Sometimes, when searching for a new adventure, it is easy to think that distance = excitement. But have you taken the time to discover the magic in your own city? You might think, “I live in Jax, I’ve seen it all!” but the neighborhoods of Jacksonville are as unique as fingerprints and filled with surprises and exciting experiences that can be had only in JAX.
Cross “The Ditch” For a City Getaway
As residents of our 22 miles of beaches know, the unique culture of the beaches is a year-long vacation. The intracoastal waterway (affectionately known as “the ditch”) is an invisible border that lets beach-lovers know they’ve made it home. Try switching the ocean-view for a riverfront one with a staycation Downtown.
Staying Downtown is a great way to feel like you’ve entered a different city itself. Stay at the Omni or Hyatt, overlooking the skyline and the bridges crossing the river or relax by the DoubleTree’s terrace-level pool or at the newly renovated Southbank Hotel at Jacksonville Riverfront. Take the skyway across the river or hop on the Riverwalk and check out MOCA, Hemming Park and the Main Library (a must-see for any North-Florida resident – check out the historical artifacts from early settlements).
Grab lunch at unique dining locations, including Bellwether, Cowford Chophouse, and Happy Grilled Cheese. Book lovers will feel like a kid in a candy shop at Chamblin’s Uptown and actual kids can explore Sweet Pete’s candy store nearby.
After a long day of Downtown activities, enjoy a stroll along the river. The Riverwalk is a great place to watch a sunset, spot a dolphin, or just enjoy the view. You can also book a boat tour of Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods with the River Taxi and Tours. If you can’t get enough of the river, head to dinner at Ruth’s Chris, River City Brewing, or Chart House for great food and even better views.
Make it a Beach Vacation
Water is everywhere in Jacksonville, so sometimes we take for granted just how fun and beautiful our beaches are! Urban core and city residents can feel like they are in a whole new place by booking a getaway at one of our beaches!
Head all the way east, that’s where you will find Mayport & the Beaches. Start your beach-trip off right with a cozy local spot like The Seahorse Inn or Hotel Palms. Or grab a room at the Four Points by Sheraton or One Ocean, where you can always find a great view of the waves. Kick-off the weekend with a ride across the Mayport ferry, where you can transport back in time to natural North Florida. Drive onto the shoreline and reel in a big one at Huguenot Park! The whole family can enjoy themselves by the water.
Water sports lovers can fish, surf, paddle-board, and even dive off Jacksonville’s coast. Consider dropping by the Talbot Islands State Parks. Here you can visit Boneyard Beach and take great family pictures. Dine at one of our waterfront fish camps, enjoy the locally fresh-caught Mayport shrimp.
Relax in the cool ocean air and make your way back to the beaches and grab a drink at Pete’s bar, Neptune Beach’s old-school dive bar. Or take the whole group on a sunset bike ride through Jacksonville Beach. You can find bike rental shops up and down the coast.
After a long weekend enjoying JAX, take a short drive back home refreshed and with even more admiration for Jacksonville’s different neighborhoods, environments, and fun experiences!