Are you planning a day trip to Jacksonville in sunny North Florida? With its fascinating culture, incredible riverside experiences and unbeatable outdoor activities, Jacksonville is the perfect destination for a one-day getaway. Whether you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of the many parks or delve into some unique cultural attractions, this vibrant city has something for everyone! To ensure that your time in Jacksonville is well spent and memorable, we have created an ideal itinerary that packs as much fun as possible into just one day, so that you can get the most out of your visit. Let us show you what this great city has to offer!
Morning in Nature
If you’re planning a day trip to Jacksonville, why not start your day off right by exploring the local area’s stunning natural beauty? There are so many things to do in the area, including hitting the beaches for a refreshing swim or a leisurely stroll, indulging in a delicious breakfast at one of the city’s many fantastic restaurants, and spending time in one of the many parks and gardens that dot the area. Whether you’re an avid hiker, bird watcher, or simply a lover of all things green and beautiful, Jacksonville has something to offer everyone who wants to spend a memorable morning in nature. So what are you waiting for? Wake up early, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure-packed day exploring all that this amazing city has to offer!
The perfect start to your Jacksonville plan is at the beach! Atlantic Beach, closest to the parks and downtown, is the perfect destination for those seeking an enjoyable morning experience. Surfing enthusiasts can catch some incredible waves along the pristine shoreline, while early birds will love the stunning sunrise views. You can start your day with a peaceful stroll along the shore or dive right into the waves with your board. If you prefer a more relaxed setting, head over to the many beachfront restaurants and enjoy a delicious breakfast while admiring the stunning views. No matter what you choose to do, Atlantic Beach is sure to leave a lasting impression with its unique charm and beauty.
The perfect spot to have breakfast after your time on the beach is Azurea, a culinary experience with a breathtaking view. Located at One Ocean Resort, Azurea boasts exquisite cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds while you feast your eyes on a spectacular beach view. The restaurant opens its doors at 7 am, so it’s perfect for breakfast before heading out to explore Jacksonville. So why not treat yourself to a memorable meal at Azurea and start your day right? And if you really need to unwind, consider staying a bit longer and booking a massage or treatment at the award-winning Spa at One Ocean Resort.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville is a local favorite that opens at 8 am and is the perfect way to experience the city’s love for recreation! Take a stroll on one of the picturesque trails that lead you through lush green forests and stunning wildlife. Or how about renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and getting a little wet while enjoying the Florida sunshine? If you’re feeling more competitive, you can challenge your friends to a game of sand volleyball or disc golf. There’s even a playground and splash park for the little ones to enjoy! Whatever your interests may be, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park has got you covered. So start your one day itinerary off right and make some memories at this beautiful Jacksonville hot spot.
Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a great next option for a late morning visit on the way downtown. From hiking along the trails to exploring the various gardens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this North Florida highlight. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant blooms, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby city. Good morning! Are you looking for things to do on your way downtown? The Arboretum also offers various educational programs, making it a great destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike. Nothing adds to your day like some fresh air and natural beauty.
From museums to boat rides, iconic landmarks to chic restaurants and bars, there is something for everyone in Downtown Jacksonville. Take a stroll through the Museum of Science & History to explore diverse and thought-provoking exhibits. For a scenic view of the city that can only be experienced on the water, hop on a boat ride through the St Johns River. And, for some fresh cuisine and unique shopping, check out the Five Points district. There’s no shortage of exciting things to do in the area, so come on down for an unforgettable afternoon adventure!
MOSH (Museum of Science & History)
If you’re looking for a unique experience that is both educational and entertaining, look no further than the Museum of Science & History, or MOSH for short. As the name suggests, this is the place to go if you’re interested in science, history, and everything in between. With interactive exhibits, hands-on learning opportunities, and a wide variety of special events throughout the year, there are always plenty of things to do at MOSH. It’s also a great place to park, since our 1 Day Jacksonville Itinerary will bring you back here in the evening.
Treaty Oak & Friendship Fountain
Once you leave MOSH, a ten-minute walk into the Southbank neighborhood will take you to the iconic Treaty Oak. This majestic tree is said to be over 250 years old and has quite the history behind it. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, visiting Treaty Oak is one of the top things to do on your list. Take a stroll around the tree, snap some stunning photos or simply enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the park. Head back to the riverside at the museum to check out Friendship Park with its iconic Friendship Fountain. This beautiful and well-loved park is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike. The park is situated on the picturesque banks of the St. Johns River, and boasts stunning views of downtown Jacksonville. Friendship Park is not only a place for recreation and relaxation, but it’s also home to a number of community events and concerts throughout the year.
St Johns River Taxi
Keep an eye out for the water taxi dock near the fountain at Friendship Park, where you can hop a ride on the St Johns River Taxi. Cruise along the beautiful St Johns River while taking in the stunning views of the city’s skyline. With multiple pickup and drop-off locations, including stops at popular spots like the major hotels and the performing arts center, it’s a convenient way to travel. So hop aboard the St Johns River Taxi for a memorable journey to the Riverside Arts Market.
Riverside Arts Market
If you happen to be in town on a Saturday, then this market is definitely worth checking out. With its shady under-the-bridge location along the St. Johns River, you’ll get to explore the city’s local arts and crafts scene in a beautiful setting. There’s something for everyone here, from handmade pottery and jewelry to organic produce and food trucks. And the music and entertainment will keep your toe tapping throughout the day. Just remember to mark your calendar for Saturday from 10am to 3pm, the only time when the Riverside Arts Market is open. Come join the vibrant Jacksonville community and support local artists and entrepreneurs!
River & Post
Getting hungry and looking for a hidden gem in the neighborhood? Look no further than River & Post, located in the charming Five Points area a few blocks from the market. Locals and visitors agree, River & Post is the perfect spot for a late lunch. Their lunch menu offers a variety of options, from salads to sandwiches, and everything in between. But it’s not just the food that’s the standout feature – the atmosphere is unbeatable too. With indoor and outdoor seating available, you can enjoy your meal and take in the beautiful scenery that surrounds the restaurant. Trust us, River & Post is a lunch spot you won’t want to miss.
Evening on the River
For a relaxing and entertaining evening to wrap up your busy day, there’s no more beautiful place to be than along the St Johns River. Whether it’s grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants and live music bars near the banks, taking a leisurely stroll along the water in the cool evening breeze, or embarking on a scenic boat ride, there are endless things to do in this part of Jacksonville. The peaceful and serene ambiance is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and the various activities make it a perfect destination for the final few hours of your one day itinerary.
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
The perfect spot to walk off that amazing lunch is nearby Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. This beautiful museum is not only a perfect spot to admire stunning works of art, but also to enjoy the peacefulness of its gardens. Get ready to immerse yourself in an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from Ancient Rome, Renaissance Europe, and contemporary America. You’ll want to spend hours viewing the masterpieces they have on display. Once you’ve seen it all, head back to the water taxi dock at Riverside Arts Market to catch a ride back to Friendship Park.
By now, if the sun has set you’ll be treated to the gorgeous lights of Jacksonville. Head east along the river from Friendship Park to follow the Southbank Riverwalk, a beautiful and serene place to visit at night. With the soft light of the street lamps casting a warm glow on the path, you can stroll along the waterfront and take in the peaceful atmosphere. The gentle lapping of the water against the shore and the occasional sound of a boat passing by create a calming and immersive environment. The Southbank Riverwalk is surrounded by lush greenery, adding to the tranquil atmosphere and making it a perfect place to enjoy a quiet moment or a romantic evening stroll.
BB’s Restaurant & Bar
With a vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff, BB’s Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy some good food and drinks. Whether you’re coming for dinner or a late-night snack, the menu has something for everyone, with options ranging from classic comfort food to trendy small plates. And of course, you can’t miss out on their fantastic cocktail menu, featuring creative twists on old favorites. Best of all, BB’s is open late, so you can keep the fun going into the wee hours of the morning. When your busy day in Jacksonville is done, your car is just a short walk away at the museum parking lot.
Overall, Jacksonville is an incredibly diverse city, making it the perfect place for anyone looking to explore and take in the best of what Florida has to offer. Whether you spend all morning exploring the mesmerizing natural beauty, a busy afternoon downtown with all the sights and sounds to match, or a relaxing evening boat ride along the river as the sun sets – we guarantee Jacksonville won’t disappoint. And if one day just isn’t enough for you, check out our Jacksonville Travel Guide for more information and things to do in the area! So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to explore everything that Jacksonville has in store.