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Discovering Jacksonville - Big City, Big Beaches

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This sprawling city is the largest by area in the contiguous USA, and serves as a gateway to Florida with an international airport and several major highways intersecting here. Visitors will find natural attractions including beaches, state parks, and St. Johns River, Florida’s longest river. Jacksonville’s urban areas attract shoppers, foodies, and cultural enthusiasts, as well as sports fans who can catch a variety of professional games.

Jacksonville beaches

 

Jacksonville boasts 3 beachside neighborhoods only 20 minutes from its city center. Together, these beaches provide 22 miles of wide oceanfront clustered around laid-back beach towns. Take a stroll on Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier to watch surfers, or cast a line from the pier to catch flounder, redfish, and sea trout. Neptune and Atlantic beaches are charming, old-fashioned beach towns with surprisingly few crowds. A city trolley will take you there for only a few dollars in the summer.

 

  • Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, 503 N. 1st St., Jacksonville Beach 32250; Tel: +1 904 241 1515; Website: Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier
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  • Neptune Beach, 116 1st St., Neptune Beach 32266; Tel: +1 904 270 2400; Website: Neptune Beach

Lively Jacksonville Landing

 

Downtown's 3-mile Riverwalk centers around Jacksonville Landing. This area features restaurants, museums, shopping, and lots of events to fill evenings with fun and entertainment. Live music can be heard every weekend, and a Downtown Art Walk takes place every first Wednesday of the month. All this is set against the backdrop of wide St. John’s River humming with water taxis and boaters.

 

  • Jacksonville Landing, 2 W. Independent Dr., Jacksonville 32202; Tel: +1 904 353 1188; Website: Jacksonville Landing
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  • Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk, 135 W. Monroe St., Jacksonville 32202; Tel: +1 904 634 0303; Website: Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk

 

Artsy Riverside

 

The artistic soul of Jacksonville, Riverside now attracts young professionals and entrepreneurs who have helped create King Street Food & Beer District. Here you'll find craft beer and creative cuisine along with cool shops and handcrafted goods. Stop by Riverside Arts Market every Saturday for a community-driven mini-festival that includes food samples, live music, and organic produce.

 

  • Riverside Avondale, 2623 Herschel St., Jacksonville 32204; Tel: +1 904 389 2449; Website: Riverside Avondale
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  • Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville 32204; Tel: +1 904 389 2449; Website: Riverside Arts Market

 

A night out in San Marco

 

Sitting along Jacksonville’s Southbank, San Marco suits visitors looking for a classy night out. Upscale dining awaits in the San Marco Dining District, and several performing arts venues can be found here too. You can spend the day at museums like the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), and later catch the sunset at Riverfront Park. At night the area lights up with Friendship Fountain light show and Main Street Bridge is awash in blue lights.

 

 

State parks

 

Surrounding this big city are plenty of state parks where aquatic nature flourishes. Little Talbot Island State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park remain among the few undeveloped sea islands left in the area. Visitors can enjoy quiet beaches or kayak through surrounding creeks and maritime forests. You may even spot sea turtles and river otters.