Jacksonville is filled with natural attractions. There are plenty of green spaces like the lovely gardens of the Arboretum, and the Timucuan Preserve. When you visit in the summer, the fireworks displays will delight you. And of course, the stunning beaches never fail to amaze. We've pared down some of the top attractions and things to do in Jacksonville to whet your appetite!
This astonishing (and free) historic site on Fort George Island can be explored solo, but the informative audio tour is the way to go if you really want to get the most out of the experience. It only takes about an hour, and by the end, you'll be well-versed in the history of Zephaniah Kingsley and other fascinating 19th-century stories.
The Cummer Gallery of Art is a Jacksonville gem. The permanent collection contains nearly 5000 pieces dating back to 2100 BC. See works by Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell, and Peter Paul Rubens. Two-and-a-half acres of 20th-century garden, fountains, pools, and the Cummer Oak are all breathtaking reasons to explore the grounds.
Located at Big Talbot Island Park, Black Rock beach is every photographer's dream. Tree skeletons on the shore look strange and enchanting, and it's the perfect backdrop stand-in for a remote location. Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the biking and hiking trails. There are camping spots too, and several water activities.
The white sands and spectacular views of Atlantic Beach make this a must-visit stop on your trip. Plenty of parking spaces and recreational areas are available for visitors. There are no entrance fees and lots of restaurants, shops, and breweries to explore. Atlantic Beach is the ideal spot for swimming, fishing, and paddleboarding.
If you're looking for the fishing spot in Jacksonville, head to the Beach Pier. This location is also ideal to just sit and watch the sun rise over the ocean. You can't surf here, but you can always go swimming and wade in the inviting waters.
This wildlife preserve is inside the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. It provides birds and other animals with nesting and feeding locations. Here, the salt water meets the fresh water of the adjoining streams and rivers, offering safe havens for crocodiles, turtles, manatees, raccoons, and more.
A cruise might be the best way to see this unique view of the Jacksonville skyline. Tourists can hop aboard a Carnival Cruise, Carnival Elation, or Carnival Ecstasy vessel to take in the sights. You'll be mesmerized by the beauty of The River City.
You won't run out of things to do in downtown Jacksonville. Take a walking tour or pop into a library to read and explore. Spend a relaxing afternoon in Treaty Oak Park. And of course, there is no shortage of shops and restaurants in this bustling center, and you can always take the water taxi to see more of Jacksonville.
Big Talbot Island State Park is a natural reserve ideal for bird watching or studying nature. Explore the Blackrock and Big Pine trails, photograph the stunning views, or enjoy a picnic at one of the pavillions on The Bluffs.
You'll find the Friendship Fountain near the Museum of Science and History, and you won't believe the views of the vibrant Jacksonville skyline. This quiet park is perfect for simply relaxing, reading, or enjoying an afternoon snack.