Jacksonville Florida is a gorgeous city. It combines the hustle and bustle of big city life with the laid back feel of a nice day on the ocean or a stroll through the shopping district. We recently took a mother/daughter road trip to this wonderful city, and we had a blast! With so much to do in Jacksonville Florida, it’s a great destination for any traveler to have a fantastic Florida adventure.
7 Best Spots to Visit in Jacksonville Florida
Jacksonville Florida is bursting with things to do and see. From a vibrant downtown to a thriving art community, there’s a lot to do in this city. My daughter and I had a ton of fun exploring, and we barely even scratched the surface of all the fun to be found in the city.
Enjoy the Local Murals
Public art seems to be everywhere in Jacksonville. From huge murals on buildings to mosaics and collages on columns in and around walking areas, the art scene is alive and well in the city. It makes for a vibrant colorful spice all around the city that no one should miss. My daughter and I made it a point to take in as much of the artwork as possible, especially the big murals. They’re all beautiful and as different as the artists who made them.
See the Treaty Oak – The Oldest Living Thing in Jacksonville Florida
The Treaty Oak is a must-visit for anyone heading to Jacksonville or the Jacksonville area. This sprawling, octopus-like southern live oak is about 250 years old, and it is probably the oldest living thing in Jacksonville. Even pictures of this tree are astounding, but you can’t fully appreciate it until you see it in person. My daughter and I visited Treaty Oak Park to take in the sight of this tree for ourselves, and it was breathtaking. The sheer size of it coupled with its sprawling limbs is fantastic. The surrounding park was beautiful as well and made for a relaxing few hours.
Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
Nature lovers have to visit Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. Whether you take a quick trip or make a full day of it, the arboretum and gardens are something not to be missed. This 120-acre urban woodland brings the beauty of nature right to Jacksonville. My daughter and I took a stroll around the 2-acre lake located near the trailhead parking lot and took in all the signs and labeled plants included in the lake loop. There are more than 100 plants all labeled!
For those who want a more complete nature experience, Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens also has more than 3 miles of hiking trails with benches all along with them for taking a rest and enjoying the incredible beauty this area has to offer. The area is non-profit, and except for special events, there is no admission fee. They do request an optional non-member $3 donation to help pay for operations. While not required, my daughter and I were both happy to pitch in our cash to help keep this wonderful place going.
The importance of exposing kids to art early in life is often undervalued. The Cummer Museum is one amazing place to introduce them to art appreciation! Lots of interactive displays that help understand the way art changes through time. The location is beautiful, next to the water.
You cannot miss “The giant mouth” in Hemming Park! Imagine yourself walking into the park via this huge 18 foot long by 8-foot wide headmouth…it’s so cool! Located on the corner of Duval and Hogan streets welcoming guests into Hemming Park.
If you’re in Jacksonville Florida, a bathing suit will be necessary because you have to visit the beach, of course. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra Beach-Mayo Clinic and it was the perfect location! Jacksonville’s beach is beautiful and bursting at the seams with things to do. From watersports rentals to dining and mini-golf parks to fishing from the beach and enjoying everything Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier has to offer, everyone will find something to do at Jacksonville Beach.
Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier, in particular, is a must-visit due to its massive variety of activities. They have everything from games to shopping, dining, and more. It’s a hub of activity for the beach area that is so much fun to explore.
For a gorgeous view of the city and the St. John’s River, take a stroll on the Southbank Riverwalk. It’s only for pedestrians, so you can easily and safely take in the beautiful views with no worries about traffic. What’s so great about this area is that it is equally beautiful in the daytime or the nighttime, with Jacksonville’s most popular restaurants. Night strolling is especially wonderful because the city lights reflect off the water of the river. It’s the perfect spot for some leisurely family bonding.
Jacksonville Florida Makes a Great Getaway
Jacksonville Florida is a great city to enjoy a family getaway. While my daughter and I were there, we enjoy so many sights, and we got to have some quality bonding time, as well. Whether you’re touring the Arboretum and Gardens or just relaxing on the beach, Jacksonville Florida is the kind of city that draws you in and makes it hard to leave. I know my daughter and I loved it, and we plan on going back as soon as we can!