Perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida, it’s a natural paradise for anyone seeking an affordable but still ultra-luxurious vacation. Discover some treasures, reconnect with family, ignite some romance, or simply be inspired by the city’s array of cultural offerings—not to mention its vibrant sunrises and unforgettable sunsets. This "River City by the Sea” boasts more than twenty miles wide of uncrowded beaches, about forty miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, as well as the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River. Back on land, it’s a more than underrated vacation spot offering handsome residential neighborhoods, appealing downtown riverside areas, spectacular beaches, a thriving arts scene, and for sports fans, the NFL's Jaguars and the NCAA Gator Bowl. It’s also home to the largest urban park system in the nation, as well as ten state and national parks! Plus, with authentic cuisine, a thriving craft-beer scene, and a cosmopolitan nightlife that’s sure to have you dancing till’ dawn, Jacksonville is a unique destination all on its own. Experience historic Old South flavor amidst moss-draped oak trees, tons of King Palm trees, prairie-style bungalows, and endless amounts of azaleas. Floridian fun awaits.
Though much of the city is urban, there are also plenty of nature and wildlife preserves, historic residential neighborhoods, and golf courses to enjoy, as well as attractions ranging from art, science, and history museums, to brewery tours, a giant entertainment complex, a motor speedway, and plenty of beautiful beaches offering soft sands and warm waters perfect for swimming, surfing, and kayaking to your heart’s content. Explore 840 square miles by heading down to the Riverside Arts Market, Jacksonville's longest ongoing festival that’s chock full of local art, tasty street fare, and fresh produce from surrounding farms. It’s both family friendly as well as pet friendly, and a more than lively and affordable way to spend any Saturday afternoon! Why not go to The Florida Theatre for a night out with your sweetie pie—it’s one of the only remaining historic theatres still operating in that area, and has hosted the likes of pop sensations such as Diana Ross and the King himself. The kiddies will adore the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which has been rated as one of the Top 25 Zoos in the U.S.. Among its most popular attractions are the recently unveiled Land of the Tiger Exhibit, a 2.5-acre habitat featuring three Malayan and two Sumatran tigers, as well as the Giraffe Outlook, Stingray Bay, and the Range of the Jaguar.
The Museum of Science and History further offers visitors with an exciting roster of traveling and core exhibits that will fascinate guests of all ages. Tiny tots should love getting up close and personal with some of the region's most common wildlife in the Florida Naturalist's Center, or by climbing on the giant tree house in KidsSpace. While in town, make sure to check out Everbank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the town’s NFL team. Catch one of their home games during football season in the fall in one of the largest stadiums in the nation! For adventures seekers, there are even chances to go crazy by letting loose with European-style indoor go-kart racing at Jacksonville's own Autobahn Speedway, an 80,000 square foot facility featuring two challenging Grand Prix-themed courses designed to impress and thrill even the most demanding adrenaline junkies. Whatever kind of activity you’re looking for, this “Bold New City of the South" has something for you!
At a whopping 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States—it also happens to be the most populous in Florida. It sprawls along three meandering rivers, offering visitors with everything from sweeping bridges and twinkling city lights, to tons of high-rises, corporate HQs, and chain hotels. There’s definitely a brash big-city charm to “Jax,” but deep within is also a sweet Southern heart and soul waiting to be discovered.
The city's museums and restored historic districts are always worth wandering around, with nearby neighborhoods like the Five Points, St. Augustine, and San Marco equally as charming to visit during the day to experience bunches of bistros, boutiques, and bars. The area beaches are also a world unto themselves. With the farthest just under an hours’ drive from the city, it’s the perfect vacation spot to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life without all that buzzy city chaos. Try Amelia Island, a beautiful island about an hour north of Jacksonville along FL-A1A, which houses upscale houses as well as the Amelia Island Plantation. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it is the only location in U.S. to have been under the allegiance of eight different nations and offers rich history, savage beauty, and a unique perspective of the water—especially if you journey with Amelia River Cruises! Atlantic Beach is another not-to-miss. It’s a way more private and residential space for those looking to bypass large crowds, offering well preserved sands, lots of local shops, and eateries galore at the Beaches Town Center. There’s even ample recreation opportunities at Hanna Park near the Northern point of the beach. History and nature buffs will further enjoy the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, which has around 46,000 acres of natural beauty including, Fort Caroline, the Kingsley Plantation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Area. You can even learn more about Timucuan culture by embracing your inner wild through a trek along miles of trails and wetlands begging to be explored. Don’t forget to check out Olustee Battlefield while you’re at it. It’s an hour's drive west along I-10 in the Osceola National Forest and is the only Civil War engagement in Florida. A battle is reenacted occurs each February that Civil War buffs are bound to fall in love with.
Whether you are looking for upscale resort settings, luxury downtown hotels, or cozy B&B inns, Jacksonville has got the lodging options to suit you and your entire family. There are almost twenty thousand guest rooms located throughout the Downtown, beaches, and suburban areas, while resorts offer an additional 11,000 rooms to all visitors. Most facilities bask in the local sun-drenched tropical climate and offer the best of inviting Southern hospitality. Try resort rentals via All South Realty, Inc., which provides everything from oceanfront homes and condos, to golf packages, corporate rentals, relocation services, and full service property sales. For those on a budget, opt for the Best Western Oceanfront, or Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant. There’s even the Fig Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast or the chic Omni Jacksonville Hotel. Plus, if you are looking for a true Jacksonville experience, be sure to head on down to the Lobby Bar at One Ocean Resort and Spa to have mixologist Hugh Thompson whip up one of his specialty drinks. You won’t be sorry.
Unless you want to spend a lot of time waiting for buses or any other form of public transportation, an automobile is a must in Jacksonville. Due to the city’s size and low density, most destinations are not within walking distance of each other, and since mass transit is severely limited, cars are typically the most convenient for travelers visiting the area. Many local rental companies offer stellar prices, though national chains usually have more convenience when it comes to return policies and times. For those who want to fly in, there’s the Jacksonville International Airport, the First Coast's commercial airport with scheduled service offered by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, jetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. It’s located just fifteen miles north of downtown.
It’s also possible and a super grand idea to bike around the historic neighborhoods in and around the area, such as Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill, and San Marco. Start in Riverside from Riverwalk to the Main St. Bridge. Then ride or stroll over the bridge to San Marco, which is chock full of numerous shops and restaurants. Biking is also just a superb way to enjoy the varied and beautiful architecture of the urban core, as well as all the sights that would otherwise be easy to miss when cruising by in a car. Another option might also be Amtrak, which provides service to other Florida destinations such as Orlando and Miami. but also connects to other points as far north as New York via the Silver Star and Silver Meteor lines.
Find the best Jacksonville vacation rentals on Tripping.com. With over 369 home rentals, take your pick from a wide variety of choices including studio apartments, luxury condos, and cozy cabin rentals. Prices in Jacksonville range from $25 a night. Many rentals can also be booked directly online.Vacation home rentals found on Tripping.com offer more amenities than the average hotel room along with many of the comforts of home. Going on a business trip or need to stay connected? 230 homes in Jacksonville offer high-speed WiFi Internet so you won’t miss a beat. Travelling with kids? Let them splash around in any of the 148 rentals with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with the family in one of the 117 homes with cable TV.For all those pet owners with dogs or cats, Jacksonville offers 76 pet-friendly vacation rentals for your extended family. Find the perfect vacation rental that matches your budget and style on Tripping.com.Search properties from 6 vacation rental sites in Jacksonville where the top providers in that area are Booking.com, HRS Holidays, and Agoda. There are 108 Booking.com rentals, 106 HRS Holidays short term rentals and 70 Agoda vacation rentals.