20 Best Things to Do in Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, FL
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Jacksonville in Florida is a great city that offers everything one would seek in a holiday destination.

You can enjoy the exquisite natural beauty of the place and take a refreshing dip in the waters on any of its amazing beaches.

If you enjoy digging into exciting historical facts, Jacksonville houses plenty of good museums where you can explore compelling artifacts.

Additionally, you will find many good restaurants and shopping complexes.

The city is jam-packed with engaging hands-on activities, guaranteeing an excellent time for you and your friends or family members!

If you are looking to travel to Jacksonville, you might want to try the 20 best things to do in the city to enjoy a truly unforgettable trip.

See Various Artwork at Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
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Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens has a collection of over 6,000 artwork items, making it an absolute delight for art lovers.

Some of the exciting artwork here dates back to 2100 BC.

Visiting this museum offers a rare opportunity to focus on such ancient artifacts.

First opened in 1961, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens houses exquisite gardens where you can stroll and enjoy the fresh air.

Exterior view of Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
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The museum complex also houses other entertaining facilities like the beautiful café. Head over and enjoy a cup of warm coffee.

The little gift shop in the compound is packed with delightful wares.

You can pick up nice memorabilia from here to keep or give friends as gifts.

You can take a guided tour of the place as well.

The knowledgeable guides will enrich you with deep historical insights about the artifacts, making the visit even more exciting.

Flowers in the garden at Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
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Shop at St. Johns Town Centre

St. Johns Town Centre
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You will undoubtedly enjoy a great shopping spree in the bustling St. Johns Town Centre, the premium shopping area in Jacksonville.

Set up back in 2005, the shops in this district house display goodies from several high-street brands.

You can buy high-quality, luxurious designer wear from one of these shops, but you should be ready to cut some holes in your pockets to do so.

St. Johns Town Centre during sunset
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The complex houses over 160 high-end stores, and the range of styles covered in these shops is enormous.

Enjoy some of the state’s best restaurants with top-notch hospitability at any of the fine-dining places available here.

Shops at St. Johns Town Centre
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Watch a Show at Florida Theatre

Florida Theatre
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The historical Florida Theatre is a legendary palatial theatre dating back to the 1920s and one of only four remaining from that era.

With a seating capacity of 1,900 people, this place is luxuriously decorated, and the architecture is splendid.

You can also enjoy multiple live shows that are hosted here regularly.

Interior view of the Florida Theatre
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The performances here are some of the finest that you can watch.

They also hold several fun activities, which can be an excellent stress buster.

Their unique programs are uniquely designed with interesting creative ideas and themes.

Exterior view of Florida Theatre
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Wander around Kingsley Plantation

Kingsley Plantation
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The Kingsley Plantation is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Jacksonville.

The national park took its name from its earlier owner, Zephaniah Kingsley, and was set up in 1991.

The highlight of this place is an exquisite estate dating back to 1798.

You can catch a glimpse of the architecture and lifestyle of that era by exploring this historic estate.

Corridor at Kingsley Plantation
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The kitchen house is a unique attraction; you can also find remnants of slave cabins in the same complex.

You can also explore the barn to get a peek into life in the old times.

You can also take a tour package and comprehensively walk through this place.

The Kingsley Plantation also conducts many entertaining programs for its visitors to enjoy.

Interior view of Kingsley Plantation
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See the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens

The 126 acres of the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens are real eye candy and a place to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding natural beauty.

Several recreational activities are held in the spaces here.

The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens has been recognized with several awards for its maintenance and excellent gardening.

The place is exquisitely beautiful and a favorite hang-out spot for couples.

You can enjoy hiking on its many beautiful trails to enjoy refreshing physical activity while enjoying the breathtaking views on both sides.

This spot is perfect for taking out your cameras and capturing picturesque scenes in memorable photographs.

Many activities are available here for you to enjoy.

You can participate in one of the rejuvenating yoga sessions or help with the garden maintenance as a volunteer.

You could also try your hand at fine art by painting at one of the events.

Watch Classical Performances at the Center for the Performing Arts

Center for the Performing Arts
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The premier entertainment venue, the Center for the Performing Arts, organizes multiple recreational performances at one of its three facilities - the recital hall, the concert hall, and the theatre.

Established in 1997, this facility hosts beautiful classical music performances and exciting live shows.

Enjoy a rich cultural experience by watching a music performance.

Pay a Visit to Fort Caroline National Memorial

Fort Caroline National Memorial
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The Fort Caroline National Memorial houses the remnants of the French colony set up here in the 16th century.

The fort spreads over 138 acres, and you can glimpse the rich past of the site by exploring this fort.

You can take any of the guided tours through this fort, which is impressively headed by rangers.

They will provide information about this area's glorious history and culture.

View of Fort Caroline National Memorial
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You could also take part in many entertaining activities that take place here.

They also organize engaging educational tours and programs to learn about the sad saga of war that has always engulfed this region.

They will inform you about the various disputes, such as the religious and territorial battles and the European-American friction during the early settlements that caused so much bloodshed and pain in these areas.

Monument at Fort Caroline National Memorial
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Grab Some Beers at Bold City Brewery

The Bold City Brewery is heaven for beer lovers.

You can enjoy delicious craft beers at this venue, located in the downtown area of Jacksonville.

You can hang out with your gang of friends and enjoy a leisurely, carefree evening.

Plus, there are numerous snacks and delicious beverages to choose from in the warm ambiance of the brewery.

Have a fun time and catch on friendly gossip as you eat something unhealthy but VERY delicious on offer, including chicken wings, pizza, grilled cheese, and jumbo burgers.

See Various Animals at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Lions at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
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You can watch the rich flora and fauna of the region by visiting the impressive Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

Spread over a vast 122 acres, the zoo is home to over 1,000 plants and 2,000 animal species, representing the remarkable diversity of life on our planet.

You have permission in this zoo to go near some animals and feed them with your hands.

It is an eye-opening experience to watch animals from such close quarters going about their everyday lives.

You will be pleasantly surprised at their intuitive intelligence.

Colorful parrot at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
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Some exotic animals housed here include flamingos, manatees, and the fantastic Komodo dragons.

You can take informative guided tours to learn more about the ways and habits of these animals.

The art exhibits are packed with exquisite artifacts that captivate you with their creativity's sheer splendor.

Warthogs at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
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Go Sightseeing at Catty Shack Ranch Sanctuary

A man posing infront of the Catty Shack Ranch Sanctuary signage
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You can watch impressive big-cat species by visiting the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary.

If you are in love with wild animals and are especially enamored by the grace of majestic feline species, you will have an unforgettable experience visiting this place.

View of Catty Shack Ranch Sanctuary
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The collection of exotic cats here includes tigers, leopards, and grand lions.

You can also catch glimpses of exciting cougars and bobcats.

Some other animals, such as horses, foxes, and coatimundis, also inhabit these regions.

White tiger at Catty Shack Ranch Sanctuary
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See a Planetarium at MOSH

Museum of Science and History
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The Museum of Science and History is the most famous here.

The interactive displays will provide exciting information about these fields.

There are three floors in this museum filled with a rich collection of items.

Additionally, they organize numerous hands-on activities.

You can participate in one of these and enjoy real-life experience of doing scientific and historical tasks.

View of MOSH
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The prominent halls to explore here include the Florida Naturalist's Center, which is home to several animal species.

Another section to check out is the Currents of Time, which retells the story of 12,000 years of the history of Northeastern Florida.

For astronomy enthusiasts, the Space Science Gallery houses a planetarium, among other exciting space-related items.

You can catch one of their space shows to be transported into a different galactical region momentarily.

Exterior view of MOSH
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Enjoy the Pristine Beaches at Little Talbot Island State Park

Little Talbot Island State Park
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You can enjoy pristine beaches, golden sands, magnificent dunes, and endless hours of pleasure by visiting the Little Talbot Island State Park.

The scenery here is stunning. Multiple fun activities here give you excellent family time without costing you too much money.

You can laze around in the fantastic campground.

The playground is ideal for kids to run around and have a refreshing physical workout.

You can set up your lunch basket in the enjoyable picnic area.

Nature trail at Little Talbot Island State Park
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Head into the glorious waters and try exciting water sports.

We would recommend you paddleboard and enjoy the tumbles along the way.

You can alternatively take a kayak or a canoe and explore the deep waters.

Plunge into the calm waters and away from the heat with a healthy swimming session.

Establish your base camp at one of the sites. Hang inside a hammock and enjoy the heavenly pleasures of an afternoon siesta.

Driftwood at Little Talbot Island State Park
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Alternatively, angle your fishing line in the waters and test your patience as you look to make a mighty catch.

Exercise your fantasies by erecting enormous sandcastles.

Do not forget to smash them before you start falling in love with them.

Get an impressive tan by basking in the glorious beachside sun.

Scenic view of Little Talbot Island State Park
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Shop at Riverside Arts Market

Riverside Arts Market
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The Riverside Arts Market, or RAM, is a sprawling market that sets up shop on Saturdays near the Fuller Warren Bridge.

You can get freshly plucked local produce at this farmer's market.

It is the perfect destination for those tourists who like cooking their meals on holidays.

People walking around the Riverside Arts Market
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The market also features various other exciting goodies.

You can buy some great local handcrafted items to take with you as cherished memorabilia.

The wares are accessible in the pocket, and you can easily pick up some good stuff.

Woman looking at the crystals that are kept for sale at Riverside Arts Market
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Go Swimming at Huguenot Memorial Park

Huguenot Memorial Park
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The Huguenot Memorial Park faces the gorgeous waters of the Atlantic Ocean and stretches alongside the banks of the magnificent St. Johns River on the other edge.

This beachside destination is a favorite among the locals who hang out here in large numbers.

You can enjoy the glorious sun at this place and catch a beautiful tan.

Sand dunes at Huguenot Memorial Park
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Trained lifeguards look over the place to ensure the safety of the visitors.

There are umpteen hiking trails in the vicinity where you can head out and enjoy a refreshing trek.

The boat dock is packed with beautiful boats. You can rent one to enjoy a relaxing ride on the river waters.

View of the Huguenot Memorial Park
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Explore the Southbank Riverwalk

Southbank Riverwalk
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The impressive Southbank Riverside promenade is a 1.25-mile-long paved boulevard in the downtown district.

You can spot many couples enjoying a leisurely walk here.

The picturesque views of the surroundings add to the charms of the walk.

The view of the sunset from this location is delightful.

You must stay back for one if you visit the Riverwalk.

Night view of Southbank Riverwalk
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The sunset will provide the perfect opportunity to catch some great camera snaps.

End your date with a pleasant dinner at one of the fine-dining restaurants here.

Dimly lit candles and soft background music partnered with delectable food will make your date a memory to cherish for a lifetime.

Book a Water Excursion with Now & Zen Sailing Charters

Experience the perfect private sailing rental or trip aboard the 42-foot cruising catamaran Now & Zen.

Its 21-foot beam is safe, secure, and expansive, ensuring a steady and comfortable ride.

Now & Zen Sailing Charters ranks among Jacksonville's top ten attractions and romantic things to do.

Picture yourself quietly floating across the waves in luxury, with a Captain and staff to tend to your needs.

For up to 4 persons, reserve a charter for an evening or weekend trip to visit the islands and other attractions.

Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or any other event with family and friends on the ideal sailing cruise.

Pay a Visit to Fort George Island Cultural State Park

Tabbey ruins at Fort George Island Cultural State Park
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Fort George Island, inhabited for over 5,000 years, was named after a fort constructed in 1736 to protect Georgia's southern flank during its colonial era.

Native Indians celebrated at Fort George Island Cultural State Park, colonists constructed a fort there, and the elite of the 1920s visited around for vacations.

It was formerly a luxurious resort but now serves as a visitor center with a conference room for special events.

Church at Fort George Island Cultural State Park
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The rebuilt 1920s clubhouse is a prominent attraction at the park.

Nowadays, tourists' main draws are boating, fishing, off-road cycling, and hiking.

Launch kayaks, canoes, and sizable boats into the tide-fed waters behind the club.

View of Fort George Island Cultural State Park
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Stroll and Shop at Riverside & Avondale

Avondale and Riverside provide a distinctive blend of character, art, history, and modern architecture.

Riverside is a part of Jacksonville's earliest and hippest neighborhoods and is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

Riverside & Avondale's atmosphere exudes neighborhood and urban living.

It supports the local economy through historic neighborhoods that are easy to walk around and provide a variety of shops and restaurants.

Go through the quaint, tree-lined roads of historic Riverside and Avondale to find delicious restaurants, unique antique stores, entertaining taverns, and chic shops.

The Riverside district is also home to the renowned Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

Watch a Sporting Event at 121 Financial Ballpark

Bird's eye view of 121 Financial Ballpark
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One of North America's top minor league ballparks was built in 2003 and is called The 121 Financial Ballpark (formerly known as Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville).

The Ballpark transports spectators back in time while preserving every amazing baseball tradition thanks to its vintage architecture, brick exterior, and grass seating berm.

Fans may easily reach snack stands and facilities while enjoying comfortable seats and close-up views of the action.

A 112,000-square-foot field is part of the less than 9 acres 121 Financial Ballpark.

In addition to food stalls, mobile kiosks, restrooms, a media room, a weight room, and a kitchen, the Ballpark has a location for athletes to train indoors.

Invite your Friends to a Game of Golf at Blue Sky Golf Club

The Arnold Palmer Trademark Design Blue Sky Golf Club is situated in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida.

The Clubhouse and Golf Course completed more than $1.5 million in upgrades in 2014.

The renovated driving range at Blue Sky uses Toptracer technology and allows for both day and night action.

Play cornhole, enjoy more than 20 flat-screen Televisions, snack at the complete-service restaurant, and choose between 9-hole and 18-hole golf courses, among other enjoyable activities.

At Blue Sky Golf Club, among the most distinctive golf facilities in the Jacksonville region, you may hire experts to professionally host your golf event.

Final Thoughts

Jacksonville is known and abundant, with numerous contemporary sights and activities and its overflowing cultural and historical legacy.

It is a delightful weekend vacation for couples and children, offering lovely river vistas, wonderful beaches, must-see museums, and terrific free attractions.

Find all you need for an exciting and unforgettable moment with the whole family.

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