Top 10 Things To Do in Jacksonville Florida
Jacksonville located in the northeastern part of the Florida is one of the largest cities not only in the state but in the country. Its geographical location on the Atlantic coast and St John’s River, rich history and a variety of Jacksonville attractions makes it a popular vacation destination in the United States.
Please browse below to get ideas of things to do in Jacksonville during your upcoming vacation.
1. Explore Jacksonville Beaches – Sprawling geography of the city creates numerous beach going opportunities not only on the Atlantic coast but beaches along St John’s River and multiple other bodies of water surrounding the great city of Jacksonville. With such an abundance of choices, it’s hard to decide whether to take St John’s River Ferry or water taxi, go fishing or enjoy eco-kayaking tours. For water sports aficionados, there are plenty of fun things to do in Jacksonville Fl, including surfing, wakeboarding or exploring the Salt Marshes with their unique wildlife and flora. With 21 miles of expansive sandy beaches near Jacksonville, rest assured you will find the one that suits your needs.
2. Visit Jacksonville Riverwalks – The city of Jacksonville boasts not one but two Riverwalks located in the downtown district on the south and north banks of St John’s River. These Rivewalks encompass some of the top things to do in Jacksonville for visitors and locals. Best shopping, dining and sightseeing experience all in one place. Enjoy gorgeous cityscapes, shimmering waters and unsurpassed sightseeing. Friendship Park & Fountain is the signature attraction featuring an impressive fountain set in a beautiful urban park district fringed with tropical palm trees and landscapes.
3. Tour Jacksonville Landing & Downtown – One of the most visited places in the city with a ton of things to do in Jacksonville, including shopping, dining and entertainment. The city’s iconic attraction is the Landing, a must see place for all visitors. The Landing is a popular place hosting a variety of events, festivals and holiday celebrations. Fabulous views of downtown and St John’s River are opening from various restaurants that offer multi-ethnic cuisine options. Here you can also tour neighboring museums like Jacksonville Maritime Museum or set on incredible river cruises.
4. Visit Jacksonville Zoo and Botanical Gardens – One of the tourists’ favorite places to visit in Florida is home to over 1500 animals and a wide variety of plant species. The Zoo is proud to house animals in surroundings close to their natural habitat. One of park’s signature exhibits is the award winning Range of the Jaguar presenting an amazing replication of South American Mayan village completed with a Temple and wildlife native to the area. In addition, there’s a variety of group or private tours available taking you behind the scenes to learn about unique business of keeping a Zoo, meet zookeepers and animal caretakers.
5. Book a Cruising Tour from Jacksonville – One of the best things to do in Jacksonville are centered around water so booking a sightseeing tour like Adult Sunset tours allows you to spend a fun and exciting evening out in the sea mingling with friends and other passengers while being entertained by local musicians sipping wine or beer. If partying is not for you, may be a morning cruising excursion will do just the trick – get familiar with interesting facts and sights as your professional tour guides take you along Florida’s gorgeous coast. Bird and dolphin watching tours aboard private charter boats are a great opportunity to introduce your kids to Florida’s unique wildlife.
6. Dive into Jacksonville nightlife – When the sun goes down, fun Florida times roll in. City’s coolest and hippest nightlife joints are centered around downtown area, the Landing and Riverwalks. Whether you fancy greasy pub foods and ale, sexy martinis and piano lounge music or a nice juicy hamburger from a sports bar, rest assured you will find plenty in Jacksonville and more. River City Brewing Company is your sure bet to catch a satisfying lunch or staying late for dinner to enjoy breathtaking Florida views. In the San Marco district locals recommend feasting on Middle Easter cuisine and belly dancing show at Layla’s of San Marco.
7. Explore Jacksonville Museums and Art – Jacksonville does not boast as many museums as other popular Florida resorts, however, those few pack quite a punch and should definitely be visited. Cummer Museum of Art &Gardens is among must see attractions presenting over 6000 pieces of art mostly by American and European artists. Museum of Science and History houses exhibits that date back to pre-Columbian times depicting the early history of lands that later became Florida.
8. See Amelia Island – The 13 mile long island is located within a short drive from Jacksonville, Fl. This beautiful island is sure to bring you lots of memorable experiences and an excurse in its rich past. Some of the Amelia Island attractions include its pristine beaches, golf courses, fishing and sightseeing cruises, and water sports. Another popular activity recommended for Amelia island visitors is oceanfront horseback riding which could be attempted during the day but mostly at sunset or dawn for especially romantic effect. The former county jail houses incredible Amelia Island Museum of history that tells a story of island’s rich past and historical figures that helped shape the present of this amazing place.
9. Tour Fort Caroline National Memorial – Part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, Fort Caroline is a tribute to first French colonists who arrived to these territories in the mid 1500’s in hope to establish a new Protestant colony. However, their efforts were short lived and the Memorial depicts a story of their struggles and interactions with Native American tribes and fateful defeat by the Spanish. The actual Fort Caroline is not an original structure but rather a recreation housing a great museum displaying original artifacts of the 16th century.
10. Set on Historical Annabelle Lee River Boat Tour – An experience you will not soon forget if you take a trip on this authentic historical paddleboat along St John’s River. This is for visitors who are looking for unusual and one of a kind things to do in Jacksonville allowing them to soak up the surrounding beauty while enjoying the refreshments and entertainment aboard. The boat seats 150 and is available for private parties and celebrations serving banquet style meals and live music and dancing shows.