Jacksonville is a water-centric enclave home to heritage parks and curated museums. From eco-tours along St. Johns River to kayaking the Intracoastal Highway and frolicking on 35 kilometres of sandy beaches, there’s plenty of outdoor fun in Jacksonville.
Things to do
The Mandarin Museum & Historical Society operates a re-created village from the 1800s where you can explore a period-style homestead, post office and general store. African-American heritage lives strongly within the Ritz Theater and Museum as well as at Walter Jones Historical Park, home to Harriet Beecher Stowe Gardens.
Spend some time strolling, skating or picnicking on St. John’s Riverwalk, which extends along the Northbank and Southbank. You can take a river taxi to Jacksonville Landing for shopping and craft beer at River City Brewing Company. Rest for a while beside the dancing sprays of the Friendship Fountain in St. John’s River Park.
On the Atlantic Coast of Jacksonville you’ll find three iconic Florida beaches. Jacksonville Beach is known for rollerblading, pier fishing and seaside “shack dining”. Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach merge near Beaches Town Center, brimming with boutiques, surf shops, pubs and cafes. Head over to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park to rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
For a unique Jacksonville dining experience, ramble across a wooden-plank footbridge to Clark’s Fish Camp. Housed inside a former 1940s fishing camp, the renowned restaurant serves eclectic regional cuisine, such as crawfish etouffee, gator poppers and frog legs. Taxidermy animals fill the walls and ceiling space, creating an eerie jungle vibe.
Jacksonville International Airport offers rental cars, taxis and shuttles, but you can also get around on the city’s beach trolley and water taxis. The monorail skyway system connects downtown to the riverfront and major attractions.