In this Jacksonville Travel Blog, Jacksonville a vibrant city in northeast Florida is quickly becoming a top travel destination for those seeking a perfect blend of urban excitement and coastal charm. With its miles of pristine beaches, rich cultural heritage, and thriving culinary scene, Jacksonville offers an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler.

This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the best places to visit in Jacksonville, stay, and explore in this captivating city, ensuring you make the most of your time in one of Florida’s most underrated gems.

What is Jacksonville Travel Blog?

Jacksonville Travel Blog is your digital guide to exploring the best of Florida’s vibrant city. From insider tips on hidden gems to captivating travel stories, we’ve got everything you need to make your Jacksonville experience unforgettable. Dive in and discover the essence of this dynamic destination.

Top Reasons to Visit Jacksonville, Florida


Jacksonville Florida is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach lover, an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, this city will captivate you with its diverse offerings. Here are some compelling reasons why Jacksonville should be on your travel bucket list:

  1. Beautiful Beaches: Jacksonville boasts an impressive 22 miles of pristine, sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. From the lively Jacksonville Beach to the serene Ponte Vedra Beach, you’ll find the perfect spot to soak up the sun, surf the waves, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning coastal vistas.
  2. Rich History and Culture: Since the 16th century, Jacksonville has been a treasure trove of historical landmarks and cultural attractions. From the iconic Fort Caroline National Memorial to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, you’ll discover a city steeped in fascinating stories and artistic expressions.
  3. Outdoor Adventures: Jacksonville’s subtropical climate and natural landscapes provide ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer kayaking along the St. Johns River, hiking through the scenic trails of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, or teeing off at one of the city’s world-class golf courses, you’ll find plenty of ways to immerse yourself in nature.
  4. Vibrant Food Scene: Jacksonville’s culinary landscape is a melting pot of flavors, combining Southern comfort food with international influences. From award-winning seafood restaurants to trendy rooftop bars, you’ll discover a diverse array of dining experiences that will tantalize your taste buds.

Best Places to Visit in Jacksonville

Jacksonville beach
Jacksonville beach

Jacksonville Florida is a city brimming with attractions that cater to every interest. Here are some of the top must-visit destinations:


  • Atlantic Beach: Known for its laidback vibe and charming beachside community, Atlantic Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a variety of water sports.
  • Jacksonville Beach: This bustling beach town offers a vibrant boardwalk, plenty of dining and shopping options, and a lively nightlife scene.
  • Neptune Beach: A quieter and more relaxed beach area, Neptune Beach is perfect for families or those seeking a peaceful escape.

Riverwalks and Parks:

  • Memorial Park: This lush urban oasis features walking trails, picnic areas, and stunning views of the St. Johns River.
  • Friendship Fountain: A stunning and iconic fountain located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, offering a delightful place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
  • Riverwalk: A scenic pedestrian path stretching along the St. Johns River, perfect for strolling, jogging, or cycling while taking in the city’s skyline.


  • Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: This world-class museum boasts an impressive collection of art spanning various periods and styles, set against the backdrop of beautifully manicured gardens.
  • Museum of Science and History: Explore the fascinating history and scientific wonders of Jacksonville through interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and educational programs.

Historical Sites:

  • Fort Caroline National Memorial: Step back in time and discover the remnants of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States, dating back to the 16th century.
  • Kingsley Plantation: This historic plantation offers a glimpse into the lives of plantation owners and enslaved people in the 19th century, providing a poignant look at Jacksonville’s complex history.


  • Daily’s Place: This state-of-the-art theater hosts a variety of concerts, comedy shows, and other live events throughout the year.
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: Explore over 2,000 animals, lush botanical gardens, and interactive exhibits at this world-class zoo, perfect for families and animal enthusiasts.
  • Adventure Landing: Enjoy thrilling rides, arcade games, and family-friendly entertainment at this sprawling amusement park.

Where to Stay in Jacksonville:

Finding the perfect accommodation is key to a memorable Jacksonville experience. Whether you’re traveling with family and friends, on a romantic getaway, or seeking a budget-friendly option, the city offers a diverse range of options to suit every preference and budget.

Budget-friendly (Under $100/night):

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville Beach Boulevard: Offering affordable rates and comfortable accommodations, this hotel is conveniently located near top attractions and beaches. Ideal for those seeking a clean and convenient base to explore the city.
  • Airbnb Rentals: Jacksonville has a wide range of vacation rentals available on Airbnb, from cozy apartments to beachside condos. This is a great option for budget-conscious travelers who want a local experience and the flexibility of self-catering.

Mid-range ($100-$200/night):

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront: This centrally located hotel boasts stunning views of the St. Johns River and offers comfortable accommodations, friendly service, and a convenient location for exploring downtown Jacksonville.
  • The!” (Exclamation Point) Jacksonville Tapestry Park: This stylish hotel near EverBank Field is perfect for sports fans or those seeking a modern and vibrant atmosphere. It features sleek rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a rooftop bar with city views.

Luxury (Over $200/night):

  • Omni Jacksonville Hotel: This family-friendly hotel boasts an impressive pool area, kid-friendly amenities, and convenient access to top attractions like the Jacksonville Landing and the Museum of Science and History. Perfect for families seeking a luxurious and convenient stay.
  • Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa: Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, this resort offers spacious accommodations, championship golf courses, a variety of recreational activities for the whole family, and a luxurious spa experience. Ideal for a relaxing getaway or a golf vacation.
  • Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant: A historic beachfront hotel with a romantic ambiance, featuring elegant rooms, a charming restaurant with ocean views, and easy access to the beautiful Jacksonville Beach. Perfect for couples seeking a luxurious and unforgettable beachfront escape.

Unique Stays:

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island: While not located in Jacksonville itself, this luxurious resort in nearby Amelia Island is a perfect romantic getaway, offering world-class amenities, stunning ocean views, and a private beach experience.

Consider these factors when choosing your accommodation:

  • Location: Do you want to be close to the beach, downtown attractions, or specific activities?
  • Amenities: Are you looking for a hotel with a pool, spa, fitness center, or family-friendly amenities?
  • Travel Style: Are you on a budget, seeking a luxurious experience, or looking for a unique and local stay?

By considering these factors and the options listed above, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay and make the most of your Jacksonville adventure!

Dining and Nightlife in Jacksonville:

Jacksonville’s culinary scene is a delightful fusion of Southern flavors, seafood delicacies, and international influences. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries, the city offers a diverse array of dining experiences to tantalize every palate.

Top Restaurants:

  • Orsay: A French-inspired restaurant in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, offering a sophisticated dining experience with a focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Maple Street Biscuit Company: A beloved local chain serving up delicious Southern-style biscuits, sandwiches, and comfort food in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Salt Life Food Shack: A casual beachside eatery known for its fresh seafood, creative cocktails, and laid-back vibe, perfect for a relaxing meal by the ocean.
  • Hawkers Asian Street Fare: This trendy spot offers a unique spin on Asian street food, with bold flavors and a lively atmosphere.


  • The Volstead: A speakeasy-style bar offering craft cocktails and a prohibition-era ambiance, perfect for a night of sophisticated revelry.
  • Intuition Ale Works: A local brewery and taproom featuring a wide range of craft beers, live music, and a lively atmosphere.
  • Surfer [The Bar]: A lively beachside bar with outdoor seating, live music, and a vibrant party scene, ideal for those seeking a fun night out by the ocean.

Best Outdoor Activities in Jacksonville

Outdoor Activities
Outdoor Activities

Jacksonville’s natural beauty and subtropical climate provide ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and indulge in their passions. From water sports to hiking trails, the city offers a diverse range of adventures for those seeking an active and adventurous vacation.

Water Activities:

  • Kayaking on the St. Johns River: Embark on a serene kayaking journey along the winding St. Johns River, offering breathtaking views and a chance to spot diverse wildlife.
  • Surfing at Jacksonville Beach: With its consistent waves and sandy shores, Jacksonville Beach is a prime spot for surfing enthusiasts of all levels.
  • Fishing Charters: Experience the thrill of deep-sea fishing by booking a charter with one of Jacksonville’s experienced fishing guides. Reel in a variety of catches, including redfish, sea trout, and even sharks, while enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery.

Hiking and Nature Trails:

  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve: This vast nature preserve offers over 46,000 acres of pristine wetlands, salt marshes, and upland forests, perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and immersing yourself in Florida’s diverse ecosystems.
  • Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens: Explore over 120 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, winding trails, and natural habitats, ideal for nature lovers and photographers alike.


  • TPC Sawgrass: Home to the iconic 17th Island green, TPC Sawgrass is a world-renowned golf course that has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including THE PLAYERS Championship.
  • World Golf Village: This golf mecca features two championship courses designed by renowned architects, as well as the World Golf Hall of Fame and various golf-themed attractions and amenities.

Day Trips from Jacksonville

While Jacksonville offers an abundance of attractions and activities, its convenient location also makes it an ideal base for exploring other nearby destinations. Here are some fantastic day trip options from the city:

  1. St. Augustine: Just an hour’s drive from Jacksonville, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. Explore its rich history by visiting sites like the Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and the charming Spanish Colonial-style streets of the historic district.
  2. Amelia Island: This barrier island, located just a short drive from Jacksonville, is a haven for beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, and history buffs. Stroll along the pristine beaches, visit the Fort Clinch State Park, or explore the quaint downtown area with its unique shops and restaurants.
  3. The Golden Isles of Georgia: Just across the state border, the Golden Isles of Georgia offer a scenic escape. Visit the charming town of St. Simons Island, explore the historic sites of Jekyll Island, or relax on the beautiful beaches of Sea Island.
  4. Ocala National Forest: For those seeking an outdoor adventure, the Ocala National Forest is a breathtaking natural playground. Hike through the lush trails, go canoeing or kayaking on the crystal-clear springs, or spot diverse wildlife in their natural habitats.

Tips for Visiting Jacksonville:

To ensure a smooth and memorable trip to Jacksonville, here are some practical tips and insider advice:

  1. Best Time to Visit: Jacksonville enjoys a subtropical climate, making it a year-round destination. However, the most popular and pleasant times to visit are during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is milder and less humid.
  2. Transportation: While having a car is convenient for exploring Jacksonville and its surroundings, the city also offers various transportation options. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) operates buses and the Skyway monorail system, making it easy to navigate downtown and nearby areas.
  3. Parking: Downtown Jacksonville offers various parking garages and lots, but rates can be expensive. Look for free or metered street parking in residential areas near attractions and restaurants.
  4. Insider Tip: Visit during one of Jacksonville’s annual events or festivals for a truly immersive experience. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, held in late May, is a vibrant celebration of music and culture, while the annual Riverside Arts Market (RAM) showcases local artisans and their handmade goods every Saturday.
  5. Beach Etiquette: When visiting Jacksonville’s beaches, be mindful of local ordinances and respect the environment. Avoid littering, follow beach driving regulations, and be cautious of wildlife, such as nesting sea turtles during specific seasons.

Final Words

In the final words of Jacksonville Travel Blog, Jacksonville is a captivating destination that truly has something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and vibrant culture to its rich history and outdoor adventures, this city offers an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway, an action-packed outdoor adventure, or a culinary journey through diverse flavors, Jacksonville promises to leave you with lasting memories. Start planning your trip today and discover why this city is considered one of the best places to visit in Florida.

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