The Southside and Mandarin Areas
The Southside and Mandarin areas offer shopping, riverfront outdoors activities and historical sites.
The Southside is the latest up and coming section of Jacksonville and it's blossomed into a bustling business center. The Tinseltown area is hopping with a movie theater, restaurants, specialty shops, and thriving nightlife. The area is also home to the large yet elegant Avenues Mall, as well as the St. Johns Town Center - a 1.1 million-square-foot, open-air lifestyle center offering innovative new retail, residential, hotel, and dining choices for Jacksonville shoppers.
Named for the Mandarin orange in 1830, this neighborhood on the St. Johns River just south of San Marco was once described as “a tropical paradise” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both Harriet Beecher Stowe, and painter Lee Adams once lived here. Mandarin is characterized by its magnificent oak trees hung with dramatic Spanish moss and boasts some of the best views of the St. Johns River in greater Jacksonville. Once an important river port for shipping oranges and other citrus fruit northward, today Mandarin is a blend of residential areas and shopping centers. Don't miss the Mandarin Museum and Walter Jones Historical Park. The 10-acre riverfront site is home to an 1876 farm complex with picnic areas as well as a citrus grove.
Learn more about the top attractions in the Southside and Mandarin neighborhoods.
Getting Here from Downtown: Go South on I-95 for 11 miles. Take I-295 west and exit at San Jose Blvd. South for Mandarin. Jacksonville's public buses also have frequent routes between the most popular attractions and malls in this area.
Blogs by Kacie Couch
July 30, 2014 5:02 pm EDT
When you think of a pink bird, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For most people, it would be a flamingo. The flamingo is a very beautiful (and very pink) bird, but it is not a local species to say the least. Lucky for us, we have our own species of pink bird wading in our North Florida waters!
May 29, 2014 4:56 pm EDT
“What a strange looking bird!” exclaimed the bearded man as we looked up at the helicopter flying overhead. It was a beautiful day in July and we were standing outside. I was wearing a sundress that came down to my knees and he was decked out in a woolen long-sleeved uniform. In JULY… In Florida. This was right after he called me a “jezebel,” no less.
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 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 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.