• Did you know the world-famous Blue Angels flight demonstration team began at Jacksonville's Naval Air Station? Find fun things to do on your Jacksonville trip.
    Blue Angels

    The Westside is the Home of the Blue Angels.

    Did you know the world-famous Blue Angels flight demonstration team began at Jacksonville's Naval Air Station? Find fun things to do on your Jacksonville trip. Learn More

  • Check the calendar for a wide-range of events at Jacksonville Equestrian Center. It's one of the premiere equestrian facilities on the East coast.
    Jacksonville Equestrian Center

    Prepping for a concert at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

    Check the calendar for a wide-range of events at Jacksonville Equestrian Center. It's one of the premiere equestrian facilities on the East coast. Learn More

  • Enjoy access to Doctor's Lake, Black Creek, and the St. Johns River in Orange Park. Find out more about Jax water activities.
    Boating in Orange Park

    Orange Park offers easy water access.

    Enjoy access to Doctor's Lake, Black Creek, and the St. Johns River in Orange Park. Find out more about Jax water activities. Learn More

The Westside & Orange Park

The Westside provides convenient access to the water for boating and fishing enthusiasts.

The 3-mile-long Buckman Bridge across the St. Johns River links Mandarin with The Westside.  With its beginnings dating back to 1763, The Westside area features waterfront mansions, Tudor-style homes, and modest wooden-frame houses dating back to the early 1900s. The Westside is well-known for its full-service marinas like The Marina at Ortega Landing, nautical outfitters, and boating facilities.  It is also the home of Naval Air Station Jacksonville the birthplace of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s world-renowned flight demonstration team.

The Ortega community is one of the wealthiest in the nation. Come to Ortega for a stroll along the St. Johns River and take in what many consider to be the best views of the Downtown skyline.

Just south of Jacksonville and west of the St. Johns River, Orange Park offers camping, hiking, and water activities for all. In need of a boat, rent one for the day or for the night with Boat Florida Rentals. The Orange Park area is home to Doctor's Lake and Black Creek providing boaters the perfect place to wakeboard, fish, or just relax on the water. If you're feeling lucky, try and pick a winner at the bestbet Orange Park.

Here are four Westside attractions you just can't miss.

1. Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Regarded as one of the best equestrian centers on the East coast, Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a premiere facility for regional and national events showcasing the best in horse competitions. When horse shows are not in town, the Equestrian Center hosts a wide range of entertainment events like concerts, mud-runs, and athletic competitions.

2. Rails and Trails

Once part of Naval Air Station's Cecil Field, this trail system includes more than 30 miles of unpaved roads that traverse through the pine flatwoods. The shaded and beautiful Cecil Recreational Trails are available to hikers, horseback riders, and off-road cyclists. The Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail, is part of a nation-wide, federally initiated “Rails to Trails” program. The Trail is a 100 foot wide Right-of-Way (ROW) currently extending approximately 14.5 miles from Imeson Road in Jacksonville to the Town of Baldwin. A 12’ wide paved trail currently exists for hikers, bikers and roller-bladers to enjoy. An equestrian trail also parallels the paved trail.

3. Herlong Airport

Skydiving anyone? Who wouldn't want to see Jacksonville from 10,000 feet? Home to Jacksonville’s aviation enthusiasts since the 1960s, Herlong Recreational Airport (HEG) is Northeast Florida’s primary location for light sport aircraft, skydiving, gliders, and other experimental aircraft. 

4. Pinglehead Brewing Company

Pinglehead Brewing Company has been serving the Jacksonville and Orange Park community since 2011. Their craftsmen make BIG BEER, full of flavor with the best ingredients money can buy. They call it “Beer with Attitude!” and are committed to creating beer that will always be made with quality ingredients and our strong commitment to the craft! It will never be rushed. Do you collect tap handles; purchase a Pinglehead handle before leaving the brewery!

Getting Here: 

Head south on Interstate 1-95, follow directions for I-295 west over the Buckman Bridge. From there you can exit on Roosevelt Blvd. or Blanding Blvd. for Orange Park or continue on 1-295 for the rest of the area.

City-Wide EventsFeatured Events
Visit Jacksonville

The World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales

Budweiser Brewery

FREE EVENT | ALL AGES We invite you and your family to come and see these global icons in person. We will have Budweiser Clydesdales merchandise, beer and food available for purchase on-site.

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Cumberland Island Tour

    One of our most popular tours, this excursion offers an extensive and rich history of Amelia and Cumberland Island with views of wildlife along the way. We cruise by…

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Beach Creek Tour

    2:30 pm, 7 days per week This afternoon tour is a nice blend of history and nature, including a trip up Beach Creek with a beautiful view of the salt marshes and bird…

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    One Off Wednesday at Intuition Ale Works

    Every Wednesday try something "Brewnique" at Intuition Ale Works.

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Pilot Batch Wednesday at Aardwolf Brewing Company

    Every Wednesday the crew at Aardwolf releases a new pilot batch beer, be the first to try it!

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Family Friendly Sunset Cruise

    7 days per week This tour offers a relaxing way for the whole family to take in Florida’s first sunset and hear an abbreviated history of the area. Reservations are…

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Jax Illuminations Drive Thru Holiday Light Show

    Jax Illuminations has created a wonderful opportunity for families to create a new holiday tradition! Enjoy the magic of driving through a mile of holiday lights that are…

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015


    Welcome​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​to Jacksonville’s annual WinterFEST celebration hosted by Adventure Landing, featuring a spectacular…

  • Tuesday, November 24, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    A Christmas Carole

    The classic musical returns An Alhambra classic returns – book early for this wonderful holiday tradition!

  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville


    Trivia every Wednesday!


The Visit Jacksonville Blog

  • Gary Sass
  • Void Magazine
  • Jacksonville Moms Blog
  • Becky
  • Sip & Savor Jax Blog
Blogs by Gary Sass
  • City of Bridges

    October 09, 2015 9:36 am EDT

    One nickname you could attach to Jacksonville is the “City of Bridges”.

  • It All Began in Mayport

    September 21, 2015 12:30 pm EDT

    On Saturday October 10th, 2015 at 12:30pm, there is a special Memorial Marker Dedication Ceremony in Mayport, Florida. Congratulations to St. Augustine on their 450th celebration, however, It All Began in Mayport!

  • Booming in Jacksonville

    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.

  • It’s 1903 at the Merrill House

    June 16, 2015 11:49 am EDT

    Walk into Downtown Jacksonville’s Merrill House and step back in time to the year 1903

  • Greetings from Riverside’s Historic B&B

    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

Blogs by Void Magazine
  • fresh produce florida

    Growing Jax – A Guide to Our Regional Farmers Markets

    September 12, 2014 3:08 pm EDT

    Jacksonville boasts plenty of delicious farmers markets. So get out there and support your local farms with this guide to regional markets.

  • gameday food

    Eat Like A Local on Gameday in Jacksonville

    September 12, 2014 2:49 pm EDT

    Over the past two years, Shad Khan and the leadership of the Jacksonville Jaguars have made extensive efforts to transform the team from relative obscurity (for those outside Duval) into one of the most visible franchises in the league.

  • Coffee Shop Review – Bold Bean Coffee Roasters

    July 10, 2014 4:55 pm EDT

    Out with the old, in with the bold! Bold Bean Coffee Roasters has just opened its second location in South Jacksonville Beach, ironically where the old Starbucks was located. Bold Bean specializes in handmade, single-origin coffee, espresso beverages, craft beer and a community-orientated atmosphere.

  • Top Ten Romantic Restaurants in Jacksonville

    June 10, 2014 5:31 pm EDT

    What makes a restaurant romantic? If you’re not sure, you probably ought to ask someone female. When I asked my husband for his suggestions for this article, he said, “Is Guzzle Pipes and Gutty Works open yet?” Having an excellent beer list is not usually high on the list of most women’s romance requirements.

  • Locally Brewed Beers Perfect for The Summer

    June 02, 2014 12:02 pm EDT

    We all love a nice summer night with friends and a cool beer in our hand. This list will be your locally-brewed beer guide for the summer, no matter the occasion.

Blogs by Jacksonville Moms Blog
  • Many people visiting or new to the Jacksonville area don't realize the awesome assortment of outdoor activities our city has to offer

    Jacksonville’s Great Outdoors

    September 21, 2015 12:13 pm EDT

    Many people visiting or new to the Jacksonville area don't realize the awesome assortment of outdoor activities our city has to offer.

  • Taking On Downtown- With Kids!

    September 04, 2015 10:50 am EDT

    Lately, there have been lots of innovative ideas put forward regarding Downtown Jacksonville. It seems as though every creative thinker and successful business owner in town has a fabulous idea for making over the under utilized portions of the area.

  • Beat the heat as you cool down with the sweet treats on earth at Sweet Pete's candy store in downtown Jacksonville.

    Jacksonville Summer Solutions: Having Fun While Keeping Cool

    July 29, 2015 11:09 am EDT

    Like every city in Florida, Jacksonville can get HOT.

Blogs by Becky
  • Enjoy the holiday's on the water this year in Jacksonville, Florida.

    WOW: What’s New this Holiday Season in Jax!

    November 20, 2015 2:03 pm EST

    Spend your Winter on the Water in Jacksonville with a month of festive days and nights.

  • #OnlyInJax Fall Line-Up: Steins, Brats & Brews

    September 18, 2015 3:35 pm EDT

    Fall doesn’t just mark the return of pumpkin spice season, fall in Jacksonville is beer lovers season with a wide variety of fun events that feature national and local craft brews.

  • September Trip-Worthy Events

    September 04, 2015 9:14 am EDT

    September strikes the perfect balance between Summer and Fall in Jacksonville.

  • August Trip Worthy Events

    August 01, 2015 9:18 am EDT

    Need one last trip to finish out your summer? Not ready to send the kids back to school yet? Well Summer is going strong in Jacksonville, and August is the perfect time for one last hurrah!

  • Celebrate the Shark in Jax

    July 05, 2015 1:44 pm EDT

    Apex predators, misunderstood sea creatures, oversized fish – the shark gets called a lot of things these days, but one thing is for sure, people are fascinated by them.

Blogs by Sip & Savor Jax Blog
  • Enjoy some of Jacksonville's best tacos! Pictured: The Flyin' Hawaiian and Scallop Special.

    No Sitter Required: Jacksonville’s Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants

    September 22, 2015 12:37 pm EDT

    Sometimes finding a place where the kids can eat can cause parents nightmares. You find a spot with a kids menu, but the adult choices are not so hot. Or you see a fabulous menu in a spot that’s just a bit too hoity-toity to accommodate your grilled cheese needs. Fortunately Jacksonville is full of great spots to make the whole family happy.

  • If you are an IPA lover or enjoy a good Stout don't miss Pinglehead Brewing Company inside of Brewer's Pizza.

    Drink Like a Grown Up: A craft beer + food pairing guide

    September 21, 2015 12:13 pm EDT

    In recent years, craft beer has exploded in popularity, and more and more great restaurants are adding craft beer to their drink selections.

  • Sip & Savor: A guide to wine bars, brewpubs and restaurants with great cocktails

    September 17, 2015 12:04 pm EDT

    Dinner and drinks, a combination that goes together like… well, red wine and red meat. Whether you like to cozy up to your favorite Cabernet, sip on a classic Manhattan or partake in a fine Belgian Tripel, Jacksonville is full of restaurants that pair delicious food menus with top-notch wine, beer or cocktail lists.

  • Sitting right on the St. Johns River, in full view of the Jacksonville skyline, is the River City Brewing Company.

    A Feast For Your Eyes: Restaurants with the best views in Jacksonville

    September 17, 2015 11:32 am EDT

    They say great dining experiences engage more than just your sense of taste. The way the scent of cookies baking will make your dessert that much more delightful, or how just the sizzling of bacon will make your mouth water.

  • Jacksonville is Bursting with Flavor

    August 14, 2015 12:49 pm EDT

    From down home fish camps by the sea to trendy gastropubs in hip neighborhoods, you’re sure to find a delightful meal in any corner of the city.

Jacksonville Social