• 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
First Wednesday Art Walk

First Wednesday Art Walk

Downtown Core

First Wednesday Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour that combines astounding visual and live art, engaging events and more in the core of Downtown Jacksonville.

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  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    WHISKEY WEDNESDAY

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

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  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    TRIVIA

    Trivia every Wednesday!

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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Reception: Juxtaposition: Works by Larry Wilson & Laurie Hitzig

    Meet Larry Wilson and Laurie Hitzig, then visit the UNF Gallery on MOCA’s second floor to see their work in "Juxtaposition". This reception is free and open to the public.

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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    The Local Palate On the Scene: Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails

    The Local Palate and Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails present an exclusive event designed to kick off festivities at the weekend-long Delicious Destinations held each year in…

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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Killer Beaz @ The Comedy Zone

    With his trademark “Save Up!” refrain, Killer Beaz has become a beloved performer and he delivers edgy, high-energy “everyman” style humor. A gifted storyteller,…

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  • Thursday, September 4, 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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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Comedian Killer Beaz

    Comedian Killer Beaz, Warner Bros recording artist and XM Comedy and Blue Collar Radio favorite, makes a return to Jacksonville for performances Thursday through Saturday,…

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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    The L. A Hardy Comedy Show

    Comedian L.A. Hardy headlines three nights of laughs! Thursday is "Fun on a Bun Nite". Book a ticket online (only) and get a FREE burger, sandwich or hotdog! Hint: tix…

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  • Thursday, September 4, 2014
    Visit Jacksonville

    Eugene Groove Venue

    Eugene Groove Venue: Ritz Theatre and Museum Eugene Groove Date and Time Saturday, October 4, 2014 7:00 pm & 10:00 pm For more information call: 904-807-2010 Email:…

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Local Experts | All Blogs

  • Kacie Couch
  • Gary Sass
  • Captain Dave Sipler
  • Denise M. Reagan
  • Void Magazine
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 Gary Sass
  • Main production building - photo courtesy of Norman Studios

    Jacksonville in the Movies

    August 13, 2014 11:05 am EDT

    “On location in Jacksonville”, has been part of movie production history for over one hundred years. From the silent movie era to today’s modern films, it is entertaining to watch scenes with Jacksonville in the background.

  • Lifesaving Landmark at the Beach

    July 16, 2014 5:24 pm EDT

    Where can you find the best volunteer lifeguards in the world? Just go to Jacksonville Beach and look for the iconic white tower (a.k.a. “The Peg”) along the ocean. This is home for the American Red Cross Life Saving Corps.

  • May Rocks with History

    May 02, 2014 9:17 am EDT

    May is a month teeming with excitement in Jacksonville. There are many historical events which happened in May and the weather is optimal for the outdoor celebrations.

  • One Spark with a Touch of History

    April 04, 2014 2:19 pm EDT

    One Spark, the World’s Crowdfunding festival, kicks off this year on Wednesday, April 9 for a five-day event. Within the participating 20 square blocks of Downtown, many One Spark venues are historic treasures. Here’s a few to enjoy as you support your favorite creators.

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 Denise M. Reagan
  • Cutting-Edge Art In Jacksonville

    August 28, 2014 11:38 am EDT

    Innovative Jacksonville Gallery Mines Emerging Talent. Papercut artist’s exhibition the latest in a long line of thought-provoking work.

  • Jacksonville’s a Real Trouper

    July 01, 2014 12:01 pm EDT

    Theater is a serious year-round pastime in Northeast Florida.

  • 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, March 23, 1997. 
From “Assignment: Times Square,” published May 18, 1997.  Courtesy the artist.

    New York Times Magazine Exhibition

    May 29, 2014 5:06 pm EDT

    My passion for the arts started as a child with frequent visits to Jacksonville museums, theaters, and other cultural institutions. I can’t wait to share all the great cultural activities going on throughout Northeast Florida.

Blogs by Void Magazine
  • 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 our hand. This list will be your locally-brewed beer guide for the summer, no matter the occasion.


Jacksonville Social