Wondering what activities and attractions you can’t miss in the Bold New City of the South? Our guide to the best things to do in Jacksonville is just what you need!
Known for its sunny beaches, vibrant culture, and boundless outdoor activities, Jacksonville, in northeast Florida, has a plethora of things to offer to travelers of all kinds.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Jacksonville has got you covered with an incredible array of experiences.
In this post, we’ll be diving into the best things to do in Jacksonville, from exploring the pristine beauty of Talbot Island State Park and uncovering the secrets of Fort George Island to unwinding in the natural playground of Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.
So, grab your sun hat, pack your sense of adventure, and let’s visit Jacksonville to discover its hidden gems and cherished attractions!
Jacksonville is calling – let’s dive in and get your trip planning started!
Table of Contents
- The Best Things to Do in Jacksonville
- Visit the Jacksonville Beaches (Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach)
- Explore the historic Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods
- Take a stroll along the Riverwalk on the St. Johns River
- Visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
- Check out the exhibits at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
- Explore Fort George Island Cultural State Park
- Visit the Tree Hill Nature Center
- Go fishing at the Jacksonville Beach Pier
- Explore the Big Talbot Island State Park and its unique boneyard beach
- Catch a Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game at TIAA Bank Field
- Observe local wildlife and birds at Castaway Island Preserve
- Go on a Jax Ale Trail brewery tour
- Visit the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
- Go kayaking or paddleboarding on the river or Intracoastal waterways
- Attend a performance at the Florida Theatre
- Shop ’til you drop at the St. Johns Town Center
- Take a relaxing walk at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
- Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sweet Pete’s Candy shop
- Check out the cultural exhibits at the Ritz Theatre and Museum
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere at the Riverside Arts Market (Saturdays)
- Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA)
- Enjoy a relaxing day at Huguenot Memorial Park
- Explore the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail by foot or bike
- Take a day trip to nearby Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach
- Explore the Fort Caroline National Memorial
- Explore the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
- Enjoy the outdoors at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, offering hiking, biking, and camping
- Visit the Veterans Memorial Wall and Museum
- Take a river cruise aboard the Jacksonville Water Taxi
- Go on a nature hike at Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
- Where to Stay in Jacksonville, FL
- Wrapping Up
The Best Things to Do in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida, offers a wide range of activities for travelers to enjoy. Here are the top 30 best activities to consider when visiting Jacksonville.
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Visit the Jacksonville Beaches (Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach)
When looking for things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, a visit to the Jacksonville Beaches should be at the top of your list. The beautiful coastal area comprises several beach towns, including Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach, each offering its own unique charm and attractions.
Head to the Beaches Town Center, a vibrant and bustling hub located between Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach, where visitors can explore a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day on the sandy shores, surfing the waves, or enjoying a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, the Jacksonville Beaches offer an array of activities for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike.
With its inviting atmosphere and coastal beauty, the Jacksonville Beaches provide a perfect setting to unwind, explore, and enjoy the best of what Jacksonville’s coastline has to offer.
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Explore the historic Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods
Whether you’re strolling along the riverfront, exploring the local shops, or indulging in delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants, a visit to Riverside and Avondale is an enchanting journey back in time with a modern twist.
When exploring Jacksonville, Florida, a visit to the historic Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods is a must for those seeking a charming and culturally rich experience. These neighborhoods are a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy, boasting beautifully preserved architecture, tree-lined streets, and an array of boutiques, art galleries, and eateries.
Wander through the picturesque streets, and you’ll discover a treasure trove of historic homes, some dating back to the late 19th century. Riverside and Avondale also offer a thriving arts scene, with numerous art festivals, cultural events, and live performances taking place throughout the year.
Take a stroll along the Riverwalk on the St. Johns River
One of the top things to do in Jacksonville is to take a leisurely stroll along the Riverwalk on the St. Johns River, which offers a scenic and relaxing experience for both locals and tourists alike.
As you meander along the river’s edge, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the water, the downtown skyline, and iconic landmarks such as the Friendship Fountain. This iconic fountain has been a beloved symbol of Jacksonville since its construction in 1965 for the city’s 150th anniversary.
It features a stunning display of water jets and lights, creating a mesmerizing spectacle, especially when illuminated at night. The Riverwalk is adorned with benches and picnic areas, making it an ideal spot to sit and enjoy the soothing sound of flowing water while taking in the city’s natural beauty.
The Friendship Fountain Park is a must-visit destination that perfectly captures the charm and allure of Jacksonville’s waterfront.
Visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
When searching for things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens offers an enriching and delightful experience for art and nature enthusiasts alike. This cultural gem showcases an impressive collection of over 5,000 works of art spanning various periods and styles, including European paintings, American art, and contemporary pieces.
As you explore the galleries, you are immersed in a journey through history and creativity. The museum’s allure extends beyond the art as it is complemented by the stunning historic gardens that adorn the grounds.
With picturesque landscapes, vibrant blooms, and serene water features, the Cummer Gardens provide a serene oasis in the heart of the city. Whether you’re admiring masterpieces indoors or strolling through the beautifully landscaped gardens, the Cummer Museum promises an inspiring and captivating experience for all ages.
Check out the exhibits at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is a captivating destination that caters to curious minds of all ages. Offering a diverse range of interactive exhibits and educational programs, MOSH provides a fun and engaging learning experience for visitors.
From the wonders of space exploration to the depths of the ocean, the museum covers a wide array of scientific topics, making it an ideal place for families, school groups, and science enthusiasts.
Children can immerse themselves in hands-on activities, while adults can delve into thought-provoking displays that showcase the advancements in human knowledge and technology.
With its commitment to fostering a love for science and history, MOSH is a must-visit attraction that inspires wonder and discovery in all who step through its doors.
Explore Fort George Island Cultural State Park
Fort George Island Cultural State Park offers travelers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty, inviting them to uncover the fascinating stories of the past while immersed in the tranquil landscapes of Jacksonville, Florida.
At the heart of the park lies the historic Kingsley Plantation, a poignant reminder of Florida’s plantation era. You can explore the well-preserved ruins of the plantation house, kitchen house, and slave quarters, gaining insights into the lives of those who lived and worked here centuries ago.
As you traverse the park’s scenic hiking trails, you are embraced by lush vegetation and serene vistas of the St. Johns River, providing a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
Combining historical significance with captivating landscapes, Fort George Island Cultural State Park promises an unforgettable experience that deepens understanding and appreciation for both the past and the present.
Visit the Tree Hill Nature Center
When looking for things to do in Jacksonville that offer a perfect blend of nature and education, a visit to the Tree Hill Nature Center is an absolute must.
Tucked away within the city’s urban landscape, this hidden gem sprawls across 50 acres of pristine woodlands, wetlands, and enchanting gardens, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Embarking on the well-maintained trails, you can immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystem while encountering captivating wildlife exhibits, including birds of prey and reptiles, during interactive presentations.
The Tree Hill Nature Center serves as an oasis of tranquility, offering a unique opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with the beauty of the natural world right in Jacksonville’s backyard.
Go fishing at the Jacksonville Beach Pier
Perched along the picturesque coastline of Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Beach Pier beckons travelers and anglers alike to indulge in a captivating seaside experience.
Stretching 1,320 feet into the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, the pier offers breathtaking panoramic views and a front-row seat to witness the ebb and flow of the tides. As the sun paints the sky with hues of orange and pink during sunrise and sunset, visitors can cast their lines and try their luck at catching a variety of fish species, adding an element of excitement to their beach outing.
Beyond fishing, the Jacksonville Beach pier serves as a prime location for leisurely strolls, providing ample opportunities for visitors to bask in the ocean breeze, spot playful dolphins in the distance, or simply revel in the tranquil sounds of crashing waves.
Whether one is an experienced angler or a casual observer, the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier offers a serene escape and an idyllic coastal setting for unforgettable memories.
Explore the Big Talbot Island State Park and its unique boneyard beach
Big Talbot Island State Park is a hidden gem nestled along the northeast Florida coastline, offering a truly surreal and captivating experience at its famous boneyard beach.
As you step onto the shoreline, you are met with an otherworldly landscape where ancient live oaks and cedar trees emerge like ghostly sculptures, their twisted forms blanketed by salt-worn driftwood, creating a breathtaking sight unlike any other.
This natural wonderland is a photographer’s paradise, where the interplay of sunlight and shadows adds a touch of magic to every frame. Beyond its ethereal beauty, Big Talbot Island State Park beckons adventurers to explore its hiking trails, observe an array of coastal wildlife, and immerse themselves in the serenity of this unspoiled coastal haven.
Catch a Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game at TIAA Bank Field
When it comes to things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, attending a Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game at TIAA Bank Field is an absolute must for sports enthusiasts and football fans.
The electric atmosphere of the stadium, coupled with the passionate fanbase, creates an unforgettable experience for attendees. As you cheer on the Jaguars alongside thousands of devoted supporters, you’ll be immersed in the excitement and camaraderie that comes with live sports events.
Whether you’re a die-hard football aficionado or simply want to experience the thrill of a professional NFL game, TIAA Bank Field offers an opportunity to witness top-tier athleticism and be a part of Jacksonville’s sports culture, leaving you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for the city’s love of the game.
If football isn’t what you were looking for in your Jacksonville vacation, the stadium also hosts a variety of concerts at its adjoining Daily’s Place amphitheater.
Check the event schedule here.
Observe local wildlife and birds at Castaway Island Preserve
Nestled within the serene beauty of nature, Castaway Island Preserve presents a sanctuary for travelers seeking solace and connection with the wild wonders of Jacksonville. This idyllic preserve captures the essence of coastal Florida with its undisturbed marshlands, meandering creeks, and pristine tidal flats, providing a haven for a diverse array of flora and fauna.
As visitors traverse the well-maintained boardwalks and trails, they are greeted by the symphony of bird calls, including the elusive painted bunting and the majestic bald eagle, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
Amidst the tranquil landscape, the preserve’s observation towers offer breathtaking vistas of the marshlands and the chance to glimpse a glimpse of the elusive manatee or bottlenose dolphin.
With its unspoiled beauty and a sense of serenity that envelops every step, Castaway Island Preserve offers an enchanting retreat for those seeking communion with nature’s timeless allure.
Go on a Jax Ale Trail brewery tour
Embarking on a journey through the enticing Jax Ale Trail promises beer enthusiasts an unforgettable exploration of the city’s thriving craft beer scene. Comprising a curated selection of local breweries and taprooms, the Ale Trail offers a diverse array of artisanal brews that cater to every palate.
As you traverse this hoppy trail, you can savor a variety of unique and innovative beer styles, from refreshing IPAs and rich stouts to crisp lagers and fruity ales. Along the way, you have the opportunity to engage with passionate brewers, learning about the art and science behind each brew, while also immersing yourself in the vibrant social atmosphere that surrounds these beer havens.
Whether one is a seasoned beer connoisseur or simply eager to sample the flavors of Jacksonville, the Ale Trail promises a delightful expedition, allowing visitors to raise a glass to the city’s burgeoning craft beer culture.
Visit the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
A visit to the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is an unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal with majestic big cats and other exotic animals. This nonprofit sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing and providing a safe haven for endangered big cats, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and cougars.
Visitors can take guided nighttime tours to witness the cats’ natural behaviors under the moonlit sky, adding a touch of adventure and mystery to the experience. The passionate staff at Catty Shack Ranch are committed to educating the public about the conservation efforts required to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitats.
With the roar of the big cats echoing in the background, a trip to this sanctuary offers a unique and unforgettable encounter with some of nature’s most awe-inspiring predators while supporting a crucial cause.
Go kayaking or paddleboarding on the river or Intracoastal waterways
When in Jacksonville, Florida, exploring the serene waterways through kayaking or paddleboarding is a must-do activity for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. With an extensive network of rivers, creeks, and the Intracoastal waterways, there are numerous opportunities to paddle and glide through some of Florida’s most picturesque landscapes.
As you venture along the water, you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation, abundant wildlife, and stunning scenic views.
Whether you choose to embark on a peaceful solo journey or join a guided tour, kayaking or paddleboarding in Jacksonville provides a unique perspective of the city’s natural beauty, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors looking to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of the water.
Attend a performance at the Florida Theatre
Nestled in the heart of downtown Jacksonville’s vibrant cultural scene, the historic Florida Theatre stands as a cherished gem, exuding timeless elegance and captivating audiences since its grand opening in 1927.
As one of the state’s oldest surviving theaters, this architectural masterpiece boasts ornate Spanish-style décor and a majestic atmospheric ceiling, transporting visitors back to the golden age of cinema and live performances. Today, the Florida Theatre continues to be a premier entertainment venue, hosting an eclectic array of events, from concerts featuring renowned artists to stand-up comedy, classic film screenings, and Broadway productions.
Its intimate setting ensures a memorable experience for all attendees, as they immerse themselves in the rich history and cultural significance of this iconic venue, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and travelers seeking a captivating night out in Jacksonville.
Shop ’til you drop at the St. Johns Town Center
At the St. Johns Town Center, you are treated to a premier shopping experience that caters to every taste and preference. This sprawling open-air mall boasts a collection of upscale boutiques, popular retail brands, and renowned department stores, making it a shopaholic’s paradise.
With its charming architecture and beautifully landscaped walkways, the Town Center offers a delightful ambiance for leisurely strolls and window shopping. Aside from the wide range of fashion and lifestyle stores, visitors can indulge in delectable dining options at the center’s restaurants and cafes.
Whether seeking the latest fashion trends, home décor, or unique gifts, the St. Johns Town Center promises an unforgettable shopping adventure in the heart of Jacksonville.
Take a relaxing walk at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a serene oasis nestled within the bustling city, offering visitors a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace. Spanning over 120 acres, this botanical treasure trove showcases a diverse collection of native plants and trees, providing a wonderful opportunity to immerse oneself in Florida’s natural beauty.
As you meander along the well-maintained trails, you can revel in the sight of vibrant blooms, lush greenery, and unique ecosystems. The Arboretum also features informative signage, enabling nature enthusiasts to learn about the various plant species and their ecological significance.
Whether seeking a peaceful retreat for reflection or a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a haven of serenity, inviting all to reconnect with the wonders of the natural world.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Sweet Pete’s Candy shop
Sweet Pete’s Candy shop, located in downtown Jacksonville, is a whimsical wonderland that captures the hearts of both young and old with its delightful array of sugary delights.
As soon as you step inside, you are transported to a nostalgic world of confectionery magic. The charming decor, reminiscent of a classic candy factory, exudes an enchanting atmosphere that enhances the overall experience.
From handmade chocolates and gourmet caramel apples to a vast selection of colorful candies and sweets, Sweet Pete’s offers a treasure trove of treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. In addition to exploring the vast assortment of goodies, guests can also enjoy interactive candy-making demonstrations and workshops, providing an engaging and educational experience.
A visit to Sweet Pete’s promises to be a delightful journey into the realms of sweetness and joy, leaving visitors with unforgettable memories and bags filled with delightful treats.
Check out the cultural exhibits at the Ritz Theatre and Museum
The Ritz Theatre and Museum, located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, is a cultural treasure that celebrates the rich heritage and artistic contributions of African Americans in the region.
This historic venue serves as both a museum and a performing arts theater, offering a comprehensive and immersive experience for visitors. The museum showcases exhibits that highlight the achievements and struggles of African Americans throughout history, including displays of notable figures, local heroes, and significant events.
The Ritz Theatre also hosts a variety of live performances, ranging from music concerts to theater productions, providing a platform for contemporary African American artists to showcase their talents.
With its dedication to preserving history and promoting artistic expression, the Ritz Theatre and Museum serves as a beacon of cultural diversity and inclusion in Jacksonville, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s vibrant cultural heritage.
Experience the vibrant atmosphere at the Riverside Arts Market (Saturdays)
The Riverside Arts Market (RAM) in Jacksonville, FL, is a vibrant and bustling market that showcases the city’s diverse artistic and cultural talents. Held every Saturday under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge, RAM offers a lively atmosphere where local artists, artisans, musicians, and food vendors come together to create a colorful tapestry of creativity.
Visitors can peruse a wide array of unique handmade crafts, art pieces, jewelry, and clothing while engaging in friendly conversations with talented vendors. Live music performances provide a delightful backdrop to the shopping experience, and the aroma of delicious food from various cuisines fills the air, tempting taste buds with a diverse range of flavors.
Whether you’re looking to find one-of-a-kind treasures, indulge in delectable treats, or simply soak in the artistic ambiance, the Riverside Arts Market is a must-visit destination that celebrates the spirit of Jacksonville’s local talent and community.
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Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA)
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA) stands as a vibrant testament to the city’s thriving art scene and offers a captivating journey through the world of contemporary art.
Located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, MOCA boasts a diverse collection of thought-provoking and innovative works by both established and emerging artists.
As you step into the sleek and modern gallery spaces, you are enveloped in a dynamic atmosphere that encourages exploration and introspection. From abstract paintings and sculptures to cutting-edge multimedia installations, MOCA’s ever-changing exhibits push the boundaries of creativity and challenge conventional perspectives.
With engaging programs, interactive workshops, and community outreach initiatives, MOCA fosters a deep appreciation for contemporary art while serving as a cultural hub that enriches the lives of locals and travelers alike.
Enjoy a relaxing day at Huguenot Memorial Park
With its unspoiled beauty and a sense of serenity that washes over its visitors, Huguenot Memorial Park promises an unforgettable coastal retreat for those seeking a true connection with nature.
Huguenot Memorial Park, nestled on the northeastern coast of Jacksonville, Florida, beckons travelers to unwind amidst the natural splendor of this pristine beachfront oasis. Stretching over three miles, the park’s expansive sandy shores offer a picturesque escape for beach lovers seeking tranquility away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
With the shimmering Atlantic Ocean on one side and the serene Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve on the other, visitors are treated to breathtaking views and opportunities for exploration.
The park’s unique position also makes it an ideal spot for a variety of outdoor activities, from swimming and sunbathing to fishing and surfing. For nature enthusiasts, Huguenot Memorial Park is a haven for wildlife watching, as numerous shorebirds, sea turtles, and dolphins frequent the area.
Explore the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail by foot or bike
The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail offers travelers a delightful journey through nature’s embrace, as it winds its way through picturesque landscapes, blending history and outdoor adventure.
This 14.5-mile-long former railroad corridor, now transformed into a multi-use trail, caters to hikers, bikers, and equestrians, providing a diverse range of experiences for all to enjoy. Surrounded by lush foliage, native wildlife, and charming wooden bridges, the trail invites visitors to escape the urban confines and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Florida’s wilderness.
Along the way, you can discover historical artifacts and markers that tell the story of the region’s railroad past. Whether exploring the trail on foot, bike, or horseback, the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail offers an idyllic outdoor retreat for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike, making it a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
Take a day trip to nearby Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach
A day trip to nearby Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach is a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of Jacksonville, FL. Located just a short drive away, this charming barrier island offers a serene and picturesque setting, making it a perfect destination for relaxation and exploration.
Amelia Island’s pristine beaches beckon visitors to unwind on the sandy shores, take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic waters or try their hand at various water sports like paddleboarding and surfing. The island’s historic downtown area, Fernandina Beach, is a quaint and picturesque town with well-preserved Victorian architecture, boutique shops, and inviting restaurants.
Strolling along the streets of Fernandina Beach, visitors can soak in the coastal charm and sample fresh seafood delicacies. For history buffs, a visit to Fort Clinch State Park is a must, where they can step back in time and explore the well-preserved 19th-century fort.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a touch of history, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach offer a delightful retreat that complements the vibrant energy of Jacksonville.
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Explore the Fort Caroline National Memorial
When searching for things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, exploring the Fort Caroline National Memorial is a captivating way to delve into the area’s historical significance. This national park preserves the site of the first French settlement in the United States in the 16th century.
You can immerse yourself in the rich history as they wander through the reconstructed fort, explore the exhibits at the visitor center, and take in the scenic views of the St. Johns River.
The park also offers several nature trails that wind through lush landscapes, providing an opportunity to observe local wildlife and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
For history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, a visit to Fort Caroline National Memorial offers an enlightening and serene experience that connects visitors with the past and the natural beauty of Jacksonville’s landscape.
Explore the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Whether you’re in town to explore Jacksonville with family, and friends, or simply seeking a day of nature and discovery, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a captivating destination that promises a memorable and educational outing for everyone.
A visit to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a delightful adventure that offers a perfect blend of wildlife encounters and natural beauty. Located on the banks of the Trout River, this expansive zoo is home to over 2,000 animals representing over 350 species from around the world.
As you explore the zoo’s well-designed habitats, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to fascinating creatures like jaguars, giraffes, elephants, and exotic birds. The zoo’s dedication to conservation and education is evident in its various exhibits and programs, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of wildlife and the importance of protecting their habitats.
In addition to the impressive animal exhibits, the Jacksonville Zoo boasts beautifully landscaped gardens, adding an extra layer of tranquility and charm to the overall experience.
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Enjoy the outdoors at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, offering hiking, biking, and camping
Hanna Park, a hidden gem nestled within Jacksonville, Florida, offers a diverse range of outdoor activities that cater to both adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Spread across 450 acres, this sprawling park boasts scenic forests, freshwater lakes, and a pristine stretch of Atlantic coastline.
Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a myriad of activities, including hiking along nature trails, biking through wooded paths, and enjoying picnics in serene settings. The park’s freshwater lake provides an ideal spot for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
For those seeking a bit of excitement, Hanna Park features a 60-acre freshwater lake with a designated area for water skiing and wakeboarding. Additionally, visitors can savor a relaxing day on the park’s beach, soaking up the sun, swimming in the Atlantic waters, and building sandcastles.
With its abundance of recreational opportunities, Hanna Park stands as a playground of natural beauty and outdoor adventure within the heart of Jacksonville.
Visit the Veterans Memorial Wall and Museum
The Veterans Memorial Wall and Museum stands as a solemn and heartfelt tribute to honor the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
The centerpiece of the memorial is a towering black granite wall etched with the names of over 1,700 local service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. As you walk along the wall, you are filled with a sense of gratitude and reverence for the selflessness and dedication displayed by these heroes.
The accompanying museum offers a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by veterans through exhibits, artifacts, and personal stories. The Veterans Memorial Wall and Museum serve as a powerful reminder of the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of those who have defended the nation, leaving visitors with a profound sense of patriotism and appreciation for the service and sacrifices of the nation’s military personnel.
Take a river cruise aboard the Jacksonville Water Taxi
Exploring the St. Johns River by taking a river cruise aboard the Jacksonville Water Taxi is a delightful and scenic way to experience the city’s waterways. The St. Johns River Taxi offers a unique perspective of Jacksonville as it glides along the river, providing passengers with stunning views of the city’s skyline, historic landmarks, and lush waterfront scenery.
Whether you’re a local looking to enjoy a relaxing day on the river or a tourist eager to soak in the sights, the Water Taxi offers a convenient and enjoyable mode of transportation.
With multiple stops along the river, passengers can hop on and off to visit various attractions, waterfront restaurants, and vibrant neighborhoods. As you cruise on the tranquil waters, the Jacksonville Water Taxi promises an unforgettable and leisurely experience that captures the essence of the city’s natural beauty and charm.
Go on a nature hike at Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
When searching for things to do in Jacksonville, exploring the scenic beauty and wildlife of Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is a must for nature enthusiasts.
Located near the city, this expansive preserve encompasses diverse habitats, including salt marshes, forests, and wetlands, making it a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature photographers. With miles of hiking trails that meander through the wilderness, you can immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance while observing a variety of bird species and other wildlife in their natural habitats.
The preserve also offers historical significance, with remnants of Native American settlements and colonial-era structures adding a cultural touch to the natural beauty.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day immersed in nature or an opportunity to learn about the area’s rich history, a trip to Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is a refreshing and educational experience that showcases the unspoiled beauty of Jacksonville’s wilderness.
Where to Stay in Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville is the largest US city by land mass, meaning it can take you a while to get around and there are a variety of places to stay in different parts of town. These are our favorite picks covering a variety of price ranges and locations.
Best Budget Hotel: La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham
Situated on Butler Boulevard, this La Quinta Inn & Suites offers comfortable and budget-friendly rooms with modern amenities. Guests have praised its friendly staff, cleanliness, and convenient location.
It’s a great choice for budget travelers who want to be near popular attractions like the St. Johns Town Center and the University of North Florida.
Best Luxury Accommodations – One Ocean Resort & Spa
Nestled along the pristine beaches of Atlantic Beach, One Ocean Resort & Spa offers a luxurious retreat for discerning travelers. This elegant boutique hotel boasts stylish oceanfront suites, each exquisitely appointed with upscale amenities and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, savor gourmet dining at the award-winning Azurea restaurant, and unwind in the infinity-edge pool overlooking the beach. With personalized service and a serene ambiance, One Ocean Resort & Spa promises an unforgettable and pampering experience.
Best Mid-Range Accommodations – Hyatt Regency Riverfront
The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is a popular choice for families seeking mid-range accommodation. Located along the St. Johns River, this hotel offers spacious rooms with modern amenities and beautiful views.
Families can enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site dining options. Its proximity to attractions like the Jacksonville Landing and the Museum of Science and History adds to its appeal.
Jacksonville has proven itself to be a hidden gem for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience in Northeast Florida. From its sun-kissed beaches and lush nature preserves to its rich historical sites and vibrant cultural scene, there are truly endless things to do in Jacksonville.
Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a history enthusiast, a foodie, or an art lover, this city has something to offer everyone.
So, the next time you’re planning a trip to Florida, consider Jacksonville as your destination. Fly into Jacksonville International Airport, and embrace the warm hospitality of the locals, bask in the natural beauty of its parks and beaches, and immerse yourself in the diverse array of activities and attractions.
Jacksonville will undoubtedly leave you with cherished memories and a longing to return for more adventures in this dynamic and captivating city. Happy travels and see you in Jacksonville!
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