In The Outdoors Section
Jacksonville boasts the largest urban park system in the nation with more than 80,000 acres of parks, including 10 state and national parks, a national preserve, dozens of city parks and gardens, and an arboretum. Explore our unspoiled wetlands, marshes, and woods to experience the natural beauty of Florida’s first coast.
Enjoy a walking safari right here in Jacksonville at The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens or Cattyshack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. Both offer a great family experience that's also educational!
What could be be better than casting a line with the kids or snuggling close to someone special by the campfire? Many of Jacksonville's best campsites are just steps from white, sandy beaches along the coast.
Jacksonville’s hiking trails wind through shaded and beachside areas and offer scenic views of waterways and marshes. Hikers frequently spot local birds and wildlife.
Jacksonville sits at the Northeast Gateway to The Great Florida Birding Trail and is a natural choice for a birding excursion. Dozens of state and national parks and nature preserves offer birders a dizzying array of species and habitats.
From strenuous mountain biking trails to family-friendly paved paths, Jacksonville offers a variety of options for cycling enthusiasts. Take advantage of rentals and guided tours to see Jacksonville’s natural side by bike.
Outdoor Activities, Parks & Zoo
Minutes away from Jacksonville's city center, a natural wonderland awaits.
Miles of untouched woodlands, marshes, beaches, and waterways await your observation and discovery. Jacksonville proudly boasts the largest urban park system in the country, with more than 80,000 designated acres, including the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
Explore Northeast Florida’s unique ecosystem by hiking or biking along miles of designated nature trails, where you may spot one of hundreds of local bird species. Escape the everyday by spending an evening camping under the stars in one of our exquisite parks.
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Local Experts | All Blogs
Blogs by Denise M. Reagan
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?
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.
September 30, 2014 12:05 pm EDT
MOCA Jacksonville ‘Project Atrium’ artist explores the mind’s circuitry in a monumental textile installation
September 22, 2014 2:05 pm EDT
Pick a day and a neighborhood and you’ll find a place to absorb local art.
September 22, 2014 1:58 pm EDT
Jacksonville artist Jason John sets up a working studio at MOCA Jacksonville
Blogs by Local Expert Guest
June 26, 2014 1:57 pm EDT
I’m thrilled to let all of you theater fans know about some great shows coming up in the FSCJ Artist Series’ 2014-2015 Broadway in Jacksonville Season, sponsored by Chase!
Blogs by Kacie Couch
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!
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 Captain Dave Sipler
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!
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!
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 First Coast Magazine
July 21, 2014 9:32 pm EDT
Almost 100 years ago in a community rich with potato farming tradition, but light on technology, Danny Johns’ great-grandfather pioneered the first horseless farm in Hastings.
July 21, 2014 9:30 pm EDT
Summer is a season for light eating. Dining out, it can be a challenge to find dishes that are both refreshing and satisfying.
July 21, 2014 9:23 pm EDT
A dark-haired boy jumps up and down at the ice cream counter as his mother places the order. Then he presses his face against the glass shield, watching the employee twirl sweet milk on a frozen stainless steel plate.
July 21, 2014 9:18 pm EDT
Intrepid food adventurers or those far from the tastes of home find challenge when selecting a wine to accompany ethnic flavors.
May 29, 2014 4:41 pm EDT
By Nan Kavanaugh, First Coast Magazine