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

Best Western Premier Jacksonville Hotel
Best Western Premier Jacksonville Hotel
3 out of 5
4700 Salisbury Rd, Jacksonville, FL, 32256-6101
The price is $84 per night from Jul 18 to Jul 19
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Jacksonville. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,249 reviews)
"The room and what facilities we saw were excellent and well-priced, but getting to and from the property was a nightmare on Jacksonville's complicated highway system. (That the Onstar GPS tried repeatedly to send us home to SW Florida via gridlocked entertainment park central aka I-4 and Orlando ..."

Reviewed on Jun 22, 2022

Best Western Premier Jacksonville Hotel
Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
2.5 out of 5
715 1st St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL, 32250
The price is $189 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Stay at this beach hotel in Jacksonville Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, a beach locale, and breakfast. Our guests praise the clean rooms in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (849 reviews)
"Great place!!! Will definitely be back since we only live 45 minutes away!!!"

Reviewed on Jul 2, 2022

Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach
Wyndham Garden Jacksonville
Wyndham Garden Jacksonville
3 out of 5
4660 Salisbury Road, I-95 Exit 344 (Butler Boulevard), Jacksonville, FL, 32256
The price is $92 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Jacksonville. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful staff ...
3.5/5 Good! (1,469 reviews)
"Well it was great place to stay. The only thing that was not good, was the pool was under construction."

Reviewed on Jun 26, 2022

Wyndham Garden Jacksonville
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.
 Ocean Front Idyllic Beach Suite Getaway In Luxury Omni Amelia Island Resort
Ocean Front Idyllic Beach Suite Getaway In Luxury Omni Amelia Island Resort
Fernandina Beach, FL
The price is $149 per night from Jul 13 to Jul 14
Stay at this beach condo in Fernandina Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and a beach locale. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the convenient parking ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (238 reviews)
"We liked how peaceful and quiet it was. We went to relax, do as we wished on our schedule and we have never stayed anywhere that this was so easy."

Reviewed on Jun 19, 2022

Ocean Front Idyllic Beach Suite Getaway In Luxury Omni Amelia Island Resort
Upgraded 2 bed apt Close to Beaches and Mayo Clinic
Upgraded 2 bed apt Close to Beaches and Mayo Clinic
4 out of 5
Jacksonville, FL
Stay at this 4-star property in Jacksonville. Enjoy a fitness center, a TV, and digital TV. Popular attractions St. Johns Town Center and Jacksonville Beach ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
"Apartment was exactly as described. Was very clean and had everything we needed for our stay. Only thing i didnt care for, and this is just personal preference, the pillows were thin and not very comfortable. Again that is just a personal preference. The property pool was absolutely like a resort ..."

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2022

Upgraded 2 bed apt Close to Beaches and Mayo Clinic
Jax Beach Escape
Jax Beach Escape
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Stay at this vacation home in Jacksonville Beach. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and fenced yards. Popular attractions Mayport Naval Station and Jacksonville ...
Jax Beach Escape
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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