Nestled in Florida’s northeast corner along the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is truly an underrated vacation destination, providing the benefits of a beach town as well as exciting city attractions coupled with plenty of Southern charm. And, thanks to its mild temperatures year-round, with even January’s high temperatures averaging in the mid-60s, it’s always a good time to visit. Once you do, you may even find yourself searching through the homes for sale in Jacksonville FL, making a permanent move.
As mentioned, in Jacksonville you get the amenities of a big city and you’ll never be far from the beach, a rarity in most places. Plus, there’s a beach for just about everyone here, with over 22 miles of soft white sands, from the more serene, laid-back beaches at Huguenot Park and Mickler’s Landing to posh Neptune and Atlantic beaches as well as busy Jacksonville Beach with just about every type of beachside shop imaginable. Of course, with all those beaches come opportunities to get out on the water, from diving and snorkeling to kayaking, fishing and surfing.
Jacksonville offers plenty in the way of culture too, with a museum for every taste, including one of the state’s top art museums, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens which overlooks the St. Johns River and showcases over 6,000 works of art. There are pieces that date all the way back to 2,100 B.C. through the present, as well as beautifully-manicured gardens, some that are on the National Register of Historic Places, planted over a century ago. Its Cummer oak tree with a canopy spanning more than 150 feet is one of the oldest in Jacksonville, estimated to be between 175 and 200 years old.
The city also hosts a popular art walk on the first Wednesday of every month, the world-class Museum of Contemporary Art and a variety of art and music events like the Jacksonville Jazz Festival held over Memorial Day Weekend, one of the biggest of its kind in the country.
The Thriving Food Scene
Jacksonville is a foodie’s paradise that was recognized recently by Food & Wine in an article “We Can’t Believe How Cool Jacksonville is Being Right Now.” It offers a unique seafood scene on the Eastern Seaboard that includes fresh, locally-caught flounder and mahi, in addition to all sorts of top-notch Southern-style dishes with menus heavily influenced by the Balaeric and Menorcan population in North Florida.
Sampling Craft Brews
There’s plenty of drink to go along with Jacksonville’s cuisine, and if you want to sample some of its best, you can embark on a self-guided tour of the Jax Ale Trail which highlights the area’s award-winning craft brewery scene, including Pinglehead Brewing Company, Green Room Brewing, Bold City Brewery and Aardwolf Brewing Company, among several others. Pick up a Brewery Passport and get it stamped at each local brewery you visit along the way, and you’ll get some free Jax Ale Trail beer gear to take home as a souvenir.