Jacksonville Travel Guide

Jacksonville Highlights

Jacksonville, Florida is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Whether you’re looking for things to do, attractions to explore, or stunning scenery – this city has it all! Of the many things to do in Jacksonville, some of the highlights include strolling along the Jacksonville River Walks and exploring the Riverside Arts Market. Not only are these two attractions a great way to experience local culture, they also provide breathtaking views of the St. Johns River. For visitors who enjoy wildlife, there’s also the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, one of the largest zoological parks in Florida. With lush tropical foliage and thousands of animals from around the world, there’s sure to be something here that vacationers of all ages can enjoy.

Another great Jacksonville highlight is Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. This park offers a variety of outdoor activities such as swimming, biking and hiking trails, fishing, picnic areas, and more. The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is located within the park, home to numerous endangered species of big cats including tigers and lions. After a day outside, visitors looking for some cooling-off time could visit the popular St Johns Town Center. With over 150 stores and restaurants, this shopping mall has something for every member of the family.

This small yet vibrant town offers plenty of educational things to see and do, including the Museum of Science & History (MOSH), where visitors can explore exhibits about local history, science, and art. The Florida Theatre is another Jacksonville highlight located in the historic downtown area, offering live music performances, plays, and other events throughout the year. And for a little fun in the sun, Atlantic Beach is the perfect Jacksonville destination. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s nightlife or take some time out on one of its many beaches – Jacksonville has something for everyone!

Jacksonville Things To Do

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is a beloved Jacksonville institution that has been providing art and educational experiences for families to enjoy since 1961.
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Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Saint John's Cathedral

This stately cathedral in Jacksonville is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival-style architecture and truly an iconic landmark of the city.
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Saint John's Cathedral

Kingsley Plantation

Constructed in 1798, Kingsley Planation is the oldest surviving plantation house in the state of Florida and one of the earliest examples of architectural history in the American South.
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Kingsley Plantation

Fort Caroline National Memorial

Fort Caroline National Memorial is an educational and historically-rich site established to honor the French Huguenot settlers who founded a colony here in 1564.
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Fort Caroline National Memorial

MOSH (Museum of Science & History)

Whether you're looking to explore one of the many seasonal exhibits or take part in one of the special events, there's always something new to discover and learn.
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MOSH (Museum of Science & History)

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve in Jacksonville offers visitors an opportunity to experience 36,000 acres of pristine nature.
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Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve

Florida Theatre

The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, a beloved cultural landmark that hosts some of the best stage attractions, was built in 1927 and has been entertaining guests ever since.
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Florida Theatre

Riverside Park

With its tranquil atmosphere and calming views of nature, this small Jacksonville park is the perfect spot to relax and unwind on a busy day.
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Riverside Park

James Weldon Johnson Park

James Weldon Johnson Park, a cultural gem and one of Jacksonville’s most beloved public spaces, is located in the heart of downtown, just blocks away from popular nightlife spots and artistic venues.
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James Weldon Johnson Park

Friendship Fountain

Friendship Fountain is an iconic Jacksonville landmark that has been a highlight of the city since its construction in 1965 and continues to be one of the most popular attractions for locals and visitors alike.
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Friendship Fountain

TIAA Bank Field

TIAA Bank Field, located in downtown Jacksonville and home to the NFL Team the Jacksonville Jaguars, is a great destination for locals and tourists alike.
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TIAA Bank Field

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

A must-see attraction for anyone visiting Jacksonville, with over 2,000 animals from around the world and more than 1,000 species of plants, and offering an atmosphere of fun and education for all ages.
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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

A great spot for families looking to spend quality time together in nature, this park has plenty of beach and waterfront activities to make your visit memorable.
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Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Looking for an exciting and educational day out suitable for the whole family in Jacksonville, Florida? Look no further than Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary!
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Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Riverside Arts Market

Riverside Arts Market is a family fun event that takes place every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm under the Fuller Warren Bridge in Downtown Jacksonville.
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Riverside Arts Market

St. Johns Town Center

Take a shopping trip to St. Johns Town Center, an open-air mall with over 150 stores and restaurants, where you’ll find the perfect place to explore and discover designer brands you love.
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St. Johns Town Center

Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

The Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a family-friendly outdoor destination in Northeast Florida across 120 acres, offering a wide range of activities and attractions to explore.
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Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Little Talbot Island State Park

Located just off the coast of Jacksonville, Little Talbot Island State Park offers visitors a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
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Little Talbot Island State Park

Southbank Riverwalk

A stunning 1.5-mile walkway that stretches along the banks of the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, Southbank Riverwalk offers spectacular views and access to some of the city’s finest restaurants and attractions.
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Southbank Riverwalk

Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach

Adventure Landing at Jacksonville Beach is the perfect place for family fun! With a variety of attractions and activities, there's something for every adventurer.
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Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach

Topgolf Jacksonville

Experience Jacksonville's nightlife at Topgolf, one of the most popular things to do in in the area, that provides an entertaining evening for the kid at heart or the serious golfer.
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Topgolf Jacksonville

Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events

This Jacksonville favorite is the perfect place to take the family – with state-of-the-art electric karts, axe throwing, an arcade and a restaurant – it's an exciting experience with plenty of thrills along the way.
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Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events

13th Floor Haunted House

The 13th Floor Haunted House in Jacksonville is an unforgettable nightlife experience nestled within a cavernous warehouse and offering plenty of thrills and chills to keep you entertained.
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13th Floor Haunted House

Hands On Children's Museum

Hands On Children's Museum in Jacksonville, Florida is the perfect place for families with kids to explore and have fun. With a variety of interactive exhibits, children can learn through play while having a great time.
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Hands On Children's Museum

Museum of Southern History

The Museum of Southern History in Jacksonville is the perfect place to explore the cultural history of the South – from artifacts, interactive exhibits, and educational programs to events and special tours.
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Museum of Southern History

Now and Zen Sailing Charters

Now and Zen Sailing Charters in Jacksonville offers a perfect escape, whether you're looking for a romantic evening under the stars, an afternoon spent exploring the coast, or a unique activity for your group outing.
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Now and Zen Sailing Charters

Flight Adventure Park Jacksonville

Flight Adventure Park in Jacksonville is the perfect place for families to have fun together, from interactive trampoline courts and stunt airbag areas to an arcade filled with classic and modern games.
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Flight Adventure Park Jacksonville

Shipwreck Island Water Park

Shipwreck Island Water Park at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach is a tropical oasis, the perfect destination for families who want to make memories while having the time of their lives.
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Shipwreck Island Water Park

Jacksonville Shopping & Dining

Biscottis

Biscottis in Jacksonville is a family-owned Italian restaurant located in the heart of Downtown, known for its delicious homemade biscotti, which it has been serving since its opening in 1996.
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Biscottis

BB's Restaurant & Bar

BB's Restaurant & Bar in Jacksonville is a celebrated favorite among locals and visitors alike, where you can enjoy freshly prepared seafood including crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller, grouper fingers, and more.
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BB's Restaurant & Bar

St. Johns Town Center

Take a shopping trip to St. Johns Town Center, an open-air mall with over 150 stores and restaurants, where you’ll find the perfect place to explore and discover designer brands you love.
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St. Johns Town Center

Julington Creek Fish Camp

At Julington Creek Fish Camp in Jacksonville, our quaint restaurant sitting along the St. Johns River combines the best seafood from the North Florida Coast and beyond into one delicious menu.
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Julington Creek Fish Camp

Carmines Pie House

Whether you're coming in for lunch or dinner, Carmine's Pie House in Jacksonville is the perfect spot, serving up delicious Italian favorites like Chicago and New York style pizza, pasta, and subs.
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Carmines Pie House

Shoppes of Avondale

The Shoppes of Avondale in Jacksonville is a historic downtown shopping district and a great location to explore the town's eclectic tastes and interests, from specialty stores to local eateries.
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Shoppes of Avondale

Black Sheep Restaurant

Black Sheep Restaurant in the popular Five Points Area of Downtown Jacksonville is a local favorite that has been serving delicious, award-winning dishes for over ten years.
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Black Sheep Restaurant

Restaurant Orsay

Restaurant Orsay, a French-American award-winning eatery established in 2010, has become the go-to spot for delicious fare and drinks that seamlessly melds two very distinct cultures.
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Restaurant Orsay

The Avenues Mall

Visit The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville to experience fashion and family fun all at once! Shop to your heart's content in five major department stores plus over 150 other exciting retailers.
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The Avenues Mall

Southern Charm

Welcome to Southern Charm, the best spot in Jacksonville for a hearty home-cooked meal, where we've been serving up classic Southern cuisine to the South Riverside neighborhood for years.
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Southern Charm

J.L. Trent's Seafood & Grill

Whether you're looking for an intimate meal or a large gathering, J.L. Trent's Seafood & Grill in Jacksonville is the place to go for delicious southern-style seafood, steak, pasta, and chicken entrees!
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J.L. Trent's Seafood & Grill

Brick Restaurant

Brick Restaurant, located in the Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville serves up a delicious array of American gourmet food and drinks, all made with love by their talented chefs and inspired by regional fare.
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Brick Restaurant

River City Marketplace

River City Marketplace in Jacksonville is a bustling outdoor shopping center with over 100 stores, restaurants, and services including stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Marshall, Ross, and Burlington.
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River City Marketplace

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill in Jacksonville offers some of the best American traditional cuisine around. From juicy burgers to hearty steaks, every item on our menu is sure to please your taste buds.
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Ted's Montana Grill

Hawkers Asian Street Food Jacksonville

Located in trendy Five Points, Hawkers Asian Street Food offers beloved dishes from bao buns and Malaysian chicken curry to Vietnamese banh mi and Thai-style fried pork spring rolls.
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Hawkers Asian Street Food Jacksonville

Getting Around Jacksonville

Like most Florida cities, travel within Jacksonville is easiest by car, whether you arrive on I-95 or I-10, or pick up a rental at Jacksonville International Airport. Remember that some of the best things to do are located 30 miles or more outside of the metro area. If you find yourself without a car, Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA) buses run on 56 routes throughout the city.

The JTA Skyway is a convenient option for both those who don’t want to park downtown, as well as those who visit Jacksonville’s waterfront on foot or by bicycle. This elevated monorail travels 2.5 miles on a looping route that includes eight stations.

Whether you’re on a bike, walking, or driving – the St. Johns River Ferry may save you some time. Located east of Downtown Jacksonville, this ferry connects the northern and southern ends of Florida State Road A1A. This five minute ride can save you a lot of traffic and drive time if you plan to check out Fort George Island Park or the Kingsley Plantation.

Jacksonville Hotels & Vacation Rentals

Element Jacksonville Beach

Element Jacksonville Beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy Northeast Florida's beautiful and historic sites. With spacious suite accommodations, it’s a great choice for long stays or weekend getaways.
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Element Jacksonville Beach

Hotel Indigo Jacksonville-Deerwood Park

Hotel Indigo offers travelers an ideal spot to relax and recharge. The hotel features comfortable guest rooms with modern conveniences and plenty of space to unwind after a long day.
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Hotel Indigo Jacksonville-Deerwood Park

Club Continental

Located just 20 minutes south of downtown Jacksonville on the banks of the St Johns River, Club Continental in Orange Park offers the perfect balance of luxury, comfort and convenience.
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Club Continental

Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel

The Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel is conveniently located near the St Johns Town Center and only a short drive southeast of Downtown Jacksonville, close to all the shopping, dining, and entertainment of the area.
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Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel

Hyatt Place Jacksonville / St Johns Town Center

Hyatt Place offers a convenient and comfortable stay in one of the most desirable areas of Jacksonville, a short drive from attractions like downtown or the beach, and only a short stroll from St Johns Town Center.
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Hyatt Place Jacksonville / St Johns Town Center

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is the perfect spot for a memorable stay, offering spacious guest rooms with stunning views of the St. Johns River, the iconic Main Street Bridge, and a spectacular city skyline.
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Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Jacksonville FAQs

The best time of year to visit Jacksonville is either in the spring or autumn. Spring in Jacksonville lasts from March through May and features mild temperatures and lots of sunshine. Autumn, which runs from September to November, offers warm days and cool nights that are perfect for outdoor activities.

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Jacksonville is home to many must-see attractions, including the Museum of Science & History, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Adventure Landing, Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and many others.

Jacksonville boasts some of the best restaurants in the state, including The French Pantry, Orsay, BB’s Restaurant & Bar, and Black Sheep. Each venue offers delicious cuisine paired with outstanding service. Follow up dinner with a unique dessert at Jacksonville’s famous Sweet Theory Baking Co., which serves up gourmet cupcakes and more on King Street in the Five Points area of downtown.

The Marriott Jacksonville Downtown is a luxurious hotel located centrally and offering guests an array of amenities such as onsite restaurants and bars, a rooftop pool, a modern fitness center, and spa services. The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is another great option for visitors, situated right along the river with direct access to the city’s scenic walkways.

The Avenues Mall and The St. Johns Town Center are two of the best shopping areas in Jacksonville, offering a wide range of stores and restaurants to choose from. The former is an indoor mall situated north of downtown with more than 150 stores, while the latter is a sprawling outdoor lifestyle center just south of the city’s urban core.

Jacksonville is home to many great nightlife spots, from lively bars and nightclubs to more relaxing lounges. Downtown Jacksonville is the most popular area for nighttime activities, featuring several rooftop bars with views of the St. Johns River, such as The Volstead and River & Post. For live music, head over to Jack Rabbits or 1904 Music Hall.

Jacksonville is home to several beaches, including Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach. All three boast beautiful sandy shores and plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. Jacksonville Beach is the most popular of the three for its wide array of amenities such as restaurants, bars, a fishing pier, and more.

Jacksonville has some of the best golf courses in the state, including Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club and Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Both courses offer beautiful scenery, challenging layouts, and a variety of amenities such as pro shops, dining options, and special events. Other popular spots include Bent Creek Golf Course and Deercreek Country Club.

Jacksonville is home to some beautiful parks, including Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, Henry J. Klutho Park, and Treaty Oak Park. Hanna Park offers miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding as well as several waterfront activities such as kayaking and fishing. Klutho Park features a large playground for kids and plenty of open spaces for picnicking. Nature enthusiasts should visit Treaty Oak Park, home to a huge Southern live oak estimated to be 250 years old.

The weather in Jacksonville is generally mild and warm, with average highs ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s throughout the year. The summer months are usually hot and humid, but there are plenty of temperate days and comfortable evenings. Winters are mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. Rainfall is highest during spring for short periods in the afternoon.

The cost of living in Jacksonville is relatively low compared to other cities in the US. The average home price is around $200,000 (USD), and the median household income is about $49,000 (USD) per year. Groceries, transportation, and utility costs are all lower than the national average. Overall, Jacksonville offers a great quality of life at a low price.

As of 2021, the population of Jacksonville is estimated to be around 988,000 people. The city continues to grow at a steady rate due to its strong economy and vibrant culture. Additionally, Jacksonville has become increasingly popular as a destination for tourists looking to explore the city’s many attractions and activities.

The history of Jacksonville dates back to 1562 when French Huguenots established a colony on the banks of the St. Johns River. The area was then ceded to Spain and became known as Cowford, due to its prominent cattle trade. In 1822, during Florida’s statehood, Jacksonville became the seat of Duval County. Over the next few decades, Jacksonville grew in population and importance as a port of trade, eventually becoming the largest city in Florida by 1910. The city saw an economic boom during World War II and remains a major business hub to this day. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful beaches, Jacksonville has become one of Florida’s destination cities.