Bring your binoculars!
Northeast Florida’s moderate temperatures, diverse habitats, and migratory route location, make it a popular birding destination. The 2,000-mile Great Florida Birding Trail, designated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is a self-guided trail complete with detailed guide books showing pecies descriptions, directions, and maps of birding opportunity sites.
One of the Trail's designated "gateway" sites is Amelia Island's Fort Clinch State Park. Scan the shoreline of this park for laughing, ring-billed herring, great black-backed gulls, royal terns and other shorebirds. In the spring and summer, stay alert for glimpses of the brilliantly plumaged painted bunting.
Huguenot Memorial Park is another designated Great Florida Birding Trail site where birders are likely to spot gannets, loons, and sea ducks. This park includes a critical nesting area for terns and shorebirds, and often hosts rarities like bar-tailed godwits.
Visit Little Talbot Island in the spring to observe the migratory red knot as it makes its layover stop between Argentina and Canada. Spectators can observe these birds as they feed on surf clams to build up their strength and fat reserves for the final push to reach their breeding grounds up north.
Birders may want to rent a canoe or kayak from Kayak Amelia, in order to view the hundreds of bird species that make their homes in inland salt marshes, which are inaccessible by foot.
Area attractions also offer opportunities to spot rare birds. Take a walk through the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park’s wild rookery or photograph beautiful specimens at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
Local Experts | All Blogs
Blogs by Gary Sass
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.
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. Read on for a brief description of some of our local museums and sites which are free or have a nominal fee.
October 10, 2014 2:56 pm EDT
The most spectacular annual air show is right here in Jacksonville.
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.
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.
Blogs by Void Magazine
September 12, 2014 3:08 pm EDT
According to critics, the most problematic feature of our region is the geographic size of Jacksonville. It’s just a really big city. If you drove from Baldwin in West Jacksonville, all the way to where Atlantic Boulevard dumps you on the ocean, it would take you almost an hour – and you would have never left the city limits of Jacksonville.
September 12, 2014 2:49 pm EDT
Over the past two years, Shad Khan and the leadership of the Jacksonville Jaguars have made extensive efforts to transform the team from relative obscurity (for those outside Duval) into one of the most visible franchises in the league.
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.
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.
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
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 Visit Jacksonville
October 20, 2014 10:17 am EDT
Unless you’re an expert on our fine city (and who knows? You might be, it is pretty awesome here) here are some things you probably didn’t know about Jacksonville, Florida.
October 06, 2014 12:17 pm EDT
Summer months have come and gone, but the fun has just begun.
September 23, 2014 12:36 pm EDT
From easy to hard, historic to championship, beach to river – Northeast Florida offers more than 1,200 holes of golf on 70 public and private courses, pristine course conditions, affordable rates, great fall deals and comfortable weather all year.
August 31, 2014 1:14 pm EDT
Music, art, fun, food, beer, sports, adventure, and fun await you in Jacksonville on any given day, and the best part? We guarantee it won’t break your bank!
August 19, 2014 12:47 pm EDT
Some people might call them fish shacks, holes in the wall, dives- but here in Jax we call them Fish Camps!
Blogs by Denise M. Reagan
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.”
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.