If you really want to visit a destination with everything, you absolutely need to add Jacksonville to your bucket list. This gem in the Florida crown is often overlooked by more popular areas in Florida such as Naples, Miami Beach, Orlando, and Key West.
Jacksonville Florida has so many things to do for the whole family; whether you want an adults-only break to hit the beach and relax, or you want to immerse yourself in the culture and experience some of Jacksonville’s famous Southern Hospitality for yourself, this post looks at some of the best things to see and do in Jacksonville.
Facts About Jacksonville
- Jacksonville has around 221 days of sunshine a year
- Average temperatures are around d 70F to 90F
- Jacksonville gets around 112 days of rain per year, with July being the wettest month typically.
- Jacksonville is 840 square miles making it Florida’s biggest city
- It is less than an hours drive from Georgia
- Jacksonville is 350 miles from Miami
The best things to see and do in Jacksonville
About 30 miles northeast of downtown Jacksonville, Amelia Island attracts families in droves with its 13 miles of beaches, historical attractions, and laid-back atmosphere. Amelia Island was also a haven for Jacksonville’s Black residents during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. While on the island, you can also learn about pirate history at the Amelia Island Museum of History, go on a waterway cruise to look for alligators and wild horses, hike through Fort George Island Cultural State Park or relax on the sand. Recent visitors especially recommended laying your towel along the shores of Fernandina Beach, a small community that stretches along the barrier island’s northern tip.
The Florida Theatre, which first opened its doors in 1927, now hosts more than 200 cultural and entertainment events each year. The Florida Theatre, like other theatres built in the 1920s, has a lavish interior. The theatre, built in the Mediterranean Revival style, dazzles visitors with its terrazzo and tile floors, amber glass light fixtures and chandeliers, terracotta exterior ornamentation, and decorative columns.
St Augustine Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
On this narrated Old Town trolley tour, you’ll see the best of St Augustine. You will be able to visit over 100 points of interest, including the Old Jail, Flagler College, and Spanish Colonial neighborhoods. This hop-on-hop-off tour will help you discover more about America’s oldest city, founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, from your friendly and informative conductor, who shares interesting historical narration about St. Augustine. Trolley Tour of St. Augustine, The conductor will tell you about America’s oldest city’s history, attractions, and sights. Entrance to the Florida Heritage Museum
Sunset Cruise of St Augustine
With this leisurely sunset cruise, you’ll get a new perspective on St. Augustine. Embark on a scenic cruise that includes views of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the Bridge of Lions, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. During this tour, strictly for guests aged 21 and older, you can enjoy beer or wine from the onboard bar as you embark on the tour at sunset. From the water, you can see St. Augustine’s lighthouse.
Take A Beach Day
Jacksonville has what is known as a “beach neighborhood.” This is the location where they can find not one but four of Jacksonville’s many beaches together. Find Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Mayport Beaches. In total, Jacksonville has over 22 miles of beaches along its coastline, so there is bound to be something for everyone if you are heading to the coast.
There are three different national parks you can visit in Jacksonville. Then you have seven state parks and over 400 city parks. If you want to explore nature and get the best views in the city; you need to head to one of them any different parks including;
- Fort Caroline National Memorial
- Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
- Kingsley Plantation
- Big Talbot Island
- Little Talbot Island
- Fort George Island Cultural State Park
- Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
- Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park
Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Water Park
This water slide amusement park in downtown Jacksonville will provide you with thrilling water fun, adventure, and a whole host of water-related activities. Shipwreck Island features a half-million-gallon wave pool and four extreme water slides with no sharks, jellyfish, or (real-life) pirates! This crazy complex, aimed at kids and young adults, also has a wave pool, “Gator Alley,” the “Wacky Worm Roller Coaster,” laser tag, mini-golf, batting cages, an arcade, go-karts, and much more.