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50 Things To Do In Jacksonville, Florida in 2022

Located in the northeastern part of Florida, Jacksonville’s slogan is, “it’s easier here.” 270 days of sunshine a year, warm people, delicious food, and rich diversity of history and arts make it so.

And that’s just for starters. It’s the largest city in the United States by landmass. That includes over 400 parks and plenty of shopping. But there’s more.

Bask in the sun on the 22-miles of beaches, palm trees everywhere, soaking in the view of the Atlantic Ocean.

This, in a city where locals are always showcasing their talents on the streets.

Water activities, state parks and everything metropolitan too. We’ll walk you through the best 50 things to do in Jacksonville.

50 Things to do in Jacksonville, Florida

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Horseback riding at Diamond D. Ranch

What’s special about this place?

An authentic, working ranch with plenty of wildlife. At the 500-acre Diamond D. Ranch, you can forget about the world for a while on a horseback riding tour lasting at least an hour. Experience an unforgettable, unique lifestyle atop a horse, led by generational professionals.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone 7 years and older can join the horseback riding tour. There’s a weight limit of 250 pounds to assure the safety of the horses. For nature lovers, this is one of the most serene things to do if what you seek is a peaceful time.

What to do here?

The hour-long tour will take you around the working ranch while the guide tells the history of the Diamond D. Ranch. If you choose to opt for the 2-hour tour, you’ll be exploring the 26,000-acre Jennings State Forest densely filled with pine trees. There’s also a package running for half a day, between 4 and 5 hours, and scouting deep into the forests.

Best Time to Visit

Book yourself a tour one day in advance to save your spot. The half-a-day tour departs around 9 AM. No worries, they make stops, so make sure to bring some food for refueling.

Learn more about Horseback riding at Diamond D. Ranch here!

Ax throwing at Autobahn Indoor Speedway

What’s special about this place?

Though go-kart racing at a speed of 50 MPH in a European track is the main activity in this 80,000 ft.2 facility in full air-con, the 2014 Autobahn Indoor Speedway has more to offer. Offering people the opportunity to have fun all day without caring about the weather, release some of your anger while learning how to throw axes!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Both youngsters and adults will love the shenanigans at Autobahn Indoor Speedway. As long as your child is at least 8 years old and no shorter than 48 inches, they can join in go-kart events. Make your way here when you’re looking for what you can do in the city while the weather is going crazy.

What to do here?

Set up a friendly go-kart race with your family or friends, join in on ax-throwing sessions, and beat your opponents in their arcade machines. No-problemo when hunger starts bugging you. Simply reach out to the on-site restaurant where you can get Kansas-style BBQ, craft beer, and delectable desserts.

Best Time to Visit

Start playing around 10 AM while the crowd is still thin, though you can expect a dramatic inflow of tourists as time runs. But when you’re having fun, nothing can bother you, not the crowd, not the time.

Learn more about Ax throwing at Autobahn Indoor Speedway here!

Wander around Riverside and Avondale

What’s special about this place?

History and shopping collide. Distinctively different in style, yet most times mistaken as one river-bank neighborhood since they’re sitting next to each other, Riverside and Avondale are two of the largest neighborhoods listed on the National Register of Historic Places with more than 2,000 significant structures in their area. Riverside was established first in 1868, showcasing bungalow-style houses from the plantation era, while Avondale is all about mansions of Mediterranean-Revival architecture.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Enjoy Jacksonville’s history without breaking your bank when you spend some time wandering Riverside and Avondale. Maybe you’re searching for some of the appealing spots in the city; you’ll find some as you walk along the streets.

What to do here?

Start by observing the old-age allure around Riverside before making your way to Avondale. There are plenty of mini-parks throughout Avondale, and there’s foliage scattered in the streets, adding to its beauty. It’s also home to the hippie Five Points, where shops, cafes, and novelty stores lineup, and the 1927 Sun-Ray Cinema, where you can catch a screening.

Best Time to Visit

You can safely wander around day and night. The Riverside Arts Market is open on Saturdays, from 10 AM until 3 PM, where you can get fresh harvests, crafts, and arts.

Learn more about Riverside and Avondale here!

Test your luck at Bestbet Jacksonville

What’s special about this place?

Home to a couple of 88-poker table rooms, making it the most massive gambling room in the state. The 20,000 ft.2 bestbet Jacksonville is the safest way to gamble to your heart’s contentment while on vacation. They have slot machines, big game screens with a live broadcast of races, and other card games such as Texas Hold ‘Em and Pot Limit Omaha.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Let’s hope you’re not addicted to gambling, but even if you are or it’s your first time to play, you’ll love the thrill emanating from each round you play. It is also one of the most fun things to do in Jacksonville.

What to do here?

Play 7 Card Stud, Casino War, 3-Card Poker, or Pai Gow, and see what race is on for the night. You can also sit for American and Japanese cuisines and sip cocktail mixes from their kitchen. Why not test your guts and see if you can exit bestbet Jacksonville with more travel budget in your pockets!

Best Time to Visit

If you want to stay away from the herd of gamblers, be there around 10 AM. But, for a high-risk, high-gain game, start playing around 6 PM, with more people putting their money on the line.

Learn more about Bestbet Jacksonville here!

Savor fresh seafood from Aqua Grill

What’s special about this place?

Sit for a meal at Jacksonville’s best seafood restaurant, the 1988 Aqua Grill. Serving not only the freshest seafood but also a shifting menu of all types of foods, even they typically go in contrast. Taste the exquisite flavors of a lobster, and have the comfort of your favorite cheeseburger while simmering in the scenic lake by the deck!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Do you love not only seafood but fresh and well-prepared seafood? Then, you’ll love the menu served at Aqua Grill. The ambiance here is also family-friendly, and the view is a bonus for nature lovers. If you’re craving the best seafood in Jacksonville, make your way to Aqua Grill.

What to do here?

Feast on scallops, shrimps, and oysters. Taste their signature Vidalia Crusted Flounder on Lobster Risotto or the Old Bay Spiced Ruby Red Shrimp. They also offer salad combinations of sea-farm flavors such as salmon with strawberry salad and shrimp with melon salad.

Best Time to Visit

Eat your lunch at Aqua Grill while the crowd hasn’t flocked yet to the restaurant. You can also sit for a recharge around 4 PM. Not only are there fewer customers, but the heat has also already simmered down a bit.

Learn more about Aqua Grill here!

Tour Jacksonville via a water taxi

What’s special about this place?

Jacksonville is a river town. Started its operations back in 1987, the Jacksonville water taxi is one of the most practical ways to get around and see the city. Now with four 45-foot tall water taxis carrying at least 50 people on board, you hop in and out of five various spots in the city: at Jacksonville Landing (Northbank), then at Lexington Hotel, Friendship Fountain, and Doubletree Hotel (Southbank), and Metropolitan Park Marina (TIAA Bank Field).

Who’ll enjoy it here?

This is the best way to stretch your budget without missing out on the beauty and fun as you travel. It’s also a great way to tour if you’re with your family and don’t have your vehicle with you. For anyone who wishes to witness Jacksonville without too much effort, hop aboard a Jacksonville Water Taxi.

What to do here?

No more stressing about losing your way. No more expensive and exhausting transportation to various attractions. The tickets are so affordable and even cheaper if you opt for an all-day pass. See Jacksonville from the stretch of St. John’s River without limits!

Best Time to Visit

Take note that they’re not operational during Mondays and Tuesdays. You can catch the water taxi from Wednesday until Sunday from noontime onwards. They also offer Sunset Cruise, lasting for an hour and a half, one of the most romantic things to do in Jacksonville.

Learn more about touring Jacksonville via water taxi here!

Spend a day at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park

What’s special about this place?

Want to feel adventurous without straying way too far from the convenience of modern amenities? Then you must spend your day exploring nature and trying out the activities at the 4,000-acre Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. When everything else is closed, you can always run for this stunning park!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you’re a nature lover or a sports enthusiast, there are exciting recreations you can venture into. If you’re with your entire family, the surprises here will keep every member occupied for a day. Maybe you want another worthwhile addition to your itinerary, then make sure you give Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park a spot!

What to do here?

Conquer the nature trails or do so when you opt for horseback riding. There are also watersports options such as kayaking, SUP, tubing, and canoeing. See what’s underwater when you snorkel or watch a live performance at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park amphitheater.

Best Time to Visit

It’s heavily crowded all day during weekends. But for weekdays, you can start your day around 5 AM before the sun rises, for a scenic view, you’ll cherish. If you love watching the night sky, stay after sundown or, even better, go camping.

Learn more about Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park here!

Catch an NFL game at Jaguars Stadium

What’s special about this place?

An NFL game is a special Sunday experience, unique for the different teams and fans. The Jags are an exciting team that plays in TIAA Bank Field, a great facility. If you have time for it, this is a fun thing to do in Jacksonville.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Football fans and sports enthusiasts. It’s as much about being part of the festivities as it is knowing the game and rooting for your team to win. Football speaks for itself.

What to do here?

Get to the grounds early for the tailgate party. Buy some dogs from other gaters and get the low-down on the match. Find some merch inside and join the game in the stands. The food here is pretty standard, as is the beer, but it’s a fun event that leads to watching the next pigskin game on the tube at a local bar with your new friends.

Best Time to Visit

Obviously it’s a Sunday or a Monday nighter. Preseason starts in August, when tickets are cheaper, and the season runs until January.

Learn more about the Jaguars Stadium here!

Get a piece from Mussallem Galleries

What’s special about this place?

One of Jacksonville’s most unique attractions is the 90,000 ft.2 Mussallem Galleries that hosts artifacts and historical pieces aging more than a hundred years old. In the beginning, it was a company producing rugs in 1897, but as time passed, it turned into a gallery-museum mix that showcases exhibits from America, the Middle East, Asia, and other parts of the globe. Prepare your eyes to feast at the most comprehensive private collection in the state!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you looking for a gem away from tourist hotspots? Mussallem Galleries is the perfect choice for you! Artisans and history nerds, you don’t want to miss every antique and elegant piece meticulously displayed on the shelves here.

What to do here?

See the old-age collection from Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, with fine china ceramics, antique furniture, and expensive carpets. There are also statues made of marble, priceless brooches, and pictures hanging framed with gold! So many fascinating treasures your mind won’t know where to start!

Best Time to Visit

Mussallem Galleries is open from Monday through Saturday, opening at 10 AM and closing at 6 PM. You can call them up ahead of time to check in with what pieces are available. The place is typically not so busy, so you can take your time checking out what item ticks you.

Learn more about Mussallem Galleries here!

Have Breakfast Pie from Metro Diner

What’s special about this place?

Since opening in 1992, Metro Diner has consistently served locals and tourists alike a heavenly Southern-inspired menu and hailed Folio Weekly’s “Best Breakfast in Jax”. You can’t miss their signature Breakfast Pie consisting of eggs, mushrooms, cheese, pepper, and potatoes, all seamed together in one plate!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Need to taste the unique flavors of the places you visit? Then taking your time to sit for a meal at Metro Diner will be a pleasurable dining experience for you. The ambiance inside the diner is also very relaxed and family-friendly.

What to do here?

Start your morning with cinnamon roll pancakes, avocado toast, or an omelet with salsa toppings. You can also try out their oatmeal yogurt with granola and grits and shrimp combo. Another must-taste is Metro Diner’s Shepherd’s Pie overflowing with vegetables drizzled with gravy.

Best Time to Visit

Prepare for your day by energizing yourself with a heavy and delicious breakfast when you come to Metro Diner around 8 AM. But it’s still better to sit amongst the customers while munching on fried chicken and waffles than nothing at all!

Learn more about Metro Diner here!

Take the kids to South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground

What’s special about this place?

Safely let your children unleash all their energy at South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground. With various activities to let your little ones climb, run, jump and slide, there’s no boring time spent in this small playground. It might not be as glamorous as the well-known parks, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of fun!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re visiting Jacksonville with your children, taking them here is one of the best ways to put a smile on their faces and create unforgettable memories. If you want to spend time in nature, the trails here will give you solitude. There are also sporting courts for athletics.

What to do here?

Bring your picnic basket and sit by the grass while the kids cross the monkey bars and run through the wooden playground. You can take your toddler for a nature walk pushing their stroller. Play basketball and volleyball, or glide by the skateboard park, throwing flipping tricks.

Best Time to Visit

Visit South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground as early as 8 AM to avoid the herds of families that flood the area. Unless you’re open to getting to know new people (or letting your kids wander in a place full of people), safeguard them when you drop by first thing in the morning. During summertime, they have a splash pad open all day, every day, to keep the little ones cool.

Learn more about South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground here!

Witness Nature’s Resilience at Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

What’s special about this place?

From being a minefield in the 40s to being a wasteland and turning into a treatment plant, the 120-acre Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens has transformed into living evidence that nothing’s impossible. Now home to seven trails of rich greenery serving as habitat to diverse wildlife, see the magnificence of this natural cradle since being fully transformed in the early 2000s.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you want to restore your faith in humanity, pay a visit to Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. It is also a lovely place for a stroll if you seek some me-time in the heart of nature.

What to do here?

Walk across wetlands, bald cypresses, and dogwoods. You can also trace a trail tunneling under thick live oaks older than a century-year-old. Remember to ensure your camera space since there are so many gorgeous Insta-worthy backgrounds along the trails.

Best Time to Visit

Be there around 8 AM while the morning quietness is still lingering. It’s one of the best ways to jump-start your day. Plus, fewer people who might end up ruining your snaps.

Learn more about Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens here!

Take a selfie by the Friendship Fountain

What’s special about this place?

Originally the world’s biggest and tallest fountain during its era, this fountain was constructed back in 1965. The Friendship Fountain has three main shooting pipes that spit out water for more than a hundred feet in mid-air! Discharging over 64,000 liters of water per minute, the Friendship Fountain is one of the most famous and gorgeous selfie spots for tourists, especially during the nighttime, with 265 colorful LEDs illuminating the waters.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you’re a solo traveler, with your family, or a loved one, you’ll love the refreshing beauty that Friendship Fountain emits. Maybe you’re looking for a place where you can simply sit down and let time fly by; you can enjoy the relaxed local vibes in this area.

What to do here?

If you’re a yogi, you can unroll your mat near the fountain and begin your practice. Bring a good read or a picnic basket for your family. Take unlimited selfies by the Friendship Fountain and take its name literally, and make new friends as you wander around!

Best Time to Visit

Friendship Fountain is open from 5 AM until 10 PM. If you wish to have a peaceful morning walk, start your day before the sun rises. It’s also a romantic spot to watch the sunset and watch the LED-lit fountain.

Learn more about Friendship Fountain here!

Visit the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

What’s special about this place?

One of the state’s oldest churches established in 1910, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a towering landmark of Jacksonville, standing at 178 feet high and sits in less than an acre of land. The gothic-revival-inspired architecture of the church is an alluring sight to anyone visiting. The unruffled ambiance will instantly get you right in the heart!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re a Catholic, attending a service at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception will be a gratifying experience cultivating your faith. But even if you’re a non-believer or part of another religion, there’s no denying the divine beauty of the church. If you love architecture, drop by at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception while you’re in Jacksonville.

What to do here?

For the Catholics, when was the last time you had a confession? Then this is your chance to unload your burdens. Observe the meticulous details of the church, such as the pointed arches, stained glass windows, pinnacles, the floor structure, and the interior’s high vault.

Best Time to Visit

Pay a visit or send your prayers between 9 AM and 10 AM, as well as 2 PM and 3 PM. During these times, there’s rarely anyone in the church. They still host regular mass during Sundays, so if you want to participate, time your visit around the day.

Learn more about Immaculate Conception here!

Watch performance arts at Florida Theater

What’s special about this place?

A high-end theater erected in 1927, the 4,986 ft.2 Florida Theater is a historic landmark and part of the U. S. National Register of Historic Places. Growing classier as time went by, and up to this day, it’s still a fully functional 1900-seater center where all sorts of live performances happen. From ballet concerto to dramatic plays, quench your thirst for arts and culture by taking a seat at Mediterranean revival-inspired Florida Theater.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Maybe you have a special spot in your soul for the performing arts, or you’re searching for a sophisticated date night, then you’ll be taken aback by the world-class experience at Florida Theater. You can also have classy family time here.

What to do here?

Catch musicals like Pink Floyd’s Dark of the Moon and The Music of Meatloaf. There’s a screening of summer classics, jazz concerts, and talk shows. Not only do you end up entertained, but you’re also contributing to keeping Florida Theater maintained and alive!

Best Time to Visit

Check out the lineup of performances and see what interests you. Book your ticket a day ahead of time and be there at least half an hour before the scheduled event. Be mindful if there are any attire requirements.

Learn more about Florida Theater here!

Wander around James Weldon Johnson Park

What’s special about this place?

Constructed in 1857, the 1.54-acre James Weldon Johnson Park (formerly known as Hemming Park) is Jacksonville’s oldest park. As soon as you drop by, a dare to pass through an 18-foot tall mouth gate entrance will challenge you. With a fountain at its heart, scout the greeneries of Hemming Park for a mellow day.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Nature lovers and trail runners enjoy the scenic view along the trails of James Weldon Johnson Park. It’s also a family-friendly space where every member can do their thing altogether or solo. If you’re traveling with your dog, take them for a walk amidst nature.

What to do here?

If you’re missing out on your workouts while in Jacksonville, sweat it out on a morning jogging or calisthenics near the fountain. There are also plenty of festivals and special events held in James Weldon Johnson Park. Exploring the park while pedaling a bicycle is also a unique experience you must try!

Best Time to Visit

The park is usually not heavily trafficked throughout the day. You can spend as much time as you wish between 7 AM and 7 PM. Have your lunch at James Weldon Johnson Park when live music is on the play.

Learn more about James Weldon Johnson Park here!

Read original writings at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

What’s special about this place?

One of its fifteen branches in America (the only manuscript museum in the country) is the 1992 Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. The collection regularly rotates with historical scripts and writings covering political, civil, and literature in its 4,484 ft.2 at the 1921 First Church of Christ.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

One of the free things to do in Jacksonville, make your budget last longer when you take a tour of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. History buffs and art devotees, you’ll find priceless pieces and exhibits here.

What to do here?

Observe and read the original copies of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Theory of Relativity from Einstein. There’s also the Ten Commandments’ (Guttenberg edition) first print and the iconic Bill of Rights. Artifacts, paintings, and sculptures can also be seen in Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum.

Best Time to Visit

Get in around 10 AM while herds of interested tourists haven’t arrived yet. But whether it’s sunny or not, you can find pleasure wandering inside Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum from 10 AM until 3 PM, from Tuesday until Saturday.

Learn more about the original writings at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum here!

Sugar indulgence at Sweet Pete’s Candy

What’s special about this place?

Sitting inside a 3-story villa built back in 1903, the 22,000 ft.2 Sweet Pete’s Candy is a straight-outta-movie candy shop with unlimited candies to pamper your sweet tooth. Bringing smiles since 2014, they have their kitchen open for tours while the eye-catching interior matches perfectly to the black and white flooring with a checkered pattern. Gummies, candies, chocolates, and ice cream, all your craving under one roof!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Your kiddos will forget about the world if you take them to Sweet Pete’s Candy. Maybe you want to quench your nostalgic feelings or are hungry for sweets, then be sure to drop by at this local treasure.

What to do here?

Ice cream and candy-making classes. Grab your treats from the bags, jars, and shelves of colorful sugary items. Join the Chocoholic Tour for the behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, where you’ll see the processing while tasting products and take home a bar with your name embossed on it. If you start feeling over-sweetened, wash it away with cuisine from the on-site diner.

Best Time to Visit

The sweet treats here are a mega-hit to both locals and tourists. Be there around 5 PM to avoid the mobs of sugar addicts dropping by. Your cravings don’t care about time, but you can soothe yourself from 10 AM until 6 PM

Learn more about Sweet Pete’s Candy here!

Nocturnal wildlife at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

What’s special about this place?

The 122-acre Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to 2400 wildlife, from the tiniest lizards to gigantic elephants and tall giraffes. They offer a plethora of immersive programs that’ll throw you right into the heart of the wilderness safely. There’s also a botanical garden where you can relax and meditate.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Do you love seeing animals moving freely and well-taken care of? Then you’ll love spending time at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. If you’re searching for a local gem, the greenery and wildlife habitat in this preserve will be an invaluable addition to your plans. The engaging interactions with the zoo residents are also part of the most remarkable things to do in Jacksonville, especially for your kids.

What to do here?

See gorillas, anteaters and komodo dragons. Visit the Land of Tiger Malayan and Sumatran tigers stroll through an overhead trail while the Range of the Jaguar is a complete reconstruction of remnants with Mayan touch and serves as home to marmosets, boas, poisonous frogs, and anacondas. Witness the happenings in these ecosystems in darkness when you join the IllumiZoo Summer Spectacle or see a 4D movie.

Best Time to Visit

You must grab your ticket online before you drop by at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. They’re operational from 9 AM until 5 PM. But for the IllumiZoo Summer Spectacle, the event happens every Friday night, from 6 PM until 10 PM.

Learn more about Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens here!

Heart-stopping thrill at 13th Floor Haunted House

What’s special about this place?

Why wait until November hits when you can spook yourself on an adventure at the 13th Floor Haunted House. 26,000 ft.2 of space full of hair-raising and heart-stopping horror, kicking its visitors to survival mode since 2019. Clowns, ghosts, vampires, insects, and eerie screams, you name it, you’ll see it!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you have any heart ailments, 12 years and younger, and those prone to panic attacks, please don’t put your life on life coming here. But for the healthy brave hearts, test your courage when you make a detour to the 13th Floor Haunted House. Experience it way better when you drop by with your friends.

What to do here?

Hear the scary mix of laughter and scream echoing in the air as you try to find the exit. Walk along with bloody vampires, and run away from the chasing clowns. All of it while insects mob your shoes (or so what it feels like). Scream like your life depends on it!

Best Time to Visit

Scream your heart out this weekend. On Fridays, they’re open from 7 PM until 10:30 PM, while on Saturdays 6 PM until 11:30 PM. They also have Valentine special for couples designed to separate their ways as they venture into the darkness.

Learn more about the heart-stopping thrill at 13th Floor Haunted House here!

Drop by Fort Caroline National Memorial

What’s special about this place?

The 138-acre Fort Caroline was the first French settlement established in the country back in 1564. But it was located in an obvious spot at St. Johns River’s northern bank, the fort was spotted easily by the Spaniards, going through repeated fires and reconstruction. It now serves as a visitor center showcasing its bloody and short-lived history.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you want to uncover the realities of how Jacksonville has come to be what it is today, take a trip to Fort Carolina for clarity. You might not want to take the kids here since authentic history is violent. If you admire patriotism, you’ll appreciate visiting here.

What to do here?

Wander inside Fort Caroline to see photos and artifacts during its era. You can watch the theater play that relieves what happened during the brutal war. Witness the struggles and get in the middle of history when you detour for a tour in Fort Caroline.

Best Time to Visit

They’re open from 9 AM until 5 PM all year round. You can avoid the flocks of visitors when you opt to go as soon as they’re operational. Plus, you’re safe from being caught by the unforgiving heat.

Learn more about Fort Caroline National Memorial here!

See white oak trees at Boneyard Beach

What’s special about this place?

Swimming might not be the best thing you can do at Boneyard Beach, but the eerie sight of white oak trees bleached by overexposure to the salty ocean breeze is enough to grab you. Its 3-mile coast might not be as vibrant and enticing as its more famous counterparts, but Boneyard beach has the tang that makes it unique.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

You don’t need professional training to get the most eye-catching photos at Boneyard Beach. If you’re a photography enthusiast, whether using a smartphone or a DSLR camera, there are unlimited angles you can shoot. It’s also undisturbed if you’re aching for a peaceful walk.

What to do here?

Immerse yourself amidst the creepy oak trees or simply trace the shore. Make sure that you have plenty of battery and space in your camera. Boneyard Beach might be simple, but it’s a treasure away from the beaten-off path!

Best Time to Visit

Come around Boneyard Beach from 8 AM until sunset. You need to be there before the sun hits the highest since the beach doesn’t have any shades. But if you visit in later hours, make sure you bring a hat, shades and lots of water.

Learn more about white oak trees at Boneyard Beach here!

Shopping at St. Johns Town Center

What’s special about this place?

Since it opened in 2005, the 1,391,569 ft.2 St. Johns Town Center has provided its customers with open-air shopping. Get your favorite brands while you’re surrounded by trees, under the summer sky. Expect an extra-organized and clean complex with 167 stores as St. Johns Town Center is sitting in a high-end district.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If it’s your thing to bring home local items from your travels, there are plenty of options here. Shopaholics and fashionistas, get your fix from the famous brands and local designers at St. Johns Town Center. If there’s anything you need while in Jacksonville, you’ll find it here!

What to do here?

If you have the budget for it, get bags from Louis Vuitton, an item from Lacoste, apparel from Banana Republic, and accessories from Apple. Purchase a secondhand book, get your nails done or get a treat from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Starbucks. There’s no harm in window shopping if you’re tight on budget!

Best Time to Visit

St. Johns Town Center is relatively not busy during weekdays from 11 AM until 8 PM. But that flips during weekends when thick crowds are shopping around from 10 AM until 9 PM.

Learn more about Shopping at St. Johns Town Center here!

Nature-bathing at Little Talbot Island State Park

What’s special about this place?

One of Jacksonville’s well-kept gems is the untouched 2,500-acre Little Talbot Island State Park. Bask under the shades of live oaks in Dune Ridge Trail that stretches 3 miles long, leading to the 5-mile long beach, where white trees await. You’ll be recharged and detoxified after a long nature-bathing experience at Little Talbot Island State Park.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re sick with the typical chaos and energy of tourist attractions, then you need to take a break. Little Talbot Island State Park is just right for you. Nature lovers, hikers, and bird watching enthusiasts, the landscapes and terrains here are rich with beauty and life.

What to do here?

Conquer the Dune Ridge Trail, where towering pine trees grow thick. You can camp outgo swimming, fishing, or rent a canoe and paddle through the marsh where various birds are habituating. There’s also a bicycle rental option if you want to explore Little Talbot Island State Park pedaling through the land.

Best Time to Visit

Open all year long, visit any season from 8 AM until 5 PM. If you plan to stay by the beach, there are no cabanas or shades since the shore is filled with dried-out and fallen white oaks. Remember to bring your beach umbrella and pack your cooler with drinks.

If you don’t have a beach umbrella yet, you can check out our review for the best beach umbrella and see which one suits your needs.

Learn more about Nature-bathing at Little Talbot Island State Park here!

Pay respects at the Veterans Memorial Wall

What’s special about this place?

The second-largest veteran wall next to Washington D. C.’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall is Jacksonville’s 20-meter Veterans Memorial Wall. It covers the names of every local who served in all branches of the armed forces and sacrificed their lives for the country since WWI. Made of black granite, stopping by to pay respects at the Veterans Memorial Wall is a solemn experience for anyone.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you in the military yourself, or do you have a loved one in active service, or perhaps have fallen? You’ll appreciate the honor and bravery of those who protect the country at all costs when you visit the Veterans Memorial Wall. You can easily slip a quick detour in between at one of the city’s most valuable landmarks.

What to do here?

It’s better if you can bring flowers to show respect and appreciation. If you’re a believer, uttering your prayers for the fallen brave souls will be a great act of admiration. Even if you don’t believe in prayers, the patriotism of the service people whose names are etched in the wall and those still fighting to keep your sovereignty will move you.

Best Time to Visit

Constructed in an open field, you can drop by any time of any day, 24/7. If you happen to be in nearby attractions, quickly slip in. But if you can make it early or late afternoon, you’ll avoid the sun’s boiling heat.

Learn more about Veterans Memorial Wall here!

Jump all day at Flight Fit N Fun Jacksonville

What’s special about this place?

One of the state’s biggest trampoline parks, the 40,000 ft.2 Flight Fit N Fun Jacksonville will keep you weightless all day long! From foam pits to basketball and dodgeball trampoline fields, even your troubles will lose their heaviness when you spend hours and hours having nonstop fun bouncing on more than a hundred trampolines!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

It is a safe place to let your children drain out all their energy. Group sports are also fun options if you’re in Jacksonville with your friends. If you’re looking for another exceptional addition to your list of things to do in Jacksonville, Flight Fit N Fun deserves a spot.

What to do here?

Not only do they have trampolines and foam pits to learn and improve your skills, but there are also trapezes to keep you swinging and obstacle courses that’ll test your ninja skills. You can also take a break when you sit by the arcade machines playing all-time favorites.

Best Time to Visit

You’ll have plenty of space to jump around all day between 11 AM and 8 PM, from Sunday until Friday. If your free time falls on Saturday, expect herds of people in the facility, but you can have a bit of ease when you visit around 11 AM.

Learn more about Flight Fit N Fun Jacksonville here!

Tour at Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

What’s special about this place?

Brought to life in 1962, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens hosts 6,000 pieces ranging from painting, artifacts, manuscripts, and other historical items from as early as 1200 BCE from across the world. It’s also home to three various gardens covering 2.5 acres of land, with a 150-foot oak tree still standing for over 200 years as a centerpiece.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Art lovers, there’s an ocean of precious masterpieces you’ll love when you visit the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. You will hit two birds in one go as you wander to the gardens after checking out the indoor collections.

What to do here?

Get a glimpse of rare original Japanese sculpture paintings from world-renowned artists such as Winslow Homer and the 700-piece porcelain collection of Constance I and Ralph H. Wark. It also holds the Egyptian treasure, Mer-imat, and the Stele of Iku. Step outside where Olmstead, Italian and English gardens will welcome you.

Best Time to Visit

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is usually not crowded from 11 AM until 9 PM. Bear in mind that they are closed during Mondays, and on Sundays, they are open from noon until 4 PM only. If you wish to get in for free, visit during the first Tuesday of any month.

Learn more about Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens here!

Take a walk along the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail

What’s special about this place?

Stretching 14.5 miles long between Jacksonville and Baldwin, you can take three different trails depending on your preferences when you trace along the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail. It crosses through wetlands and uplands, surrounded by thick oak trees making it a home to numerous local faunas.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you’re a cyclist, a hiker, or generally a nature lover, you’ll enjoy the beginner-friendly trails here. There’s also a paved trail that you can take if you have your vehicle with your family. The arching trees over Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail are also dreamy settings for couples.

What to do here?

If you want to try horseback riding, taking this trail is the best route. But no matter which path you choose to take, the beauty is all equally majestic. Keep watch for the turkeys, armadillos, and alligators that are often spotted around.

Best Time to Visit

You can take a hike, go biking or do your own thing along the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail as soon as the sun rises until it sets. Even if the weather drains you, you can rest and refresh by the picnic tables under tree shades.

Learn more about Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail here!

Chill at Grape and Grain Exchange

What’s special about this place?

Opened back in 2012, Grape and Grain Exchange may look like just another ordinary pub. But they will surprise you with a versatile menu that continuously changes. Whatever you find interesting, you’ll have a mix or bottle instantly!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re the type who feels uneasy in classy places, you’ll find a home at Grape and Grain Exchange. It’s better to let the children doze off so you can enjoy your ice-cold beer while relaxing.

What to do here?

You can opt for their Redneck Cheese plate with your cold drink, whether it’s craft beer or exotic mix. There’s also a secret door that leads to the Parlor hidden in a bookshelf. It’s like stepping back in time with the retro-ambiance amplified by jazz music playing in the background.

Best Time to Visit

Skip Friday and Saturday nights since it’s heavily congested in Grape and Grain Exchange. If you have no other free days, you can sit for lunch as soon as they open. But you can unwind with fewer customers from Sunday until Thursday, starting at noon until midnight.

Learn more about Grape and Grain Exchange here!

Untangle history at Kingsley Plantation

What’s special about this place?

A statement to the complicated and confusing yet liberating slavery history in Jacksonville is the 60-acre Kingsley Plantation. Owned by Quaker Zephaniah Kingsley in 1798, a devotee of African-American slavery, yet on the same note, married four of his slaves and allocated his home as cradle to newly released slaves traveling to the south. Try to get your mind around the complexities of humans and history when you tour the Kingsley Plantation.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re interested in the struggles that people of color have to survive across time, you’ll learn more when you drop by at the plantation. Maybe you’re a history buff; it is one of the city’s front liners when it comes to significant landmarks. The Kingsley Plantation is a sight you simply can’t skip.

What to do here?

Explore the barn still intact after 220 years and wander inside Quaker Kingleys’ household. There are also 23 remains of slave quarters, in which one was fully restored to give the guests a close to real-life tour during the plantation era.

Best Time to Visit

Kingsley Plantation is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week, it’s best if you come around 9 AM to avoid the heavy tourist crowd, also eager to untangle the historical web of Kingsley Plantation. You’ll also have more time left to do what’s left in your Jacksonville itinerary.

Learn more about Kingsley Plantation here!

Berry picking at Braddock Blueberry Farm

What’s special about this place?

Harvest fresh berries from acres of bushes at Braddock Blueberry Farm. Since opening to the public in 1995, this farm allows visitors to experience and taste sweet blueberries straight from the bushes. Chemical-free and practically budget-friendly!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you craving sweets but health-conscious? You’ll love bringing home pounds and pounds of blueberries from this farm. If you’re sick of the usual restaurant-diner carbs-menu or may be out with your kids, picking at Braddock Blueberry Farm is a one-of-its-kind must-try in Jacksonville.

What to do here?

Are you ready for blue-tinted hands? It’s one thing to eat blueberries, and it’s another to pick them yourself before eating them. Wander in the bushes looking for the best blueberries. You can either keep them in your basket or munch as you go.

Best Time to Visit

Remember that it’s best to visit around the blueberry season. It’s usually fruitful from May until July. Call in advance and be there as early as 7:30 AM, and don’t forget your bug spray!

Learn more about Berry picking at Braddock Blueberry Farm here!

Quiet time by the Castaway Island Preserve

What’s special about this place?

The name speaks for itself. Well-kept away from the noises of city adventures is the 300-acre Castaway Island Preserve. With an interactive trail stretching for 0.9 miles, it passes through various terrains, as well as flora and fauna. You can also soak in the view from a 900-foot tall observation platform or enjoy a stroll at the boardwalk.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The nature trail is a fun and safe adventure that your little ones can take. Castaway Island Preserve is a gem that y’all nature lovers must visit. Maybe you’re overstimulated by the hassles of traveling; taking in the silence here will relax you.

What to do here?

Trace the rugged trail and learn about the ecosystems along the way. You’ll also have fun noticing the footprints of the wildlife residing in the preserve (especially amusing for kids). You can rent out a kayak or paddleboard and scout through the waterways, go fishing or use the grills and have a barbecue.

Best Time to Visit

Start your day around 7:30 AM. Remember that Castaway Island Preserve is a free-entry attraction so expect visitors flowing in nonstop all day. You can also stay until 8 PM for stargazing.

Learn more about Castaway Island Preserve here!

Rejuvenate at One Ocean Spa and Resort

What’s special about this place?

What’s a vacation for, if all you do is drain yourself, chasing every attraction and activity you can. Unwind, relax and rejuvenate at one of the best spas in Jacksonville, the 1973 One Ocean Spa, and Resort. Though they offer some of the most lavishing suits in the city, you don’t necessarily need to be lodging to take advantage of their world-class spa services.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Traveling is a priceless experience, but it’s tremendously physically demanding, especially if you’re a parent. You deserve heavenly pampering to keep you looking and feeling energized. For anyone aching for some me-time, run for One Ocean Spa and Resort!

What to do here?

Get some deep-tissue massage to undo your knot and hop for an aromatherapy session. Get a mani-pedi and facial for additional beauty and glow. You can also sit in the steam rooms and plunge on the pool without booking accommodation if you choose to revitalize via their spa!

Best Time to Visit

Book your appointment in advance. During Monday-Tuesday, they’re operational from 9 AM until 2 PM, while on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, there are slots from 9 AM until 6 PM. For Friday and Saturday, they’re open from 9 AM until 7 PM.

Learn more about One Ocean Spa and Resort here!

Appreciate the collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art

What’s special about this place?

The six-story 2003 Museum of Contemporary Art hosts an ocean of art pieces from established and upcoming artists alike. With roughly 16 exhibitions rotating per year, its 60,000 ft.2 is jam-packed with eclectic paintings, metal sculptures, and innovative lighting. The museum offers sincere support to low-key artists in their consistent displays at their Project Atrium dedicated entirely for them.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you’re an artist or you honestly love creativity, the collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art will captivate you. If you’re looking for inspiration, there’s plenty here. The museum’s initiative is something worth supporting, so make sure you save a spot for the Museum of Contemporary Art on your list.

What to do here?

See masterworks by Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Lorrie Fredette, and Mary Ratcliff. Your children can join in art workshops and educational exhibits. Get your creative juices and mind flowing when you explore the treasures hidden in the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art between Tuesday and Friday, starting 11 AM to 5 PM, while on Sundays, it’s from noon until 5 PM. They’re closed during Mondays, and 4 PM is the least crowded time for the rest of the week.

Learn more about Museum of Contemporary Art here!

Spend the night on a yacht from Windward Sailing

What’s special about this place?

One of the most memorable things to do in Jacksonville is sailing off to the middle of nowhere, taking time slowly, enjoying nature, and observing marine life from the deck of a catamaran boat or a yacht from Windward Sailing. Since they started operation in 1997, they’ve accommodated guests for short tours, as well as overnight experience in the waters.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Windward Sailing’s private charter is the perfect getaway for couples. You have the entire boat to yourself, no crews roaming around running errands. But for anyone who wishes to see Jacksonville’s magnificence off the coast, book your tour with Windward Sailing.

What to do here?

See the city skyline, enjoy the horizons at the bay, and watch out for bottlenose dolphins that’ll willingly get close to the boat. Enjoy ice-cold beer, cocktail mixes while crunching on snacks by the deck. Savor life, savor nature, savor the opportunity to travel the stunning city of Jacksonville!

Best Time to Visit

It’s a must that you contact Windward Sailing at least a day ahead of your planned trip. You can start your sail with the romantic view of the sunset and spend the whole night with your loved ones on board.

Learn more about Windward Sailing here!

Participate at the Gate River Run

What’s special about this place?

America’s most prestigious 15K (9.3 miles) marathon since 1978, with over 20,000 runners participating annually, the Gate River Run is a sounding pride that you can experience first-hand. One of the most amazing things to do in Jacksonville, there’s no need to be a professional to enjoy and feel the local energy. Jump right into the challenge when you join the Gate River Run.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Maybe you’re a pro runner. You can take advantage of this opportunity to push yourself to the limits. Even if it’s your first marathon, even if you’re with kids, there are also various smaller events and races that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy!

What to do here?

Get yourself prepared to run, make new friends along the way, and create another milestone. There’s the Diaper Dash where your toddler can join in, the Junior River Run for elementary-age kids, or you can opt for the Synovus 5K for Charity. Lively music, yummy food, and refreshing cold beverages are also available everywhere.

Best Time to Visit

The race takes place every second Saturday of March, and advanced booking is needed. It starts around 8 AM, so be there real early. Don’t forget to pick up your race packet days before the race. Bring sunglasses since the sun is typically brutal during this season, and check their website for updates.

Learn more about Gate River Run here!

Family picnic at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

What’s special about this place?

Locally known as Hanna Park, it’s a 450-acre nature haven with trails tracing 15 miles long, a lake covering 60 acres sitting next to a pristine 1.5-mile white sand beach. There’s something for everyone of any quirks they’ll enjoy doing. A practical way to immerse yourself in nature while in Jacksonville, spend a day with an exciting and entertaining all-in getaway at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Maybe you’re with your family in an RV or want to feel one with nature sleeping in a tent; there are campgrounds ready to accommodate you. Mountain bikers, hikers, and surfers of all levels take on the challenges hidden in this paradise. The park is a picnic-perfect spot for anyone traveling in Jacksonville.

What to do here?

Prepare juicy barbecue by the grills, trace the trail or play volleyball. Go fishing, paddle your canoe or take your kiddos to the splash pad. You can also unwind with ice-cold beer while bird watching and observing the alligators that might be resting by the banks.

Best Time to Visit

You can stop by any day all week, from 8 AM until 8 PM. Weekdays are the ideal time since there’s rarely any other visitor at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. Just be mindful that during Saturdays and Sundays, it’s heavily trafficked both by tourists and locals.

L;earn more about Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park here!

Woodwork at Creative Grain Studio

What’s special about this place?

Furnish your woodwork skills when you spend some time at Creative Grain Studio. Established in 2016, it’s a creative space where you can learn to craft your wooden masterpiece. You also get to enjoy a free cup of hot cocoa with a pair of comfy socks on your feet!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you love arts and crafts, you’ll love taking the time to check out the happenings at Creative Grain Studio. Let your children’s imagination run wild when you bring them here. Make your Jacksonville vacation more precious by learning a new skill!

What to do here?

Join the local club or enroll in a workshop. Create personalized front door signs, a mini-home decoration for the kitchen counter, chalkboards, or a plaque of your trip to Jacksonville. Pour your heart out and let your pieces speak for your originality!

Best Time to Visit

Shoot them an email in advance and reserve a spot. You can also head out to their website and check out the calendar of events. In all honesty, you’ll forget about time once you start crafting your piece, so the workshops at Creative Grain Studio deserve your time.

Learn more about Woodwork at Creative Grain Studio here!

Cosplay at WasabiCon

What’s special about this place?

Another unique experience you can try while touring the city is joining 2-day WasabiCon. Since premiering in 2012, you’ll find everything anime, nerdy and trendy when you hop into the event. Meet some of your favorite characters face-to-face or bring them to life in a cosplay.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you an otaku or fond of watching Japanese series? Then you’ll like the sights of the eclectic people bringing their faves to life. There are also surprises for the DC and Marvel fans at WasabiCon.

What to do here?

People-watching is enough to satisfy your fanatic side. Match it up with unlimited picture taking with the cosplayers. If you’re really into it, get up as the main character from the last anime you just finished.

Best Time to Visit

See the latest announcements on their website. If you seriously want to witness the event, time your Jacksonville trip around their current schedule. WasabiCon typically happens over a weekend during October.

Learn more about Cosplay at WasabiCon here!

See the Jacksonville Jaguars defend home at TIAA Bank Field

What’s special about this place?

Built back in 1995 with a seating capacity of 67,164 is the 10-acre TIAA Bank Field downtown, a colossal landmark you can’t miss. It’s the home to the local football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. TIAA Bank Field also has the world’s biggest HD LED screens spanning 110 meters in length in its world-class facility!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re an NFL fanatic, this is your chance to see all the action from Jacksonville’s perspective. Maybe you’re seeing a growing interest in football in your children, then taking them here will burn their fire brighter. There are also plenty of other shows and concerts held at TIAA Bank Field for the metalheads and music lovers.

What to do here?

Joining in a tour in the stadium will lead you to the press box, inside the owner’s suite, and two pools overlooking the field. If you want to plunge in the pools, you’ll need a bit more cash out of your pockets. Book your ticket and catch the Jaguars defend home while enjoying the comfort of a hotdog and drink.

Best Time to Visit

Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday are the scheduled tours inside TIAA Bank Field. If you want to feel the crowd’s energy in a game, the NFL season usually runs in October or November. Check out the schedule from their site and time your Jacksonville vacation around the event you wish to see.

Learn more about Jacksonville Jaguars defend home at TIAA Bank Field here!

Try buttermilk biscuits from Maple Street Biscuit Company

What’s special about this place?

Take a spot along with the benches and sit for a meal at Maple Street Biscuit Company. Premiered in Jacksonville back in 2012, the company is now sweeping various states across the country with their signature buttermilk biscuits. Immerse yourself in local vibes and make new friends, all while sipping locally produced coffee and crunching on yummy biscuits.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The ambiance inside Maple Street Biscuit Company is relaxed and family-oriented. It is a nice late-afternoon spot for some snacks and coziness. If you’re looking for a Jacksonville signature treat, you’ll find it when you drop by Maple Street Biscuit Company.

What to do here?

Aside from the popular biscuit choices, they also serve sausage and chicken, filled with tomatoes, bacon, topped with homemade honey mustard. Taste the Iron Goat for a biscuit filled with spinach and goat cheese, while Bluegrass Grits Bowl will fill you up with butter, cream cheese, egg chives, and white hominy grits.

Best Time to Visit

Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville is open every day, from 7 AM until 2 PM. There’s plenty of outdoor and indoor seating, so you can visit anytime you wish without worrying about losing a table. You can take a sip of ice-cold maple mocha if you drop by on a hot afternoon.

Learn more about buttermilk biscuits from Maple Street Biscuit Company here!

Bring your kiddos to Shipwreck Island Water Park

What’s special about this place?

Have some change of view away from the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean without sacrificing the fun and excitement while staying cool amidst the brutal Floridian sun. Since it opened in 1983, the 20-acre Shipwreck Island Water Park gives families an alternative way to cool off with their lazy river, a wave pool holding around 500,000 gallons of water and their Pirate Pool Slide Complex.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re out in Jacksonville while carrying a toddler or holding a child by the hand, you just can’t let them loose by the beach. Let them safely splash and enjoy the waters at Shipwreck Island Water Park.

What to do here?

Switch between the water activities and the entertaining ground attractions. There are arcades machines, go-kart race tracks, a laser tag arena, and batting cages. You and your family can also have a friendly competition by Shipwreck Island Water Park’s mini-golf course. The Undertow will shoot you at 23 mph on a 400-foot long slide!

Best Time to Visit

Start your day around 11 AM until sundown. Shipwreck Island Water Park is not crowded all day from Sunday through Friday, so you’ll have plenty of room to swim and splash. You might want to avoid Saturdays since it’s heavily congested.

Learn more about Shipwreck Island Water Park here!

Take your dog for a walk at Dog Wood Park

What’s special about this place?

The 42-acre Dog Wood Park is one of the city’s ten dog parks where you can unleash your furry pet for some exercise and socializing. There’s a one-acre lake and plenty of obstacle courses where your dog can explore and conquer. Once you and your furry friend are done for the day, you can head to the wash station and clean them up before heading out.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you traveling to Jacksonville with your dear doggies? Don’t miss this dog-friendly park for a memorable experience together. Maybe you’re a god lover, or you own one but left them at home, quenching your longing feelings when you visit Dog Wood Park.

What to do here?

Let your dog show their unparalleled swimming skills by the lake. Trace the trail looping around the lake for some cardio amidst nature. Remember that you’ll need to bring your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate, and only sterilized dogs eight months and older will be allowed to enter.

Best Time to Visit

If you want a serene environment for you and your dog, be there between Monday and Friday, with gates open from 10 MA until 4:30 PM. There’s almost no one around inside Dog Wood Park these days. But if you’re out to make new friends, weekends are packed with dogs and their hoomans from 9 AM until 5 PM.

Learn more about Dog Wood Park here!

Spend a day at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

What’s special about this place?

A massive U. S. National Preserve covering 46,000 acres of area, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve established in 1988, was named after the Timucuan Indians, residents of the lands at the southern tip of Georgia and north end of Florida when the European conquerors arrived. Few landmarks sit within its grounds, such as the Big and Small Talbot Island State Parks, the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, and Kingsley Plantation.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you wish to sweep numerous Jacksonville landmarks without the hassle of traveling everywhere, you’ll love spending the whole day at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. There are also overflowing surprises kept for nature lovers and adventure seekers in this conservation area. If you want to take your family for an all-in fun all day, then take a day to see the sights at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

What to do here?

Hike the 3.1-mile Theodore Roosevelt Area, where you’ll witness diverse ecosystems in one go. There are also piles and piles of shells observable in the area, a symbol of Timucuan civilization or visit the networks of attractions. You can also simply relax while bird watching, reading a book, or meditating in the heart of nature, perhaps jump for the kayaking, SUP, and canoeing water adventure.

Best Time to Visit

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is least busy on Wednesdays through Fridays, from 9 AM until 5 PM. If you want to enjoy a tranquil trip, time your visit on those days. They’re closed during Mondays and Tuesdays and heavily trafficked on weekends.

Learn more about Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve here!

Brewery hopping the Jax Ale Trail

What’s special about this place?

With 22 breweries, plus the restaurants that craft their beers on-site, the Jacksonville brewery scene flourished with the magic of Jax Ale Trail. With 15 primary spots back in 2019, visitors can start their beer hopping tour and ask for a stamp book from their first stop, which they can bring when they jump to other breweries. Once you accumulate at least 4 stamps from four breweries, you’ll win a surprise.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Beer lovers! Quench your thirst and make the best out of your Jacksonville trip if you take the challenge of Jax Ale Trail. It is also a unique experience you can add to your itinerary for a superb Jacksonville vacation.

What to do here?

Start with the city’s pride, the 2011 Green Room Brewing. They have more than ten taps to choose from, such as red and pale ale, as well as signature brews like Key Lime Knee High and Punksin’ Kax. Other breweries include Intuition Ale Works, Veterans United Craft Brewery, and Aardwolf Brewing Company.

Best Time to Visit

Each brewery might have different operating hours, but they’re all open around 6 PM onwards. Besides, one of the best ways to end a hectic day is with ice-cold beer and lively music. Bonus, you get prizes along the way!

Learn more about Brewery hopping the Jax Ale Trail here!

Fishing at Jacksonville Beach Pier

What’s special about this place?

The original construction of the Jacksonville Beach Pier was in 1999. But over the passing years, it was continuously destroyed by natural disasters and reconstructed over and over again. Currently stretching at 190 meters, it’s now a notorious hotspot for anglers who wish to take home fresh fish, and now have an on-site bait shop.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or it’s your first time going fishing, you’ll love the view from the pier while patiently waiting for your catch. If you don’t you’re your rod, rent one from one of the shops. Children will also enjoy the thrill and challenge of fishing in this area of the city.

What to do here?

You’ll hook tarpon, kingfish, trout, and sheepshead. Aside from fishing, you’ll also come across performances from live bands and plenty of dining options. Watching the sun go down at Jacksonville Beach Pier is also a romantic must-do for couples. You can also go swimming by the beach just under the fishing pier.

Best Time to Visit

Make sure you start your fishing adventure during high tide so the waters are rich in marine life, and you won’t have that much trouble reeling in your catch. Check out the current tide levels online to see accurate times.

Learn more about Fishing at Jacksonville Beach Pier here!

Interactive learning at Museum of Science and History (MOSH)

What’s special about this place?

Since it opened in 1941, MOSH has been giving its guests an innovative way to learn about every topic possible, from the tiniest wildlife to the unending outer space. No more boring museum tours, no more wasted time and money. Overflowing with engaging exhibits and displays in its 120,000 ft.2, MOSH is a must-visit for anyone wandering in Jacksonville.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Do you want to keep your children’s brains plastic while having fun? Taking them to MOSH will help you do the trick. Maybe you simply love learning or want another great addition to your vacation plan, MOSH won’t let you down.

What to do here?

Raise your children’s awareness about health consciousness at Health Motion, while your toddlers can effectively grasp historical and scientific trivia at Kidspace. Adults can take pleasure in observing artifacts, antiques, relics, and archeological digs. Your little ones also have the chance to get up close with marine life at Atlantic Trails.

Best Time to Visit

Drop by at MOSH on a Monday from 10 AM until 5 PM, with fewer guests inside all day. They’re not operational during Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you can’t make it on a Monday, the best time to visit is around 4 PM.

Learn more about Museum of Science and History (MOSH) here!

Explore downtown Jacksonville

What’s special about this place?

There’s no better place to get lost than at the heart of Jacksonville, downtown! You’ll find a place that ticks your interests, museums, cafes, galleries, restaurants, and parks, your options are limitless! Plus, you can savor the sights walking around the 2,495.764-acre downtown without spending a single dime!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

For anyone visiting Jacksonville, you’ll come around downtown whether you intend to or not. Whatever you need, food, clothing, gear, you’ll find them here. Maybe you’re traveling solo, with your family or your partner, downtown is a basket full of treasures waiting for you to uncover them.

What to do here?

Let the kids sit for some storytelling at the Downtown Jacksonville Public Library or immerse in local vibes at Jacksonville ArtWalk. You can also drop by the Museum of Contemporary Art and get a read from Chamblin’s Uptown Books. Your children will be all smiles all day with candy treats from Sweet Pete’s.

Best Time to Visit

It doesn’t matter what time you choose to wander around downtown. There are plenty of indoor activities and restaurants to refresh you when the weather starts baking you. Jacksonville ArtWalk happens monthly, during the first Wednesdays.

Learn more about downtown Jacksonville here!

Visit Main Street Bridge

What’s special about this place?

The bridge you’ll easily recognize in Jacksonville’s postcards and souvenirs, the 1,680-foot Main Street Bridge built back in 1941. Though there’s nothing much going on in the steel bridge itself, what most people don’t realize is how stunning the view is from this remarkable landmark.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Whether you just arrived or are about to say goodbye, Main Street Bridge is a landmark worth paying a visit. Maybe you’re looking for a scenic jogging or cycling trail. The bridge has paved paths for your fitness needs.

What to do here?

Burn off some calories running, and there are bicycle rentals available if you don’t have one with you. Remember to clear lots of space for pictures, coz’ you’ll need all of it! Watch the city skyline glimmer with lights once darkness starts to fall.

Best Time to Visit

Main Street Bridge is open daily for 24 hours. But if you wish to enjoy the view or do some cardio, start your journey before sunrise to avoid the traffic and the scorching heat. And you see the picturesque breaking of dawn.

Learn more about Main Street Bridge here!

See the rescued residents of Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

What’s special about this place?

The 225-acre Catty Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit organization devoted to rescuing, rehabilitating, and caring for abused and injured big cats. Established in 2004, they have catered to over 40 giant cats and only opened their facilities for public tours in 2013. The ticket is also inclusive of a T-shirt and drink. p

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you an animal lover or have a soft spot for big cats? You must not miss checking out the furry residents at Catty Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. Taking your kids here will also heighten their awareness about animal welfare.

What to do here?

You can join in either a day or night tour where you’ll come across cougars, leopards, pumas, lynxes, and lions. Observe them while learning and watch them play, and sleep. You’ll also understand the risks of treating exotic wildlife as pets.

Best Time to Visit

Book your tour slot online. Day tours start at 1 PM and Night Feeding Tours begin at 6 PM. Trips are available weekly, and they also host seasonal tours, such as Haunted Forest that runs the entire October.

Learn more about Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary here!

Seafood fest at Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant

What’s special about this place?

First established in 2016 and expanded with an on-site restaurant in 2013, the Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant is the best place in Jacksonville to enjoy fresh seafood of all sorts. Snappers, shrimps, scallops, and crabs, fried, steamed or grilled, or baked, your taste buds will thank you for the heavenly flavors here. You also see the views if you opt for the dockside seating.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Are you hungry for some fresh catch and sick of restaurants with limited seafood options? Make your way to Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant for a menu you’ll keep craving for more. The place also has a family-friendly ambiance, so you and your loved ones can share delicious meals.

What to do here?

Get a delicious scoop of mussels, or opt for triggerfish, clam chowder, and blackened grouper. Most prepared with natural herbs and spices with creamy butter crust. Don’t forget to get some fresh ingredients from the market that you can cook for later.

Best Time to Visit

Take note that they’re closed on Mondays. You can sit for a meal from Tuesday until Thursday, between 11 AM and 6 PM, while on Fridays until Saturdays, at 11 AM until 8 PM. If you’re out for Sunday family day, you can eat together from 11 AM until 7 PM.

Learn more about Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant here!

Have you chosen which things to do in Jacksonville deserve spots in your itinerary? Or do you wish to run through all of them?

We hope that you found this guide helpful! Jacksonville is a gem you just can’t pass on. Prepare your bags and your imagination. There’s no limit to the exciting possibilities when you take a trip to Jacksonville!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Things to do in Jacksonville, Florida:

Is it safe to live in Jacksonville?

Just like most places, Jacksonville is not all safe, nor all dangerous. The overall crime rate may be a little above the state’s and country’s average. But still, many parts remain relatively safe. Remember, Jacksonville is a big city.

It’s currently safer than only 8% of the country’s other states. Most reported crimes are targeting properties, not individuals. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay alert with the happenings around you. Some of the safest places in Jacksonville are Mandarin, Greenland, Mayport, Greenfield, and Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

What is the largest city in the United States?

Jacksonville, Florida is the largest in the United States by landmass. At more than 840 square miles of territory, it’s bigger than Miami. But to with only 1 million residents, Jacksonville is the 14th largest by population.

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