25 Best Things To Do in Jacksonville, Florida in 2024

25 Best Things To Do in Jacksonville, Florida in 2024

Jacksonville is a vibrant city on the northeast coast of Florida. It’s an excellent place to visit because it offers a blend of natural attractions, urban landmarks, and standard touristy things to do. So, it doesn’t matter as much why you’re in the city because you’ll have a good time no matter what it is you like to do in your spare time. 

The attractions in Jacksonville range from art tours of the city center to camping in the wilderness. State parks and nature preserves are just outside the city, and they call to all visitors who love exploring the great outdoors. 

On the other hand, Downtown Jacksonville is the perfect destination for a city break with its museums, public parks, statues, and historic landmarks. Take one day to tour the city’s oldest buildings and best museums, then venture out into the wilderness the next day to explore the natural beauty of Florida. 

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the beaches! Jacksonville has around 22 miles of sandy beaches, so it’s a top destination, even for easy-going vacations. The city truly has something to offer to everyone, which is how I know you’ll enjoy staying there! 

Did you know that Jacksonville has the largest system of urban parks in the entire United States? Or that some of its buildings have been around for more than a century? I bet there’s a lot more you don’t know, and I can’t wait to tell you all about its attractions and landmarks in this detailed guide to the best things to do in Jacksonville, Florida! 

Best of Jacksonville Quick guide

Must See: Southbank Riverwalk, Downtown Jacksonville, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville Arboretum, Hanna Park, Florida Theater  Where To Stay: Hampton Inn Jacksonville, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, The Ritz-Carlton Fun To Do: Airboat River Cruise, Food Truck Tour, Riverside Arts Market, Tree Hill Nature Center, St. Johns Town Center Day Trips: Amelia Island, Talbot Island State Park, Neptune Beach  Must-Try Foods: Garlic crabs, Datil peppers, Minorcan chowder, Camel Rider sandwich  

Best Things To Do In Jacksonville, Florida 

Fun Things to do in Jacksonville Florida
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

There are plenty of ways to stay busy in Jacksonville. Food tours, art tours, and history tours are some of the best ways to discover the city, but each of those only covers one small piece of the puzzle. 

Also, don’t miss out on all the wonderful gems that sit just outside the city limits. Some of the best natural parks, hiking trails, and even beaches in Florida are less than an hour from Downtown Jacksonville and should be included in your itinerary for the most immersive experience. 

1. Downtown Jacksonville Tour

Things to do in Jacksonville Downtown Tour
Photo Credit Ryan Ketterman

If it’s your first time in Jacksonville, a tour of the downtown is a must. This is the oldest part of Jacksonville known for architecture and art, and there are plenty of different ways to explore it. 

Walking tours of the Downtown are popular, but not quite as much as Tuk Tuk tours. Consider the latter if you’re short on time in Jacksonville since it will allow you to cover a lot of the city’s attractions in a short period. 

Some of the best tours of Jacksonville focus on public artworks. Stroll down the city streets looking for murals, statues, and extravagant sculptures. Tuk-Tuk art tours are also available, and I think they’re great for first-times in the city because they’ll allow you to discover several neighborhoods in addition to Downtown Jacksonville. 

Practical Information: Guided tours of central Jacksonville usually take 2-3 hours. 

2. Gardens at Tree Hill Nature Center

Things to do in Jacksonville Tree Hill Nature Center
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Tree Hill Nature Center is a nature preserve just a 10-minute drive from Downtown Jacksonville. Featuring hiking trails, gardens, and plenty of wildlife, the preserve is an excellent destination for anyone who wants to discover the fabulous nature of Florida. 

There’s even a natural history museum at this center, which is great for learning a little bit about the area. The walking trails in the park are mostly easy and suitable for inexperienced hikers. Also, the nature preserve is home to quite a few domestic and wild animals, and visitors can see them roaming around the park. 

Practical Information: Tree Hill Nature Center is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM every day except Sunday. Admission fee is $5 for adults. 

Things to do in Jacksonville RAM Riverside Arts Market
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

The Riverside Arts Market is a farmer’s market under the Fuller Warren Bridge. The market is held every Saturday, and it’s an excellent place for souvenir shopping in Jacksonville. 

Here you’ll find everything from street food to artisan soap. Many of the vendors sell fresh produce, pastries, and even cooked meals, so it’s one of the best places in Jacksonville for eating cheap. 

In addition to the vendors who sell groceries, you’ll find lots of stalls with homemade items. Local artists sell handicrafts at the Riverside Arts Market, including jewelry, glassware, paintings, and much more. Come here to support the local artists, eat cheap street food, and find the best unique souvenirs from Jacksonville. 

Practical Information: The Riverside Arts Market is held every Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM.  

4. Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

If you want to escape the busy streets of Jacksonville and spend an afternoon roaming around nature, come to the Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. It’s just a 15-minute drive from Jacksonville, although I must mention that traveling by public transport will take you more than an hour. 

The arboretum features many walking trails that can keep you busy for hours. Traverse the paths through the park, admiring the contemporary sculptures among the trees, bushes, and ponds of the botanical garden. 

Practical Information: The Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission is $3 for adults.

5. Spot the Gators on an Airboat River Cruise

Things to do in Jacksonville Airboat River Cruise

Take a day trip to Trout Creek Memorial Park and Marina in St. Augustine for an epic experience. It’s only about a 40-minute drive from Jacksonville, so you can easily do this adventure even if you’re in Jacksonville for a short time. 

Board an airboat and glide over the waters of St. Johns River while you look around and admire the wildlife. You’ll see birds, manatees, and snakes, all in their natural habitat. And you’ll come across alligators, which is the highlight of the ride for most people. 

If you really want to see alligators but aren’t in the mood for a river cruise, then just go to the Jacksonville Zoo. The Wild Florida Exhibit houses all the animals native to Florida, including the gators.  

Practical Information: Airboat River Cruises are available year-round and usually last for up to 90 minutes. The standard price for a cruise is $80 per participant. 

6. Visit Fort George Island

Things to do in Jacksonville Fort George Island Kingsley Plantation
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Fort George Island is a state park northeast of Downtown Jacksonville. It’s approximately a 30-minute drive from the city center, and well worth the trip. Come here to see the historic buildings scattered around the park, but also to explore the hiking trails and enjoy a boat ride or two. 

The Kingsley Plantation is the park’s most popular landmark. It’s a reminder of an uglier side of US history, and a tour of the plantation is incredibly educational. Tours take place on the weekends when visitors can see the former slave quarters and the barn. 

Practical Information: Fort George Island State Park is open daily from 8 AM to sunset. Admission fee is $1-10 per vehicle. 

7. Jacksonville Food Trucks Tour

Things to do in Jacksonville Food Truck
Photo Credit Ryan Ketterman

Jacksonville is known for its countless food trucks, which are very popular for grabbing food on the go. If you walk around the city for even just 15-20 minutes, you’ll notice several food trucks during the tour.

The Main Street Food Park is a great place for discovering Jacksonville’s food truck scene. It’s essentially a parking lot that’s been converted into an outdoor seating space. Come here to mingle with the locals and experience the way of life in Jax, even for a few hours. 

Some of the best food trucks in Jacksonville (as rated by locals) are The Happy Grilled Cheese, Fusion Food Truck, and 904 Saffron. 

Practical Information: The food trucks in Jacksonville are usually open from late afternoon until evening. 

8. Admire the Art at Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Things to do in Jacksonville Cummer Museum
Photo Credit Patrice Ross

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is one of Jacksonville’s best museums. Its collection includes more than 5,000 artworks from all eras, making the place a must for any serious art lovers in the city.

The museum is worth checking out even if you’re not very interested in art for its exquisite waterfront gardens. See the pristine landscaping, and the statues of flamingoes adorned with flowers, while enjoying the views of St. Johns River and Southbank. 

Practical Information:  The Cummer Museum is open every day except Monday. Opening times vary and the admission is $20 for adults. 

9. Cycling at Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail Park

Things to do in Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail Park

Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail is a linear park that follows an old railway line. It’s one of the more interesting nature escapes in Jacksonville, popular for cycling and walking. 

Is it a great destination for hikers in Jacksonville? I wouldn’t say so, since the main walking path is just 14.5 miles of pavement. But it’s a great destination for cycling, and for non-experienced hikers who aren’t yet ready to take on the wilderness trails.

Practical Information: Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Access to the park is free of charge. 

10. Surfing at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Things to do in Jacksonville Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Nestled between Mayport Village and Atlantic Beach, the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a great destination near Jacksonville for outdoor fun. Come here for swimming, cycling, kayaking, hiking, and loads of other fun adventures. 

The park is even a great destination for surfing. Sure, you won’t get the waves of California or Hawaii, but they’re pretty decent for Florida, especially so close to Jacksonville.   

This is also a good place for families, thanks to the many kid-friendly adventures the park offers. There’s even a dedicated water park with a playground for kids, as well as plenty of opportunities for dolphin watching. 

Practical Information: The admission fee for Hanna Park is $5 per vehicle. Most of the park’s infrastructure is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.  

11. Stay at Amelia Island 

Things to do in Jacksonville Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a very popular vacation spot in Florida. Situated just a 45-minute drive from Jacksonville, this small slice of paradise is known for sandy beaches, luxury resorts, and golf courses. 

If you’re planning a more relaxed vacation in Florida, Amelia Island is the place to be. It is home to beaches that are deemed not only the best in Jacksonville but in the state of Florida, possibly even wider. Dunes, white sand, and some of Jacksonville’s best high-end resorts are right here at Amelia Island. 

More good news is that you can drive right up to the sea if you want since most beaches permit vehicles. Consider a day trip from Jacksonville if you’re in town for a short time, but still want to feel that soft white sand between your toes. 

Practical Information: Amelia Island is approximately 35 miles northeast of central Jacksonville. Public transport to the area is not available. 

12. Southbank Riverwalk

Things to do in Jacksonville Southbank Riverwalk

The Southbank Riverwalk is a paved promenade along the shore of St. Johns River. It stretches for 1.25 miles, offering panoramic river views the entire way. Walk the entire length of the promenade and you’ll get to see some unique local sculptures and murals. 

Much of the walking path is lined with benches, so there are plenty of places where you can sit down and enjoy the views. Several sections of the promenade also feature sun shade, making the walk enjoyable even in hot weather. 

Practical Information: The Southbank Riverwalk promenade is open 24/7 and accessible for free. 

13. Souvenirs at St. Johns Town Center

Things to do in Jacksonville St Johns Town Center
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

St Johns Town Center is an outdoor shopping mall and the best place in Jacksonville if you’re in the mood for shopping. Come here to buy discounted designer shoes, clothes, books, food, and much more. You’ll even find classic souvenirs here, although I prefer to think of Barnes & Noble as the best souvenir shop at St. Johns Town Center. 

There are too many stores at the mall to name them all, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find anything you might possibly need right here. Plenty of restaurants and cafes are also available at the outdoor mall, and most are budget-friendly places that won’t break the bank if you decide you need lunch.  

Practical Information: Public transport is available from central Jacksonville to St. Johns Town Center but takes more than an hour. Driving from the downtown to the outdoor mall takes only 15 minutes.

14. Driftwood at Talbot Island State Park

Things to do in Jacksonville Big Talbot Island Sunrise
Photo Credit Patrice Ross

Visit Tablot Island to uncover some wonderful landscapes in northeast Florida. The island has two distinct areas – Big Talbot Island State Park and Little Talbot Island State Park. The state parks have separate entrances and admission fees. 

Driftwood Beach is one of the island’s most popular areas, known for huge driftwood pieces on the sandy beach. Several hiking trails are also available on the island, and they’re perfect for discovering the beautiful scenery. Kayaking and canoeing are popular in the park and are an exhilarating way of discovering Tablot Island. 

Practical Information: Talbot Island is approximately a 40-minute drive from Downtown Jacksonville. Entrance to the Little Talbot Island State Park is $5 per vehicle, and the admission fee for Big Talbot Island State Park is $3 per vehicle. 

15. Catch a Show at The Florida Theatre

Downton Jacksonville is home to many of the city’s oldest buildings, and one of those is the Florida Theater. Opened for the first time in 1927, the historic theater is the best place in the city for live entertainment. 

Attend a live concert, see a ballet, or go to a stand-up comedy show. And there are loads of other options, so I’m pretty sure anyone can find at least one fun event at the Florida Theater. Find something you’ll enjoy and use it as an excuse to see the interior of this historic building, which has provided the locals in Jacksonville with entertainment for almost a hundred years. 

Practical Information: Buy tickets for the Florida Theater online, by phone, or at the box office. The box office is open from 9 AM to 5 PM on workdays, as well as for four hours before the show on weekends.   

16. Take Your Kids to Jacksonville’s “Hands On” Children’s Museum

Jacksonville’s “Hands On” Children’s Museum is by far the best destination for families in the city. Well, it’s the best for kids, but it could be a little boring for adults. The museum boasts interactive exhibits for the young ones, which are like a life-sized version of some of the most popular children’s toys. 

Your little ones can pretend to work the cash register at a store, they can shop for groceries, be in the driver’s seat of fire trucks, and so much more. The museum is like a dream come true for kids, allowing them to role-play as adults for an afternoon. 

Even though this is a children’s museum, I think adults can find a way to have some fun here too. 

Practical Information: Jacksonville “Hands On” Children’s Museum is open from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Saturday. Admission is $5.5 for kids and $6.5 for adults.  

17. Historical Trails at Fort Caroline National Memorial

Things to do in Jacksonville Fort Caroline National Memorial
Photo Credit Patrice Ross

Fort Caroline is a historical landmark northeast of central Jacksonville. Once upon a time, this was the area of a French Settlement here in Florida. In addition to the historical aspect of this park, visitors can also engage in hiking, cycling, and even visit a bookstore, which is enough to sell me on the place. 

Several hiking trails are available at the park and they all offer informative panels that recount the history of the area. If you want to spend some time roaming around nature but still want to learn and feel like you’re exploring the history and culture of Jacksonville, these hiking trails are absolutely perfect. 

The French Memorial Trail and the Spanish Pond Trail are the two most popular in the park. And be sure to stop by the visitor’s center, for even more exhibits on the history of this wonderful place. 

Practical Information: Fort Caroline National Memorial is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, Wednesday to Sunday. Admission is free of charge. 

18. Visit The Beaches

Things to do in Jacksonville The Beaches
Photo Credit Ryan Ketterman

When I say visit The Beaches I don’t mean just go to the beach and hang out. Jacksonville borders a large residential area in the east, known as The Beaches. There are several small towns on the coast, known for luxury resorts, excellent tourist infrastructure, and fun activities. 

Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Ponte Vedra Beach are the main Beaches in this area. They’re all popular for fishing, boating, and even surfing, so many active travelers will come here. The Jacksonville Beach Pier is an iconic landmark here, and a popular fishing spot. 

In addition to all those fun activities, the Beaches area is also popular for vacations because of its great golf courses and resorts. And it’s a more appealing destination than Amelia Island because it’s not quite as exclusive, which translates to more affordable hotels. 

Practical Information: The area from Atlantic Beach to Ponte Vedra Beach is only a 30-minute drive from Jacksonville. Public transport is available and takes about an hour to reach Atlantic Beach. 

19. Camping at Huguenot Memorial Park

Things to do in Jacksonville Huguenot Memorial Park
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Huguenot Memorial Park is the best place near Jacksonville for primitive camping. If you’re not freaked out by the idea of spending a night in a tent on the beach without access to electricity and running water, this is an activity you could really enjoy. 

A large section of the memorial park is reserved for campers. And it doesn’t matter if you’re spending the night in a tent or if you’ve come to Florida in your own RV – you will be welcome at the Huguenot Memorial Park. 

The area is mostly tranquil and rarely crowded, but you won’t enjoy total peace and quiet here. Big ships often pass near the shores, and there’s plenty of air activity too. 

Practical Information: Huguenot Memorial Park is open daily from 6 AM to 6 PM. The entrance fee is $3 for pedestrians and cyclists, but $5 per vehicle (with up to six people inside). 

20. See the Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville 

Things to do in Jacksonville MOCA Museum Of Contemporary Art
Photo Credit Scott A Drake

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville is one of the city’s best art museums. It features a changing exhibit, usually promoting modern and contemporary art. The first floor of the museum is open to the public for free, but it is necessary to purchase museum tickets to see the entire collection. 

This is a great museum for all art lovers in Jacksonville. The exhibits are always carefully curated and offer an opportunity to discover new artists. Visit the museum and check out the art on the first floor; if you like what you see, get yourself a ticket so you can discover the art on the other four floors! 

Practical Information: MOCA Jacksonville is open from 11 AM to 5 PM every day except Monday. Admission is $10 for adults. 

21. Big Cats at The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Things to do in Jacksonville Catty Shack Ranch
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is one of my favorite things to do in Jacksonville because I’m a proper cat lady. And I’m obsessed with big cats and take every opportunity I have to see them doing their thing. 

I like this place because it’s not your average zoo. It’s a non-profit sanctuary that rescues endangered animals that are held in captivity or have sustained major injuries. No animal breeding or buying is going on here, and you can really tell that the animals are well taken care of and happy. The enclosures are super spacious and clean, and honestly, I think some of them have a better living situation than me. 

I don’t have a pool in my home, and I’ve noticed that most of those big kitties do. In addition to the cats, you’ll also see horses, foxes, and even chickens here. If you’re in Jacksonville with kids, I’m pretty sure this is one of the best places to take them. 

Practical Information: Tours of the Catty Shack Ranch are from 1 PM to 3 PM. Tickets for adults are $15. 

22. Satisfy Your Curiosity at The Museum of Science & History

Things to do in Jacksonville Museum Of Science & History
Photo Credit Patrice Ross

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is one of the most fun places to visit in this city. It boasts an array of diverse, interactive exhibits, which will pique the curiosity of visitors of all ages. The MOSH is in central Jacksonville, very close to the Southbank River Walk. 

Learn about the human body, visit the MOSH planetarium, and take a tour of the Hixon Native Plant Courtyard to see many plants and trees native to Florida. The museum also has a dedicated space for kids, although it’s worth noting that most exhibits are not only suitable for children but also very fun. 

Practical Information: The Museum of Science & History is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. The entrance fee is $19.95 for adults. 

23. Enjoy The Views From Metropolitan Park

Things to do in Jacksonville Views from Metropolitan Park

The Metropolitan Park is a public park in the city center. It’s a great place for travelers without a car in Jacksonville, who can’t manage to escape to one of the bigger nature parks and preserves outside the city. 

This park is situated next to the EverBank Stadium, and it offers panoramic views of St. Johns River. The small green space features a few statues, but it’s mostly known for hosting concerts and festivals. 

If you make it to this part of the city, I recommend visiting the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall as well. The landmark monument is very close to the park, and it’s absolutely worth it to stop by and honor the American war veterans. 

Practical Information: The Metropolitan Park is accessible at any time of day or night, for free. 

24. Learn About History At The Beaches Museum

The Beaches Museum in Jacksonville Beach and a place you should definitely visit if you make it all the way to the eastern coast of Florida. I don’t think it’s worth it to travel to Jacksonville Beach just for this museum, but it’s one of the places to visit if you’re already in the coastal town. 

The museum features an exhibit on the region’s history, complete with period furnishings and an old steam locomotive. Temporary exhibits are also available at the Beaches Museum and offer even more insight into the culture and history of this part of Florida. 

Practical Information: The Beaches Museum is open from 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission to the museum is free. 

25. Take a Break At Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop

Things to do in Jacksonville Sweet Pete's Candy Shop
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop is an iconic candy store in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s like a wonderland for candy lovers of all ages, and it’s fun to visit even if you don’t buy anything. But I don’t see how that could be possible, considering the shop has everything from handmade chocolates to pounds of candy. 

Visiting the shop building is free of charge. You can even tour the place for free and see their candy kitchen, which is absolutely fascinating if you enjoy cooking or baking. Guided tours are also available, but those take place at pre-arranged times and have a fee. 

The shop’s whimsical decorations are a sight for sore eyes, but the candy is by far the best thing about the place. Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop is one of Jacksonville’s best gems, and I love that it’s a place anyone can enjoy, regardless of their age.  

Practical Information: Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop is open from 10 AM to 6 PM every day except Monday.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Things to do in Jacksonville FAQs

How Do I Spend A Day In Jacksonville FL? 

If you only have one day in Jacksonville, spend it touring the downtown, visiting the Cummer Museum of Art, and discovering the Southbank Riverwalk. If you’re there on a Saturday, squeeze in a trip to the Riverside Arts Market. 

Is Jacksonville, Florida Worth Visiting? 

Yes, Jacksonville, Florida is a city worth visiting. It’s one of the largest cities in Florida and offers everything from an excellent art scene to spectacular sandy beaches. 

Jacksonville is popular for its fabulous art museums, music festivals, and an extensive park system. The city is surrounded by parks, all of which serve as an excellent escape from the crowds on the street.  

What Is So Special About Jacksonville?

Jacksonville has the nation’s biggest urban park system, making it the best destination for travelers who love roaming around nature. A vibrant cultural scene, excellent food, and lively art museums also make the city special. 

Tips and Information for Visiting Jacksonville

Tips and Information
Photo Credit Ken McCray

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Jacksonville is early spring and late fall. The city has warm weather year-round, so whenever you visit you’ll be able to enjoy the beaches and sunshine. However, Florida’s tropical climate is known for humidity, which is the highest in the summer. 

July is also the hottest month in Jacksonville, with average daily highs in the 90s (Fahrenheit). The key word there is average; temperatures in the summer often rise above 100 degrees, so it’s not exactly the best time for a tourist visit that includes being outside throughout the day. 

May to October is also the rainy season in Jacksonville. The high temperatures are accompanied by frequent rain showers, making this a bad time to visit if you want to enjoy being outside. 

Finally, I can’t talk about a good time to visit Florida without mentioning the hurricane season. It’s from June through November, and the period between August and October is historically the peak season for hurricane activity.

Getting There

Fly to Jacksonville International Airport for the easiest access to the city. It’s a medium-sized airport and one of the 10 busiest in Florida, with connections to many cities in the US and international destinations. 

From the airport, you can take a taxi, ride service, or private transfer into Jacksonville. It takes about 20 minutes to drive from the airport to the city. A bus service is also available, but takes more than an hour to reach Downtown Jacksonville. 

The main advantage of hiring a car is that the driver can drop you off in front of your hotel, which won’t happen if you take the bus. Definitely consider where you’re staying; if you’re in Downtown Jacksonville or close to one of the bus stops, it might be better to take the bus and save money. But if you’re nowhere near the bus line, then it’s better to pay extra for a transfer and save time instead. 

Getting Around

Jacksonville is a big city and renting a car is the best option for travelers who want maximum freedom in Florida. Having a car in Jacksonville will allow you to get around the city fast and visit attractions that might not be accessible by public transport. 

Taxi and Uber are also an option for travelers who aren’t keen on car rental, just keep in mind that you’d have to use the service multiple times a day and it would likely end up costing more than a rental car. 

A local bus service is also available in Jacksonville, but it’s painfully slow. A 10-minute drive is equivalent to a 45-minute bus ride, and although you could save a lot of money by riding the bus, you’d also waste a lot of time. 

How Much Time Do You Need

A long weekend is the perfect amount of time for Jacksonville. You can discover much of the city’s attractions in three days, and even go on a short excursion somewhere close. Two days can also be enough for the city, but you’ll need to prioritize the activities that interest you most. 

A longer trip to Jacksonville (4-7 days) is an opportunity to discover more of northeastern Florida. You could visit multiple nearby towns, nature parks, and wildlife areas, in addition to all of the best Jacksonville landmarks. And you might even squeeze in a trip to Disney World!  Consider a longer stay in the city if you’re interested in the hiking trails and camping in this part of Florida. 

Where To Stay in Jacksonville 

Where to Stay Jacksonville Beach
Photo Credit Visit Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville is the best part of the city to stay in, especially for first-time visitors. It’s where all the best museums and promenades are, so it’s great for travelers who want to explore mostly on foot. However, some of Jacksonville’s best attractions are far from the city center, so staying outside of this area is a good option if you’re more interested in the natural attractions. 

Consider staying on Amelia Island for a lovely beach vacation, or even setting up camp at one of the nearby nature parks. Here are some of the best hotels in Jacksonville for all budgets: 

Whether you stay in the heart of the city or miles outside, you’ll be good as long as you have access to a car. All the parks and excursions are less than an hour’s drive from the city center, so you can easily visit everything from this guide. We recommend you stick to the city center if you’re mostly interested in museums and landmarks. But look into accommodation near the parks if you’re more interested in Jacksonville’s natural attractions.

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