If you’ve ever wanted to know what there is to do in Jacksonville Florida then you are in luck. Today we’re going to see and explore the best places to visit in Jacksonville, Florida.
The city of Jacksonville has a population of nearly 1 million and is known as the bold new city of the south. It is located in northeastern Florida on the Atlantic coast. Don’t let the number of residents put you off it’s a very big city as it’s very relaxed and welcoming. Aside from being on the Atlantic ocean, there are numerous outdoor attractions and a lot of live entertainment. There’s always something going on downtown that makes Jacksonville a great destination for families.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at the best places to visit in Jacksonville Florida.
Best Places To Visit In Jacksonville Florida
1. Fort Clinch State Park
Just to the north of Jacksonville, you’ll find this amazing fort completed in 1847. It has seen a number of American battles and is now a Florida State Park. Sitting on 1100 acres, not only can you explore Fort Clinch and tour the structures on the ground you can also camp in the park and take advantage of all the maritime features.
Aside from swimming, there are also a ton of features in the park such as hiking, biking trails, an amphitheater, and a visitor center to learn about the important role the fort played in American history. Whether you’re in the beach activities, camping or exploring history you can spend hours here.
2. Jacksonville Beach Pier
If you are looking for a fishing or a sightseeing spot then look no further. This place is for you. The Jacksonville beach pier is a quarter of a mile long and is shaped like a T. It provides an amazing view of the beach as well as the ocean. The pier is generally open from 6 am to 10 pm. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in town.
It was completely destroyed back in 2016 during hurricane Matthew. Don’t worry it’s been rebuilt and it’s sturdy now and welcomes visitors every day.
The pier has fish cleaning stations and a bait shop to provide convenience, check this out while you’re on the beach. You can also visit spend your time in restaurants, cute and cozy shops and lots of other entertainment avenues.
3. The Florida Theatre
The Florida Theatre is a beautiful example of medieval revival architecture and is one of only four in this style and period left in Florida. Placed on the national register of historic places, it was opened as a movie palace in 1927. After a long-term restoration in 1982, it now is home to the Florida ballet and Jacksonville-based theatre works company.
The Florida Theatre is a popular stop for comedians because of its beautiful interior and exceptional acoustics. It is within 5 minutes of walking distance from some very nice restaurants and pubs. This place could be a perfect start to a romantic evening with your partner.
Be sure to check the calendar to see what’s going on when you’re in town. This place is so good that you will never get tired of visiting it.
4. Friendship Fountain
This is a local favorite and a really simple neat attraction for visitors to see. When it was built in 1965 it was the largest fountain in the world. It is huge more than 60 meters wide and the fountain sprays 30 meters into the air.
Almost 17000 gallons of water are discharged every minute through the rings. It operates different programs all day and at night. The jets are illuminated by 265 lights making it a beautiful scene against the Jacksonville skyline.
There’s a park to sit and relax and a riverwalk to take a walk by the ocean side. No matter what time of day you visit you’ll be in for something special.
5. St Johns River Taxi
People always say that it’s really neat to see cityscapes from the water. And St Johns River Taxi is the perfect way to do so in Jacksonville. You can take a ride on the St Johns River Taxi and see Jacksonville only the way a water taxi can show you.
Be it for travel to get around the city or just to enjoy the breathtaking views of Jacksonville, 10$ will buy you an all-day pass. So you can get a lot of your money.
Since 1987, the Jacksonville Water Taxi has been operating and there are four boats in service. We would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to get out and try something new.
6. Tree Hill Nature Center
Escape the city and go somewhere that will make you feel like you’re miles and miles away from any city streets. With over 50 acres, the Tree hill nature center provides a great family-friendly experience.
There are six trails that navigate through hardwood forests and boardwalks that go over streams and swamps. While you’re there you can also check out the museum and see all kinds of wildlife and animals.
There’s a big emphasis on providing an educational experience to learn about Jacksonville’s wildlife and nature. Definitely good for spending a few hours outdoors. This is a hidden gem in Jacksonville and your children will definitely enjoy this trip.
7. Hemming Park
Hemming Park is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. It is not your normal park. With 2 performance stages, a cafe, an outdoor dining area, a kids zone, and multiple art sculptures you can spend a lot of time here being entertained.
It is also famous for its food trucks that are parked there. Hemming Park is the oldest park established in 1857.
Today, it provides live music a few times per week and is the host of many festivals and events throughout the year. This is a great spot for entertainment or to just sit and relax between travel plans.
8. Museum of Science and History
This is a state-of-the-art institution. It’s geared towards children but pretty sure a lot of adults would find this place interesting as well. The museum features exhibits of dragons, Atlantic Tails, and also a lot of stuff about health and science.
There are daily science shows, live animal shows, planetarium programs, and a place just for kids. There are a lot of hands-on activities for children. Rotating exhibits are featured year-round and there are literally thousands of zoological exhibits on display.
This museum does a great job of combining science and history together that demonstrates the history of northeast Florida and Jacksonville. Entry fees are somewhere between $12–15 per person.
9. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
What trip or visit to Jacksonville would be complete without a visit to the zoo. Often noted as one of the best zoos in the United States, the Jacksonville Zoo prides itself on humane habitats and educational exhibits.
Inside the zoo, you’ll find over 2000 animals on 117 acres. You will find everything from tigers, gorillas, elephants, and giraffes. There’s also a restaurant on-site so you can plan on spending a lot of time here.
The garden has over 1000 different types of plants in its collection. No matter how old you are you’ll be entertained and intrigued by all the different types of exhibits. The entry fee for adults is $24.95 and $19.95 per child.
10. Atlantic Beach
Of course one of the biggest draws to Jacksonville is the fact that it’s on the water. The beaches in Jacksonville are beautiful. It’s everything you would imagine being on the Atlantic ocean. There’s a big difference between the beaches here and other Florida cities. The beach is not too crowded here. You will find tourists collecting some lovely shells from here.
You won’t find a bunch of huge hotels or malls here in Jacksonville. Just beaches packed by residential neighborhoods meaning it’s much more private. The beaches are well maintained with white sand. You can visit early morning to catch the beautiful sunrise. It’s a nice beach to take a stroll, enjoy, and a great place to spend a day in the sand or in the water.
Hope this article was informative enough and will help you plan your next trip to Jacksonville, Florida. Feel free to read other articles on our website. Happy Travelling!