorful history of the beaches of Jacksonville by taking a tour of the Beaches Museum & History Center located right in Jacksonville Beach. If you’re interested in golfing, head to the Windsor Parke Golf Club near Ponte Verda Beach and enjoy access to the beautiful 18-hole championship golf course.
Families heading to Jacksonville can spend the day at Adventure Landing or cool off from the hot Florida sunshine at Shipwreck Island Waterpark. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, don’t miss out on the chance to explore Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, home to several beautiful hiking paths, mountain bike trails, playgrounds, freshwater lakes and small, uncrowded beaches.
If it’s your first time in Jacksonville, consider taking a guided tour of the downtown area or visiting some area sites on board a Segway. Kayaking and canoe tours are also an attractive option for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors and take in some scenic sites along the rivers weaving through Jacksonville.
The easiest way to visit each beach in Jacksonville is by jumping aboard the beach trolley. The beach trolley system takes visitors through several beach neighborhoods and around various attractions and sites. You can rent boogie boards, bikes and other water sport equipment from some of the rental companies scattered along the coast, or check with your hotel or resort to see if they offer free or discounted rentals on site.
The city of Jacksonville boasts a diverse dining district and is home to dozens of great pizza restaurants, beachside cafes, bistros and several upscale dining destinations. From international fare to fresh seafood and Caribbean-inspired cuisine, you’ll find a wide variety of great places to eat around the city and beaches of Jacksonville. If you’re looking for a pub or tavern, head to the downtown area and beachside bars for your fill of classic pub fare and drink specials.
From its world class beaches and championship golf courses, to its thriving nightlife scene and cultural district, the city of Jacksonville offers a wealth of activities and experiences for all types of travelers. Plan your next south Florida visit to this thriving city for a memorable trip.
The beautiful City of Jacksonville offers the best of both worlds with its cosmopolitan atmosphere in the downtown area, and the relaxing setting along the coast. Head here to enjoy gourmet food, explore the coastline on a boat or just enjoy a day of rest and relaxation on the beach that overlooks the Atlantic.