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Something I often regret when I travel for business is not scheduling time to explore the city I am visiting. Work is often already paying for me to travel there, what’s the harm in planning a little “me” time to explore the city further on my dime? That’s what we are proposing you do on your next trip to Jacksonville. At 840 square miles there is no way you were able to see all the good stuff during your conference or business meeting days – so stay the weekend and see the real Jax that the locals love.
1. If you find yourself flying to Florida during the colder months, this is a NO BRAINER - extend your stay and soak up the sunshine. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, Jacksonville truly lives up to Florida’s nickname of “The Sunshine State.”
The average annual temperate is 70 degrees, the average annual high is 78 degrees, and the average annual low is 62. From November through April, the weather is dry, sunny, and…well, basically perfect!
2. Jacksonville loves a good weekend festival. The city regularly has great events around town highlighting our foodie culture with beer and wine tasting, food trucks and live music. If you’re in town on business, check out our events page for great (often free!) ways to soak up the local Duval culture and fun.
3. Are you traveling from a landlocked city? Take advantage of the 22 miles of beaches, 40 miles of the Intracoastal Waterway, 50 public boat ramps, and the most shoreline in the state of Florida. Spend time relaxing by the water or get active and explore Jacksonville’s multiple waterways. Jacksonville has rental shops and lessons for any activity: surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, fishing and kayaking (just to name a few!). Get active in Jacksonville’s waterways and experience the #onlyinjax sightseeing from the water.
4. Two words: Eclectic Neighborhoods. Around this city we like to say the heart of Jacksonville lies within our diverse neighborhoods. You'll find quaint riverfront streets lined with boutiques, funky shopping and dining districts, live music venues, sidewalk cafes and sleepy surfer towns. Finding the one you will enjoy is easy or explore them all to see our diversity.
5. All the yummy food! Fresh seafood, amazing middle eastern cuisine, fun tacos – Jacksonville’s dining scene is so good there is no way you will be able to eat it all, but what’s the harm in trying? Our super casual dining scene allows for lots of fun outings, check out our best bites for ideas.
6. Jacksonville is home to more than 50 golf courses, not to mention the scores of courses in surrounding communities. Great options for courses to play include Hidden Hills Golf Club, Queen’s Harbor, Jacksonville Beach Golf Club and Windsor Parke Golf Club.
7. If your business trip workload has you searching for a quiet spot in nature just to breathe, Jacksonville has you covered. Our city has the largest urban park system in the nation with more than 80,000 acres of parks. Our city, state and national parks are a great way to experience the history and nature of Florida’s First Coast. Whether hiking or biking or just strolling through tree skeletons on a beach, spend some time alone in our parks to reconnect and rebalance.
8. Jacksonville is home to the largest Contemporary Arts Museum in the Southeast, hundreds of public art murals, one of the best Symphony Orchestras in the nation and a rich roster of cultural and historic attractions. While in town, spend some time immersing yourself in our arts scene.
9. Get to know the local shops, food and experiences that are #onlyinjax. Our city is proud to host local artisans, creators, designers and farmers who sell local goods to our community. While you’re in town, grab a unique gift (for a loved one or for yourself) at the weekly Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville Farmers Market or at some of the boutiques scattered throughout the city. There is nothing like a little bit of retail therapy to cap a week of long meetings.
10. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Spend the downtime of your conference working out in a new environment! Check out the scenic views of the riverfront and stop by the distinct corkscrew park, which combines structural art and exercise with pull-up bars and exercise rings. If distance running is more your style, follow some of our favorite trails. From scenic beach runs to urban jogs, Jacksonville has something that will keep the views (and the miles) coming.
Extend your Jacksonville trip immediately, with so much to explore you don’t want to regret not staying a few extra days!