Fun things to do in Jacksonville

  • Friendship Fountain, Jacksonville
    Friendship Fountain, Jacksonville
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  • Fort Caroline National Memorial, Jacksonville
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  • Ribault Monument at Ft. Caroline, Jacksonville
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Jacksonville

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    Ride Florida's only public auto ferry

    by HumblyServingChrist Written Dec 31, 2003

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    The St. Johns River Ferry (also called the Mayport Ferry) is the only remaining public auto ferry in Florida. Part of scenic route A1A, the ferry transports cars and pedestrians across the St. Johns River between the coastal Jacksonville neighborhoods of Mayport Village and Ft. George Island.

    Once you've parked and the ferry is in motion, you can get out of your car and enjoy a wonderful boat cruise across the entrance to Jacksonville's busy shipping channel. (Don't be surprised to see a towering luxury cruise ship or a cargo ship stacked with truck trailers heading to or from port during your ride). When approaching the opposite ferry landing you'll likely be welcomed by a flock of goofy looking pelicans perched along the docks.

    If you would like to watch the ferry while you dine, the Sanddollar, on Ft. George Island is a wonderful restaurant with big picture windows overlooking the river, while Singleton's is a legendary "shrimp shack" on the Mayport side that has long been a favorite of locals, visitors and travel critics alike.

    The ferry departs daily on the hour and half-hour from Mayport Village and every quarter-past and quarter-til from Ft. George Island. The cost for the average 2-axle car is $2.75 (one way).

    The ferry pulls away from Ft. George Island
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel

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    San Marco Square: Where the trendy people go

    by HumblyServingChrist Written Nov 4, 2003

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    San Marco Square, an artsy shopping, dining and entertainment district just south of downtown, is one of Jacksonville's trendiest destinations. Its historic Italian influenced architecture stretches along the Y-shaped intersection of Atlantic and San Marco Boulevards just west of Hendricks. At the center of the Square, a giant statue of three lions watches over Bails Park and its classic white bandstand.

    In the Square you can stroll through art galleries, boutiques, independent bookstores and upscale gift shops while trying to decide if you want to dine in class (e.g.: at a two-story Thai bistro and live music club, a sushi bar, an eclectic sidewalk cafe with absolutely fabulous desserts or at an elegant wine grotto) or if you would rather enjoy cheaper treats (e.g.: at a casual, pet-friendly sidewalk pizza parlor, a Chicago-style bar & grill or at a popular local hot subs chain). There's even a chocolate boutique to drool over. Don?t forget to enjoy the latest art film or first run release showing at the old-fashioned art deco San Marco Theatre as well. If live performances are more to your liking, catch the latest production of Florida?s longest running community theatre at the playhouse.

    Further exploration of San Marco will uncover numerous other fine dining and trendy casual restaurants, along with nightclubs and day spas. The streets south of the Square are lined with stately old estates and riverfront mansions certainly worth a look. Peterbrooke Chocolates also offers tours of their chocolate factory located on San Marco Ave.

    San Marco Square gets very busy during the lunch hour, when executives and yuppies hop over from downtown to grab a bite, and again when they return for a happy hour or dinner. Behind the shops and restaurants lining Atlantic Blvd. is a large parking lot -- good to know in case all of the on-street parking spaces are taken. A free trolley also shuttles people back and forth between downtown and San Marco Square during the day.

    San Marco Square, Jacksonville
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    • Luxury Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    jacksonville municipal stadium

    by doug48 Updated Mar 22, 2008

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    the jacksonville municipal stadium better known as alltel stadium is home to the NFL jacksonville jaguars professional football team. the stadium also hosts the annual florida/georgia college football game which over the years is known as the south's largest outdoor cocktail party. later in the college football season the stadium hosts the ACC championship football game and the post season gator bowl. this historic stadium was originally built in 1949 and was expanded in 1995.

    jacksonville stadium
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    • Architecture

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    Anheuser Busch Brewery

    by MatthewMetcalfe Written May 28, 2004

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    North of Jacksonville off I-95 sits the Anheuser Busch Brewery of Jacksonville. This massive facility offers free tours and tastings.

    It's a great place to see how the King of Beer's is made from start to finish. The bottling line is mesmerizing to watch. Interspersed throughout the tour are bits and pieces of history and displays.

    A large gift shop full of Bud memorabilia awaits at the end. Stop by the tasting room for some of the freshest beer you'll ever get. They also have a widescreen in the tasting area showing Bud commercials which are usually pretty funny.

    The tour is very informative and the facility is spotless. The beer is also fresh and cold.

    Larry The Clydesdale Greets you!
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    JAX Beach Museum

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 11, 2011

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    This was an unknown, but ended up being a very pleasant museum of the history of the beach development and culture of Jacksonville form the inception of tourism and leisure life. They have some artifacts of the period, but mostly have typed descriptions and photos of the times back beginning early 1900's when the beach was developed for recreation.

    The museum is one block off the main A1A Hwy at the main intersection of Atlantic Beach. There are also three homes that can be toured, and an old railroad train engine to view.

    View of the museum building Train in a building Displays of beach memorabilia Photo of beach beauties
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    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    Exploring the corridors and trails of Fort Clinch

    by HumblyServingChrist Written Jan 14, 2006

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    Fort Clinch is a very well preserved Civil War fort perched at the northern tip of Florida. While it is not nearly as old as the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, I think it actually makes for a more enjoyable experience and ranks as my favorite of the four historic forts located within the Greater Jacksonville metropolitan area.

    At Fort Clinch you can wander through a myriad of corridors lined with part brick and part earthen walls. Climb up to the cannon decks atop the perimeter walls for expansive views of the the Sunshine State's northernmost strands of beach and of the wide harbor that divides Florida from Georgia. In fact, the fort itself is surrounded by a naturally preserved state park that boasts hiking trails, campgrounds and beaches.

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    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Historical Travel

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    Cruising aboard the Annabelle Lee & First Lady

    by HumblyServingChrist Written Jun 29, 2004

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    The Annabelle Lee and the First Lady of Jacksonville are two old fashioned riverboats that offer daytime and dinner cruises down the St. Johns River. Both boats are also available for private parties. They dock along the Southbank Riverwalk near the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel and the Charthouse Restaurant.

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    • Cruise
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    See how theme park robotics come to life!

    by HumblyServingChrist Updated Sep 6, 2011

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    Ever wonder how they make theme park rides so elaborate, memorable, and, of course, fun? Come visit Jacksonville's Sally Corp. for the inside scoop. Sally Corp. is a major designer and developer of realistic animatronic humans, animals and fictional characters for use in amusement park rides around the world. In fact, they have designed and developed more interactive dark rides than anyone else in the industry. Their creative staff integrates all parts of the ride experience from design to installation including animatronics, special effects, sets & scenery, soundtracks, audio & lighting systems and interactive technologies.

    Want to learn more and see robotics come to life for yourself? Tours of their headquarters and production facility in Downtown Jacksonville are offered hourly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 - 1:00 during the school year. These tours are free but require reservations. All children must be at least 7 years of age.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    five points

    by doug48 Written May 29, 2010

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    five points is small buiness district located in the riverside area west of downtown. five points has a number of shops, restaurants, and bars. five points is known for it's lively nightlife and numerous good restaurants. five points is a fun and safe area to visit in downtown jacksonville.

    five points entertainment district
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    beaches history museum

    by doug48 Written May 29, 2010

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    for those interested in architecture and history the beaches history museum is a good first stop when visiting jacksonville beach. the museum has a collection of relics and photographs of the early history of jacksonville's beaches. see the attached web site for more information.

    beaches history museum
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    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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  • Manatee

    by leftwich Written Jul 6, 2008

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    There is no need to drive to Sea World in Orlando, if you would like to see a Manatee. Manatee's are in Jacksonville and Orange Park daily. The amazing sea cow likes to travel along side the docks in the St. John's River and eat the algae that collects on the docks and ropes in the water. They are particularly abundant in the Doctor's Inlet area of Orange Park. I see them there daily. Yesterday, I saw 3 of them. They were so close I could have reached out and touched them. The kids really enjoy the experience. There is no need to have a boat. Just go to any location on the river, preferrably a dock and you will see them. Another good place to see them is a little further south down US 17 at Black Creek. There is a public dock and pier there and I have seen Manatee's there many times. In fact, they like to drink from the fresh water hose that is constantly running into the river at the boat house by the little marina. Check it out and bring the kids. It is guaranteed to be a good time.

    Check out the brand new ghost story book based on a true story "If One Only Looks: 85 Years of Ghost Stories" by a local Jacksonville author. http://Book.BigRedRabbit.com

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Family Travel
    • Whale Watching

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    Maritime Museum

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 10, 2011

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    If you find it-you are lucky-OR NOT. It used to be located and the South Bank for San Marco area, which now is under renovation. WE asked at the MOSH Science museum where is is and MOCA also, and no one knew.

    I searched later and found out it is on the suite 162 at 2 Independence Drive and part of some obscure building by Jacksonville Landing area. Not worth the venture for sure, and maybe never was worth the trip to begin with because I suspect the place is small and has few items to view. It apparently has only a dozen pictures of boats/ships of old for showing.

    Where it used to be-now by those buildings
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    Alligator Farm

    by kristy29 Written Jul 13, 2005

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    This is actually in St. Augustine, but close enough to drive there from Jacksonville. I wen tthere with my mother, and it was very fun. We went on the day of a hurricane, so a lot of the animals were put away for safety, but we still had fun. it's fun to watch them feed the alligators, and also to feed the baby alligators. I recommend this for children as well, I'm sure they would get a kick out of it.

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    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Zoo

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    My golf obsessive husband loved this place

    by kristy29 Updated Jul 13, 2005

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    It is very cool. You get to see all things golf. All about the players and the history. They also have some games inside, one where you putt, and you're on tv, and a golf simulator. They have all kinds of old golf clubs, and you can use the putters. They also have a replica of the bridge at St. Andrews. Outside, there is a hole in the middle of a pond, made to resemble the famous hole at the nearby TPC at Saw Grass, and if you get it on the green, you win a prize. Also included in the price of admission is a miniature golf course. It's not goofy golf, but just a putting course. It was fun. There are also shops and restaurants, including a Caddy Shack restaurant. We went in and looked at the store, but didn't eat there. it looked cute, but the prices were a little steep. Overall, a great place for golf lovers of all ages, and their families won't be bored either!

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Golf

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    Boating

    by BruceDunning Written Jun 13, 2011

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    With the St. John's River being the main waterway running through the city, it is logical that people want water activity. They do a fair amount of sail boating around there, and even use boats as transport to work downtown.

    Sailboat on horizon
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Sailing and Boating

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Jacksonville Things to Do

HumblyServingChrist's Profile Photo Updated Jul 12, 2014

With big city diversions, beautiful beaches, natural parklands, abundant waterways, and interesting historic sites, Jacksonville offers a wealth of sites and experiences to enjoy.  St....

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