The Mandarin Area

The Mandarin area offers shopping, riverfront outdoors activities and historical sites.

The mostly residential areas of the Mandarin area are brimming with history and nature and boast some of the most stunning river views in Jacksonville.

The History of The Mandarin Neighborhood

Named for the Mandarin orange in 1830, this neighborhood on the St. Johns River just south of San Marco was once described as “a tropical paradise” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both Harriet Beecher Stowe, and painter Lee Adams once lived here. Mandarin is characterized by its magnificent oak trees hung with dramatic Spanish moss and boasts some of the best views of the St. Johns River in greater Jacksonville. Once an important river port for shipping oranges and other citrus fruit northward, today Mandarin is a blend of residential areas and shopping centers. Don't miss the Mandarin Museum and Walter Jones Historical Park. The 10-acre riverfront site is home to an 1876 farm complex with picnic areas as well as a citrus grove.

What to eat in the Mandarin area:

Don’t be fooled, despite the ample presence of nationally known restaurant chains, Mandarin has plenty of locally owned spots to enjoy. Julington Creek Fish Camp, Picasso's, Enza's and Wicked Barley Brewing to name a few. Below are some of the best bites.

  • Julington Creek Fish Camp - Many southern cities will lay claim to Shrimp and Grits, but no one does it quite like Jacksonville. With fresh, locally caught Mayport shrimp and a white wine butter sauce, Julington Creek Fish Camp’s dish is a shining example of a local favorite.
  • Le Petit Paris - Take a step into Mandarin’s slice of Parisian cuisine at Le Petit Paris. Their traditional French quiches come highly recommended, along with their decadent breakfast croissant sandwiches. Stop by and check out this unique spot!
  • The Local - The Local has a little bit of everything: food, booze and caffeine. This café is inspired by good old homecooked meals, straight from a scratch kitchen. The Local creates unique dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner so it’s hard to choose just one dish to enjoy, but you can’t leave without trying the Get Rooted salad with arugula, quinoa, roasted veggies, goat cheese and a fabulous green goddess dressing.

Getting Here from Downtown:

Go South on I-95 for 11 miles. Take I-295 west and exit at San Jose Blvd. South for Mandarin. Jacksonville's public buses also have frequent routes between the most popular attractions and malls in this area.

Mandarin Festivals:

Mandarin Art Festival – April – The Mandarin Art Festival, a high-quality juried fine art event, enjoys thousands of visitors who return year after year for their favorite artists or to see the array of creations by artists new to the festival. For many this has become an Easter weekend tradition.

Winter Celebration – December – This event brings 1000 people into the Walter Jones Historical Park to enjoy some old-fashioned fun. We have a great day planned for our visitors, all thanks to about 100 volunteers from MMHS and other non-profit community organizations who will be conducting all kinds of educational and fun activities for all ages.

Miss Aggie Day – Held Annually in March – “Miss Aggie” Day is celebrated, and an award is given annually to a resident who has contributed to the Mandarin community in the areas of business, civic, educational or charitable accomplishment. The candidate’s contributions may be specific deeds or an accumulation of actions over a period of time. Recipients need not be “experts” in any particular area but might be known or recognized for their sense of community, their caring attitude or individual accomplishments.

Where to Stay