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Jacksonville, FL
Travel Guide

Friendship Park showing a city, night scenes and skyline

From world-class golf greens to beaches ideal for swimming, wildlife-filled waterways to precious art collections, this sun-soaked city has lots to offer.

Though long overshadowed by its more well-known neighbors, under-the-radar Jacksonville, or “Jax” as the locals calls it, is fast becoming known for its exciting array of tourist-friendly activities. Laze on spacious beaches, spot wildlife in its waterways, admire striking 20th-century architecture and explore fascinating museums that reveal little-known facts about local history.

The first outsiders to settle in this part of Florida were the French Huguenots, who established a village here in 1564. The French settlement was later destroyed by the Spanish. Visit Fort Caroline National Memorial to see a reconstruction of the original French fort.

For most visitors, Jacksonville’s biggest appeal is its sandy coastline, which stretches for 22 miles (35 kilometers). To the north is the casual, surfer hot spot Atlantic Beach. Bordering it to the south is family-friendly Neptune Beach. Head even further south to Jacksonville Beach for lively bars, restaurants and nightlife, or go further south again to the dune-bordered Ponte Vedra Beach for up-scale beachside resorts and golf clubs including the famous TPC Sawgrass.

The city is crisscrossed by waterways, with more than 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) of navigable routes to explore. Rent a kayak and paddle through Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve or take a water taxi across St. Johns River, between Downtown and the neighborhood of San Marco. Admire the Henry John Klutho-designed Bisbee Building, a 10-story high rise dating back to 1909 in Downtown, then stroll around the boutique, gallery and restaurant-filled historical district of San Marco.

For a culture fix, tour the galleries of the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, which features both indoor galleries stocked with paintings, decorative art and antiques, as well as gardens planted in English and Italian styles. The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville spotlights contemporary works, including installations, photographs and film.

To reach Jacksonville, fly into Jacksonville International Airport, located around 20 minutes from the city’s downtown area. Buses, trolleys and a river-spanning monorail can be used to get around. As the city is large and sprawling, renting a car is advisable.

Where to stay in Jacksonville

Omni Jacksonville Hotel
Omni Jacksonville Hotel
4 out of 5
245 Water St, Jacksonville, FL
The price is $135 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 12
Located in Downtown Jacksonville, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and Florida Theatre.
4.2/5Very Good! (1,481 reviews)
"The desk clerk was friendly, attentive, and very inviting. What i I didn't like... no microwave in room, my toilet was stopped up and my food spoiled because the refrigerator wasn't getting cold unbeknownst to me. The new fridge they brought me i had to clean it out because it had mold in it"

Reviewed on Jun 22, 2021

Omni Jacksonville Hotel
Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
2.5 out of 5
715 1st St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL
The price is $249 per night from Jun 28 to Jun 28
Situated on the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Beaches Museum & History Park and Jacksonville Beach Pier. Players by the Sea and Oceanfront Park ...
4.2/5Excellent! (133 reviews)
"Love my place!"

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2021

Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
The Villas of Amelia Island
The Villas of Amelia Island
4 out of 5
8 Amelia Village Circle, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, FL
The price is $345 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 12
Offering direct access to the beach, this Fernandina Beach resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Amelia Island State Park and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State ...
4/5Very Good! (963 reviews)
"Our room was not very clean the floor was filthy had to wear socks or got black feet but the property itself was very nice"

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2021

The Villas of Amelia Island
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Beach House With Private Patio / pet Friendly 1B
Beach House With Private Patio / pet Friendly 1B
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Situated in Jacksonville Beach, this vacation home is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Oceanfront Park and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Jacksonville Beach Pier. Rhoda Martin Cultural ...
5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Efficient
"Clean , well organized"

Reviewed on Jun 10, 2021

Beach House With Private Patio / pet Friendly 1B
Gentle Breeze Luxury Duplex With Balcony
Gentle Breeze Luxury Duplex With Balcony
Jacksonville Beach, FL
This family-friendly Jacksonville Beach vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Beaches Museum & History Park and Jacksonville Beach Pier. Oceanfront Park and ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (10 reviews)
Nice!
"Good location and clean on the inside!"

Reviewed on Jun 22, 2021

Gentle Breeze Luxury Duplex With Balcony
Maya Bay - Studio Apartment 1st Floor
Maya Bay - Studio Apartment 1st Floor
Jacksonville Beach, FL
This family-friendly Jacksonville Beach apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Beaches Museum & History Park and Jacksonville Beach Pier. Oceanfront Park ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (10 reviews)
Very nice place
"Just what it says it is"

Reviewed on May 11, 2021

Maya Bay - Studio Apartment 1st Floor
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Jacksonville

If you’re planning to stay in downtown Jacksonville, you can make use of the Jacksonville Skyway, a monorail which connects eight stations in the city center. The Riverside Trolley also serves downtown, while the Beaches Trolley connects Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach. Many of Jacksonville’s attractions are spread out, so renting a car is the best way to make the most of your time here. Visit the Jacksonville Transportation Authority website.Browse Jacksonville rental cars.

Best time to visit

Like much of Florida, Jacksonville has a subtropical climate, and it has both its hottest and wettest weather in the summer months. In July average highs reach the early 90s F (early 30s C), but there are also thunderstorms at this time of year. The most pleasant times to visit are in spring and fall, when temperatures are warm but not too hot, there is less rain and there are fewer tourists.

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