Nature Tour: Historic Neighborhoods Green Tour

Jacksonville has some of Florida’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods each one packed with history and southern charm, and while the architecture is spectacular, these historic places are also filled with breathtaking green spaces that transform your mood and connect you with your inner Dora the Explorer.

Springfield:

Begin your green tour in Springfield, just a few blocks North of Downtown Jacksonville. Here you will find not just some of the city’s most grand historic homes, you will also discover unique spots to relax and connect to nature.

STOP 1. Confederate Park: Just off Main Street in Springfield, you find yourself surrounded by buildings but totally immersed in nature. There is a rose garden and a pavilion, plus a great lawn to rest on. Address: 956 Hubbard St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

STOP 2. Sesquicentennial Park: What is this progressive neighborhood to do with an empty lot? A park, of course! This Main Street pocket park is centered around a century-old live oak tree. Enjoy a picnic or a concert here. Address: 1527 N. Main St. Jacksonville, FL 32206

STOP 3. Klutho Park: Home to special events throughout the year, this beautiful park is part of a network of green spaces that parallel Hogans Creek. It also has a sculpture park and an 18-hole disc golf course. Address: 204 W 3rd St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

STOP 4. The S-line Rail Trail: Walk it or bike it. Address: 2201-2299 Boulevard St., Jacksonville, FL 32206

Downtown:

After exploring Springfield make your way to Downtown. Skyscrapers fill the city’s urban core, but this concrete jungle is also home to beautiful parks and recreation spaces that help you escape the hustle and bustle and give you a chance to pause and breath.

STOP 5. Hemming Park: Jacksonville’s first park. It has a robust activities calendar with live music every day, food trucks, art classes and special events. Beautiful trees and flowers turn this city park into a green oasis. Address: 135 W Monroe St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

STOP 6. Metropolitan Park: Closer to the Sports Complex, this 32-acre waterfront park and concert venue is accessible via water and the Downtown Riverwalk. Address: 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

STOP 7. Corkscrew Park: Continue on the Downtown Northbank Riverwalk and find this new park with Jacksonville’s first outdoors gym. It features workout equipment and amenities including free weights, yoga mats, jump ropes and medicine balls. A sculpture combines art and exercise by including pull-up bars and exercise rings. Address: E Coastline Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32202

STOP 8. Friendship Fountain: Across the river, on the Southbank Riverwalk, this historic park gives you the best views of the Downtown skyline. At one point, this beautiful fountain was one of the highest in Florida. Take a selfie, enjoy a picnic, get on the River Taxi or simply enjoy the view. Address: 1015 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207

STOP 9. Treaty Oak: Jacksonville’s oldest resident lives in this park. A 250-year old live oak is the highlight of this iconic Jacksonville park. The giant oak provides a beautiful canopy perfect for wedding ceremonies, special events and a great tree hug. Address: 123 Prudential Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32202

San Marco:

Close to Downtown’s Southbank, this historic neighborhood is known for its beautiful St. Johns River views, elegant homes and perfectly manicured green spaces.

STOP 10. Riverfront Park: This block long park offers the best sunset views of the city. You can fish from here and enjoy the spectacular views. There are benches and planters. You can spot manatees and dolphins from this neighborhood park. Address: 901 Landon Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

STOP 11. Fletcher Park: Prominent architect Henry Klutho designed this beautiful park part of the San Marco Preservation Society. It houses the old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church building the Stockton Cottage. It is ideal for special events like weddings but also great for a picnic, a yoga practice or a coffee break. Address: 1652 Atlantic Blvd. Jacksonville FL 32207

STOP 12. Lillian S. Davon Park: This tiny yet gorgeous 500 x 50-foot median on River Road was part of a carriage lane and bridle path at the famed Villa Alexandria estate built in the 1870’s. Now it is a spot to reflect and enjoy the beauty of the San Marco neighborhood. Address: 2311 River Road Jacksonville FL 32207

STOP 13. Alexandria Oaks Park: The park sits in what used to be a plantation established around 1800 by early pioneer William Craig. The park features a paved walking path, a large open field with scattered oaks, sycamores, palms, and pines. Address: 1620 Marco Pl, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Riverside/Avondale:

This historic area has the most concentration of historic homes of any Florida neighborhood. Its beautiful streets are lined with big oaks, notable homes and spectacular river views.

STOP 14. Riverside Park: This 11-acre city park is in the heart of this historic neighborhood. It is the second oldest park in the city and features a playground, a duck pond, a dog park, a paved walkway and plenty of shade to read a great book, enjoy a bite or lay under the trees. Address: 753 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32204

STOP 15. Memorial Park: Located on the St. Johns River, this is the city’s third oldest park. It features a great lawn, benches and great views of the river. You can fish, do yoga, play flag football or ride your bike through this beautiful green space. Address: 1620 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204

STOP 16. Cherry Street Park: Located between two historic homes, this small half-acre park leads visitors to the river. Amidst overhanging trees, the paved sidewalk takes you to a single bench from which a wide panorama of the St. Johns River may be enjoyed. Address: 1865 Cherry Street Jacksonville FL 32205

STOP 17. Boone Park: Just a block off the busy Shoppes of Avondale, this beautiful park is 7 blocks long as has a bike path, a playground, tennis courts and plenty of areas for relaxation. Address: 3700 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205

Ortega:

Further down the St. johns River, next to the Riverside/Avondale area, this affluent neighborhood features some of the most beautiful riverfront mansions in Jacksonville. Along the grand homes, several parks give visitors access to spectacular river views.

STOP 18. Stintson Park: Located on the banks of the St. Johns River, this neighborhood park has water access becoming a great spot to launch a kayak or canoe. There is a playground and benches to enjoy the great city and river views. Address: 4050 San Juan Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210

STOP 19. Stockton Park: In the heart of this beautiful neighborhood is a green space like no other. Featuring a canopy and picnic tables and benches, you can fish and connect to nature here. Address: 4021 Ortega Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32210

In Jacksonville you are never more than 15 minutes away from an outdoor adventure. Connecting to nature is easy in Jax!

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