When many people envision a Florida vacation, they picture the beaches of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Jacksonville, on the other hand, is often overlooked as a tourist destination — and that’s a mistake. Before planning your next trip to Florida, check out these four reasons not to overlook Jacksonville.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that there are many affordable hotel options in the Jacksonville area — and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Many of the hotels in the area offer rates below $100 and all of the amenities you need for a relaxing stay. If you are ready to splurge, though, Jacksonville isn’t devoid of luxury options. The Lodge and Club at Ponte Vedra Beach, the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, and the Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection are just a few examples.
Jacksonville Beach is a great choice for some fun in the sun, with its famous fishing pier and some of the best waves in the area, but it’s by no means the only option. Nearby Atlantic Beach is rich with small-town charm, history, and beautiful beaches. Between these two beaches lies Neptune Beach, known for its breathtaking sunrise and sunset views.
Ponte Vedra Beach is home to the PGA Tour and The Player’s Championship, plus it boasts some of the highest sand dunes in Florida. You can also head to Fort Clinch State Park to tour a historic fort and catch some fish along its half-mile pier. American Beach and Peter’s Point Beachfront Park on Amelia Island, which is free to the public, are a few other popular choices.
Outdoor Activities Galore
Whether you love fishing, golfing, or any number of water activities, Jacksonville delivers. We’ve already mentioned the pier fishing, but you can also catch a ride with a deep sea or backwater fishing expert for a more exotic experience. You’ll find opportunities to fish, kayak, or paddleboard, too. You can even go diving to explore the dozens of offshore and inshore reefs near Jacksonville. Golfers can choose from more than 10 golf courses in Jacksonville, plus more in the surrounding area.
Given Jacksonville’s coastal location, it should come as no surprise that the area boasts several excellent seafood restaurants. Marker 32, Julington Creek Fish Camp, St. Marys Seafood and More, and JL Trent’s Seafood and Grill are just a few of the options praised by customers online. Azurea at One Ocean Resort, in Atlantic Beach, offers both “From the Sea” and “From the Land” options, plus ocean views from every table.
If seafood isn’t your thing, Jacksonville has plenty of other local restaurants to get excited about. Try some farm-to-table Southern fare at Black Sheep Restaurants, or get a taste of French cuisine at Restaurant Orsay. In the mood for Mexican? The Flying Iguana is known for its tacos and 86 varieties of tequila. Looking for a romantic evening out? Head to the Blackstone Grille for roses, white tablecloths, and dishes like tea-smoked duck.
From the beaches and outdoor activities to the local hotel and dining options, Jacksonville is one of the most exciting destinations in Florida — and we’ve barely scratched the surface here. For your next vacation, come and see for yourself everything Jacksonville has to offer!