Taxis and Limos, Jacksonville
If arriving at Jacksonville Airport (JAX) do not use the Gator City Cab company.They are the only taxi company who are allowed to ply for trade at the airport terminal but they are a complete rip off.
I had phoned them in advance before leaving London, England and got a quote for $120 to take me to Downtown St Augustine. I thought that was expensive for a 55 minute ride but as I was going to be tired after a long flight via Atlanta from the UK I thought I'd use them as they are conveniently located right outside when you arrive.
I got in my taxi, driven by a maniac who barely spoke any English but he did get me to my hotel without killing me or any other road users. After collecting my bag from the trunk of the car I went to give the driver $130 including a $10 tip even though he didn't deserve, it only to be told that the fare was $190. How freaking much??? I withdrew the $10 tip and handed him the £120 that I had been quoted over the phone and proceeded to check in to the hotel. The driver followed me in to the hotel reception and threatened to call the police if I didn't pay the rest. I said "Go ahead, call them, I'll be in room 301". Needless to say, the cops never arrived and I've never used Gator City Cabs again.
I fly in to Jacksonville (JAX) quite often now and always use a pre-booked service instead. The drivers have to pay a small fee to use the pre-booked collection area at the airport and will add it to the fare but none of them have tried to rip me off like Gator City Cabs. The same journey usually costs me about $90 these days.
Call Charlie at Southern Comfort Transportation. He is very knowledgeable about getting around Jacksonville and they don't charge even as much as so called shuttle rates. We even got a Towncar upgrade for free last time we got picked-up. No call takers, the owner answers the phone every time and knows who you are when you call. so refreshing to still find true southern hospitality. Prices are the best in the area, and quality around here has no comparison. Have you seen the other cab drivers and vehicles...
Beaches are nice but water is not near as warm as south florida, and gulf coast. most jax beach hotels and amelia hotels are around $150 per night. You can find deals. try hotels across the street from the beach. On Amelia the best western and the Hampton inn on Sadler are a few blocks from the beach and in that price range. There is also the Amelia Inn and suites that is across the street from the beach, not sure of the cost though. The trip takes about 35-45 minutes, no need for a rental car on the island, Southern Comfort Transportation is a great inexpensive car service to get you to and from Jacksonville international airport (approx $45 to either Amelia or Jax Beach)