Jacksonville has many attractions that are great for families, couples, and kids. One of its main attractions is the 22 miles of wide and beautiful beaches. Jacksonville's three popular white sand beaches include Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Jacksonville Beach that offer a range of fun activities like swimming, paddle boarding, and surfing. The historic village of Mayport is a great place to catch some fresh fish as well. Jacksonville has more than 80,000 acres of parks, making it the largest urban park system in the nation consisting of wetlands, marshes, national preserves and parks, as well as city parks and gardens. Outdoor recreation is readily available with camping grounds and hiking trails throughout Jacksonville's beachside areas. The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary offer educational encounters with animals and local plants through interactive exhibits. Golf is another big attraction in Jacksonville and is home to the PGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame. This city boasts some of the best golf courses with scenic oceanside and riverfront views and is perfect for players of all skill levels.
Jacksonville Restaurants and Nightlife
With a melting pot of cultures, Jacksonville's culinary scene reflects these eclectic flavors in its food and dining options. From upscale bistros and popular fast food chains to casual fish shacks and southern comfort diners, Jacksonville has something for everyone's taste buds. Local and seasonal ingredients are common staples in many of the restaurants such as the Mayport shrimp, which is a popular item in the region. Some local favorite spots for delicious food include Skyline Cafe, Benny's Cafe, Chomp Chomp, and Chart House located in downtown Jacksonville. The city is also home to eight breweries in the area known as the Jax Ale Trail that feature a variety of quality craft beers.
Besides the diverse restaurant offerings, Jacksonville also has an energetic nightlife throughout its distinct neighborhoods. The Elbow is downtown Jacksonville's entertainment district that consists of bars and venues offering local craft beers and cocktails, live music, and DJs that attract people from all walks of like looking for a fun and relaxing night out. Over in the Beaches area, the Flying Iguana has over 100 tequila selections for your tasting pleasure and Ragtime always has live music from local talent. In the neighborhood of Mandarin, The Comedy Zone is the perfect place to catch some laughs along with drink specials and appetizers. The King Street District in Riverside is a popular and up-and-coming bar scene with gastropubs, lounges, and bars like Kickback's, The Garage, The Silver Cow, and Dahlia's Pour House.
Jacksonville has a lively arts and culture scene, making it a world-class destination for fun and entertainment. There are local art and music events throughout the year such as the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Artists Series. The historic Florida Theatre, Veterans Memorial Arena, and Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall all provide a variety of music, concerts, live acts, comedy shows, and performances. Art enthusiasts can visit the Cummer Museum to see pieces of Renaissance art or contemporary art at MOCA. Local galleries and public displays of art are found throughout the various neighborhoods in Jacksonville as well.
Public transportation is accessible through the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). There are more than 30 JTA bus routes throughout Jacksonville and Beaches that take passengers through the city. The JTA also operates two trolley lines for the Riverside, Beaches, and downtown areas. Commuting via water is a breeze and can offer scenic views as well. The historic St. Johns River Ferry transports cars and passengers between Mayport to Ft. George Island. The Jacksonville River Taxi provides service to both sides of the St. Johns River. Driving around Jacksonville is easy because of its JTA-operated 2.5 mile Skyway. This essentially traffic-free road connects the North and Southbanks of downtown during the busy workweek and during special events for getting around town quickly. Downtown Jacksonville is pedestrian-friendly too because of its riverfront jogging and walking trails.