Jacksonville’s Riverwalks are among the finest and most scenic in the nation. Lining the north and south banks of the St. Johns River, the two are connected by either water taxi or by the pedestrian walkways of the Main Street and Acosta bridges. Both Riverwalks offer changing perspectives of the city’s downtown skyline, which is split in half by the river. The Northbank Riverwalk is the longest, better landscaped, and most interesting to navigate. It follows the curvature of the river southwest, all the way to the Fuller Warren Bridge (Interstate 95), from which point one can take in a complete view of the entire Jacksonville skyline, connected by bridges. The Southbank Riverwalk is shorter in length, but it also boasts Friendship Park and Friendship Fountain, one of the largest fountains of its kind in the world. Friendship Fountain boasts an array of ever-changing jets that soar high into the air and are illuminated in changing color patters at night. The Southbank Riverwalk also offers great views of Everbank Field and the Sports Complex, as well as the city’s most commonly photographed skyline view. Both Riverwalks are great places to bring children and allow them to run, walk, or bike ride without the fear of cross streets and motorized vehicular traffic. Bicycling, jogging, rollerblading, skateboarding, and walking are common pastimes here for both young and old. Along the Northbank Riverwalk, a steep incline challenges exercisers of all types as the Riverwalk itself overpasses railroad tracks. At the right time, visitors can find themselves just a few feet above a passing freight train, feeling the vibrations as it rumbles over through the heart of the city. On the other side of the tracks, the riverwalk becomes a spiraling ramp underneath the Acosta Bridge that kids love to run down. Both Riverwalks also pass under the Main Street Bridge on their respective sides of the river. The Northbank Riverwalk passes right by or within a block of the Hyatt Regency and Omni hotels, the restaurants and nightspots of the Jacksonville Landing, and the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The Southbank Riverwalk passes right by or within a block of the Wyndham and Crown Plaza hotels, Friendship Fountain, the Museum of Science & History, and a few fine dining establishments: River City Brewing Company, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and the Charthouse. For parking, on the Northbank there are many metered spaces east of the Jacksonville Landing and lining the various streets of Downtown, there are various lots and garages within a couple of blocks of the Riverwalk, and there are free parking spaces off of Riverside Avenue along the Riverwalk’s southwestern stretch near both the YMCA and the Fuller Warren Bridge. As for the Southbank, there is free parking available if you go to the Wyndham Hotel & Charthouse lot and tell the attendant you are there for the Riverwalk.
For years Jacksonville's Southbank has basked in the glow of Friendship Fountain's everchanging colors. Several years ago, the Main Street Bridge, a blue steel, vertical-lift draw bridge that arches next to Friendship Fountain, was enhanced in a most unusual and beautiful way. Rather than sporting just standard streetlights the bridge is now equipped with an illumination system that causes the entire structure to actually glow a brilliant shade of blue. I'm not talking about twinkle lights or neon streaks -- the bridge literally glows! Make sure to check out the fountain and bridge -- a dynamic duo of illumination wonders -- the next time you're in town.
Located on the Southbank Riverwalk next to the Museum of Science & History, Friendship Fountain is one of the world's largest self-contained fountains. At night, the fountain's magnificent, dancing jets are illuminated in an everchanging brilliance of rainbow colors that frame the city's Northbank skyscrapers, making it a favorite kissing spot for romantic couples enjoying a night in Downtown.
While they are a little more expensive than the riding the monorail or bridge walking, Jacksonville's water taxis offer a very relaxing and scenic option for crossing back and forth between the Northbank and Southbank sections of downtown. It's fun to just sit back and admire the glassy towers and river scenery as you cruise.
When catching the water taxi on the Southbank, be sure to catch it at River City Brewing Company. Catching it here provides a longer ride as the taxi makes two more stops along the Southbank before it actually crosses over to the Jacksonville Landing.
Nighttime rides are especially romantic as the skyscrapers and Friendship Fountain are illuminated in an array of colors.
There are a lot of old limestone churches and buildings in the area in addition to the Hemming Park to the north a bit. The place is generally run down and construction of the streets was under way while we were there. There is not much to see or do at Jacksonville Landing; a couple of shops and some fast food and chain places to eat.
The best way to explore the Southbank Riverwalk is to park by the Wyndham Hotel near the eastern end of the Southbank Riverwalk. From here, walk the length of the Riverwalk, admiring changing perspectives of the skyline as you pass statues, riverboats, skyscrapers and fountains. The Riverwalk twists and turns, going under the Main St. Bridge before reaching Friendship Fountain, one of the largest self-contained fountains in the world; the Museum of Science & History, which has a planetarium; a small maritime museum; and River City Brewing Company, an upscale waterfront restaurant. (Ruth's Chris, Morton's of Chicago and Charthouse are 3 upscale national restaurants also located within a block of the Riverwalk). Of course, the Southbank Riverwalk is also accessible from the Northbank via water taxi, Skyway, or a cool walk over the Main Street Bridge.
The Jacksonville Landing is a great experience. Take a walk around the Riverwalk or go over the Main Street Bridge for a great view of downtown while you?re walking. The restaurants are great. Try the great Mexican food at Dona Marias. I must say that the food there was amazing. Great chips and salsa is on the table while you wait for your main course! I have also eaten at The American Cafe. They Serve up ?casual. American. cuisine.? using recipes gathered from across the country. Theres also a Hooters (but when you have seen one, you have seen em all!). There are many other restaurants and retail shops. Too many to list!
This is a must do, and I do it everytime I go to Jax. The shops are nice, expecially the one wiht all the lighthouses. Also, the restaurants are nice, because most of them have outdoor seating on the water. Also, a great thing to do is to take the water taxi across the river and back. Expecially if it's crowded, you can park on the other side of the river, and then take the water taxi over to the Landing.
The St. Johns River actually splits Downtown Jacksonville into two halves, the "Northbank" and "Southbank." Both have their own skyscrapers, Riverwalks, restaurants, museums, attractions, hotels and a growing number of luxury condominium towers. Pedestrians have their choice of riding the Skyway, taking a water taxi or walking over the Main Street or Acosta Bridges to get from one side of the river to the other. The Southbank is not as big as the Northbank, which is actually the center of Downtown. The Southbank is, however, known for its selection of waterfront and/or trendy four and five star restaurants including Morton's of Chicago, Ruth's Chris Steak House, River City Brewing Company, the Charthouse, b.b.'s, the Wine Cellar and others. It is also home to the Museum of Science & History, the Jacksonville Maritime Museum and Friendship Fountain. Hilton, Radisson, Hampton Inn and Extended Day Suites all have hotels in the Southbank.
Jacksonville Landing is a horseshoe shaped riverfront dining, entertainment and shopping complex located along the Northbank Riverwalk right in the middle of downtown. The Landing gets busy during the weekday lunch rush and on nights or weekends when special events are taking place. Live entertainment can be found on the center courtyard stage most weekend nights throughout the year.
On the night after Thanksgiving every year locals pack the Landing to see the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree in the central courtyard. Other major annual events centered on the Landing include the holiday light boat parade, pre and post game parties for both the Florida-Georgia game and Gator Bowl game, and the city's spectacular New Years Eve and Independence Day festivities.
Located next door to the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and between the Adam's Mark and Omni hotels, the Landing is also linked with the restaurants, museums and hotels of the Southbank via water taxis.
Okay, so nobody was there the night that I was in town, but I can imagine this place could be pretty exciting. There are tons of shops and restaurants in this riverfront location right in the heart of downtown.
Just walk along the St. Johns river waterfront in the City Center and sit down at a terrace for a refreshment, while having a great view over the water.
the jacksonville landing is a collection of restaurants, bars, and shops on the bank of the st. johns river in downtown jacksonville. a fun place to visit when in downtown.
Go to Jacksonville Landing. Especially in the weekend there is major action (even free live bands) and a good selection of restaurants.
I like just walking around and enjoying the view. More pictures are coming -- I didn't develop my pictures yet!