Positioned right along the Atlantic Ocean in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of exciting travel experiences. From the seaside to downtown, Jacksonville’s vibrant riverfront and cityscape are filled with extraordinary things to see and do all year round. Furthermore, its great weather and relative affordability make it the perfect place for a vacation. Here are some of the best things to do in Jacksonville:
Visit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
This zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world as well as over 1,000 exotic plant species. It’s a great place to spend a day with the family! Located at the mouth of the Trout River, the zoo is adjacent to the 33-acre botanical garden.
One of the best attractions at the zoo is the Land of the Tiger exhibit, where you can watch Bengal tigers bathe and swim. The zoo also features a number of other exciting wildlife exhibits including Indian rhinos, giraffes, kangaroos, red pandas, meerkats, and more!
Go to Amelia Island
Amelia Island is an island located at the mouth of Nassau Sound. It features more than 13 miles of beaches with white sand and clear blue water that attracts millions of visitors each year from all over the world. For most travelers, hitting the beach will be a priority and Amelia Island is home to some of Jacksonville’s best beaches.
In addition to its beaches, Amelia Island also has a rich history. It was the site of two major Spanish forts in the 1600s and was later used by the British during the Revolutionary War. The island is also home to Fort Clinch State Park, which features historical reenactments and nature trails.
Visit Fort Caroline National Memorial
Fort Caroline was one of the earliest French attempts at colonization in what is now the United States. It was built in 1564 by René Goulaine de Laudonnière and served as a base for further exploration into Florida. The fort’s exact location has been lost to time, but the memorial stands on a bluff overlooking the St. Johns River where it once stood.
The memorial features a museum with artifacts and information about French colonization in North America as well as some reproductions of what life was like at Fort Caroline. You can also see remains of an old Spanish fort built after they drove out the French settlers.
Explore Downtown Jacksonville
Downtown Jacksonville is the heart of the city and features a wide variety of attractions. The centerpiece of downtown is the Riverwalk, a pedestrian walkway along the St. Johns River that features restaurants, bars, art galleries, and more.
Other popular attractions in downtown include the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and the Museum of Science & History (MOSH).
Tour the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is a museum in Jacksonville, Florida that features art from around the world as well as gardens designed by landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman. The museum’s collection includes over 5000 works dating back to 2100 BC!
First constructed for Ninah May Holden Cummer in 1916, it was originally named “River Oaks”. The museum’s gardens were added in the 1950s, and the name was changed to “Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens” in honor of Mrs. Cummer’s husband, Arthur W. Cummer.
The Cummer Museum is definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in art or gardening!
Take in Some Culture at MOSH (Museum of Science and History)
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is a museum in Jacksonville, Florida that features exhibits on science, history, and technology. It also has an IMAX theater!
Some of the museum’s most popular exhibits include “Bodies: The Exhibition”, which showcases real human bodies; “IMAX Theater: Mysteries of the Unseen World”, which takes you on a journey into the hidden world of things that you can’t see; and “The Human Journey”, which tells the story of human evolution.
No matter what your interests are, there is certainly something that will interest you in Jacksonville, FL. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that the city is such a great tourist destination!