Saturday, June 22, 2024

15 Finest Issues To Do in Jacksonville (By a Native)


Many individuals shall be stunned to study simply what number of unbelievable issues there are to do in Jacksonville. Typically missed by its extra “well-known” neighbors resembling Savannah, Orlando, or Miami, Jacksonville is wealthy in historical past, tradition, meals, and humanities. And can be dwelling to some fairly unbelievable seashores.

I’ve been visiting “Jax” for over 5 years and at the moment have the privilege of calling it dwelling. There are such a lot of superb locations to go to in Jacksonville – and inside this put up, I’ve pulled collectively a number of the greatest outings to your subsequent go to. 

Jacksonville, also called ‘Daring Metropolis’ or ‘River Metropolis’, has some shocking info that you just is likely to be unfamiliar with. Do you know it’s the largest metropolis by land mass within the contiguous USA? It additionally boasts the largest city park system within the nation, will get over 270 days of sunshine every year and is dwelling to over 30 craft breweries.

I really like exploring Jacksonville and have a tendency to discover a hidden gem every time I’m going out – for me, it’s one of many greatest locations to go to within the USA. It’s a metropolis stuffed with a various group of individuals, tons of nature, and many water, which makes it the right place to discover a scrumptious restaurant, an attention-grabbing museum, or a enjoyable outside exercise.

There are really hundreds of distinctive issues to do in Jacksonville.

Prime 15 Finest Issues To Do in Jacksonville

A city skyline of Jacksonville

I really like consuming, consuming an excellent microbrew, soaking within the sunshine, and studying about my metropolis and environment. Fortunately, Jax and its close by suburbs are packed stuffed with all of these issues, and I’ve compiled an inventory of the perfect Jacksonville sights, excursions, and actions that shouldn’t be missed when you’re ever within the space.

Whether or not you’re into artwork, historical past, or nature, or just love exploring new locations – you’ll take pleasure in discovering all of the enjoyable issues to do in Jacksonville. I’m increasingly more impressed with this metropolis each day. So, that will help you plan the right itinerary, listed below are my prime suggestions for sightseeing in Jacksonville:

1. Take a Public Artwork Tour

A group of people having a public art tour

For those who’re something like me, you possibly can respect colourful road artwork and murals. On the subject of the “prime” issues to do in Jacksonville, FL, a public artwork tour is first up on that record – it’s one among my favourite issues I’ve accomplished since being right here.

You’ll be a part of a small group of individuals after which experience round in a tuk-tuk as you got down to discover the perfect items of publicly displayed art work; from murals and mosaics to statues and sculptures. You’ll see over 70 items of artwork in whole. Plus, you’ll get to study concerning the inspiration behind each bit. So cool!

It’s a 2.5-hour tour and is likely one of the greatest issues to see in Jacksonville. Be taught extra and guide your public artwork tour right here. 

Tackle: Assembly Level – 249 Parker St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

2. Discover Islands by Bike

Things to do in Jacksonville include Exploring Beautiful Views on a Bicycle

For those who’re visiting Northeast Florida, it might be a travesty to overlook out on visiting not less than one of many many beautiful state parks and islands. Exploring the seashores and parks is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Jacksonville for households as a result of it’s enjoyable for all ages and talent ranges. Taking a self-guided tour by bike is a incredible strategy to do exactly that. 

Uncover Large Talbot Island State Park and Amelia Island State Park at your individual tempo by renting a Pedege Electrical Bike and taking an eco-friendly experience. The simple-to-follow path is defined to you on the rental store, and also you’ll also have a sensible helmet that permits you to talk with the opposite riders in your group.

I took this tour with my household just a few months in the past, and it was an absolute blast. Boneyard Seaside was my favourite because of its scattered “skeleton bushes” that give the seashore an eerie but stunning setting. The self-guided bike tour is by far one of many prime issues to do in Jacksonville – guide your spot right here. 

Tackle: Pedego Electrical Bikes Amelia Island, 4800 1st Coast Hwy, Fernandina Seaside, FL 32034

3. Immerse Your self in Nature by Kayak

Kayaking on waterways

Out of all of the issues to do round Jacksonville, your journey wouldn’t be full when you didn’t get on the spectacular waterways and discover through kayak. At any time when I wish to showcase my metropolis to family and friends, it is a sure-fire tour to impress them – it by no means fails.

On this two-hour tour, you’ll paddle out in a backwater tributary the place you possibly can preserve your eye out for gators, turtles, birds, and fish. It’s additionally self-guided (through the use of an app in your cellphone), so you possibly can take your time (inside these couple of hours) and cease wherever and everytime you want to take all of it in. It’s additionally low-impact, which makes it excellent for all abilities and health ranges. 

The tour’s app additionally encompasses a UF naturalist who particulars the historical past of the realm via a speaker. I are likely to study one thing new each time I’m going – I just lately came upon that the gopher tortoises within the space are seen as a keystone species as a result of they dig burrows that present shelter for not less than 360 different species. Fascinating, proper?

Tackle: 463540 State Rd 200, Yulee, FL 32097

4. Hop on the Jax Ale Path

A pint of beer on a rack

I’m a enormous craft beer fan, and after I came upon concerning the Jax Ale Path, I used to be ecstatic. The microbrewery scene continues to develop right here within the metropolis, and one of the crucial enjoyable issues to do in Jacksonville is to discover a majority of them through the use of your “passport”.

You may choose up a free passport at any of the taking part breweries, and if you buy a pint at every brewery, you’ll get a stamp. After receiving a set quantity of stamps, you possibly can obtain free Jax Ale Path gear together with shirts, pint glasses, and free beer. It’s a win-win state of affairs!

A few of my favourite breweries on the path embody Aardwolf Brewing Co., Bottlenose Brewing, Instinct Ale Works, and Congaree and Penn. Be taught extra concerning the Jax Ale Path and all of the taking part breweries on their official web site. Determining what to do in Jacksonville is simple if you’ve bought the passport in hand. 

Tackle: A number of places

5. Head Downtown for a Lesson in Structure and Historical past

A group of friends having a tour

Based in 1822 and having suffered the tragedy of an enormous hearth in 1901, Jacksonville has a particularly wealthy and attention-grabbing historical past. Because of all of the moments and occasions that town has endured, the Daring Metropolis provides tons of tales behind its structure and historical past.

The half-day metropolis tour in downtown Jacksonville is a perfect strategy to see all of it and study extra concerning the metropolis’s previous.  

Stops on this tremendous fascinating tour embody the Veterans Memorial Wall, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Area, and the Friendship Fountain. Once I discovered the story behind the Friendship Fountain, I used to be deeply moved – the fountain nonetheless stands as one of many metropolis’s most recognizable sights in Jacksonville at present.

The tour takes round three hours to finish, and also you’ll be touring with a educated tour information who’ll drive you round through tuk-tuk. They’ll choose you up out of your lodge for ease and comfort. Be taught extra concerning the half-day metropolis tour and the small print on the tour’s web site. 

Tackle: Assembly Level – 249 Parker St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

6. Go Axe Throwing at Stumpy’s

A man throwing axe on a target

Out of all of the stuff to do in Jacksonville, axe throwing has rapidly change into one among my favourite pastimes. Stumpy’s Hatchet Home is likely one of the coolest locations I’ve visited within the metropolis, and you’ll lease out the non-public group room when you’re touring with buddies or household.

For those who’ve by no means thrown an axe earlier than, it may be a bit of intimidating – fortunately, there’s employees at hand that can prepare you earlier than you start.

After you’ve mastered your bullseye-throwing abilities, you possibly can calm down within the venue’s snug surroundings the place you possibly can chat and have a snack or drink along with your favourite individuals. I really like the country vibes at Stumpy’s, it actually makes the place heat and welcoming however nonetheless hip and trendy. 

If axe throwing isn’t your factor, additionally they have board video games and big variations of favorites like Join 4 and Jenga. For those who guide the non-public room, you’ll obtain two axes and two targets in your individual separate throwing pit. Be taught extra concerning the Stumpy’s Hatchet Home bundle right here. 

Tackle: Stumpy’s Hatchet Home, 1719 N Fundamental St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

7. Tour and Keep within the Historic Casa Marina Lodge

Opening within the heyday of the roaring 20s, the historic Casa Marina Lodge has lengthy been a vacation spot for the wealthy and glamorous since 1925. Situated in standard Jacksonville Seaside, this beautiful property is called the “Grand Woman of the Seaside” and is likely one of the prime issues to do close to Jacksonville. 

After altering possession just a few instances, the Casa Marina Lodge now boasts 23 beautiful guestrooms and parlor suites, in addition to a chef-driven restaurant. For those who’re on the lookout for the most effective free issues to do in Jacksonville, you possibly can cease by the lodge and take a tour of the historic property. The Mediterranean-style structure is a sight to behold alone.

E book an evening on the lodge for an expensive keep and finish your night with a meal of crab truffles, Kobe beef sliders, or a charcuterie board from their spectacular penthouse menu.

Tackle: Casa Marina Lodge and Restaurant, 1st Avenue North, Jacksonville Seaside, FL

8. Check Your Wits in an Escape Room

A group trying to solve the escape room

For those who’re feeling assured that you just’ve bought the abilities to interrupt out of an escape room, discover out by rounding up your buddies and heading to The Escape Recreation, the place you’ll discover 5 distinctive, themed rooms to select from.

Inside, you’ll have to unravel puzzles and collect clues to flee the room earlier than time runs out. Don’t fear – you’ll have a information that will help you in case you get stumped.

I used to be a bit nervous after I visited The Escape Recreation myself as a result of I can get a bit of claustrophobic and hadn’t accomplished something prefer it earlier than. However I’m so glad I did it! It sharpens the thoughts and has you working with your pals collectively as a group. My favourite room was The Heist, the place your purpose is to get better a priceless portray from the “Barclay Museum of Historic Artwork”.

Different rooms embody the tough Jail Break room, the Gold Rush room, the Playground, and the Particular Ops: Mysterious Market. Reserve your sport time right here – it’s the right exercise when on the lookout for issues to do in Jacksonville for {couples} or buddies.

Tackle: The Escape Recreation Jacksonville, 4720 City Crossing Dr Suite 107, Jacksonville, FL 32246

9. Spend a Weekend Museum Hopping

A photo of a family going through a museum

Out of all of the issues to do in Jacksonville, visiting museums is particularly excessive on the record for me. The River Metropolis is dwelling to over a dozen unbelievable museums, every providing one thing totally different and intriguing. From science and astronomy to artwork and gardens, you’re certain to search out one thing that piques your curiosity. Why not spend a weekend visiting three or 4 of them?

My favourite museum is the Cummer Museum of Artwork & Gardens. The grounds are completely breathtaking, and the gathering of artwork inside is nothing wanting astonishing. It’s additionally the biggest advantageous arts museum in northeast Florida. Another incredible museums within the metropolis embody the Museum of Science & Trade, Museum of Up to date Artwork, Seashores Museum, and extra. 

Tackle: For a full record of Jacksonville museums, go to town’s official tourism web site. 

10. Go to the Charming Fernandina Seaside

A Scenic Beauty of Fernandina Beach

Though it’s technically not inside the metropolis limits, Fernandina Seaside is only a fast 45-minute drive away and is likely one of the greatest locations to go to close to Jacksonville. This charming seashore city is a spot that I attempt to go to not less than as soon as a month. 

An effective way to discover the realm is by taking a guided strolling tour via the streets that maintain a historical past courting again over 300 years. The 90-minute tour features a non-public information that can let you know the tales behind the properties and native figures that formed the group since earlier than the Civil Struggle. You’ll get to study pirates, struggle, and every kind of different attention-grabbing stuff!

After the tour, Fernandina Seaside has loads of cute eating places and boutiques to discover earlier than heading off. E book your strolling tour information right here. 

Tackle: Assembly Level – Centre St, Fernandina Seaside, FL 32034

11. Experience an Electrical Harley

A man riding on a harley-like bikes

Buggies, bikes, mini vehicles, and bikes – renting a “cruisable” car to get round is likely one of the staple issues to do in Jacksonville. Some of the distinctive varieties of car to lease is an electrical Harley-style scooter – they’re tremendous enjoyable and will certainly flip heads whilst you experience round city. 

The scooters are quiet and clean, and you’ll even play your favourite tunes via a Bluetooth speaker. They’re additionally surprisingly simple to maneuver, so that you don’t want to fret when you’ve by no means pushed a motorbike earlier than.

For those who’ve been pondering of issues to do in Jacksonville at evening, this feature has you lined. You may reserve your bike prematurely right here. 

Tackle: 11 N Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Seaside, FL 32034

12. Expertise Adrenaline Pumping Thrills on an Airboat

An airboat currently docked. Airboat trips are definitely one of the best things to do in Jacksonville, FL.

Nothing says “the South” fairly like taking an exhilarating experience on a quick airboat. It’s the right strategy to see the native wildlife of Jacksonville. Earlier than I moved to Jacksonville, I booked an airboat tour, and it was significantly one of the crucial enjoyable issues I’ve ever accomplished. 

You’ll get to skim throughout shallow waters whereas feeling the frenzy of 500 horsepower – and belief me, you go FAST. Throughout my tour, we had been fortunate sufficient to identify alligators and dolphins, however when you’re fortunate, you’ll additionally see manatees, eagles, pelicans, and turtles.

For those who love nature and you like all issues quick – an airboat experience is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Jacksonville. E book your thrilling airboat experience right here. 

Tackle: Meet at Palms Fish Camp, 6359 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226

13. Get Spooky with Ghosts and Ghouls

A silhouette of brances glancing on the moon

Jacksonville can hint its historical past again to 2,500 B.C., making it a breeding floor for ghosts and spooky tales. Whenever you consider Florida, you most likely consider palm bushes and sunshine, however, in actuality, there’s a a lot darker facet to the seaside city of Jacksonville Seaside.

Not solely have there been inhabitants within the area for hundreds of years, however there have additionally been weird happenings across the metropolis for generations – particularly after the devastating hearth of 1901. So, when you’re into scary haunts and ghost tales, I extremely suggest you get your self on this ghost and ghouls tour. 

The one-hour tour is hosted by a educated information who will take you to seven unassuming spots in Jacksonville Seaside that each one have haunted pasts. Reserve your spot on this one-of-a-kind tour to see the opposite facet of Daring Metropolis. 

Tackle: Assembly Level – 6 Seaside Boulevard, Jacksonville Seaside

14. Eat to Your Coronary heart’s Content material 

A food truck and its Server

Certain, there are many locations to go to and issues to see in Jacksonville, however you possibly can’t miss out on the meals scene whilst you’re right here.

Meals is at all times my primary precedence after I journey or transfer to someplace new, and after I first moved to Jacksonville, I used to be on a mission to search out the yummiest meals round – my investigations led me to resolve that the San Marco space is the hub for all issues scrumptious. 

The historic San Marco space is dwelling to beautiful murals, nice boutiques, and many tasty eating places, cafes, and meals vans. From tapas and Center Jap meals to burritos and seafood, the neighborhood really has a menu for everybody. With a lot to select from, the most effective methods to pattern all the mouthwatering delicacies is to take a strolling meals tour. 

Throughout this tour, you’ll stroll across the selfie-worthy neighborhood whereas stopping at 5 totally different eating places and cafes. Some stops may embody Hightide Burrito, Taverna, Good Dough Artisan Doughnuts, and extra. E book your meals tour right here.

Tackle: Go to the tour web site for location info

15. Assist Native Artists

handmade crafts market Jacksonville

For those who occur to be in Jacksonville on a Saturday, I extremely suggest trying out the Riverside Arts Market. Situated beneath the Fuller Warren Bridge, this artisan market sells crafts and items from every kind of distributors. It’s the right alternative to take dwelling a bit of piece of Jacksonville or to discover a handmade present. 

What makes this market so superior is that it’s proper on the river, so you might have an unbelievable view whilst you’re shopping, plus, you’ll get to see all the skills which are teeming from town’s artists, craft makers, and farmers. Along with enjoyable, items, and produce, the market additionally boasts stay music, meals vans, and free yoga. Be taught extra right here. 

Tackle: 715 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204

Issues To Do in Jacksonville: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Jacksonville:

What’s Jacksonville identified for?

Jacksonville is greatest identified for its artwork galleries, museums, and large music festivals.

When is the perfect time to go to Jacksonville?

Spring and fall are nice seasons to go to Jacksonville. You’ll beat the warmth of the summer season whereas nonetheless having fun with snug seashore temps within the mid-70°Fs to decrease 80°Fs.

Is Jacksonville value visiting?

Completely! With its wealthy historical past, vigorous tradition, and incredible seashores, Jacksonville ought to positively be in your record of locations to go to. 

What number of days ought to I spend in Jacksonville?

I like to recommend spending not less than 3 to 4 days in Jacksonville; nevertheless, per week can be best to totally discover the realm.

Is Jacksonville protected?

General, Jacksonville is a really protected metropolis to go to. The crime charge is decrease than the nationwide common, and it’s rated the #16 metropolis to stay in within the United States

What’s the hottest factor to do in Jacksonville?

Visiting museums and hanging out on the seashore are the most well-liked issues to do in Jacksonville.

What’s the greatest seashore in Jacksonville?

Jacksonville has a number of seashores with vast stretches of sand, together with Jacksonville Seaside, Neptune Seaside, Ponte Vedra, and Atlantic Seaside.

What meals ought to I strive in Jacksonville?

Lowcountry delicacies may be very standard in Jacksonville – objects resembling a seafood boil, fried seafood, gumbo, barbecue, and different comparable objects ought to make it onto your record of must-try dishes.

Is 3 days sufficient in Jacksonville?

Three days can be the minimal time I’d advise; any lower than this and also you’ll battle to get the total scope of town.

In Closing

Jacksonville is brimming with surprises, hidden gems, and interesting spots. Irrespective of the age or the curiosity in exercise – River Metropolis has one thing enjoyable to supply everybody. Museums are a should, nature is bountiful, the solar is seemingly at all times shining, and the seashore is simply ever a stone’s throw away. What’s to not love? 

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