Historic Neighborhood Self-Guided Tour

The quaint San Marco neighborhood is home to many historic spots.

This historic neighborhood was formerly the independent city of South Jacksonville, built after the Civil War. It saw its greatest growth after the Acosta Bridge was completed in 1921, connecting the neighborhood to Downtown Jacksonville. San Marco is primarily residential, known for its old riverfront mansions and its lively commercial area known as the San Marco Square.

Make sure to plan a visit these “only in jax” San Marco landmarks:

Stop 1:

Metro Diner: The diner has been serving guests in this historic building for 25 years. Stop in the quaint diner to grab just a coffee or full breakfast meal. With a variety of menu options there is something for everyone. You must try their famous chicken and waffle with a sweet, strawberry butter and signature sweet and spicy syrup. Location: 3302 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 2:

The San Marco Square:

Stop 2.1: San Marco Bookstore: This bookstore has called the San Marco Square home. This bookstore is a must visit for every book worm out there with new and used books to purchase. Next door, Write Touch is an adorable place to buy those thoughtful gifts for friends and family. Location: 1971 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 2.2: Since 1919 Theatre Jacksonville: This is the longest running community theater in Florida, located right in the San Marco Square. Location: 2032 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 2.3: Peterbrooke Chocolatier: Peterbrooke founded in 1983 and famous for the chocolate covered popcorn. Location: 2024 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 2.4: San Marco Theatre: Built in 1938, you don’t want to miss catching a showing at this historic landmark. The San Marco Theatre was recognized as one of the ten best classic cinemas in the USA. When the movie ends, walk over to the Speakeasy at Grape and Grain and listen to live music. Location: 1996 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 2.5: Balis Park and Three Lions Sculpture: This is an iconic landmark in the San Marco area. The fountain with its three lions reflects the neighborhood’s association with the Venice, Italy business district. This is the perfect photo opportunity so make sure this is on your stops.

Location: 1999 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 3:

Preservation Hall at Fletcher Park: This hall was built in 1888. The building was first home to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In 1994, the church was moved to Fletcher park where it is now the Preservation Hall. This hall can be rented out for events.

Location: 1468 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 4:

Aardwolf: Grab a craft beer at this only in jax brewery. Located along the railroad tracks, this historic 1920s building was originally an ice place before refrigerated railroad cars were invented.

Location: 1461 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 5:

La Nopalera: Across the street from Aardwolf is the old train station building. While it is no longer operating, you can now dine at the old train station, it is home to a Tex-Mex restaurant.

Location: 1434 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 6:

Historic San Marco Homes:

San Marco’s Swisher House: John H. Swisher and sons moved to Jacksonville in 1924 and started their business, King Edward cigars, which became the most popular cigars in the world. Their riverfront house is a Mediterranean Revival architecture more than 9,000 square feet. It is now a private residence.

Location: 2252 River Road Jacksonville, FL 32207

Red Bank Plantation: Built in 1854, this house served as the main house for the Red Bank slave plantation. It is now a private residence.

Location: 1230 Greenridge Road Jacksonville, FL 32207

Stop 7:

San Marco Parks: San Marco is home to many green spaces. Spend some time in one of the many parks in the area.

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