The Downtown Area
Jacksonville's heart is in its Downtown urban core.
Nestled between skyscrapers and the St. Johns River, Downtown Jacksonville’s North and South banks have an urban vibe with a cool atmosphere. Fortune 500 companies call the city’s core home. During the week, thousands of professionals and visitors fill the streets enjoying unique lunch and dining destinations, world-class museums, and a variety of nightlife options, from casual bars to upscale lounges.
The NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars play Downtown at the Sports Complex, as does the city's minor league baseball team, the Jacksonville Suns and AFL team, the Jacksonville Sharks. Downtown museums include the Ritz Theatre & Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Fire Museum, and the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center. Downtown Jacksonville boasts 5.6 miles of beautiful riverfront, including almost 3 miles of riverwalk, perfect for a stroll or a jog by the St. Johns or even one of our famous skyline photographs.
There are many ways to get around Downtown, drive and park at one of the more than 43,000 public parking spaces or use public transportation and take the Downtown Trolley or the Skyway. The Skyway connects Downtown’s Southbank to its Northbank in less than five minutes for free. You can also enjoy incredible views and move between Downtown points of interest on the water taxi.
To help you find your way, Downtown Ambassadors are always nearby ready to give directions and suggestions to visitors, spot them by their bright orange shirts.
Getting Here: Downtown, is a 20-minute drive south from Jacksonville International Airport. Take I-95 and exit right at Exit 116, Forsyth Street. Continue on Forsyth Street and head east, this will take you into the heart of Downtown.
Blogs by Katie
November 01, 2013 4:13 pm EDT
Get Hooked on Fishing at Mayport! There’s no better way to see the beauty of Jacksonville’s beaches than to fish its waters – and no lack of opportunities to do it, either.
March 15, 2013 5:48 pm EDT
Has anyone ever said to you “What’s there to do in Jacksonville?” or “What makes Jax so special?”. Here's an easy answer...
November 20, 2012 4:43 pm EST
The Light Boat Parade is a uniquely Jacksonville experience and there's fireworks! Be sure to make plans to watch.
August 24, 2012 12:39 pm EDT
I love trying new things - why not clay shooting?
August 06, 2012 1:57 pm EDT
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, a big cat rescue here in Jacksonville, is a great unique attraction, the likes of which I've never seen before. Read more.
Blogs by Gary Sass
June 25, 2015 2:57 pm EDT
This year’s Downtown Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display is on the actual anniversary, Saturday July 4, 2015.
June 16, 2015 11:49 am EDT
Walk into Downtown Jacksonville’s Merrill House and step back in time to the year 1903
April 09, 2015 3:47 pm EDT
If the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville had a greeting card, the Riverdale Inn would be on the cover
December 01, 2014 11:47 am EST
The local historical societies celebrate the holidays and offer fun activities. It is also a chance to buy unique gifts for history buffs.
November 05, 2014 3:12 pm EST
We call it the “First Coast”, home of the first European settlements and a region steeped in history.
Blogs by Becky
June 28, 2015 10:32 am EDT
Fireworks, fishing, festivals and fun abound this July in Jacksonville.
June 04, 2015 2:53 pm EDT
June in Jax is action packed. With the heartpumping speeds of powerboats zipping along the mighty St. Johns at the P1 Jacksonville Grand Prix and the aerial acrobatics performed by daring skateboarders in honor of Go Skate Day, there’s plenty of excitement to go around.
May 01, 2015 8:43 am EDT
There are plenty of reasons to visit Jacksonville in May. The weather is warm, the ocean is inviting, the flowers are in bloom, and the farm-to-table restaurants are getting ready to change their seasonal menus from Spring to Summer.
April 08, 2015 5:21 pm EDT
It’s no secret we love beer here in Jacksonville. With eight local breweries all part of the Jax Ale Trail, Jacksonville is one of Florida’s best spots to grab a pint (or two).
March 02, 2015 12:21 pm EST
Two of the greatest things about Jacksonville? Our weather and our food.
Blogs by First Coast Magazine
March 30, 2015 1:49 pm EDT
Take a leisurely stroll down St. Johns Avenue in Avondale, and you’re bound to find yourself peeking through the plate glass of Biscottis.
March 16, 2015 3:00 pm EDT
While growing up in Chicago, Chef DeJuan Roy knew what he wanted to do with his life. He spent his teens working in the kitchens of various restaurants, and joined the Army as a cook.
March 12, 2015 2:22 pm EDT
Local speakeasy features old-school spirits and sounds.
January 22, 2015 10:05 am EST
Scott Meyer operates the nation’s smallest rice farm. It’s the only one in Jacksonville. And he’s fairly certain it’s the only one in Florida.
July 21, 2014 9:32 pm EDT
Almost 100 years ago in a community rich with potato farming tradition, but light on technology, Danny Johns’ great-grandfather pioneered the first horseless farm in Hastings.
Blogs by Local Expert Guest
June 25, 2015 1:54 pm EDT
Downtown Jacksonville is home to Fortune 500 companies, fire-eating street performers and football. But there is so much more to this cultural mecca where art, music and history abound amid this bustling hub of exploration and discovery.
June 25, 2015 1:14 pm EDT
For our canine companions, life’s a beach in Jacksonville.
June 25, 2015 8:05 am EDT
Jacksonville serves up more than 30 vegan and 20 gluten-free dining options.
May 19, 2015 11:37 am EDT
Jacksonville, FL offers everything for medical meeting planners.
April 23, 2015 1:43 pm EDT
After a brief interlope in Atlanta yesterday, I managed to make myself to Jacksonville Beach, Florida.