If you are going to relocate to Jacksonville, FL, there are some things that you want to know about the city. Every city is unique in every single way, regardless of where you go. However, it can be difficult to fit into the neighborhood and get along with your neighbors if you don’t know what makes Jax special.
Jacksonville is the largest populated in Florida and the largest city by area in the continental US and has a lot of offer. When choosing a place to live, of course you need to be comfortable calling this area home, which means knowing all about the sports team, the special events and what is found throughout the area. We put together seven reasons why relocating to Jacksonville could be perfect move for you.
1. World Class arts destination
Music and art is everywhere in Jax, it’s the birthplace of Southern Rock and home to a strong tradition of jazz and blues. From music festivals to classical shows, entertainment options are endless on this side of the Sunshine state.
Jax lives among the top 25 arts destinations in the US:
Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Experience all Downtown Jacksonville has to offer as it comes alive with the sounds of jazz greats and modern favorites. Experience three stages of live jazz, local food, drinks, shopping and entertainment. The Jazz Fest has become one of the largest jazz festivals in the country, offering a fun and vibrant street festival atmosphere. Experience it on an even larger scale throughout 15 blocks of downtown.
Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is a museum in Jacksonville. It is a private, non-profit institution located on the Southbank Riverwalk, and the city's most visited museum. It specializes in science and local history exhibits. It features a main exhibit that changes quarterly, three floors of permanent exhibits, and the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium.
Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour that combines astounding visual and live art, engaging events and more in the core of Downtown Jacksonville. Jacksonville’s core and includes Hemming Park, galleries, museums, cultural and educational venues, restaurants and bars, Downtown businesses and more. Art Walkis a great way to meet fellow artists, buy and appreciate their work, and be part of the rapidly growing art scene in Jacksonville, Florida. Estimated average, 8,000 art enthusiastsattend each month to see more than 250 artists exhibiting at Art Walk.
Alhambra Theatre & Dining
The Alhambra Theatre and Dining in Jacksonville, Florida, is the oldest continually operating dinner theater in the United States, and the only professional resident theatre in the area south of Atlanta, east of New Orleans and north of Orlando. Enjoy themed, delicious dinners with each entertaining show.
Riverside Arts Market
Lively market held Saturdays under the bridge featuring local artists, food vendors & entertainment. The riverfront amphitheater seats 350 people and features hours of live music. RAM is one of several Florida markets that participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP recipients have an opportunity to purchase local produce There’s even a weekly kids’ activity for the little ones!
2. It’s always Beach season in Jax
The city of Jacksonville, Florida operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing facilities and services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres located throughout the city. In addition to municipal parks, there are ten state parks, five national facilities, and several other gardens and arboretums in the area.
Jacksonville’s gorgeous climate means you can enjoy outdoor activities all year round. With an average of 221 sunny days per year, Jacksonville truly lives up to Florida’s nickname of “The Sunshine State.”
Soak in the sun and sand
You’ll find 22 miles of uncrowded beaches minutes from downtown Jax. All you have to do is decided which Beach to sink your toes into, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. Soak in the sun, catch some waves or check out the happening Jacksonville nightlife. Nearby, you’ll also find the historic village of Mayport. Explore casino boats, freshly caught seafood and Kathryn Abbey Park—offering Jacksonville’s best camping, hiking and biking spots around. For just $1.50 fare, locals can also hop a ride on the Beaches Trolley to explore the nearby neighborhoods and attractions.
Drop a line
You’ll find topnotch fishing spots in every lake, river, pond, and creek that few other regions get to experience. Fishing enthusiasts love Jacksonville’s convenient water access and variety of fresh and saltwater species fishing options. Drop a line from a bridge or pier, or sail out from one of the many marinas dotting the shoreline. If you love fishing, consider entering the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament in July. Tournament comes to town, with more than 500 boats fishing for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. Each May Jacksonville hosts the Xtreme Challenge charity kayak fishing tournament, benefitting veteran's.
Jacksonville has more shoreline than any other city in the nation, with 22 miles of spacious and exciting beaches where visitors can work on their tan or get active, take surfing or kiteboarding lessons, rent kayaks and paddleboards, rent a fishing charter boat to fish the jetties or go offshore. Close to the beaches, the Intracoastal Waterway offers 40 miles of inland waterways perfect for fishing, boating, and exploring the local wildlife. In the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, the St. Johns River takes the spotlight with miles of navigable water for boaters to explore. You can enjoy some other paddling resource available. Check out the Canoe/Kayak Launches and the Paddling Trails.
Explore under the sea.
For those on the more adventurous side, we have some good news for you: Jacksonville’s extensive reef system offers one of the best diving spots on Florida’s east coast. You’ll find over 30 offshore and two inshore reefs attracting a wide variety of colorful marine life. Plan a diving expedition or a scuba session to explore the corals, sponges and pristine reefs.
3. Jacksonville offers tons of family fun
You’ll find fun things to do in Jacksonville for kids of all ages.
What to do in Jacksonville, FL:
The Jacksonville Landing
Nestled along the gorgeous St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville, The Jacksonville Landing is home to year-round entertainment, a wide variety of waterfront dining options and a cozy indoor shopping mall, all of which are sure to complete an afternoon or evening of fun. For more than 25 years, The Jacksonville Landing has been the spot to stop in downtown Jacksonville.
St. Johns River Taxi
The St. Johns River Taxi providesall of your downtown transportation to and from the Doubletree Hotel, the Lexington Hotel, Friendship Fountain, the Jacksonville Landing, Hyatt, Omni, Metro Park Marina and the Stadium.ou can ride across the St. Johns River to the Northbank for only $10 (and $8 for kids). Hop off at the Jacksonville Landing to explore downtown or ride it for the entire loop to enjoy breathtaking sunsets and live music.
If you need to let the kids run wild, take them to Adventure Landing! Play in the arcade, race go-karts around the track or hit up a round of mini golf. Offering individual & family fun for all ages, Adventure Landing can accommodate private and semi-private group events hosting thousands of guests. With over 5,000,000 visitors since opening, the Jacksonville Beach Park can proudly claim that Adventure Landing is the “Place to Play” for Florida families and visitors.
Tucked away in the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is Kingsley Plantation—Florida’s oldest plantation house. Take a step back in time to learn the story of freedom and enslavement, tour the plantation house and sign up for a ranger-led tour around the grounds. Kingsley plantation is open seven days a week and admission is free.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
This is one of the top things to do in Jacksonville, FL. Sitting at the mouth of Trout River, The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens consistently ranks as a top animal attraction. The zoo occupies over 100 acres with over 2,000 animals and 1,000 plants in its collection. Ride the train, feed the giraffes or get up close and personal with tigers in the zoo’s wide open spaces!
With great year-round weather and tons of teams to root for, sports will be a way of life if you’re moving to Jacksonville, FL. The area is home to eight pro sports teams, four college teams and tons of year-round events. Cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars, take a swing on one of the 70 golf courses around or test your luck at any of Jacksonville’s water sports.
4. There are great places to live in Jax
Living in Jacksonville, FL comes with endless perks. From miles of natural beauty and authentic dining options to thrilling attractions, Jax offers an array of different neighborhoods for young professionals, couples and families. Not to mention, the median age in Jacksonville is 35—younger than any other city in Florida.
Here are some of the best places to live in Jacksonville:
The quaint San Marco area centers on its leafy namesake square, a lively hub with indie boutiques and casual eateries serving brunch, pizza and ice cream. Chic bistros and trendy bars dot surrounding streets. The art deco San Marco Theatre shows art-house movies and new releases, and rock bands play at intimate venue Jack Rabbits Live. The neighborhood is also known for its old riverfront mansions.
Once a heavy industrial area, the Northside has turned into a residential area with several acre lots and new home developments. It’s also close to the airport, shopping and several state parks and nature preserves. While downtown Jax is only minutes away, the Northside remains somewhat rural and peaceful.
The location: 20 minutes northeast of the city.
The neighbors: families, retirees and first-time homebuyers.
Did somebody say Salt Life? The Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beach areas host some of the priciest and desirable neighborhoods in Jacksonville. The median home price in the area is around $300,000, which comes with close access to the water and outdoor life.
Location: east of Jacksonville along the coast.
The neighbors: families and retirees.
Southside and Mandarin are loaded with history and boast some of the most stunning river views in all of Jacksonville. The residential area has a low crime rate, great schools and an extensive network of parks and recreation development. It was even described as a “tropical paradise” by author Harriet Beecher Stowe!
Location: south of San Marco along the St. Johns River.
The neighbors: families with young children and young couples buying their first home.
If you love the water and prefer living in a rural setting, the Westside and Orange Park are for you. The Westside area features full-service marinas, boating facilities and the Naval Air Station Jacksonville. This neighborhood offers reasonable house prices, several-acre lots and a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle downtown.
Location: Just south of downtown and west of the St. Johns River.
The neighbors: Navy families, horse lovers and people who desire land.
5. Jaxis for food lovers.
Jacksonville is a destination for food lovers with great taste. In Jacksonville, the term “farm to table,” and even “farm to bar,” is more than just hype. The area even made it to Forbes list of five surprising foodie cities to visit—for good reason!Jacksonville’s food scene is an eclectic hybrid of inspired casual elegance and classic southern comfort, infused with the flavors of the coast and a dash of international flair. Here are some Jacksonville food joints you won’t be able to pass up.
For those with a hankering for sandwiches and burgers, the options are endless. French Pantry has the freshest bread and longest line, for good reason. At Maple Street Biscuit Company you can satisfy your brunch cravings with a delicious chicken biscuit. Don’t forget to check out Kickbacks and Goozlepipe&Guttyworks, the best Gastro-pub Jax has to offer!
Jacksonville boasts almost 100 different food trucks. Whether you’re on-the-go, hungry during your shopping outing or just in the mood to try something new, Jax food trucks offer creative options for every craving. Be sure to get a taste of some of the top favorites: Salty Dog, The Butt Hutt Smokehouse, Funkadelic Food Truck and Mother Truckin’ Pizza. Check out the full list of vendor.
Farm to Table
For those with an appreciation for eating local, Jax has over 20 locally owned, farm-to-table restaurants. You’ll also find over 30 restaurants with vegan menus and gluten-free options. Orsay, 904, and Black Sheep Restaurant all offer elegant, locally sourced cuisine. Kitchen on San Marco also consistently ranks as the top farm-to-table restaurant in Jacksonville.
When you feel like mixing up the menu, there are plenty of ethnic options in Jacksonville. Green Erth Bistro offers Middle Eastern cuisine and vegan fare. Nile Ethiopian Restaurant has fresh Ethiopian cuisine and great customer service. For a taste of Lebanese food, visit Mandaloun Mediterranean Cuisine located near Deerwood Village.
Seafood is a must in Jacksonville. Visit Clark’s Fish Camp in Mandarin or Whitey’s Fish Camp in Orange Park for the down-home fish camp experience. If you’re looking for local seafood but want to head somewhere classy, check out North Beach Fish Camp or Bistro AIX raw bar. Wherever you go, don’t forget to request the culinary staple, the Mayport Shrimp!
6. It’s close to other major cities.
Whether you’re moving to the Sunshine State for the first time or just relocating a short drive away, you’re going to love Jacksonville’s convenient location to the following cities:
Atlanta. If you’re looking to get a taste of Atlanta’s heritage and Southern hospitality, you’re in luck. The drive from Atlanta to Jacksonville is around 4 hours and 50 minutes without stops.
Miami. When it comes to cities in Florida, Miami is the life of the party. Each year, the city expects 14 million visitors. If you plan to check out its beaches and exciting nightlife, the drive from Miami to Jacksonville should take around 5 hours and 25 minutes by car.
Naples. Known for its high-end shopping, sophisticated dining and world-class golf courses, Naples, FL is an affordable family destination for beach enthusiasts. You can travel from Jacksonville to Naples in about 5 hours and 30 minutes by car.
Orlando. So, how far is Jacksonville from Orlando? Get this: the Jacksonville to Orlando drive time is only a little over two hours. You can pack up the car, head to the most-visited destination in the U.S. and get there in no time.
7. Jacksonville, FL known as best job market and home affordability.
As far as living in Jacksonville, it is so appealing, that it was #2 on Realtor.com’s list of Cities Gaining the Most Residents.For jobs, WalletHub rated Jacksonville as Florida’s 4th best job market in 2016.More interested in the suburbs? Nearby Fleming Island was rated #3 for Florida’s Highest Median Annual Income and #1 for most affordable housing.
Do you have any questions or advice for those moving to Jacksonville? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at (904) 746-0050.