• 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
Visit Jacksonville

UNF Womens Tennis vs USC Upstate

University of North Florida

For more information, please visit: www.unfospreys.com

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program Garden Tour

    Four private gardens in Jacksonville, along with the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens will be welcoming visitors. Please start your self-guided garden tour at 10 a.m. at…

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    UNF Baseball vs Florida Gulf Coast

    For more information, please visit: www.unfospreys.com

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    UNF Mens Tennis vs USC Upstate

    For more information, please visit: www.unfospreys.com

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    JU Baseball vs Missouri State

    For more information, please visit: www.judolphins.com

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Jacksonville Armada at Jacksonville University Campus (pre-season tournament)

    For more information, please visit: www.armadafc.com

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  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    IN HERE, an evening of solos presented by Jacksonville Dance Theatre

    Jacksonville Dance Theatre presents a diverse evening of solo performances choreographed by JDT’s company members at 8:00 pm downtown at the 5 & Dime Warehouse space.…

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  • Thursday, March 26, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Henry Cho @ The Comedy Zone

    Henry Cho hosts his own special, "The Henry Cho Show," on GAC and released a one hour Comedy Central Special “What’s That Clickin Noise?” He can be heard on Sirius,…

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  • Friday, March 27, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    Bread and Butter

    Live music on the Coca-Cola Riverfront Stage by Bread and Butter.

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  • Friday, March 27, 2015
    Visit Jacksonville

    UNF Mens Track & Field (Spring Break Invitational)

    For more information, please visit: www.unfospreys.com

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The Visit Jacksonville Blog

  • Becky
  • Katie
  • Captain Dave Sipler
  • Denise M. Reagan
  • Gary Sass
Blogs by Becky
Blogs by Katie
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
  • Project Atrium at MOCA Jacksonville

    ‘Project Atrium’ Photographer Focuses on Details

    December 12, 2014 4:18 pm EST

    Angela Strassheim creates images that are more like paintings than photographs. “I don’t take pictures. I make photographs,” Strassheim said. “Everything in a photograph is there because I decided it would be there.”

  • Moca Jacksonville exhibit

    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.

Blogs by Gary Sass
  • Holiday Festivals surrounded by History

    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 the lovers of history.

  • Maritime Museum Jacksonville

    History That’s Free in Jacksonville

    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.

  • Pioneers of Aviation – Still Flying High

    October 10, 2014 2:56 pm EDT

    The most spectacular annual air show is right here in Jacksonville.

  • 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.


Jacksonville Social