By Tina Smithers Peckham for Jacksonville Mom
Fall has finally arrived — and soon bringing with it slightly cooler temps, perfect for getting out and exploring all the fall fun the First Coast has to offer. (Trust us, there’s a lot.) From our favorite local spots for securing your pumpkin spice fix to a little corn maze action, we’ve got you covered for any and all autumn outings with the family.
Eat & Drink
First thing’s first — your caffeine fix. Jacksonville is practically overflowing with cool local coffee shops, many of which are putting their own spin on the quintessential pumpkin spice latte. Southern Grounds in Neptune Beach offers a fantastic seasonal menu, while The Mini Bar in Jacksonville Beach serves up their own pumpkin spice latte complete with house-made syrup (keep an eye out for their delicious seasonal doughnuts)! Speaking of sweet treats, Cinotti’s is a local hot spot for pumpkin doughnuts, while Whit’s Frozen Custard typically rolls out their fall flavors every October. If one of Jax’s many breweries is more in your autumn ballpark, check out Engine 15 Brewing Company or Wicked Barley for a solid pumpkin-inspired beer. Bonus: Both establishments are super family-friendly!
Want more pumpkin spice in your life? Check out Jacksonville Mom’s Your Fall Guide to All Things Pumpkin Spice in Jax.
Gourds Galore & More
Is it really even fall if you haven’t gotten a pumpkin (or five)? Pick-your-own pumpkin patches are in abundance here, many of which kick off September 30. Several of our local churches open pumpkin patches every season including Isle of Faith on San Pablo Road and Christ United Methodist Church in Neptune Beach. And farm life is the best life — Congaree and Penn on Old Kings Road features a variety of can’t-miss autumn activities, as well as a full farm-to-table dining menu. Another farm favorite is Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres, thanks to their sweet farm animals, wagon rides, corn maze, and fun family activities.
For more on Jacksonville’s pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and family-friendly farm experiences, check out The Best Pumpkin Patches, Farms, & Corn Mazes in Jacksonville.
The Great Outdoors
When the weather dips below 90 degrees, it’s high time to leave the air conditioning and get back outside! The First Coast is full of outdoor spaces to explore, and that goes beyond our beautiful beaches. Hiking offers a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, and many of our scenic hiking trails provide a great way to reconnect as a family. A couple favorites include Castaway Island Preserve off San Pablo Road and Timucuan Preserve at Fort Caroline National Park. Want to become one with the wildlife? The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens offers some excellent Spooktacular Halloween festivities throughout October, and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park just south of Jacksonville is chock full of cool animal encounters.
Want more to explore? Check out Jacksonville Mom’s Guide to Great Family Hiking Trails in Jacksonville and 15 Places to Explore the Great Outdoors In & Around Jax.