If you’re looking for a city break, then you don’t always need a lot of time. Sometimes a single day can be just the thing that you need. If you’re in the area, then one of the cities most underrated for just that purpose is Jacksonville, Florida. Here, we’re going to look at a range of things you can do in the River City.
The most populous city in all of Florida, Jacksonville is famous for a lot of things, including having 22 miles of beaches, sprawling and active suburban areas around, and the big ol’ river winding right through it. It’s also famous for being one of the greenest cities you could be lucky to spend time in and for its thriving art culture.
Get into the arts
The artistic scene is thriving in Jacksonville and perhaps there is nowhere that this is more prevalent than in its range of theaters. Whether you want to see the latest plays that have been hitting broadway or you want to experience something a little more local and less mainstream, there are options like the Florida Theater. If you prefer a show that’s a little more active, the Florida Ballet is hosted in the city, as well. This isn’t even scratching the surface of the galleries, museums, and cultural institutions like the Art Walk that are dotted through the city.
Explore some greenery
As mentioned, Jacksonville is famous for being one of the greenest cities in the state of Florida, and the broader US. To that end, there are tons of great parks, natural reserves, gardens, and more to explore. Perhaps the most famous of them all is the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, which offers over 120 acres of woodland to explore, complete with trails, different habitats for local creatures, and much more. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens makes things a little more accessible if you’re trying to say time to hit up the other spots on this list, however.
Head down the river
St. John’s River is one of the most famous spots of the city, winding all throughout it right out into the beaches. It’s also well worth taking the time to explore. Rather than doing it by foot, there are Jacksonville river taxis that you can hop on to sail down the river at your leisure, offering cruises to see some of the city’s best spots. It’s easily the most picturesque way to get from A to B.
If you’re looking for something a little more active and exciting, then the city has you covered there, as well. There are a lot of activities in Jacksonville to enjoy. If you want to get out in the open, then spending the day at the Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Water park can be a fun time for the whole family, while Dog Wood Park is the perfect place for those planning to bring the pooch, too. The Edge Rock Gym might be better for those who want some indoor entertainment, being one of the biggest rock-climbing gyms in the state by far.
Enjoy some nightlife
If you prefer to play after the sun sets, then the city has plenty to offer you, as well. The nightlife in Jacksonville might not be quite as wild as Panama City Beach, but it’s far from dead. There are a few nightlife hubs in the city, like the Cuba Libre Bar that’s always moving with its salsa dance vibe, the gorgeous outdoor Lemon Bar that makes good use of the good weather, or the Parlour, a more boutique experience that’s more on the chill side and often offers great live music.
Hit the beaches
As mentioned, Jacksonville has 22 miles of beaches to explore. That means there’s an awful lot to do for those who love sun, sea, and sand. There are various public, open beaches like Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach that are fairly busy but offer great opportunities to sunbathe, swim, surf, dive, boat, and more. If you prefer the more natural coast experience, then there are places like Little Talbot Island State Park that can be excellent for a walk, as well, as well as offering camping sites if you decide to make your day trip into an overnight thing.
You don’t need a whole lot of time to have a whole lot of fun in Jacksonville, Florida. Needless to say, the suggestions listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. Spend one day here and you’ll almost definitely want to come back for more.