Sunrise at Black Rock Beach in Big Talbot Island State Park
- Major Airports:
- Jacksonville (JAX)
Urban buzz, outdoor fun and beaches aplenty
From unspoiled beaches to the exciting Intracoastal Waterway and the sparkling St. Johns River, water defines this “River City by the Sea.” Work on your tan or get active; take surfing or kiteboarding lessons, rent kayaks and paddleboards, fish at the pier or rent a fishing charter boat at Jacksonville’s Beaches. Stay at oceanfront resorts and wake up every morning to amazing sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Less than three miles from the Beaches, you will find the Intracoastal Waterway, 40 miles of peaceful canals and natural inlets where visitors can take an airboat ride and come face to face with the local wildlife, including dolphins, manatees and hundreds of bird species. In the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, the St. Johns River takes the spotlight: Enjoy a brunch river cruise, walk the three-mile RiverWalk and visit the Riverside Arts Market, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the unique riverfront downtown skyline.
Thanks to the extensive park system, green is Jacksonville’s color and adventure is its game! Just minutes away from Downtown Jacksonville, the city’s wild side flourishes at the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve. This 46,000-acre preserve is made for those seeking a natural thrill. Swim, boat, hike, fish and enjoy historical sites like Fort Caroline National Memorial, often called Florida’s “Atlantis,” and Kingsley Plantation, Florida’s last remaining Plantation-era house. Explore the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, with over 3,000 rare and exotic animal and plant species. Venture out to Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary and hand-feed lions, tigers and other big cats. You can also let romance and adventure merge as you ride horses on white-sand beaches with Kelly Seahorse Ranch, one of the only places in Florida where it’s allowed.
Jacksonville is consistently ranked as a Top 25 Arts Destinations in the nation. The city has the best symphony in Florida, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Museum of Science and History (MOSH), The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and a Broadway Series. There’s also one of the last remaining dinner theaters in the nation, The Alhambra, and the oldest continuously operating community theater in the country, Theatre Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the second-largest jazz festival in the U.S., brings an impressive lineup of performers and more than 130,000 jazz lovers to downtown Jacksonville each Memorial Day weekend. All year long, from January to December, there is something exciting to do in Jacksonville. Come explore Florida’s Natural Water Wonderland!