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.
Blogs by Gary Sass
June 25, 2015 2:57 pm EDT
This year’s Downtown Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display is on the actual anniversary, Saturday July 4, 2015.
June 16, 2015 11:49 am EDT
Walk into Downtown Jacksonville’s Merrill House and step back in time to the year 1903
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If the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville had a greeting card, the Riverdale Inn would be on the cover
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The local historical societies celebrate the holidays and offer fun activities. It is also a chance to buy unique gifts for history buffs.
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We call it the “First Coast”, home of the first European settlements and a region steeped in history.
Blogs by First Coast Magazine
March 30, 2015 1:49 pm EDT
Take a leisurely stroll down St. Johns Avenue in Avondale, and you’re bound to find yourself peeking through the plate glass of Biscottis.
March 16, 2015 3:00 pm EDT
While growing up in Chicago, Chef DeJuan Roy knew what he wanted to do with his life. He spent his teens working in the kitchens of various restaurants, and joined the Army as a cook.
March 12, 2015 2:22 pm EDT
Local speakeasy features old-school spirits and sounds.
January 22, 2015 10:05 am EST
Scott Meyer operates the nation’s smallest rice farm. It’s the only one in Jacksonville. And he’s fairly certain it’s the only one in Florida.
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.
Blogs by Denise M. Reagan
June 24, 2015 9:55 am EDT
Sometimes art wants to be set free. That’s the idea behind the worldwide Outings project, initiated by French visual artist and filmmaker Julien de Casabianca.
June 15, 2015 10:32 am EDT
Visit MOCA Jacksonville for a self-curated exhibition “Southern Exposure: Portraits of a Changing Landscape”.
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When you think about what’s happening under a bridge, storybook scenes of trolls might come to mind—or perhaps more sobering visions of seedier activity.
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?
Blogs by Katie
November 01, 2013 4:13 pm EDT
Get Hooked on Fishing at Mayport! There’s no better way to see the beauty of Jacksonville’s beaches than to fish its waters – and no lack of opportunities to do it, either.
March 15, 2013 5:48 pm EDT
Has anyone ever said to you “What’s there to do in Jacksonville?” or “What makes Jax so special?”. Here's an easy answer...
November 20, 2012 4:43 pm EST
The Light Boat Parade is a uniquely Jacksonville experience and there's fireworks! Be sure to make plans to watch.
August 24, 2012 12:39 pm EDT
I love trying new things - why not clay shooting?
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Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, a big cat rescue here in Jacksonville, is a great unique attraction, the likes of which I've never seen before. Read more.
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!
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“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.