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Explore Jacksonville thorough unique neighborhoods
Hello there! My name is Michael. As a Florida resident, I’ve had the opportunity (and privilege) of enjoying much of what Jacksonville has to offer.
From eco-adventures alongside the 22 miles of pristine beachfront, to world-class fishing, eclectic museums, culturally diverse cuisine, and vibrant street art, Jacksonville, is a wonderful place for business or pleasure.
Whether you’re considering a weekend getaway with your significant other, a fun-filled family vacation, or simply a little hard-earned R&R, Jacksonville hits the mark.
In this guide, I wanted to take you off the beaten path a bit. As a real estate investor, we buy houses all over Jacksonville. This business inevitably leads me on excursions into Jacksonville’s many neighborhoods.
This has given me an excuse to explore every corner of the city, taking me off course and into areas I would have never thought to have visited in the past, and opening up my eyes to the multitude of interesting sights and activities tourists like yourself can enjoy.
So grab a cup of Bold Bean coffee or your favorite beverage and kick back while I take you on a little tour of three of my favorite Jacksonville area neighborhoods.
In no particular order…
Originally going by the name “South Jacksonville”, Southside represents one of the largest community areas in the city. Although its outskirts are still brimming with nature, offering spectacular river views and a residential feel, its center offers a much more urban experience.
Today, Southside has evolved from its marshy dairyland roots into a bustling business center, offering a robust experience full of dining, hotel, and retail options.
The Need for SPEED!
Although the area is known for shopping and dining, Southside has so much more to offer. How about you and the family blow off some steam on the track? Southside is home to Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events, offering high-speed go carts, axe throwing, and more. Family-friendly, with plenty of safety measures in place, you can really let loose on or off the track.
Jacksonville is home to over 22 miles of pristine beachfront, but two of my favorites are Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach.
Located just a literal hop and a skip from the Neptune and Atlantic Beach communities, this beach is one you won’t want to miss. What makes this beach so special? A Town Center is the crown jewel of this sandy destination, offering a diverse shopping experience, and dining experiences ranging from casual to upscale. Don’t forget to stick around at night, that’s when things really get saucy with a vibrant nightlife scene filled with music and good company.
Need a ‘Pick Me Up?’ – check out Southern Grounds
This boutique coffee shop is the perfect respite to recharge the soul. With a flair for artesian coffee and known for its hospitality, this little coffee shop brings people together over food, drink, and entertainment. If you’re in town Friday or Saturday evening, drop by their outdoor courtyard for live music, wine, cheese, and other delectable foods to soothe the soul and invigorate the spirit.
Jacksonville Beach is what the kids would describe as ‘a whole vibe’, and I can’t disagree. This beach is all about entertainment, relaxation, and good times. Check the local calendar, because this beach is known for hosting a myriad of festivals, concerts, and more throughout the year.
Want to kick back and take it all in? Visit Jax Beach’s breweries for a little liquid comfort. If craft beer is your thing, make sure to check out Ale Trail. Visiting at night? The Seawalk Pavilion is perfect for a date or family night, frequently hosting music and movies outdoors.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention boogie boarding, swimming, soaking in the sun, and all of the wonderful things that make beach adventures a hit.
Delight Your Taste Buds and Refuel at Taco Lu
Taco Lu Baja Mexicana, located right on Beach Boulevard is touted as the “little taco stand that could”. Since its inception in 2008, this little taco joint has become an area favorite, featuring an extensive tequila selection and some of the best Mexican food in all of Florida.
First, a history lesson. Springfield was founded in 1869, making it the most historic neighborhood in Jacksonville. Once home to the rich and famous, its old mansions and bungalows still lining the streets, the neighborhood is now much more accessible. Today, Springfield is known for its public art, historic parks, craft breweries, and trendy restaurants.
The neighborhood is notably inclusive, friendly, and upbeat. Springfield residents are social and eager to help vacationers feel at home, welcoming them in with open arms and a smile on their faces.
Springfield is known for its breathtaking old-world feel and notable 1900s architecture. Luxury bungalows and restored mansions abound in this otherwise quaint neighborhood, making exploration of the area’s notable historic attractions a worthwhile excursion.
Explore Klutho Park
Formerly known simply as ‘Springfield Park’, this gem of the neighborhood made my list because it has a little something for everyone to enjoy. Designed and engineered by Henry Klutho and Charles Imeson, the park was transformed into a Venetian-style promenade that delights the senses.
If you have an afternoon to spend, this park will keep you occupied for hours. Well-defined walking trails provide ample space for a brisk walk while admiring outdoor artwork and sculptures. Those into nature may want to explore the shores of historic Hogan’s Creek, an ideal place to look for turtles (there’s a lot of them here). As for recreation, this park won’t leave you hanging there either, boasting an on-site StoryWalk, dog park, and disc golf course.
Although paid ‘historic tours’ are available, sometimes I think it’s nice to just go off on your own adventure. To help you create your own tour I’ve listed some of a few must-see places and their addresses below. Just plug them into your phone’s GPS and you’re off to the races!
Archibald Inn: 125 West 2nd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Karpeles Manuscript Library: 101 West 1st Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Jacob Estate: 1206 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Waterworks Building: 1000 North Main Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
J Daniel Boone Drugstore: 1101 North Main Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
W. B. Barnett Residence: 25 East 1st Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Gould House: 223 West 4th Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Parsonage: 303 West 4th Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
Cuban Consulate: 1533 North Pearl Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
William T. Sowder State Health Building: North Pearl Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206 (across from Henry J. Kutho Park)
Jewish Cornerstone: 204 West 3rd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206