Out and About in Jacksonville

Winged Victory” by C. Adrian Pillars, 1924

Our neighborhood, the St. Johns Quarter, is in the heart of the Riverside/Avondale National Historic District, and is just minutes from downtown Jacksonville. Near the convergence of I-95 and I-10, St. Johns House has easy access to all of the First Coast.

The Historic District is home to fine dining, art museums and galleries, unique shopping districts, city parks, coffee shops, St. Vincents Medical Center (Baptist Medical Center is just across the river), and Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Kent campus. Places to not miss include the nearby Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Shops of Avondale, the 5-Points shopping district, and the Shops at Park and King, as well as Memorial, Boone and Riverside Parks.  The northbank riverwalk offers a pleasant pedestrian access to downtown.

The downtown skyline from the park.

We are minutes from downtown Jacksonville and its business district, sports complex, Convention Center, and riverfront area. Of note are the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts, Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Ritz Theater, and Metropolitan Park on the river, home of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

An elevated monorail connects the Convention Center and the downtown campus of FCCJ with the business district and riverfront, and crosses the river to points on the southside. The view is delightful. Water taxis ferry patrons across to the southbank riverwalk, where the Museum of Science and History sits amid restaurants and shops on the waterfront. Treaty Oak Park is a short walk away, and trendy San Marco is just a little farther.

Balustrade on the St. Johns, Memorial Park

Water is part of life in Jacksonville. The Atlantic Ocean forms its eastern border and the St. Johns River flows through its center, its tributaries branching in all directions. City and state parks offer beautiful beaches for swimming, fishing, hiking and horseback riding. Canoes and kayaks are perfect for bird watching and exploring the creeks and marshes, and a hiking and biking trail follows A1A along the river from 9A north to Nassau Sound.

For visitors looking beyond the many world-class golf courses in the area, the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens is a delightful place to spend a day. A few miles further north at Ft. George Island is Kingsley Plantation, part of the National Park system and an important historic site.  A river ferry connects Ft. George Island with the village of Mayport on the mainland, home to deep-sea fishing charters, casino boats and the U.S. Navy.

the Jax-Baldwin Rail to Trail Park

Jacksonville anchors Florida’s First Coast, an area rich in history and historic sites and towns. In downtown Jacksonville, visit the Jacksonville Historical Center, La Villa, and the Maritime and Fire Museums. History is alive in St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city and the capital of Florida under both Spanish and British rule. Fernandina, on Amelia Island, was a bustling river town in the early 19th century. Its fishing fleet still docks near the end of picturesque Center Street. Fort Caroline National Memorial, the site of the first European settlement in what is now the United States, is now part of the Timuquan Ecological Preserve. River tours linking Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation, two National Park sites, begin at Sisters Creek and wander through part of the Preserve. The Battle of Olustee is re-created each February at the Civil War site west of town. These destinations are easy day trips and provide fascinating ways to experience American History.

To learn more about the Jacksonville, visit www.jaxcvb.com. Listings of activities, sporting events, restaurants and shopping venues are provided.