12 Reasons to Spend New Year’s Eve in Jax for the TaxSlayer Bowl

12 Reasons to Spend New Year’s Eve in Jax for the TaxSlayer Bowl
Posted By: Patty Mon, December 05, 2016

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It’s time book your trip for a New Year’s Eve celebration like no other in Florida’s best sports city.

Your team made it to the TaxSlayer Bowl, and now it’s time for you to make it to Jacksonville! A vibrant destination with equal parts Florida Flavor and Southern Hospitality, Jax is ready to host you for a football game like no other in a spectacular setting. Not only has game day at EverBank Field been voted one of the top experiences in football, but the rest of our city has plenty to brag about also.

Shoreline? We have the most in Florida. Parks? We have two national parks, seven state parks and 400 city parks. History? We have 450 years of it. Culture? We are a Top 25 Arts City in the nation. Food? We have 14 chefs on America’s Best Chefs List.

From the city’s extensive park system, to its beautiful 22 miles of beaches, to award winning craft breweries, historic neighborhoods, countless unique eco-adventures, and the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville is the perfect destination for a warm getaway this winter. 

Here are the Top 12 Experiences to Have Off the Field in Jacksonville this TaxSlayer Bowl Weekend:

  1. The Jacksonville Boat Parade and Fireworks Spectacular
    On December 30, the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville will sparkle extra bright as dozens of local boaters deck out their vessels in the most festive holiday lights. The parade culminates in fantastic fireworks show featuring the famous sparkling waterfalls on the bridges of the St. Johns River.
  1. NYE Celebration in Downtown Jacksonville – After the game, stick around in Downtown for NYE Bowl Bash concert and the best fireworks show in Florida. The 2016 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year, Brothers Osborne, will headline the free outdoor concert taking place in the streets of Downtown Jacksonville with the stage located at the intersection of Ocean and Forsyth streets. The concert will kick off at 4:00 p.m. and include performances by Brett Young, Maggie Rose, Tyler Hammond, Jordan Davis, Josh Phillips, Lockhart and DJ E.L. Then at midnight, barges on the St. Johns River will shoot out dozens of spectaculars fireworks. Live music, food vendors, and thousands of locals and visitors lined up the riverfront to welcome the New Year at this massive holiday celebration.
  1. Smell the Ocean Breeze Relax and sink your toes into one of our beautiful beaches. We have 22 miles of them! Work on your tan or get active, take surfing or kiteboarding lessons, rent kayaks and paddleboards, fish at the pier or rent a fishing charter boat at Jacksonville Beach.
  1. Play with the Kids Downtown – Bringing the kids to the big game? Visit one of the urban core’s attractions where kids can learn and play. Visit the Museum of Science and History (accessible by water taxi or the Skyway from Downtown) to see live animal exhibits, a comprehensive history of Jacksonville exhibit, national rotating displays and the world’s largest single-lens digital planetarium. MOCA Jacksonville has a full floor for little artists to express themselves, and the whole family can learn how to make candy by taking a lesson at Sweet Pete’s Candy Factory in Downtown.
  1. Hop on the Jax Ale Trail Before or after the game, the Jax Ale Trail unites craft breweries around the city, many of them centered around Downtown, into a fun self-guided tour. Breweries on the Ale Trail include Aardwolf Brewery, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Intuition Ale Works, Bold City, Green Room, and Pinglehead Brewing. Intuition Ale Works just opened a two story tap room next to EverBank Field. Drink local while tailgating for the big game!
  1. Shop a Little…or a Lot – Stroll through the St. Johns Town Center, listed as number nine on Forbes Magazine’s list of Top Shopping Destinations in America. Take your pick from more than 150 retailers including some local ones!  
  1. Dine in Historic NeighborhoodsVisit 5 Points to watch cult classics at Sun-Ray Cinemas or enjoy the view from the rooftop lounge at Black Sheep, serving hand-crafted cocktails, made from local ingredients. Venture out the Shoppes of Avondale where you can hear live music at The Brick while enjoying modern American cuisine at this neighborhood hotspot. Enjoy award-wining craft cocktails at Sidecar and Grape Exchange in San Marco and discover Jacksonville’s historic side.
  1. Tee OffBring your clubs and hit the greens at one of 72 public and private courses. Rates are affordable and great deals are offered in the winter when the local weather is ideal for a day on the greens. Area courses were designed by greats like Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Mark McCumber.
  1. Take a HikeThat’s right, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the entire nation with plenty of green spaces to enjoy the outdoors and get active! Bring the running shoes for a stroll next to the St. Johns River or the beaches, hike one of our state parks or explore the Timucuan Preserve, Jacksonville’s own National Park.
  1. Turn it Up - Head to Jack Rabbits in historic San Marco, 1904 Music Hall in Downtown or Mavericks Live at the Jacksonville Landing to enjoy local and national acts performing live. Dance the night away at Mark’s or Myth Nightclub in Downtown, Loft on Riverside’s King Street and mingle with the locals at hot-spots at the St. Johns Town Center.
  1. Remember our Heroes – Next door to EverBank Field, pay tribute to lost and fallen soldiers at the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall that recognizes veterans from all service branches - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The names of servicemen and women from World War I through Operation Desert Storm and the current war on terrorism are etched into the 65 foot-long black granite monument guarded by an eternal flame.
  1. Live Like a Local – Find entertainment, activities, food trucks, and more of what makes Jacksonville so great at local historic neighborhoods like San Marco, Riverside, Murray Hill and Avondale, all just a short bridge crossing and ride from Downtown Jacksonville.

…And of course, there’s also the BIG GAME! Good luck to your team and see you in Jax! 

Patty tu

About Patty

Local Expert- Only In Jax

I am Visit Jacksonville’s Communications Manager. I just brag about Jacksonville all day long! Originally from Venezuela, I lived in Miami for a few years before moving to Jacksonville to pursue a...

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