Two Prudential Plaza -- a glassy work of art
While not one of Jacksonville's talest buildings, Two Prudential Plaza sure makes a case for being one of the most beautiful. Sometimes appearing blue and sometimes appearing green depending on the sunlight, this tiered tower serves as a glistening backdrop for Friendship Fountain on the Southbank. The building also has a multi-level monorail station.
A scenic waterfront park at the edge of the city
While better known for its abundant pristine beach parks and the enormous Timucuan Preserve that comprises much of the city's northeast side, Jacksonville's park system (the largest urban park system in the country) also contains numerous smaller gems sprinkled throughout the city. One such gem is Mandarin Park, located along a very wide stretch of the St. Johns River and a peaceful tributary called Julington Creek. Heavily wooded with jogging trails, picnic areas and a marina, Mandarin Park offers a scenic, shady retreat that's perfect for a romantic picnic or family fun time. Located within the southernmost edge of Jacksonville's city limits in Duval County, from here you can look south across Julington Creek and see St. Johns County or look southwest across the wide expanse of the St. Johns River and see the distant shoreline of Clay County.
Long past its prime
This used to be one of the best restaurants in JAX, but I'm afraid it's far from wonderful now. Overpriced and barely above average in terms of quality, the owner should probably rethink the whole operation. The location in Avondale is great and the the space itself is attractive, but both deserve a restaurant that isn't coasting on its past reputation. If you're in the mood for a high-end dining experience, you're far better off at Matthew's or Daniel's in San Marco, or at Ruth Chris on the waterfront.
Jax Beach: the city's most active strand of sand
The most populous stretch of Jacksonville's coast, Jacksonville Beach boasts a rapidly growing skyline of highrise condos and hotels.
At its active center is the new Seawalk Pavillion, an oceanfront ampitheatre, and Latham Plaza, a manicured greenspace located across the street. Together they provide a recreational focal point surrounded by numerous restaurants, nightspots and hotels. Throughout the year both venues host popular festivals that celebrate foods, cultures and music including George's Music Springing in the Blues Festival, Florida's largest outdoor free blues concert.
In terms of its natural attraction, Jax Beach, like its neighboring communities, boasts a beautiful wide strand of soft, white sand fronted by sea oats and sand dunes. On the other side of the island, Adventure Landing is a popular water park and amusement complex located near the Intracoastal.
Before undergoing a rennaissance over the past decade, Jax Beach had fallen into blight and become notorious for attracting a rowdy crowd. Thankfully, today's Jax Beach is known as a family-friendly hot spot for upscale development. The community now has a whole new image as several new boutiques, fine dining establishments, luxury condos and even the large J. Johnson Gallery now call Jax Beach home. New hotels continue to be built here as well, and a new fishing pier just opened that provides pedestrians with remarkable views of the coast and oceanfront skyline from as far as a quarter mile offshore!
While Jax Beach has become more sophisticated over the years, it's still a laid back, swimsuit and flip flops kind of place. Even though some of those flip-flops may carry the Prada label, the town is just too laid back to be pretentious.
Having fun in Jacksonville, Florida
"Hello from Jacksonville, Florida!"
I had to go to Jacksonville for a business appointment. However, as much as I enjoy traveling, I turned this boring business into a fun-filled trip!
Of course, it would have been much better to visit Jacksonville during summer; JAX Beaches are pretty good. Oh well, there is plenty to do in Jacksonville.
Check my tips for more information!!!