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Largest city by landmass in America. Largest urban park system. The most shoreline of any Florida city.
With so much to see and do in Jax, we want to make sure you know what our must-do, found only in Jacksonville attractions are so you can plan the best visit yet to our very active destination. Here are the top 22 ranked attractions in Jax, check them out:
A true family adventure, the Zoo has something for everyone with over 2.400 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. Whether you are a visitor to Florida’s First Coast or a lifetime resident, we invite you to experience the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens through interactions with people, wildlife, and the environment.
Since 1914, the Jacksonville Zoo has supported wildlife conservation on a stunning riverfront landscape. Grown-ups and little ones alike will love feeding the giraffes at the African Overlook and watching the otters float along in the Wild Florida exhibit. The zoo also houses an Australian Adventure, featuring colorful birds called lorikeets. Tigers roam overhead at the Land of the Tiger exhibit and Jaguars steal the show at their award-winning exhibit. During your visit, step onto the zoo’s scenic Trout River dock. You might even spot a manatee!
Location: 370 Zoo Pkwy, Downtown, FL 32218
Enjoy fine art and European-inspired gardens along the St. Johns River at the Cummer. Originally the home of art collector Ninah Mae Holden Cummer, the museum focuses on diverse, dynamic art and the beauty of nature. With an expansive, interactive children’s exhibit, the Cummer is the perfect attraction for art lovers of all ages.
Location: 829 Riverside Ave, Downtown, FL 32204
This tiger-focused ranch has a conservation mission, often rescuing tigers and other big cats from inhumane captivity. Volunteers give tours of the ranch, providing the cats’ histories and detailed explanations of their operations. Buy tickets ahead of time for a night feeding. Watching the cats pace around their cages to tear into whole carcasses is an experience like no other.
Location: 1860 Starratt Rd, Downtown, FL 32226
Enjoy a five mile stretch of pristine shoreline amid a maritime forest. Little Talbot Island is home to dozens of native wildlife species. Fishing enthusiasts are likely to catch flounder, sheepshead, and more. Bring your binoculars for a chance to view birds of prey perched in the treetops or comb the shore for glistening seashells.
Location: 12157 Heckscher Dr, Downtown, FL 32226
Wetlands, marshes, bike paths and secret beaches, that’s the magic you’ll find at Big Talbot. Blackrock Beach and Boneyard Beach are the highlights, be sure to enjoy a guided kayak tour or go for a hike.
Location: State Road A1A North, Jacksonville, FL, FL 32226
This beautiful, oceanfront city park in Atlantic Beach, offers more than 20 miles of biking and hiking trails ranging in difficulty, it has an area dedicated to camping, a lake for fishing and paddle boarding, access for kayaking and miles of white sand beaches. Hanna is also home to one of the best surfing spots in Jacksonville.
Location: 500 Wonderwood Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32233
Located on the Fort George Island marsh side, Kingsley Plantation plays a large role in Florida’s complicated history. The 1814 plantation house and its surrounding structures, all preserved by the National Park Service, shed light on a different era in the South. Make time to explore the unique tabby houses, built and inhabited by the Plantation’s slaves. You can take a self-guided audio tour or book a tour with a park ranger.
Location: 11676 Palmetto Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32226
With over 1.2 million square feet of open-air shopping and 175+ retailers and 20+ restaurants, the St. Johns Town Center is Jacksonville’s shopping mecca. There’s everything from Target to Tiffany & Co. and something for everyone – whether you’re a savvy saver or a luxury lover. There are also three hotels inside the St. Johns Town Center, so you can shop till you drop!
Location: 4663 River City Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32246
Located where Atlantic and Neptune Beach meet, this quaint and relaxing shopping and dining hub offers some of the best shopping and dining in Jacksonville. Stroll through one-of-a-kind shops, beachy stores, art galleries and delicious dining options just feet from the ocean!
Location: 0 Atlantic Blvd, Neptune Beach, FL 32266
Imagine exploring deep space and the observable universe without ever stepping foot off our planet. That’s what it feels like at The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium at MOSH, one of the largest single-lens planetariums in the US (translation: expect cutting edge technology for razor-sharp viewing and immerse experiences). The planetarium is one of the museum’s most notable features, but there’s more to love. A handful of family-friendly exhibits entertain and amuse with themes that span nature and science.
Address: 1025 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207
This is a historic rebuilding of the fort settled by French colonists in 1564 in Jacksonville. In 1565, the French colony was raided by the Spanish and destroyed. The replica fort depicts what the original Fort Caroline would have looked like, complete with cannons and flags. The top levels of the fort offer a beautiful view of the mouth of the St. Johns River. There is a 1.3-mile nature trail at the park. It is a loop trail, winding through maritime and hardwood hammock. There is also a museum featuring area’s history. When you leave the fort, you’ll see a replica of a Timucua hut, complete with an in-progress canoe. This historical landmark is under the care of the National Parks Service.
Location: 2713 Fort Caroline Rd., Jacksonville, FL 3222
Local artisans, craft makers, artist and local farmers gather every Saturday morning under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge for this outdoors marker. The Riverside Arts Market, or RAM, offers unique entertainment with an unparalleled view along the St. Johns River. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and free yoga at this community event.
Location: 715 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204
The home of the Jacksonville Jaguars is an attraction on its own. From its sparkling swimming pools and cabanas, to the largest video boards in the world, as well as several state-of-the-arts meeting spaces, local food spots, and beautiful murals made by local artists, you can enjoy The Bank during game days or every Saturday during guided tours.
Location: 1 TIAA Bank Field Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202
It's an oceanfront park and beach - all in one! What's special is that it's the only beach you can drive your car on in the Jacksonville area. Huguenot Memorial Park is a great place to head for a day of beach activity, birdwatching, kite surfing and so much more. Located on Ft. George Island on the Northside of the city, it's easily accessible by the Mayport Ferry or Heckscher Drive. They also have onsite camping.
Location:10980 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Eclectic, bohemian, historic and hip, those are a few words often used to describe this Jacksonville District. Voted as one of the country’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods, and listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, the Riverside/Avondale district has a unique mix of history, culture, charm and modern design. Located just a few blocks from the St. Johns River, the district’s “Five Points” area is a bohemian neighborhood with funky coffee shops, outdoor cafés, great local dining, one-of-a-kind shopping, nightclubs, antique stores and more. The Shoppes of Avondale, another highlight of this district, has an eclectic mix of locally owned restaurants, clothing boutiques and Spanish-moss-covered, oak-lined streets.
Beautiful historic homes and grand city parks are the norm in Riverside/Avondale. Enjoy a self-guided tour or join a guided bike tour of the most architecturally significant structures in the area.
Located in the historic Arlington neighborhood, the Arboretum is by far one of the best hidden spots in Jacksonville. Great hiking trails, different ecosystems, wildlife, streams, and a beautiful and peaceful pond covered in lilies. The arboretum is pet friendly and a great outdoor spot for a family hike.
Location: 1445 Millcoe Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
Friendship Fountain is located in St. Johns River Park (a/k/a Friendship Park), on the south bank of the river, just west of Main Street. When the park opened in 1965, the Fountain of Friendship (named at the suggestion of a Rotary Club member because one of the Club’s cardinal principles is friendship) was the world’s largest and tallest fountain, capable of spraying 17,000 gallons of water a minute to a height of 120 feet. Accentuated by colored lights at night, it soon became a popular tourist destination and local recreation site. The fountain is currently undergoing refurbishment. This area allows for great views and photo spots of the Jacksonville skyline.
Location: 1015 Museum Circle Jacksonville FL 32207
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Florida Theatre is one of only four remaining high-style Movie Palaces built in the state in the 1920’s. It now hosts more than 200 annual events, everything from ballet and opera to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, country and blues concerts, this is a cultural and entertainment center in the middle of Downtown Jacksonville.
Location: 128 E Forsyth St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Jacksonville is one of Florida’s biggest beer destinations with more than 19 craft breweries. To enjoy local breweries like Intuition Ale Works, Engine 15, Aardwolf, Veterans United and Bold City Brewing, embark on your own self-guided tour with the Jax Ale Trail Passport. Ask for it at local breweries, get stamps for each beer you drink, and win prizes when you fill it all out.
The downtown Riverwalk is a network of multi-use trails and open space developments along both the north and south banks of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. The roughly 2-mile Downtown Northbank portion travels from the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville into the Brooklyn district. The 1.25-mile Southbank portion connects local landmarks such as Friendship Fountain, Museum of Science & History and Riverplace Tower. All along the riverwalks on both banks are spectacular views of the St. Johns River.
Location: South: 1001 Museum Circle Jacksonville FL 32207 North: 201 East Coastline Drive Jacksonville FL 32202
Tucked into a neighborhood just off the Intracoastal Waterway, Castaway Island Preserve is a hidden gem worth exploring. The most notable feature of the park is for the kiddos-the interactive trail! The easy one-mile trail allows visitors to follow animal prints in the path to education boards, giving children a chance to have fun and make parents happy because they are learning! Bring your furry friends along for the adventure because the park is also dog friendly.
Parking at the preserve is easy with plenty of spaces. Once you arrive, walk down to the end of the dock and take in the breathtaking views. The is the ideal location for spotting marshland wildlife in the area. Don’t forget your camera because this is one of the prime photo opportunities, especially during sunrise.
Location: 2885 San Pablo Rd S Jacksonville, FL 32224
Classical music fans will love the superb acoustics of the Jacoby Symphony Hall, one of three theatres within the Times-Union Center and home to the Jacksonville Symphony, one of the nation's top ensembles. The state-of-the-art Times-Union Center hosts classical, opera, gospel, big band, ballet, and popular music performances plus Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as part of FSCJ Artist Series. Don’t miss The Ritz Chamber Players, the nation's first African-American chamber music ensemble, which also performs here.
Location: 300 Water St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
DISCLAIMER: The above rankings are based on TripAdvisor and Google Rankings for attractions. The attractions featured must be unique to Jacksonville, Florida. This blog is updated every 6 months.
Local Expert- Only In Jax