• 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 The Poker Rooms at Orange Park Kennel Club.

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
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Live Music by Spade McQuade

Fionn MacCool's

Live music at Fionn MacCool's by Spade McQuade.

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  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    TRIVIA

    Trivia every Wednesday!

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  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    WHISKEY WEDNESDAY

    A different featured whiskey every Wednesday at Fionn's!!

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  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Thanksgiving at Azurea

    Thursday, November 27th Ala carte Menu Price Range | Beginnings - $8 to $15, Entree - $22 to $28 Children's Menu is available Breakfast Service | Available until…

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  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Thanksgiving Day Dining at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

    Make this Thanksgiving a little more relaxing for you and your family by joining the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront for special Thanksgiving Day dining on Thursday,…

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  • Thursday, November 27, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Grand Opening of Xclusive Xcessive Ladies Night @ Taste!

    Newest upscale Thursday night to hit Jacksonville!! XCLUSIVE XCESSIVE LADIES NIGHT brought to you by Taste!! DJ SHOTGUN spinning the best House, Top 40 Remixes &…

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  • Friday, November 28, 2014
    Jacksonville Landing Market

    Jacksonville Landing Market

    The Jacksonville Landing Friday Market takes place every Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Market area on the first floor of The Jacksonville Landing. The Friday…

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  • Friday, November 28, 2014
    $5 Fridays at MOSH

    $5 Fridays at MOSH

    Every Friday, come to MOSH to enjoy $5 admission and extended hours.

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  • Friday, November 28, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Tropical Distractions

    Join Local and International Artist as well as Local Rockers DARKHORSE SALOON Friday November 28th for the first annual Tropical Distractions art show at Nippers Beach…

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  • Friday, November 28, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Arcade Jax: 1 Year Anniversary

    Come celebrate the success of Arcade Jax at our 1 Year Anniversary Event! We will be giving away tons of prizes in our FREE MIDNIGHT RAFFLE and have lots of freeplay…

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Local Experts | All Blogs

  • Captain Dave Sipler
  • Void Magazine
  • Kacie Couch
  • Denise M. Reagan
  • First Coast Magazine
Blogs by Captain Dave Sipler
  • It’s All About “Sport Fishing”

    August 05, 2014 1:58 pm EDT

    July was, and August will be too..... Teeth Month, aboard Capt Dave's Jettywolf. From Barracuda's to Sharks, it's all about "Sport Fishing" for the BIG ONES!

  • Summer Fishing

    July 10, 2014 3:31 pm EDT

    Hello Anglers! Summer has been here for quit a while in N.E. Florida. Most of you don't really care what month the calendar says. As a fisherman, I call it summer when the Spanish Mackerel show up at the inlet. And that happened back in May!

  • Redfish are Biting!

    May 29, 2014 5:01 pm EDT

    Hello Folks, Captain Dave Sipler here.....I'm going to tell you all about Jacksonville's fishing opportunities every month for the next six months.

Blogs by Void Magazine
  • Growing Jax – A Guide to Our Regional Farmers Markets

    September 12, 2014 3:08 pm EDT

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  • The Fantasy Football Food Experience — Eat like a local on gameday

    September 12, 2014 2:49 pm EDT

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  • 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 Kacie Couch
  • Think pink!

    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!

  • Fort Clinch Offers ‘Step into the Past,’ Great Eco-Adventure

    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 Denise M. Reagan
  • Catalogue Helps Visitors Get Behind ‘Get Real’

    October 22, 2014 12:32 pm EDT

    Artists have been working in the realist style for centuries. In this age of technology, what would inspire contemporary painters to embark on the painstaking process of creating art in this style?

  • A Declaration of Independent Theater

    October 16, 2014 1:45 pm EDT

    A small theater in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood has made a big impact on Jacksonville’s movie tastes.

  • The Art of the Brain

    September 30, 2014 12:05 pm EDT

    MOCA Jacksonville ‘Project Atrium’ artist explores the mind’s circuitry in a monumental textile installation

  • Art Walks All the Time

    September 22, 2014 2:05 pm EDT

    Pick a day and a neighborhood and you’ll find a place to absorb local art.

  • Take a Peek Behind the an Artist’s Process

    September 22, 2014 1:58 pm EDT

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Blogs by First Coast Magazine

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