FIPS 55-3 Code
US National Archive Codes
Coordinates Latitude: 30.3321838 Longitude: -81.655651
Demographics & Economic Data
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The area of the modern city of Jacksonville has been inhabited for thousands of years. On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BC. In the 16th century, the beginning of the historical era, the region was inhabited by the Mocama, a coastal subgroup of the Timucua people. At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. Johns River. One early map shows a village called Ossachite at the site of what is now downtown Jacksonville; this may be the earliest recorded name for that area.French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River in 1562, calling it the River of May because that was the month of his discovery. Ribault erected a stone column at his landing site near the river's mouth, claiming the newly discovered land for France. In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Johns near the main village of the Saturiwa. Philip II of Spain ordered Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to protect the interest of Spain by attacking the French presence at Fort Caroline. On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St. Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it. The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St. Augustine's position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified. The location of Fort Caroline is subject to debate but a reconstruction of the fort was established on the St. Johns River in 1964.
Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War, and the British soon constructed the King's Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British called the Cow Ford; these names ostensibly reflect the fact that cattle were brought across the river there. The British introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, indigo and fruits, as well the export of lumber. As a result, the northeastern Florida area prospered economically more than it had under the Spanish. Britain ceded control of the territory to Spain in 1783, after being defeated in the American Revolutionary War, and the settlement at the Cow Ford continued to grow.
Founding and 19th century
After Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States in 1821, American settlers on the north side of the Cow Ford decided to plan a town, laying out the streets and plats. They named the town Jacksonville, after President Andrew Jackson. Led by Isaiah D. Hart, residents wrote a charter for a town government, which was approved by the Florida Legislative Council on February 9, 1832.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to feed the Confederate forces. The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of nearby Fort Clinch. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces. In the Skirmish of the Brick Church in 1862, Confederates won their first victory in the state. However, Union forces captured a Confederate position at the Battle of St. Johns Bluff, and occupied Jacksonville in 1862. Slaves escaped to freedom in Union lines. In February 1864 Union forces left Jacksonville and confronted a Confederate Army at the Battle of Olustee, going down to defeat.
Union forces retreated to Jacksonville and held the city for the remainder of the war. In March 1864 a Confederate cavalry confronted a Union expedition in the Battle of Cedar Creek. Warfare and the long occupation left the city disrupted after the war.During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. President Grover Cleveland attended the Sub-Tropical Exposition in the city on February 22, 1888 during his trip to Florida. This highlighted the visibility of the state as a worthy place for tourism. The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 19th century by yellow fever outbreaks. In addition, extension of the Florida East Coast Railway further south drew visitors to other areas. From 1893 to 1938, Jacksonville was the site of the Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home; it operated a nearby cemetery.
20th and 21st centuries
1900 to 1939
On May 3, 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that started as a kitchen fire. Spanish moss at a nearby mattress factory was quickly engulfed in flames and enabled the fire to spread rapidly. In merely eight hours, it swept through 146 city blocks, destroyed over 2,000 buildings, left about 10,000 homeless and killed seven residents. The Confederate Monument in Hemming Park was one of the few landmarks to survive the fire. Governor William Sherman Jennings declared martial law and sent the state militia to maintain order; on May 17, municipal authority resumed. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia, and the smoke plumes seen in Raleigh, North Carolina. Known as the "Great Fire of 1901", it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest urban fire in the southeastern United States. Architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. The first multi-story structure built by Klutho was the Dyal-Upchurch Building in 1902. The St. James Building, built on the previous site of the St. James Hotel that burned down, was built in 1912 as Klutho's crowning achievement.
In the 1910s, New York–based filmmakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheap labor. Over the course of the decade, more than 30 silent film studios were established, earning Jacksonville the title of "Winter Film Capital of the World". However, the emergence of Hollywood as a major film production center ended the city's film industry. One converted movie studio site, Norman Studios, remains in Arlington; it has been converted to the Jacksonville Silent Film Museum at Norman Studios.During this time, Jacksonville also became a banking and insurance center, with companies such as Barnett Bank, Atlantic National Bank, Florida National Bank, Prudential, Gulf Life, Afro-American Insurance, Independent Life and American Heritage Life thriving in the business district. The U.S. Navy became a major employer and economic force during the 1940s and the Second World War, constructing two Navy bases in the city and the U.S. Marine Corps establishing Blount Island Command.
1940 to 1979
Jacksonville, like most large cities in the United States, suffered from negative effects of rapid urban sprawl after World War II. The construction of federal highways was a kind of subsidy that enabled development of suburban housing, and wealthier, better established residents moved to newer housing in the suburbs. After World War II, the government of the city of Jacksonville began to increase spending to fund new public building projects in the postwar economic boom. Mayor W. Haydon Burns' Jacksonville Story resulted in the construction of a new city hall, civic auditorium, public library and other projects that created a dynamic sense of civic pride. Development of suburbs led to a growing middle class outside of the urban core. It resulted in Jacksonville's urban core's population experiencing poverty at a higher rate.Given the postwar migration of residents, businesses, and jobs, the city's tax base declined. It had difficulty funding education, sanitation, and traffic control within the city limits. In addition, residents in unincorporated suburbs had difficulty obtaining municipal services, such as sewage and building code enforcement. In 1958, a study recommended that the city of Jacksonville begin annexing outlying communities in order to create the needed larger geographic tax base to improve services throughout the county. Voters outside the city limits rejected annexation plans in six referendums between 1960 and 1965. The city's largest ethnic group, non-Hispanic white, declined from 75.8% of the population in 1970 to 55.1% by 2010.
On December 29, 1963 the Hotel Roosevelt fire killed 22 people, the highest one-day death toll in Jacksonville. On September 10, 1964, Hurricane Dora made landfall near St. Augustine, causing major damage to buildings in North Florida. Hurricane Dora was the first hurricane to make a direct hit to North Florida.In the mid 1960s, corruption scandals arose among city officials, who were mainly part of a traditional conservative Democratic network that had dominated politics for decades. After a grand jury was convened to investigate, 11 officials were indicted and more were forced to resign.
Jacksonville Consolidation, led by J. J. Daniel and Claude Yates, began to win more support during this period, from both inner-city blacks, who wanted more involvement in government after passage of civil rights legislation restored their ability to vote, and whites in the suburbs, who wanted more services and more control over the central city. In 1964 all 15 of Duval County's public high schools lost their accreditation. This added momentum to proposals for government reform. Lower taxes, increased economic development, unification of the community, better public spending, and effective administration by a more central authority were all cited as reasons for a new consolidated government.
When a consolidation referendum was held in 1967, voters approved the plan. On October 1, 1968, the city and county governments merged to create the Consolidated City of Jacksonville. Fire, police, health & welfare, recreation, public works, and housing & urban development were all combined under the new government. In honor of the occasion, then-Mayor Hans Tanzler posed with actress Lee Meredith behind a sign marking the new border of the "Bold New City of the South" at Florida 13 and Julington Creek. The consolidation created a 900 square mile entity.
1980 to present
Tommy Hazouri helped add environmental regulations and reduce odor pollution during his single term as mayor, which began in 1987. Ed Austin was elected into the mayor office in 1991, beating Hazouri. His most lasting contribution is the River City Renaissance program, a $235 million bond issued in 1993 by the city of Jacksonville which funded urban renewal and revamped the city's historic downtown neighborhoods. Austin oversaw the city's purchase and refurbishing of the St. James Building, which would eventually become Jacksonville's city hall. He was mayor at the time Jacksonville was awarded its National Football League franchise, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL awarded Jacksonville an NFL franchise called the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 30, 1993.The Better Jacksonville Plan, promoted as a blueprint for Jacksonville's future and approved by Jacksonville voters in 2000, authorized a half-penny sales tax. This would generate most of the revenue required for the $2.25 billion package of major projects that included road & infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development and new or improved public facilities.In 2005, Jacksonville hosted Super Bowl XXXIX that was seen by an estimated 86 million viewers.In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused major flooding and damage to Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach, the first such damage in the area since 2004. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused record breaking floods in Jacksonville not seen since 1846.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 874.3 square miles (2,264 km2), making Jacksonville the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States; of this, 86.66% (757.7 sq mi or 1,962 km2) is land and 13.34% (116.7 sq mi or 302 km2) is water. Jacksonville surrounds the town of Baldwin. Nassau County lies to the north, Baker County lies to the west, and Clay and St. Johns County lie to the south; the Atlantic Ocean lies to the east, along with the Jacksonville Beaches. The St. Johns River divides the city. The Trout River, a major tributary of the St. Johns River, is located entirely within Jacksonville.
Just south of Jacksonville, north of Saint Augustine, marks the boundary of where the Floridian Peninsula ends and Continental North America begins; Jacksonville is north of that line. While still in the North American Coastal plain, the topograpy begins to take on slight Piedmont characteristics. Like the Central Florida ridge and the Piedmont, the area begins sloping several miles inland. On the west-side of Jacksonville a series of low ridges predominates. The high point of Jacksonville rises to 190 feet above sea level on Trail Ridge just along the boundary with Baker County.
Soil composition is primarily sand and clay rather than limestone, so very few sinkholes develop; however deep, large diameter sinkholes do occur.
The architecture of Jacksonville varies in style. Few structures in the city center predate the Great Fire of 1901. The city is home to one of the largest collections of Prairie School style buildings outside the Midwest. following the Great Fire of 1901, Henry John Klutho would come to influence generations of local designers with his works by both the Chicago School, championed by Louis Sullivan, and the Prairie School of architecture, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright. Jacksonville is also home to a notable collection of Mid-Century modern architecture. Local architects Robert C. Broward, Taylor Hardwick, and William Morgan adapted a range design principles, including International style, Brutalism, Futurism and Organicism, all applied with an American interpretation generally referred to today as Mid-century modern design. The architecture firms of Reynolds, Smith & Hills (RS&H) and Kemp, Bunch & Jackson (KBJ) have also contributed a number of important works to the city's modern architectural movement.
Jacksonville's early predominant position as a regional center of business left an indelible mark on the city's skyline. Many of the earliest skyscrapers in the state were constructed in Jacksonville, dating to 1902. The city last held the state height record from 1974 to 1981. The tallest building in Downtown Jacksonville's skyline is the Bank of America Tower, constructed in 1990 as the Barnett Center. It has a height of 617 ft (188 m) and includes 42 floors. Other notable structures include the 37-story Wells Fargo Center (with its distinctive flared base making it the defining building in the Jacksonville skyline), originally built in 1972-74 by the Independent Life and Accident Insurance Company, and the 28-floor Riverplace Tower. When this tower was completed in 1967, it was the tallest precast, post-tensioned concrete structure in the world.
There are more than 500 neighborhoods within Jacksonville's vast area. These include Downtown Jacksonville and its surrounding neighborhoods, including LaVilla, Brooklyn, Riverside and Avondale, Springfield, Eastside, and San Marco. Additionally, greater Jacksonville is traditionally divided into several amorphous areas, comprising large parts of Duval County. These are Northside, Westside, Southside, and Arlington, as well as the Jacksonville Beaches.There are four municipalities that have retained their own governments since consolidation; these are Baldwin and the three Jacksonville Beaches towns of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. Four of Jacksonville's neighborhoods, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, and Riverside, have been identified as U.S. historic districts and are in the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the Köppen climate classification, Jacksonville has a humid subtropical climate, with hot humid summers, and warm to mild and drier winters. Seasonal rainfall is concentrated in the warmest months from May through September, when brief but intense downpours with thunder and lightning are common, while the driest months are from November through April. Rainfall averages around 52 inches (1,300 mm) a year.Mean monthly temperatures range from around 53 °F (12 °C) in January to 82 °F (28 °C) in July. High temperatures average 64 to 92 °F (18 to 33 °C) throughout the year. High heat indices are common for the summer months in the area, with indices above 110 °F (43.3 °C) possible. The highest temperature recorded was 104 °F (40 °C) on July 11, 1879 and July 28, 1872..
The city of Jacksonville averages only about 10 to 15 nights at or below freezing. Such cold weather is usually short lived. The coldest temperature recorded at Jacksonville International Airport was 7 °F (−14 °C) on January 21, 1985. Jacksonville has recorded three days with measurable snow since 1911, most recently a one-inch (2.5 cm) snowfall in December 1989 and flurries in December 2010.Jacksonville has only received one direct hit from a hurricane since 1871. The rarity of direct strikes is attributed to chance. However, the city has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms crossing the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, or passing to the north or south in the Atlantic and brushing past the area. The strongest effect on Jacksonville was from Hurricane Dora in 1964, the only recorded storm to hit the First Coast with sustained hurricane-force winds. The eye crossed St. Augustine with winds that had just barely diminished to 110 mph (180 km/h), making it a strong Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. In 1979, Hurricane David passed offshore by 40 miles, bringing winds around 95 miles per hour. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 caused damage mainly to Jacksonville Beach; the Jacksonville Beach pier was severely damaged and later demolished.
In 2004, Jacksonville was inundated by Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne, which made landfall south of the area, and suffered minor damage from Tropical Storm Bonnie, which spawned a minor tornado. Jacksonville also suffered damage from 2008's Tropical Storm Fay which crisscrossed the state, bringing parts of Jacksonville under darkness for four days. Fay damaged, but did not destroy, the Jacksonville Beach pier that had been rebuilt after Floyd. On May 28, 2012, Jacksonville was hit by Tropical Storm Beryl, packing winds up to 70 miles per hour (113 km/h) which made landfall near Jacksonville Beach. Hurricane Matthew passed 37 to the east with winds of 110 miles per hour. It caused storm surge, extensive flooding of the Atlantic Ocean and St. Johns River, and wind damage; the storm knocked out power for 250,000 people. In 2017, Hurricane Irma passed 75 miles to the west with 65 mile per hour winds. It caused severe storm surge and flooding, passing the flood record of Hurricane Dora in 1964.
The City of Jacksonville has a unique park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, Florida State Parks and the City of Jacksonville Department of Parks and Recreation. Jacksonville 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 (320 km2) located throughout the city. A number of parks provide access for people to boat, swim, fish, sail, jetski, surf and waterski. Several parks around the city have received international recognition.
The Timucuan Preserve is a U.S. National Preserve comprising over 46,000 acres (19,000 ha) of wetlands and waterways. It includes natural and historic areas such as the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the Kingsley Plantation, the oldest standing plantation in the state.
There are several state parks within the city limits of Jacksonville, these include Amelia Island State Park, Big Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park.
Confederate Park is a public park on the southern bounds of the historic neighborhood of Springfield, and is part of a network of parks that parallel Hogans Creek. The park opened in 1907 as Dignan Park, named for a former chairman of the city's Board of Public Works. In 1914, the park hosted the annual reunion of the United Confederate Veterans, a gathering of former Confederate soldiers. Five months after the reunion the city renamed the park "Confederate Park." A Confederate monument was erected in 1915 honoring the Women of the Southland.
Friendship Fountain is a large fountain in St. Johns River Park at the west end of Downtown Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk. It opened in 1965 as the world's largest and tallest fountain, and has been one of Jacksonville's most recognizable and popular attractions. The fountain's three pumps could push 17,000 US gallons (64,000 L) of water per minute up to 100 feet (30 m) in height. Designed by Jacksonville architect Taylor Hardwick in 1963 and, in 2011 the city completed a $3.2 million renovation to the fountain and the surrounding park. It features a light show and music each evening.
Hanna Park is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) public beach and city park near Mayport in the Jacksonville Beaches area. It consists of 447 acres (1.81 km2) of mature coastal hammock, and was known as Manhattan Beach, Florida's first beach community for African Americans during the period of segregation in the United States.
Hemming Park is a 1.54-acre (6,200 m2) public park in the heart of the government center in downtown. Originally a village green, it was the first and is the oldest park in the city. The area was established as a public square in 1857 by Isaiah Hart, founder of Jacksonville. The first Wednesday of every month, Hemming Park is converted into the centerpiece of Jacksonville's Downtown Art Walk. The third Thursday of every month Hemming Park hosts a night market called Jaxsons Night Market.
Klutho Park is an 18.34-acre (74,200 m2) public park, between downtownand the historic neighborhood of Springfield. It is part of a network of parks that parallel Hogans Creek, Klutho Park being the largest. Created between 1899 and 1901 on land donated by the Springfield Company. The park also housed the City's first zoo, opening at the park in 1914. The Hogans Creek Improvement Project of 1929–30, designed by architect Henry J. Klutho, turned much of the park grounds into a Venetian-style promenade.
Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail is a 14.5-mile (23.3 km) Rail Trail that extends northwest to Baldwin, Florida. It includes three separate paths; a multi-use asphalt trail for hiking, jogging, in-line skating or cycling; an off-road bike trail; and a horseback riding trail.
Jessie Ball DuPont Park is a 7-acre (2.8 ha) park, home to Treaty Oak, a massive 250-year-old tree in the Southbank.
Metropolitan Park is a 32-acre (130,000 m2) waterfront park on the St. Johns River, in the Sports Complex area of downtown. The multi-purpose facility contains an exhibition area, picnic and playground area, and a performance pavilion which has a capacity of 10,000 persons.
Memorial Park is a 5.85-acre (23,700 m2) public park, on the St. Johns River in the historic neighborhoods Riverside. Completed in 1924, it is the third oldest park in the city. Built to honor of the 1,200 Floridians who died serving during World War I, the notable Olmsted Brothers were commissioned to design the park, along with local architect Roy A. Benjamin. Charles Adrian Pillars designed the bronze sculpture, 'Life', prominently showcased in the park.
Riverside Park is an 11.4-acre (46,000 m2) public park, in the historic neighborhood of Riverside. It is the second oldest park in the city.
Riverwalk 2.0 miles (3.2 km) along the St. Johns from Berkman Plaza to I-95 at the Fuller Warren Bridge while the Southbank Riverwalk stretches 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from the Radisson Hotel to Museum Circle. The Jacksonville Landing is a popular riverfront dining and shopping venue, accessible by River Taxi from the Southbank Riverwalk. Adjacent to Museum Circle is St. Johns River Park, also known as Friendship Park. It is the location of Friendship Fountain, one of the most recognizable and popular attractions in Jacksonville. This landmark was built in 1965 and promoted as the "World's Tallest and Largest" fountain at the time.
Veterans Memorial Wall is a tribute to local servicemen and women killed while serving in US armed forces. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day recognizing any service woman or man from Jacksonville who died in the previous year.
Evergreen Cemetery is a large historic cemetery added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 8, 2011.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens broke ground on a new center in April 2007 and held their grand opening on November 15, 2008.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Jacksonville National Cemetery
Old City Cemetery
Tree Hill Nature Center is a nature preserve and environmental education center located five minutes from Downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and the twelfth most populous city in the United States. As of 2010, there were 821,784 people and 366,273 households in the city. Jacksonville has the country's tenth-largest Arab population, with a total population of 5,751 according to the 2000 United States Census. Jacksonville has Florida's largest Filipino American community, with 25,033 in the metropolitan area as of the 2010 Census. Much of Jacksonville's Filipino community served in or has ties to the United States Navy.
As of 2010, those of Hispanic or Latino ancestry accounted for 7.7% of Jacksonville's population. Out of the 7.7%, 2.6% Puerto Rican, 1.7% Mexican, and 0.9% were Cuban.As of 2010, those of African ancestry accounted for 30.7% of Jacksonville's population, which includes African Americans. Out of the 30.7%, 1.8% were Sub-Saharan Africa, 1.4% were West Indian or Afro-Caribbean American (0.5% Haitian, 0.4% Jamaican, 0.1% Other or Unspecified West Indian, 0.1% Bahamian, 0.1% Barbadian), and 0.6% were Black Hispanics.As of 2010, those of (non-Hispanic white) European ancestry accounted for 55.1% of Jacksonville's population. Out of the 55.1%, 10.4% were German, 10.2% Irish, 8.8% English, 3.9% Italian, 2.2% French, 2.0% Scottish, 2.0% Scotch-Irish, 1.7% Polish, 1.1% Dutch, 0.6% Russian, 0.5% Norwegian, 0.5% Swedish, 0.5% Welsh, and 0.5% were French Canadian.As of 2010, those of Asian ancestry accounted for 4.3% of Jacksonville's population. Out of the 4.3%, 1.8% Filipino, 0.9% were Indian, 0.6% Other Asian, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Chinese, 0.2% Korean, and 0.1% were Japanese.In 2010, 6.7% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.) And 0.9% were of Arab ancestry, as of 2010.As of 2010, there were 366,273 households out of which 11.8% were vacant. 23.9% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.21. In the city, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.In 2010, the median income for a household in the county was $48,829, and the median income for a family was $59,272. Males had a median income of $42,485 versus $34,209 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,227. About 10.5% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those aged 65 or over.In 2010, 9.2% of the county's population was foreign born, with 49.6% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign born residents, 38.0% were born in Latin America, 35.7% born in Asia, 17.9% were born in Europe, 5.9% born in Africa, 1.9% in North America, and 0.5% were born in Oceania.As of 2010, 87.1% of Jacksonville's population age five and over spoke only English at home while 5.8% of the population spoke Spanish at home. About 3.3% spoke other Indo-European languages at home. About 2.9% spoke Asian languages or Pacific Islander languages/Oceanic languages at home. The remaining 0.9% of the population spoke other languages at home. In total, 12.9% spoke another language other than English.As of 2000, speakers of English as a first language accounted for 90.60% of all residents, while those who spoke Spanish made up 4.13%, Tagalog 1.00%, French 0.47%, Arabic 0.44%, German 0.43%, Vietnamese at 0.31%, Russian was 0.21% and Italian made up 0.17% of the population.
Jacksonville has a diverse religious population. The largest religious group is Protestant. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), in 2010 the Jacksonville metropolitan area had an estimated 365,267 Evangelical Protestants, 76,100 Mainline Protestants, and 56,769 Black Protestants, though figures for the latter were incomplete. There were around 1200 Protestant congregations in various denominations. Notable Protestant churches include Bethel Baptist Institutional Church and First Baptist Church, the city's oldest Baptist churches. The Episcopal Diocese of Florida has its see at St. John's Cathedral, the current building dating to 1906.
Jacksonville is part of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, which covers seventeen counties in North Florida. ARDA estimated 133,155 Catholics attending 25 parishes in the Jacksonville metropolitan area in 2010. One notable Catholic church in Jacksonville is the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, a minor basilica added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. There are also two Eastern Catholic parishes, one of the Syriac Catholic Church and one of the Maronite Church. According to ARDA, in 2010 there were 2520 Eastern Orthodox Christians representing four churches in the Eastern Orthodox communion, as well as congregations of Syriac Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox Christians.ARDA also estimated 14,886 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and 511 Unitarian Universalists in 2010. There were an estimated 8,581 Muslims attending seven mosques, the largest being the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. The Jewish community, which numbered 6,028 in 2010, is largely centered in the neighborhood of Mandarin. There are five Orthodox, two Reform, two Conservative, and one Reconstructionist synagogues. The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute teaches courses for the community.ARDA also estimated 4,595 Hindus, 3,530 Buddhists and 650 Bahá'ís in the Jacksonville area in 2010.
Jacksonville's location on the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean proved providential in the growth of the city and its industry. Jacksonville has a sizable deepwater port, which helps make it a leading port in the U.S. for automobile imports, as well as the leading transportation and distribution hub in the state. However, the strength of the city's economy lies in its broad diversification. While the area once had many thriving dairies such as Gustafson's Farm and Skinner Dairy, this aspect of the economy has declined over time. The area's economy is balanced among distribution, financial services, biomedical technology, consumer goods, information services, manufacturing, insurance and other industries.
Jacksonville is home to many prominent corporations and organizations, including the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies: CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Financial, Fidelity National Information Services and Southeastern Grocers. Interline Brands is based in Jacksonville and is currently owned by The Home Depot. The Florida East Coast Railway, Swisher International Group, Crowley Maritime, and the large short line railroad holding company RailAmerica are also based in Jacksonville.
In 2008, Jacksonville had approximately 2.8 million visitors who stayed overnight, spending nearly $1 billion. Research Data Services of Tampa was commissioned to undertake the study, which quantified the importance of tourism. The total economic impact was $1.6 billion and supported nearly 43,000 jobs, 10% of the local workforce.
Banking and financial services
Jacksonville has long had a regional legacy in banking and finance. Locally headquartered Atlantic National Bank, Florida National Bank and Barnett Bank dominated the industry in Florida from the turn of the 20th century through the 1980s, before all being acquired in a national wave of mergers and acquisitions throughout the entire financial sector. Acquired by NationsBank in 1997, Barnett Bank was the last of these banks to succumb to acquisition, and at the time was the largest banking merger in U.S. history. The city still holds distinction nationally and internationally, boosting two Fortune 500 financial services companies, Fidelity National Financial and FIS, FIS being well recognized as a global leader in financial technology. Headquartered on the banks of the St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville, EverBank holds the title of largest bank in the state by deposits. The city is home to other notable financial services institutions including Ameris Bancorp, Atlantic Coast Financial, Black Knight Financial Services, MedMal Direct Insurance Company, US Assure, and VyStar Credit Union. The city is also home to the Jacksonville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.Jacksonville's financial sector has benefited from a rapidly changing business culture, as have other Sunbelt cities like Atlanta, Tampa, and Charlotte. In a concept known as nearshoring, financial institutions are shifting operations away from high-cost addresses like Wall Street, and have even shifted trading functions to Jacksonville. With relatively low-cost real estate, easy access to New York City, high-quality of life and 19,000 financial sector employees, Jacksonville has become an appealing option for relocating staff. Perhaps the best example of this is the growth of Deutsche Bank's presence in the city. Jacksonville is home to Deutsche Bank's second largest US operation; only New York is larger. Other institutions with a notable presence in Jacksonville include Macquarie Group, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Citizens Property Insurance, Fidelity Investments, Ally Financial and Aetna.
Jacksonville is a rail, air, and highway focal point and a busy port of entry, with Jacksonville International Airport, ship repair yards and extensive freight-handling facilities. Lumber, phosphate, paper, cigars and wood pulp are the principal exports; automobiles and coffee are among imports. The city's manufacturing base provides just 4.5% of local jobs, versus 8.5% nationally.
According to Forbes in 2007, Jacksonville, Florida ranked 3rd in the top ten U.S. cities to relocate to find a job. Jacksonville was also the 10th fastest growing city in the U.S.To emphasize the city's transportation business and capabilities, the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce filed Jacksonville America's Logistics Center as a trademark on November 9, 2007. It was formally registered on August 4, 2009. Cornerstone began promoting the city as "Jacksonville: America's Logistics Center" in 2009. Signs were added to the existing city limit markers on Interstate 95.The Port of Jacksonville, a seaport on the St. Johns River, is a large component of the local economy. Approximately 50,000 jobs in Northeast Florida are related to port activity and the port has an economic impact of $2.7 billion in Northeast Florida: The three maritime shippers who ship to Puerto Rico are all headquartered in Jacksonville: TOTE Maritime, Crowley Maritime, and Trailer Bridge.
Cecil Commerce Center is located on the site of the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field which closed in 1999 following the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision. Covering a total area of 22,939 acres (92.83 km2), it was the largest military base in the Jacksonville area. The parcel contains more than 3% of the total land area in Duval County (17,000 acres (69 km2)). The industrial and commercial-zoned center offers mid to large-size parcels for development and boasts excellent transportation and utility infrastructure as well as the third-longest runway in Florida.
Media and technology
The Florida Times-Union is the major daily newspaper in Jacksonville and the First Coast. Jacksonville.com is its official website. The Financial News & Daily Record is a daily paper focused on the business and legal communities. Weekly papers include the Jacksonville Business Journal, an American City Business Journals publication focused on business news, Folio Weekly, the city's chief alternative weekly, and The Florida Star and the Jacksonville Free Press, two weeklies catering to African Americans. Jax4Kids, a monthly newspaper, caters to parents. EU Jacksonville is a monthly entertainment magazine. Metro Jacksonville is an online-only publication.
Jacksonville is the 47th largest local television market in the United States,. Despite its large population, Jacksonville has always been a medium-sized market because the surrounding suburbs and rural areas are not much larger than the city itself. It is served by television stations affiliated with major American networks including WTLV 12 (NBC) and its sister station WJXX 25 (ABC), WJAX-TV 47 (CBS) and WFOX-TV 30 (Fox; with MyNetworkTV/MeTV on DT2), which operates WJAX-TV under a joint sales and shared services agreement, WJCT 7 (PBS), and WCWJ 17 (CW). WJXT 4, WCWJ's sister station, is a former longtime CBS affiliate that turned independent in 2002.
Jacksonville is the 49th largest local radio market in the United States, and is dominated by the same two large ownership groups that dominate the radio industry across the United States: Cox Radio and iHeartMedia. The dominant AM radio station in terms of ratings is WOKV 690AM, which is also the flagship station for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In May 2013, WOKV began simulcasting on 104.5 FM as WOKV FM. There are two radio stations broadcasting a primarily contemporary hits format; WAPE 95.1 has dominated this niche for over twenty years, and more recently has been challenged by WKSL 97.9 FM (KISS FM). WJBT 93.3 (The Beat) is a hip-hop/R&B station, 96.9 The Eagle WJGL operates a Classic Hits format while its HD subchannel WJGL-HD2 operates an Urban CHR format under the moniker Power 106.1, WWJK 107.3 is an Adult Variety station. WEZI 102.9 is a soft adult contemporary station, WXXJ X106.5 is an alternative station, WQIK 99.1 is a country station as well as WGNE-FM 99.9, WCRJ FM 88.1/WSOS-FM 94.1 (The Promise) is the main Contemporary Christian music station operating since 1984, and WJCT 89.9 is the local National Public Radio affiliate. WJKV 90.9 FM is an Educational Media Foundation K-LOVE outlet. The NPR and PRX radio show, State of the Re:Union, hosted by performance poet and playwright, Al Letson, is headquartered and produced in Jacksonville.
Military and defense
Jacksonville is home to three naval facilities, and with Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay nearby makes Jacksonville the third largest naval presence in the country. Only Norfolk, Virginia and San Diego, California are bigger. The military is by far the largest employer in Jacksonville and its total economic impact is approximately $6.1 billion annually. Several veterans service organizations are also headquartered in Jacksonville including Wounded Warrior Project.Naval Air Station Jacksonville is a military airport located 4 miles (6 km) south of the central business district. Approximately 23,000 civilian and active-duty personnel are employed on the base. There are 35 operational units/squadrons assigned there and support facilities include an airfield for pilot training, a maintenance depot capable of virtually any task, from changing a tire to intricate micro-electronics or total engine disassembly. Also on-site is a Naval Hospital, a Fleet Industrial Supply Center, a Navy Family Service Center, and recreational facilities.
Naval Station Mayport is a Navy Ship Base that is the third largest fleet concentration area in the U.S. Mayport's operational composition is unique, with a busy harbor capable of accommodating 34 ships and an 8,000-foot (2,400 m) runway capable of handling any aircraft used by the Department of Defense. Until 2007, it was home to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, which locals called "Big John". In January 2009, the Navy committed to stationing a nuclear-powered carrier at Mayport when the official Record of Decision was signed. The port will require approximately $500 million in facility enhancements to support the larger vessel, which would take several years to complete. The carrier was projected to arrive in 2019, however an amphibious group was sent before the carrier.Blount Island Command is a Marine Corps Logistics Base whose mission is to support the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) which provides for rapid deployment of personnel to link up with prepositioned equipment and supplies embarked aboard forward deployed Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS).USS Jacksonville, a nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine, is a U.S. Navy ship named for the city. The ship's nickname is The Bold One and Pearl Harbor is her home port.
The Florida Air National Guard is based at Jacksonville International Airport.
Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville is located on the St. Johns River next to Naval Station Mayport. Sector Jacksonville controls operations from Kings Bay, Georgia, south to Cape Canaveral, Florida. CGC Kingfisher, CGC Maria Bray, and CGC Hammer are stationed at the Sector. Station Mayport is co-located with Sector Jacksonville and includes 25-foot (7.6 m) response boats, and 47-foot (14 m) motor lifeboats.
Leisure and entertainment
Throughout the year, many annual events of various types are held in Jacksonville. In sports, the annual Gate River Run has been held annually since March 1977. It has been the US National 15-kilometre (9.3 mi) road race Championship since 1994 and is the largest race of its distance in the country with over 13,000 runners, spectators, and volunteers, making it Jacksonville's largest participation sporting event. In college football, the Gator Bowl is held on January 1. It has been continuously held since 1946. Also, the Florida–Georgia game (also known as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"), the annual college football game between the rival Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs has been held in Jacksonville almost yearly since 1933. For six days in July the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is held for fishermen of all skills. With $500,000 of prizes up for grabs, up to 1000 boats participate with almost 30,000 spectators watching. Jacksonville is also home of River City Pride which is Northeast Florida's largest Gay Pride parade. The parade and festivities usually take place over the course of the weekend usually the first or second weekend in October in Jacksonville's Riverside neighborhood. The first pride parade was held in 1978.
A number of cultural events are also held in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, held downtown, is the second-largest jazz festival in the nation, while Springing the Blues, one of the oldest and largest blues festivals, has been held in Jacksonville Beach since 1990. The World of Nations Celebration has been held in Metropolitan Park since 1993, and features a number of events, food and souvenirs from various countries.
The Art Walk, a monthly outdoor art festival on the first Wednesday of each month, is sponsored by Downtown Vision, Inc, an organization which works to promote artistic talent and venues on the First Coast. Jacksonville is home to many breweries and a growing number of distilleries. Other events include the Blessing of the Fleet held in March since 1985 and the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair in November at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds and Exposition Center featuring games, rides, food, entertainment and livestock exhibition. One Spark is an annual and the largest crowdfunding event held for creators to showcase their ideas for a chance to win part of $300,000 in funding. Riverside Arts Market (RAM), an outdoor arts-and-crafts market on the Riverwalk, occurs every Saturday from March to December under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge. Holiday celebrations include the Freedom, Fanfare & Fireworks celebration on July 4, the lighting of Jacksonville's official Christmas tree at the Jacksonville Landing on the day after Thanksgiving and the Jacksonville Light Parade of boats the following day.
The VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which opened in 2003, is a 16,000-seat performance venue that attracts national entertainment, sporting events and also houses the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. It replaced the outdated Jacksonville Coliseum that was built in 1960 and demolished on June 26, 2003. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boasts the second largest animal collection in the state. The zoo features elephants, lions, and jaguars, with an exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, hosted by the former owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores and Wayne Weaver. It also has a multitude of reptile houses, free flight aviaries, and many other animals. Adventure Landing is an amusement park with locations in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach. The Jacksonville Beach location contains Shipwreck Island, Duval County's only waterpark.
Theatre Jacksonville was organized in 1919 as the Little Theatre and is one of the oldest continually producing community theatres in the United States. The Alhambra Dinner Theatre, located on the Southside near the University of North Florida, has offered professional productions that frequently starred well-known actors since 1967. There are also a number of popular community theatres such as Players by the Sea located in Jacksonville Beach. The Murray Hill Art Center was reopened in February 2012 through a partnership of the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation (JaxParks) and the Art League of Jacksonville, a nonprofit dedicated to arts education. The center is located in the historic Murray Hill area and offers community arts classes as well as shared studio space for aspiring artists. Visitors are welcomed year around for events and classes.
Jacksonville has two fully enclosed shopping malls. The oldest is the Regency Square Mall, which opened in 1967 and is located on former sand dunes in the Arlington area. The other is The Avenues Mall, which opened in 1990 on the Southside, at the intersection of I-95 and US 1. The Orange Park Mall is another mall located just south of the city in the suburb of Orange Park, Florida, in Clay County, off of Blanding Boulevard (State Road 21). The end of the indoor shopping mall may be indicated by the opening of The St. Johns Town Center in 2005 and the River City Marketplace, on the Northside in 2006. Both of these are "open air" malls, with a similar mix of stores, but without being contained under a single, enclosed roof. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), only one enclosed mall has been built in the United States since 2006.
Literature, film and television
A handful of significant literary works are associated with Jacksonville and the surrounding area. Perhaps the most important of these is that of James Weldon Johnson. His first success as a writer was the poem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (1899), which his brother Rosamond set to music; the song became unofficially known as the "Negro National Anthem." Already famous for having written Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), Harriet Beecher Stowe published Palmetto Leaves in 1873. A travel guide and memoir about her winters in the town of Mandarin, Florida, it was one of the first guides written about Florida and stimulated Florida's first boom of tourism and residential development in the 1880s.
Sun-Ray Cinema, formerly the 5 Points Theatre and Riverside Theatre, opened in 1927. It was the first theater equipped to show talking pictures in Florida and the third nationally. It is located in the Five Points section of town and was renamed the Five Points Theater in 1949. The Florida Theatre, opened in 1927, is located in downtown Jacksonville and is one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces built in Florida during the Mediterranean Revival architectural boom of the 1920s. Since that time, Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for location shooting. Notable motion pictures that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville since the silent film era include Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), Brenda Starr (1989), G.I. Jane (1997), The Devil's Advocate (1997), Ride (1998), Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), Tigerland (2000), Sunshine State (2002), Basic (2003), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Lonely Hearts (2006), Moving McAllister (2007), The Year of Getting to Know Us (2008), The Ramen Girl and Like Dandelion Dust.Notable television series or made-for-television films that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville include Inherit the Wind (1988), Orpheus Descending (1990), Saved by the Light (1995), The Babysitter's Seduction (1996), First Time Felon (1997), Safe Harbor (2009), Recount (2008), American Idol (2009), and Ash vs Evil Dead (2015).
Museums and art galleries
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is an art museum in Jacksonville's Riverside neighborhood. It was founded in 1961, following the death of Ninah Mae Holden Cummer, who willed her collection, home, and gardens to the museum. Its galleries display one of the world's three most comprehensive collections of Meissen porcelain as well as large collections of American, European, and Japanese art. The grounds also contain two acres of Italian and English gardens begun by Ninah Cummer.The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA Jacksonville) is a contemporary art museum funded and operated as a "cultural resource" of the University of North Florida. Tracing its roots back to the formation of Jacksonville's Fine Arts Society in 1924, it opened its current 60,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) facility next to the Main Library downtown in 2003. The museum features eclectic permanent and traveling exhibitions and a collection of over 700 works.The Museum of Science & History (MOSH), located in downtown's Southbank Riverwalk, specializes in science and local history exhibits. It features a main exhibit that changes quarterly, plus three floors of nature exhibits, an extensive exhibit on the history of Northeast Florida, a hands-on science area and the area's only astronomy theater, the Bryan Gooding Planetarium.
Kingsley Plantation is a historic plantation built in 1798. The house of Zephaniah Kingsley, barn, kitchen and slave cabins still exist today.
Alexander Brest, founder of Duval Engineering and Contracting Co., was also the benefactor for the Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery on the campus of Jacksonville University. The exhibits are a diverse collection of carved ivory, Pre-Columbian artifacts, Steuben glass, Chinese porcelain and Cloisonné, Tiffany glass, Boehm porcelain and rotating exhibitions containing the work of local, regional, national and international artists.Three other art galleries are located at educational institutions in town. Florida State College at Jacksonville has the Kent Gallery on their westside campus and the Wilson Center for the Arts at their main campus. The University Gallery is located on the campus of the University of North Florida.The Jacksonville Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is a branch of the world's largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents. The museum in Jacksonville is in a 1921 neoclassical building on the outskirts of downtown. In addition to document displays, there is also an antique-book library, with volumes dating from the late 19th century.
The Catherine Street Fire Station building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was relocated to Metropolitan Park in 1993. It houses the Jacksonville Fire Museum and features 500+ artifacts including an 1806 hand pumper.
The LaVilla Museum opened in 1999 and features a permanent display of African-American history. The art exhibits are changed periodically.
There are also several historical properties and items of interest in the city, including the Klutho Building, the Old Morocco Temple Building, the Palm and Cycad Arboretum, and the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, originally built as Union Station train depot. The Jacksonville Historical Society showcases two restoration projects: the 1887 St. Andrews Episcopal Church and the 1879 Merrill House, both located near the sports complex.
The Ritz Theatre, opened in 1929, is located in the LaVilla neighborhood of the northern part of Jacksonville's downtown. The Jacksonville music scene was active in the 1930s in LaVilla, which was known as "Harlem of the South". Black musicians from across the country visited Jacksonville to play standing room only performances at the Ritz Theatre and the Knights of Pythias Hall. Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong were a few of the legendary performers who appeared. After his mother died when he was 15, Ray Charles lived with friends of his mother while he played piano at the Ritz for a year, before moving on to fame and fortune. The Ritz Theatre was rebuilt and opened in October 1999.
Jacksonville native Pat Boone was a popular 1950s singer and teen idol. During the 1960s, the Classics IV was the most successful pop rock band from Jacksonville. Southern Rock was defined by the Allman Brothers Band, which formed in 1969 in Jacksonville. Lynyrd Skynyrd achieved near cult status and inspired Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special, all successful in the 1970s. The 1980s were a quiet decade for musical talent in Jacksonville.
The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts consists of three distinct halls: the Jim & Jan Moran Theater, a venue for touring Broadway shows; the Jacoby Symphony Hall, home of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; and the Terry Theater, intended for small shows and recitals. The building was originally erected as the Civic Auditorium in 1962 and underwent a major renovation and construction in 1996.
The next local group to achieve national success was the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, formed in 1994. Other popular Hip Hop acts in the 1990s included 95 South, 69 Boyz and the Quad City DJ's. The bands Inspection 12, Cold and Yellowcard were also well known and had a large following. Following the millennium, Fit For Rivals, Burn Season, Evergreen Terrace, Shinedown, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Black Kids became notable bands from the city.
Jacksonville is home to one major league sports team, the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). The Jaguars joined the NFL as an expansion team in the 1995 season; they play their home games at TIAA Bank Field. In 2005, Jacksonville hosted Super Bowl XXXIX. The PGA Tour, which organizes the main professional golf tournaments in the U.S., is headquartered in the suburb of Ponte Vedra Beach, where it holds The Players Championship every year.Jacksonville is also home to several minor league-level teams. The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, a class Double-A baseball team, have played in Jacksonville continuously since 1970, longer than any other Double-A team has been in its city, and are the top-selling franchise in the Southern League. The Jacksonville Sharks, who began play in 2010, were the champions of the Arena Football League's ArenaBowl XXIV in 2011 and now play in the National Arena League. The Jacksonville Axemen are a semi-professional rugby league team founded in 2006, and now play in the USA Rugby League. The Jacksonville Giants basketball team started play in the new American Basketball Association in December 2010. The Giants won the 2012 ABA Championship in March 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The Jacksonville Armada FC is a soccer team that began play in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 2015.College sports, especially college football, are popular in Jacksonville. The city hosts the Florida–Georgia game, an annual college football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, a post-season college football bowl game. Jacksonville's two universities compete in NCAA Division I: the University of North Florida Ospreys and the Jacksonville University Dolphins, both in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Government and politics
The most noteworthy feature of Jacksonville government is its consolidated nature, an arrangement brought about in the 1968 Jacksonville Consolidation. The Duval County-Jacksonville consolidation eliminated any type of separate county executive or legislature, and supplanted these positions with the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville, respectively. Because of this, voters who live outside of the city limits of Jacksonville but inside Duval County are allowed to vote in elections for these positions and to run for them. In fact, in 1995, John Delaney, a resident of Neptune Beach, was elected mayor of the city of Jacksonville.
Jacksonville is organized under the city charter and provides for a "strong" mayor–council form of city government. The Mayor of Jacksonville is elected to four-year terms and serves as the head of the government's executive branch. The Jacksonville City Council comprises nineteen members, fourteen representing electoral districts and five more in at-large seats. The mayor oversees most city departments, though some are independent or quasi-independent. Law enforcement is provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, headed by an elected sheriff, public schools are overseen by Duval County Public Schools, and several services are provided by largely independent authorities. The mayor holds veto power over all resolutions and ordinances made by the city council and also has the power to hire and fire the head of various city departments.
Some government services remained—as they had been before consolidation—independent of both city and county authority. In accordance with Florida law, the school board continues to exist with nearly complete autonomy. Jacksonville also has several quasi-independent government agencies which only nominally answer to the consolidated authority, including electric authority, port authority, transportation authority, housing authority and airport authority. The main environmental and agricultural body is the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation District, which works closely with other area and state agencies.
The Jacksonville Housing Authority (JHA) is the quasi-independent agency responsible for public housing and subsidized housing in Jacksonville. The Mayor and City Council of Jacksonville established the JHA in 1994 to create an effective, community service oriented, public housing agency with innovative ideas and a different attitude. The primary goal was to provide safe, clean, affordable housing for eligible low and moderate income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The secondary goal was to provide effective social services, work with residents to improve their quality of life, encourage employment and self-sufficiency, and help residents move out of assisted housing. To that end, JHA works with HabiJax to help low and moderate income families to escape the public housing cycle and become successful, productive, homeowners and taxpayers.
The present mayor is Lenny Curry, who assumed office on July 1, 2015. The past mayor was Alvin Brown.Federally, most of the city is in the 4th district, represented by Republican John Rutherford. Most of central Jacksonville is in the 5th district, represented by Democrat Al Lawson. The 4th and 5th districts were some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country—In 2014, the Florida Supreme Court ordered the state legislature to redraw at least eight of the congressional districts.In 2010, Duval County's crime rate was 5,106 per 100,000 people, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The county's murder rate had been the highest among Florida's counties with a population of 500,000 or more for eleven years in 2009, leading to widespread discussion in the community about how to deal with the problem. In 2010 Duval County's violent crime rate decreased by 9.3% from the previous year, with total crime decreasing 7.3%, putting the murder rate behind that of Miami-Dade County.Jacksonville and Duval County historically maintained separate police agencies: the Jacksonville Police Department and Duval County Sheriff's Office. As part of consolidation in 1968, the two merged, creating the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO). The JSO is headed by the elected Sheriff of Jacksonville, currently Mike Williams, and is responsible for law enforcement and corrections in the county.
Primary and secondary education
Public primary and secondary schools in Jacksonville and Duval County are administered by Duval County Public Schools, which is governed by an elected, seven-member Duval County School Board. In the 2009–2010 school year the district enrolled 123,000 students. It administers 172 total schools, including 103 elementary schools, 25 middle schools, 19 high schools, 3 K–8 schools, and 1 6–12 school, as well as 13 charter schools and a juvenile justice school program. Of these, 62 are designated magnet schools.Three of Jacksonville's high schools, Stanton College Preparatory School, Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts and Paxon School for Advanced Studies regularly appear at the top of Newsweek magazine's annual list of the country's top public high schools, coming in respectively at #3 #7, and #8 in the 2010 edition. Five other schools, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (#33), Mandarin High School (#97), Duncan U. Fletcher High School (#205) Sandalwood High School (#210), and Englewood High School (#1146) were also included in the list.The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine operates a number of Catholic schools in Jacksonville, including two high schools, Bishop Kenny High School and Bishop John J. Snyder High School. Other private schools in Jacksonville include Arlington Country Day School, the Bolles School, Trinity Christian Academy, and the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
Colleges and universities
Jacksonville is home to a number of institutions of higher education. The University of North Florida (UNF), opened in 1972, is a public institution and a member of the State University System of Florida. Former mayor John Delaney has been president of UNF since 2003. Jacksonville University (JU) is a private institution founded in 1934. Edward Waters College, established in 1866, is the oldest college in Jacksonville and the state's oldest historically black college. Florida State College at Jacksonville is a state college and a member of the Florida College System, offering two-year associate's degrees as well as some four-year bachelor's degrees. The University of Florida has its second campus of the J. Hillis Miller Health Science Center in Jacksonville.Other colleges and universities in Jacksonville include Florida Coastal School of Law and Jones College. Also in the area are St. Johns River State College, a state college with campuses in Clay, St. Johns, and Putnam Counties, and Flagler College in St. Augustine. The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science also offers educational programs from its Mayo Clinic Jacksonville campus.
The Jacksonville Public Library had its beginnings when May Moore and Florence Murphy started the "Jacksonville Library and Literary Association" in 1878. The Association was populated by various prominent Jacksonville residents and sought to create a free public library and reading room for the city.Over the course of 127 years, the system has grown from that one room library to become one of the largest in the state. The Jacksonville library system has twenty branches, ranging in size from the 54,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) West Regional Library to smaller neighborhood libraries like Westbrook and Eastside. The Library annually receives nearly 4 million visitors and circulates over 6 million items. Nearly 500,000 library cards are held by area residents.On November 12, 2005, the new 300,000 sq ft (30,000 m2) Main Library opened to the public, replacing the 40-year-old Haydon Burns Library. The largest public library in the state, the opening of the new main library marked the completion of an unprecedented period of growth for the system under the Better Jacksonville Plan. The new Main Library offers specialized reading rooms, public access to hundreds of computers and public displays of art, an extensive collection of books, and special collections ranging from the African-American Collection to the recently opened Holocaust Collection.
Roadways and bridges
There are seven bridges over the St. Johns River at Jacksonville. They include (starting from furthest downstream) the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge (Dames Point) (which carries Interstate 295 Eastern Beltway traffic), the John E. Mathews Bridge, the Isaiah D. Hart Bridge, the John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge (Main Street), the St. Elmo W. Acosta Bridge, the Fuller Warren Bridge (which carries I-95 traffic) and the Henry Holland Buckman Bridge (which carries I-295 North/South traffic). Also, next to the Acosta Bridge is a large jackknife railroad bridge built in the 1920s by Henry flagler's FEC railroad.
Beginning in 1953, tolls were charged on the Hart, Mathews, Fuller Warren and the Main Street bridges to pay for bridge construction, renovations and many other highway projects. As Jacksonville grew, toll plazas created bottlenecks and caused delays and accidents during rush hours. In 1988, Jacksonville voters chose to eliminate toll collection and replace the revenue with a ½ cent local sales tax increase. In 1989, the toll booths were removed.
Interstate 10 (I-10) and I-95 intersect in Jacksonville, forming the busiest intersection in the region with 200,000 vehicles each day. I-10 ends at this intersection (the other end being in Santa Monica, California). Additionally, State Road 202 (SR 202, J. Turner Butler Boulevard) connects Jacksonville to the beaches.
I-95 has a bypass route, I-295, which encircles the downtown area. The major interchange at I-295 and SR 202 was finally completed on December 24, 2008. SR 9B is under construction and will connect I-295's southeast corner to the Bayard Area. SR 9B will be called I-795 when it is completed. U.S. Highway 1 (US 1) and US 17 travel through the city from the south to the north, and US 23 enters the city running concurrently with US 1. In downtown, US 23 splits from US 1 and quickly runs to its southern terminus.
The eastern terminus of US 90 is in nearby Jacksonville Beach near the Atlantic Ocean.
US 23's other end is in Mackinaw City, Michigan.
Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion on Jacksonville freeways. A $152 million project to create a high-speed interchange at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 95 began in February 2005, after the conclusion of Super Bowl XXXIX. Construction was expected to take nearly six years with multiple lane flyovers and the requirement that the interchange remain open throughout the project. The previous configuration utilized single lane, low speed, curved ramps which created backups during rush hours and contributed to accidents.
Also, construction of 9B, future Interstate 795, is currently underway.
The Jacksonville Skyway is an automated people mover connecting Florida State College at Jacksonville downtown campus, the Northbank central business district, Convention Center, and Southbank locations. The system includes 8 stops connected by two lines. The existing train is a UMIII monorail built by Bombardier. The guideway consists of concrete beams which rest atop an unusually large support structure not used in most monorail systems. Maximum speed for the train is 48 km/h (30 mph).A monorail was first proposed in the 1970s as part of a mobility plan hoping to attract interest from the Urban Mass Transit Administration's Downtown Peoplemover Program. The initial study was undertaken by the Florida Department of Transportation and Jacksonville's planning department, who took the Skyway project to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) in 1977. Following further development and a final 18-month feasibility study, the UMTA selected Jacksonville as one of seven cities to receive federal funding for an automated people mover. Two other related projects are Miami's Metromover and Detroit's People Mover. UMTA's approved plan called for the construction of a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Phase I system to be built in three segments.
In 2014, the Jacksonville was among the top large cities ranked by percentage of commuters who drove to work alone (80 percent). According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 80 percent of city of Jacksonville residents commuted in single-occupancy vehicles, 8.6 percent carpooled, 2.6 percent used public transportation, and 2.7 percent walked. All other forms of transportation combined for 1.7 percent of the commuter modal share, while 4.5 percent worked out of the home.Some patterns of car ownership are similar to national averages. In 2015, 8.3 percent of city of Jacksonville households lacked a car, which increased slightly to 8.7 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Jacksonville averaged 1.62 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service from the Jacksonville Amtrak Station on Clifford Lane in the northwest section of the city. Two trains presently stop there, the Silver Meteor and Silver Star. Jacksonville was also served by the thrice-weekly Sunset Limited and the daily Silver Palm. Service on the Silver Palm was cut back to Savannah, Georgia in 2002. The Sunset Limited route was truncated at San Antonio, Texas as a result of the track damage in the Gulf Coast area caused by Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005. Service was restored as far east as New Orleans by late October 2005, but Amtrak has opted not to fully restore service into Florida.
Jacksonville is the headquarters of two significant freight railroads. CSX Transportation, owns a large building on the downtown riverbank that is a significant part of the skyline. Florida East Coast Railway and RailAmerica also call Jacksonville home.
Jacksonville is served by Jacksonville International Airport (IATA: JAX, ICAO: KJAX, FAA LID: JAX), 13 miles north of downtown, with 82 departures a day to 27 nonstop destination cities. Airports in Jacksonville are managed by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA). Smaller aircraft use Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (IATA: CRG, ICAO: KCRG, FAA LID: CRG) in Arlington, Herlong Recreational Airport (ICAO: KHEG, FAA LID: HEG) on the Westside, and Cecil Airport (IATA: VQQ, ICAO: KVQQ, FAA LID: VQQ), at Cecil Commerce Center. The state of Florida has designated Cecil Airport a space port, allowing horizontal lift spacecraft to use the facility.
Public seaports in Jacksonville are managed by the Jacksonville Port Authority, known as JAXPORT. Four modern deepwater (40 ft) seaport facilities, including America's newest cruise port, make Jacksonville a full-service international seaport. In FY2006, JAXPORT handled 8.7 million tons of cargo, including nearly 610,000 vehicles, which ranks Jacksonville 2nd in the nation in automobile handling, behind only the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.The 20 other maritime facilities not managed by the Port Authority move about 10 million tons of additional cargo in and out of the St. Johns River. In terms of total tonnage, the Port of Jacksonville ranks 40th nationally; within Florida, it is 3rd behind Tampa and Port Everglades.
In 2003, the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal opened, providing cruise service for 1,500 passengers to Key West, Florida, the Bahamas, and Mexico via Carnival Cruise Lines ship, Celebration, which was retired in April 2008. For almost five months, no cruises originated from Jacksonville until September 20, 2008, when the cruise ship Fascination departed with 2,079 passengers. In Fiscal year 2006, there were 78 cruise ship sailings with 128,745 passengers. A JaxPort spokesperson said in 2008 that they expect 170,000 passengers to sail each year.Jacksonville Fire and Rescue operates a fleet of three fireboats. Its vessels are called on to fight approximately 75 fires per year.The Mayport Ferry connects the north and south ends of State Road A1A between Mayport and Fort George Island, and is the last active ferry in Florida. The state of Florida transferred responsibility for ferry operations to JAXPORT on October 1, 2007.
Basic utilities in Jacksonville (water, sewer, electric) are provided by JEA (formerly the Jacksonville Electric Authority). According to Article 21 of the Jacksonville City Charter,
JEA is authorized to own, manage and operate a utilities system within and outside the City of Jacksonville. JEA is created for the express purpose of acquiring, constructing, operating, financing and otherwise have plenary authority with respect to electric, water, sewer, natural gas and such other utility systems as may be under its control now or in the future.
People's Gas is Jacksonville's natural gas provider. Comcast is Jacksonville's local cable provider. AT&T (formerly BellSouth) is Jacksonville's local phone provider, and their U-Verse service offers TV, internet, and VoIP phone service to customers served by fiber-to-the-premises or fiber-to-the-node using a VRAD. The city has a successful recycling program with separate pickups for garbage, yard waste and recycling. Collection is provided by several private companies under contract to the City of Jacksonville.
Major players in the Jacksonville health care industry include St. Vincent's HealthCare, Baptist Health and UF Health Jacksonville for local residents. Additionally, Nemours Children's Clinic and Mayo Clinic Jacksonville each draw patients regionally.
The TaxExemptWorld.com website, which compiles Internal Revenue Service data, reported that in 2007, there are 2,910 distinct, active, tax exempt/non-profit organizations in Jacksonville which, excluding Credit Unions, had a total income of $7.08 billion and assets of $9.54 billion.
There are 333 charitable organizations with assets of over $1 million. The largest share of assets was tied to Medical facilities, $4.5 billion. The problems of the homeless are addressed by several non-profits, most notably the Sulzbacher Center and the Clara White Mission.
Jacksonville has eight sister cities. They are:
In 2000, The Sister Cities International awarded Jacksonville the Innovation Arts & Culture Award for the city's program with Nantes.
Jacksonville is the largest city, by land area, in Florida in and the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. That merger gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its larger metropolitan population within the city limits; with a population of 880,619, it is the most populous city in Florida, and the eleventh most populous in the United States. The surrounding Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area had a population of 1,345,596 in 2010.
Simply put, Jacksonville is an authentic Floridian city. Its economy is diversified and not wholly based on tourism. Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its riverfront location facilitates two U.S. Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport. Significant industries in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare, and logistics. Despite this, Jacksonville is still a city in Florida, and tourism is important to the area, particularly in regards to its historical, cultural, and environmental assets.
Once holding the distinctions of "Insurance Capital of the South" and "Winter Film Capital of the World", and home to a formidable financial industry, this underrated cosmopolitan city is a composite of northern aesthetics and southern charm. A combination of rich architectural diversity, influential African-American ancestry, and substantial musical contributions have gifted Jacksonville an international appeal for its relatively small piece of the world. The city was listed as a "High sufficiency" world city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory, ranking alongside Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
The area was first inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole Native Americans and Cowford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States acquired the colony of Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.
1 Jacksonville International Airport (JAX IATA). The primary commercial airport in Northeast Florida, with scheduled service offered by American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. The airport has one terminal building with two concourses. There are two areas for ground transportation, at the center front for taxis and area hotel shuttles, and at the north end for arranged ground transportation, including limousines, rental cars, intercity buses/shuttles, and local JTA city buses. Generally arriving one hour before a flight's scheduled departure is plenty of time, but during major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, allow one and a half to two hours. To travel between the city and JAX:
Local bus - Costing just a dolar, public transit from JAX to Downtown Jacksonville is provided by JTA Route CT-3, every hour, picking up at Pre-Arranged Ground Transportation (north end of the terminal outside Baggage Carousel 1, lower level). Approximately one hour to the city center.
Gator City Taxi - Local taxi service, no reservation needed for arriving passengers. (904) 999-9999.
Super Shuttle - Offers shared ride, non-stop, and black car service to and from the airport.
ExecuCar - Private black car service to and from the airport, as well as around the city.
Lyft and Uber are both authorized to pick up and drop off at JAX.
Northeast Florida Regional Airport UST IATA, formerly St. Augustine Airport, is four miles north of St. Augustine, and about 30 miles south of Jacksonville. The airport offers service to Trenton, New Jersey through Frontier Airlines. No regular auto service is available to Jacksonville.
Jacksonville has three general aviation airports: Cecil Field, Herlong, and Craig airports, all of which are administered by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
Jacksonville is served by Amtrak via its daily Silver Meteor and Silver Star trains, providing connections from other destinations in Florida such as Orlando and Miami, but also from cities as far north as New York. 2 Jacksonville Station is located at 3570 Clifford Lane, approximately 5 miles northwest of downtown.
Greyhound, 1111 W Forsyth St Jacksonville, FL 32204. 24 hours. Greyhound offers service west to Tallahassee and New Orleans, south to Orlando and Miami, and north to Charleston and New York, as well as to regional destinations such as St. Augustine and Lake City.
Megabus, 1100 West Forsyth St. To and from trips for the cities of Atlanta, Daytona Beach and Orlando. Once daily for Daytona and 3 times daily for Atlanta and for Orlando. Bus fares vary with day of the week. The bus stop is located at the Jacksonville Skyway Convention Center Station. The stop will be at the last loading bay which is closest to Johnson St.
3 JAXPORT Cruise Terminal, 9810 August Dr, ☎ +1 904 357-3006. Jacksonville departures offers travelers a taste of a different kind of Florida city, before setting sail to more traditional destinations like Key West and the Bahamas. Low airfare and economical accommodations have made cruises from Jacksonville a popular choice. The Port of Jacksonville operates several facilities along the St. Johns River. It is the second largest point of entry for vehicles into the United States along with housing an active cruise terminal.
Jacksonville is sprawling with most of the city's more popular destinations not within walking distance of each other, with the exception of the city center. There, monorail service is free and connects the north and south banks of the river, offering travelers a great view of the city and an easy route to their destination. Most travelers to Jacksonville will want to venture out, see the beaches, shop and dine in its commercial districts, or visit historical sites and parks. This would be impossible or greatly hindered without a car. Unless you are planning on remaining at the beaches or the downtown area it can be time consuming to travel by bus, and too expensive by taxi.
By public transit
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) operates the Skyway monorail system in the heart of Jacksonville, and a fairly extensive regional bus network. Rosa Parks Transit Station is the main transfer hub between systems. Nearly all bus lines, and both lines of the Skyway stop at Rosa Parks.
The Skyway is a free automated people-mover system in downtown Jacksonville. Eight stations are located throughout the Northbank, Southbank, and LaVilla districts. The system is open to commuters M-F 6AM to 9PM. Extended hours vary with special events, check JTA's website if you are planning on traveling in downtown during the weekend.
Bus frequency is between 30 minutes and an hour. Buses are reasonably comfortable, but JTA buses struggle with on-time performance. Buses do not run past midnight, and many bus routes stop running at around 8 or 9PM. All buses are linked via GPS to a central control system and stops are well-marked throughout the entire city.
Taxi services are available, but expensive due to the sprawl of the city. Jacksonville is not New York City. Taxis are not readily available in every part of town, though they can be found at some downtown tourist destinations and central hotels. Service is also readily available at the airport.
Given the huge area Jacksonville covers (largest city in the continental U.S.A.), cars are the only practical way of getting around. Lyft and Uber are well established in the city and by far the most practical and affordable mode of transportation if you don't have your own car. You must have a smartphone and their apps.
Car rentals are also a convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
Car Rental Companies include:
Alamo Rent A Car, Toll free: +1-800-462-5266, .
Avis Rent A Car, Toll free: +1-800-331-1212, .
Budget Rent A Car, Toll free: +1-800-527-0700, .
Dollar Rent A Car, Toll free: +1-800-800-3665, .
E-Z Rent-A-Car, Toll free: +1-800-277-5171, .
Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Toll free: +1-800-261-7331, .
Hertz Car Rental, Toll free: +1-800-654-3131, .
Thrifty, Toll free: +1-800-847-4389, .
Payless Car Rental, +1-904-741-4015, .
Biking has become a popular means of getting around in some of Jacksonville's central neighborhoods and districts, such as Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill, San Marco, and downtown. Starting in Riverside, you can walk or bike down the Riverwalk to the Main St. Bridge, in downtown. Ride or walk over the bridge to access San Marco and its many shops and restaurants. Biking is a great way to enjoy the urban core's varied and beautiful architecture which is so easy to miss by car.
1 City Hall (St. James Building), 117 West Duval St. One of the most beautiful city halls in America and open to the public. The building was designed in Prairie School style by noted local architect Henry John Klutho. It was constructed as a department store in 1912, purchased by the city in 1993, and became the new city hall in 1997. The name was chosen by its investors, businessmen from Connecticut, the relevance being that Saint James is the patron Saint of travelers. The interior features a spectacular sunlit atrium with a dominating octagonal glass dome. The defining feature of the structure is the large abstract decorative cornices on the buildings exterior.
2 Florida Theatre, 128 East Forsyth St (at Newnan), ☎ +1 904 355-5661. The Florida Theatre offers 200 cultural and entertainment events annually, bringing 250,000 people to Jacksonville's downtown every year. The restored theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Florida Theatre has been Jacksonville's premier entertainment center since 1927.
3 Friendship Fountain. Opened in 1965 as the world's largest and tallest fountain, it's capable of spraying 17,000 gallons (64,000 L) of water a minute to a height of 120 feet (37 m). The fountain and surrounding park are directly across from the Northbank and offer visitors some of the best views of the city. It is also adjacent to the Museum of Science and History and is part of the Southbank Riverwalk.
4 Main Street Bridge. Opened in 1941, the bridge was the second crossing to be built over the St. Johns River. It is one of the most recognized structures in the city and offers visitors some of the best views of the downtown skyline.
5 Jacksonville Terminal (Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center). Converted in 1986 into a convention center, Jacksonville Terminal once served as one of the busiest train stations in the South. Designed by famed architect Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison, the station exhibits Beaux-art features and is reminiscent of New York's Old Penn Station.
6 San Marco Theatre, 1996 San Marco Blvd, ☎ +1 904 396-4845. The oldest running first-run single-screen theatre in Jacksonville. Serving up your favorite beers, wine and food while you watch the movie. Fantastic midnight film series.
7 Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave, ☎ +1 904 356-6857. Tu 10AM-9PM; W-Sa 10AM-4PM; Su 12-4PM. An art museum and expansive formal garden set alongside the Jacksonville waterfront. Features primarily European and American paintings as well as a large collection of early Meissen porcelain. Pricing notes: Admission is free to all on the first Saturday of every month; college students free Tuesday through Friday. Adults $10; Seniors, Military, Students $6; Children 5 & under free.
8 Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 101 West 1st St, ☎ +1 904 356-2992. M-F 10AM - 3PM, Sa 10AM - 4PM, Closed on holidays. Notable collections include the original proposal draft of The Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation Amendment to the Constitution, signed by Lincoln, the Justification letter which accompanied the Declaration of Independence, the Final Declaration of Allegiance Treaty, signed by every Indian tribe in the U.S. and the President, the original drafts of the Constitutions of France, Spain, Mexico, and Ireland, and the Thanksgiving Proclamation. Free.
9 Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA), 333 North Laura St (Downtown), ☎ +1 904 366-6991. Tu-W, Fri-Sa 11AM-5PM; Th 11AM-9PM, Su 12PM-5PM. This museum is located downtown in the historic Western Union Telegraph Building across from Hemming Park and presents a large number of innovative contemporary art exhibits created by regional, national and international artists. Pricing notes: Free admission between 5PM and 9PM on the first Wednesday of each month, and to college students between 1:30PM and 5PM Tuesday through Friday. Adults $8; Seniors, Military, Students, Children (2-12) $5.
10 Museum of Science & History (MOSH), 1025 Museum Circle, ☎ +1 904 396-6674, fax: +1 904 396-5799. M-Th 10AM-5PM; F 10AM-8PM; Sa 10AM-6PM; Su 12PM-6PM. Also known as the "MOSH" by locals, the museum has many interesting science exhibits, and some interesting information about local history. Adult $15; Senior, Military, Student, Youth, Teacher, Young Adult $12.
11 Ritz Theatre and Museum, 829 North Davis St. A cultural museum showcasing the people and places that flourished within the Jacksonville African American community during the Jim Crow era.
12 University of North Florida Gallery of Art, 4567 St. Johns Bluff Rd, ☎ +1 904 620-2534. M W Th 9AM-5PM; Tu 9AM-7PM, F 9AM-3PM. Features several exhibitions each year including regional and national artists and UNF faculty and student art.
Downtown. The central business district of Jacksonville, on the St. Johns River. Five districts make up the entirety of the area. The Northbank is the district most commonly associated with downtown. It houses many of the city's largest and most historic structures, as well as serving as the government and financial center for the region. Across the river, Southbank has its lions share of iconic buildings and parks. Most notably its home to the Museum of Science and History and Friendship Fountain. LaVilla and Brooklyn are popular upcoming areas just west of the Northbank. Last but not least, the Sports Complex is a large area to the east of the Northbank, housing TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville Veteran Arena, Metropolitan Park, and the Baseball Grounds.
Riverside. About a mile southwest of downtown on the banks of the St. Johns River, this neighborhood was built primarily between 1910 and 1930 and features a variety of historic homes, churches and apartment buildings. It has as its commercial center eclectic Five Points which features both unique retail and dining all in a bohemian atmosphere. Also notable in the neighborhood is Memorial Park which is situated near Five Points adjacent to the River. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. and has as its centerpiece a statue of Winged Victory as a memorial to the dead of World War I. To visit this area from downtown, take Jefferson Street which becomes Riverside Avenue.
Avondale. Along the St. Johns River just southwest of and adjacent to Riverside, was built during the 1920s Florida land boom as "Riverside's Residential Ideal". The stately historic houses here were constructed in a variety of architectural styles, including Tudor, Georgian Revival, Prairie, Shingle, Mediterranean Revival and Bungalow. The commercial heart of the neighborhood is known as the Shops of Avondale which are along St. Johns Avenue between Talbot and Dancy Streets. Here, there are many upscale dining and shopping opportunities.
Springfield. Just north or downtown is a historic neighborhood with architecture varying from Victorian and Craftsmen to Colonial Revival and Prairie School. Characterized by large porches, iconic city parks, and immersed in a blanketing oak canopy, Springfield is quickly becoming a hot spot for any traveler looking for an authentic taste of Jacksonville.
Parks and outdoors
Beaches - Jacksonville is on the Atlantic Ocean, and has a thriving beach culture, but not as packed or as crowded as the beaches in south Florida. Three cities within Duval county occupy most of the coastal real estate: Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach.
13 Hemming Park. A block-sized park in the center of Jacksonville's downtown. Named for Confederate veteran Charles C. Hemming, who in 1898 donated to the City the Confederate monument which is the focal point of the park. The park is surrounded by Jacksonville's City Hall, the United States Courthouse, the Museum Of Contemporary Art, the new public Main Library for Jacksonville, the former Snyder Memorial Church and various restaurants. Step inside City Hall, which is a restored department store built in 1912 and designed in the prairie style by noted local architect Henry John Klutho, and take a look at the large, sunlit atrium which dominates the interior of the structure. The new downtown Main Library opened in 2005 and is the largest Main Library in the state of Florida. The postmodern structure was designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern and features a Grand Reading Room and a quiet Courtyard for outdoor reading.
Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Avenue (between Margaret Street and Memorial Park Drive). Perhaps the most iconic city park in all of Florida, it was designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers who also designed many other national and city parks, including Yosemite. The park is located in the historic neighbourhood of Riverside, near the 5 Points area. It is located along the banks of the St. Johns River and houses the statue known as Life which now has become associated with Riverside in general. Totally worth a gander.
14 Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, ☎ +1 904 757-4463. Hosts more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. It is constantly growing and changing and always a pleasurable experience.
Riverwalk. A scenic walk system along the north and south shores of the St. John's River. It's a great place for a date.
Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve.15 Fort Caroline National Memorial. The original French fort, destroyed by Spanish troops from St. Augustine, now lies somewhere beneath the St. John's River. A modern recreation stands on the riverbank with a museum dedicated to the first settlements by the French in the area.
16 Kingsley Plantation. A well-preserved Southern plantation on Fort George Island. Well worth the trip to see.
17 Machaba Balu Preserve. Consist of a collection of sites within Timucuan's vast area. The salt march looks much as it did 500 years ago and is a haven of wildlife and biodiversity. The properties are under the management of the Nature Conservancy in partnership with the National Park Service.
Theodore Roosevelt Area. A nature preserve adjacent to the Fort Caroline Memorial. Donated by Willie Browne, the land sits on a marshy patch of riverfront property and offers visitors a taste of "Old Florida".
18 Little Talbot Island State Park.
19 Big Talbot Island State Park.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Jazz festival featuring major names in jazz as well as local and up-and-coming jazz artists.
Main Street Cruise, 1st St. to 12th St. on Main St.. 4th Saturday of every month. A surreal experience and a fun time, this old school cruise is like stepping into the 1970s movie American Graffiti. Poodle dresses, classic music, and an endless array of cars.
Springing the Blues. Florida's largest free outdoor blues festival.
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island (about 35 miles from Jacksonville), holds an annual festival every summer, the highlight of which is a mock pirate invasion terrorizing the locals. Additional Awards go to the biggest drunken pirate who plunders the most booty. And there is also the world famous wet wench contest.
Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular. Air show location alternates each year between Jacksonville Beach and Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The Blue Angels are typically the main event to close the show.
World Arts Film Festival. May 15–17. The World Arts Film Festival is an event showcasing a diverse array of filmmakers of all ages and backgrounds. The central theme is a global message of inclusion through the arts and education.
JaxFlow. A spin jam group local to Jacksonville. They spin various flow toys, such as hula hoops and fire poi in various parks and at nightlife spots all over Jacksonville.
One Spark (creator innovation day conference), Downtown Jacksonville. One Spark is an annual event for creators of all kinds. Artists, entrepreneurs and innovators display projects in different downtown venues each year. It offers the opportunity to get involved, be inspired, connect and collaborate. It connects people with great ideas to the resources they need to make them come true. Participants get the chance to pitch their idea to the voting public for a possible cash prize and a chance to make their project a reality.
1 Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave (Riverside Ave. under the Fuller Warren Bridge), ☎ +1 904 389-2449. 10-4. More than 100 vendors offer handmade art, specialty foods, farmers' market, and a variety of entertainment. Open every Saturday, March through December, "RAM" is Jacksonville's Premiere Outdoor Arts & Entertainment venue! Free.
Jacksonville Pride (River City Pride), Five Points in Riverside. Activities are usually centered in the Riverside neighborhood, The festival and parade are family friendly and feature friends and supporters of the gay community in Jacksonville. Late nights are whatever you make of them. Jacksonville offers a wonderful nightlife with a host of events at area gay bars and regular bars alike.
2 Adventure Landing. A small amusement park that includes an arcade, food, water park, mini golf, laser tag, a roller coaster, and go-karts.
Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville's NFL team. Catch one of their home games during football season in the fall.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, ☎ +1-904 358-2846. Jacksonville's AA Minor League baseball team. Tickets are cheap and the view is good at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Military active/retired $5 tickets.
Jacksonville Sharks. Jacksonville's Arena Football team. Winner of Arena Bowl XXIV in 2011 and the inaugural NAL Championship in 2017.
The Player's Championship. If you like golf, Jacksonville is second only to Augusta. The TPC is held each spring in Ponte Vedra, a coastal suburb of Jacksonville.
Gate River Run. One of the top running events in the US. The most participant 15K race with purse money large enough to attract professional runners from all over the world.
The Mug Race. A Pursuit Start sailboat race on St. Johns River. The world's largest river race, boaters start at the Memorial Bridge in Palatka and end at the Buckman Bridge in Jacksonville.
Downtown. The Jacksonville Landing mall offers plenty of restaurants and a few shops. For a more authentic feel, travel outside that area and explore the surrounding streets. Laura Street near Adams offers a few shops and a lovely atmosphere. Adams Street at Ocean and Bay Street at Market also have some interesting places to visit.
Five Points. A shopping district on the western edge of the Riverside neighborhood. Home to Riverside Park, Memorial Park, and the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens, this area attracts an eclectic group of locals and is a haven for trendy shops and hip bars.
San Marco Square. A good used book store, shops, galleries, restaurants, and a Peterbrooke chocolate shop make up this small shopping area. The Grotto, a nice upscale wine store with a small seating area, is very popular.
Shoppes of Avondale. Specialty shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants line these few blocks.
1 St. John's Town Center. Near the intersection of Butler Blvd and the I-295 Beltway, this is an open-air mall sprawled over a large area. Lots of shopping and fine dining options, it's hands down one of the most popular and most visited malls in North Florida.
2 The Avenues Mall, 10300 Southside Blvd., ☎ +1 904 363-3054. 10AM-9PM. In Jacksonville's Southside neighborhood, the Avenues is one of the more popular enclosed malls in town. It offers a wide array of stores and most of the one you'd come to expect in a mall setting.
3 Jacksonville Landing, ☎ +1 904 353-1188. This festival market-style shopping center sits adjacent to the St. Johns River in the downtown. It houses quite a few restaurants and offers weekend nightlife. shopping is limited to a few stores, though downtown offers its own selection of retail stores just blocks away.
Black Creek Outfitters, 10051 Skinner Lake Dr, ☎ +1 904 645-7003. M–F 10AM – 8PM, Sa 10AM – 6PM, Su 11AM – 6PM. Outdoor gear store focused on camping and kayaking. Offers kayak sales and rentals.
Jacksonville Farmers Market, 1810 West Beaver St. (near the corner of Stockton), ☎ +1 904 354-2821. 7AM-6PM. Established in 1938, the farmers market is the oldest in the state. Operating much as farmers markets have for hundreds of years, it offers a unique shopping experience in a festive outdoor market.
J. Johnson Gallery, 177 4th Avenue North, ☎ +1 904 435-3200. Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-5PM.
Stellers Gallery, 1409 San Marco Square, ☎ +1 904 396-9492. M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-3PM.
Sweet Pete's, 400 N Hogan Street, ☎ +1 904 376-7161. M 9AM-4PM, Tu-Th 9AM-9PM, F-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Unique candy store in downtown Jacksonville
BB's, 1019 Hendricks Ave, ☎ +1 904 306-0100. This restaurant has good appetizers, desserts, and a good beer and wine selection. The mushroom and bacon pizza is wonderful. The food is great, but it can get somewhat loud; not the place to go for a quiet conversation.
Brick Coffee House, 214 N. Hogan St (Ed Ball Building Adams St Entrance), ☎ +1 904 354-9945.
Burrito Gallery, 21 East Adams St. (between Main and Ocean), ☎ +1 904 598-2922, e-mail: [email protected] This restaurant has become an integral part of Jacksonville's art scene. Rotating exhibits keep the atmosphere fresh while the kitchen keeps your belly full. $8-10.
The Candy Apple Cafe, 400 North Hogan St., ☎ +1 904 353-9717.
Chamblin's Uptown Cafe, 215 N. Laura St. (between Adams and Monroe), ☎ +1 904 674-0870. Good vegetarian selection.
Chomp Chomp (Chomp2), 106 W Adams St. (between Ocean and Newnan), ☎ +1 904 762-4667. A small eat-in with a diverse menu. $6-8.
Indochine, 21 E Adams St, ☎ +1 904 598-5303.
Jenkins Quality Barbecue, 830 Pearl St (between State and Union), ☎ +1 904 353-6388, e-mail: [email protected]
The Magnificat Cafe, 231 N Laura St, ☎ +1 904 353-3588. French cuisine
Olio, 301 E. Bay St (corner of Market and Bay), ☎ +1 904 356-7100.
Pho A Noodle Bar, 117 West Adams St. (between Hogan and Laura), ☎ +1 904 353-0320.
Super Food and Brew, 11 E. Forsyth St (corner of Forsyth and Main), ☎ +1 904 723-1180, e-mail: [email protected]
Zodiac Bar and Grill, 120 W. Adams St (between Laura and Hogan), ☎ +1 904 354-8283, e-mail: [email protected] Mediterranean cuisine
Ruth's Chris Steak House, 1201 Riverplace Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207, ☎ +1 904 396-6200. 5PM-10PM (9PM on Sundays). Corn-fed, custom-aged Midwestern beef in a lively atmosphere, complete with beautiful views of the St. John's River and a happening bar area.
Al's Pizza, Riverside at 1620 Margaret St, ☎ +1 904 388-8384. Also near Intracoastal West at 14286 Beach Blvd. +1 904 223-0991 and the original location at 303 Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach +1 904 249-0002,
13 Gypsies, 887 Stockton St. (at College), ☎ +1 904 389-0330, fax: +1 904 389-0220, e-mail: [email protected] Firmly rooted in tradition, this restaurant offers authentic Spanish cuisine made fresh daily.
Brick Restaurant, 3585 St. Johns Ave, ☎ +1 904 387-0606. Creative menu with good food; on a street with lots of shops. Outside dining is available.
Biscotti's, 3556 St. Johns Ave, ☎ +1 904 387-2060. Cool atmosphere with delicious, interesting food. Take a look at the desserts in the display case. They taste even better than they look.
¡Hola!, 1001 N Main St (corner of Main and Phelps), ☎ +1 904 356-3100, e-mail: [email protected] Authentic Mexican restaurant located on Confederate Park in the beautiful neighborhood of Springfield. $10-12.
Chan's Chinese, 1508 N Main St (corner of 5th and Main), ☎ +1 904 358-2808.
Island Tropics, 2527 N Main St (corner of 16th and Main), ☎ +1 904 355-9050. Caribbean cuisine
Wafaa & Mike's Cafe, 1544 N Main St (corner of 6th and Main), ☎ +1 904 683-8313. Middle-eastern cuisine
The Loop Pizza Grill. Restaurant chain that started in Jacksonville. Good burgers, pizza, salads, onion rings, milk shakes, etc. Several locations in Jacksonville.
Metro Diner, 3302 Hendricks Ave. (at Inwood Terrace), ☎ +1 904 438-3321. Daily 6:30AM-2:30PM. A popular breakfast spot for locals.
St. Johns Seafood & Steaks. Several locations in Jacksonville. Just what it sounds like, a variety of seafood and steak with all the trimmings. Make sure to have grits as a side.
Gene's Seafood. Several locations in Jacksonville. The usual fried shrimp, fish, etc. in addition to delicious entrees like stuffed flounder. Consistently delicious.
Havana-Jax Cafe, 2578 Atlantic Blvd, ☎ +1 904 399-0609. Delicious Cuban food. Most dinners come with rice, black beans, and plantains. Very good flan.
The Madrid, 11233 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 904 642-3741. Caribbean and Cuban cuisine. Everything is delicious.
Grinder's Cafe, 10230 Atlantic Blvd, ☎ +1 904 725-2712. Ste 8-9. One of the very few "down home" southern food restaurants in Jacksonville. Very friendly atmosphere with a wide selection of southern specialties.
Clark's Fish Camp, 12903 Hood Landing Rd, ☎ +1 904 268-3474. A local favorite with lots of atmosphere. If you are a vegetarian, you might not enjoy this restaurant. Try the Fish Camp Platter or the Prime Rib, you'll be glad you did. Great place to take the kids.
Angies Subs at Jax Beach, 1436 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 904 246-2519. Jacksonville Beach, When seen from the street you may think twice about eating there, but the large amount of cars outside shows that it is a great favorite of the locals. For enjoying the best subs and experiencing local beach flavor, a visit here is a must. Lunch time is peak time and may be crowded. Hours are 11 to 8PM Monday through Saturday.
Beach Hut Cafe, 1281 Third Street South, ☎ +1 904 249-3516. Jacksonville Beach. This is where locals go for breakfast. Weekend mornings are very busy.
1904 Music Hall, 19 N. Ocean St. (between Bay and Forsyth), e-mail: [email protected] Beer and wine only. It does offer great local music and a great atmosphere.
Dos Gatos, 123 E. Forsyth St., ☎ +1 904 354-0666. Full bar. A nice place to dress up and go out to. Great selection of cocktails.
Underbelly, 113 E. Bay St., ☎ +1 904 699-8186, e-mail: [email protected]
Downtown Cigar Lounge, 11 N. Ocean St., ☎ +1 904 353-4411, e-mail: [email protected]
The Volstead, 115 West Adams St., ☎ +1 904 414-3171.
Mavericks, 2 Independent Drive, ☎ +1 904 356-1110.
Burro Bar, 100 E. Adams St..
Birdies, 1044 Park St., ☎ +1 904 356-4444, e-mail: [email protected]
Rain Dogs, 1045 Park St., ☎ +1 904 379-4969.
Wall Street Deli and Lounge, 1050 Park St., ☎ +1 904 355-6969.
Black Sheep, 1534 Oak St., ☎ +1 904 380-3091.
Kickbacks Gastropub, 910 King St., ☎ +1 904 388-9551.
The Garage, 2692 Post St., e-mail: [email protected]
Rogue, 927 King St., e-mail: [email protected]
The Loft, 925 King St., e-mail: [email protected]
Blind Rabbit, 901 King Street, ☎ +1 904 337-0146.
Park Place Lounge, 931 King St., ☎ +1 904 389-6616.
Shantytown Pub, 22 W 6th St., ☎ +1 904 798-8222. 1 mile north of downtown in Jacksonville's historic Springfield, this hole-in-the-wall bar offers hundreds of beers and boasts a spacious backyard which hosts barbecues once a week.
Uptown Kitchen and Bar (Uptown Market), 1303 N Main St., ☎ +1 904 355-0734.
The Birdhouse, 1827 N Pearl St.
Lynch's Irish Pub, 514 N. First St, Jacksonville Beach. A well known Irish pub in Jacksonville Beach. Many good imported pints on tap, with live music, and a raucous atmosphere.
Pete's Bar, 117 1st Street, Neptune Beach, FL. Cheap beer and 25 cent pool. One of the oldest bars in Jacksonville. It is definitely a staple at the beaches. Opened the day prohibition was repealed.
Culhane's Irish Pub, 967 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, Fl 32233. Featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives.
Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach, 1101 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 904 435-3000. New hotel, including 32" flat panel televisions, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi.
Springhill Suites Jacksonville Airport, 13550 Airport Ct, toll-free: +1-866-599-8636. An all-suite hotel property. Free hot breakfast, courtesy airport shuttle and free Wi-Fi.
1 Residence Inn Jacksonville Butler Boulevard, 10551 Deerwood Park, ☎ +1 904 996-8900. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Offers extended stay accommodations with full size kitchens. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet and free WiFi provided.
2 SpringHill Suites Jacksonville, 4385 Southside Blvd, ☎ +1 904 997-6650. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11PM. All suite accommodations offering free Internet and hot buffet breakfast daily.
Amelia Island Surf & Racquet Club, 4800 Amelia Island Parkway (Amelia Island), ☎ +1 904 261-0511, toll-free: +1-800-323-2001. Resort with condo rentals, oceanfront views, family vacations.
One Ocean Resort, One Ocean Blvd, Atlantic Beach, ☎ +1 904 249-7402, toll-free: +1-800-874-6000, e-mail: [email protected] Atlantic Beach Hotel at the Jacksonville Beaches offers a turn-down service, oceanfront views and wireless Internet.
Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic/Beaches, 14390 Mayo Blvd (On the campus of the Mayo Clinic), ☎ +1 904 223-1700. Features a state-of-the-art lobby and stylish guest rooms. $109-120.
Residence Inn Jacksonville Baymeadows, 8365 Dix Ellis Trail, ☎ +1 904 733-8088. Offers spacious suites with full kitchens, living areas and separate bedrooms, complimentary breakfast each morning and high-speed Internet access.
The Riverdale Inn (Adjacent to Memorial Park). Another beautiful B&B in Riverside, this one has a renowned restaurant.
DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront, 1201 Riverplace Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207, ☎ +1 904 398-8800, toll-free: +1-800-593-5690. Nestled in the downtown area on the south bank of St. John's River, DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront has completed a $12 million renovation, emerging with 293 sophisticated accommodations, various dining options, including Ruth's Chris Steak House, a new business zone to keep corporate travelers linked in, an expanded Precor fitness center and large riverfront pool and sundeck.
The Elizabeth Pointe Lodge (On the beach at Amelia Island). Bed & breakfast amenities.
Marriott Sawgrass Beach Resort. Home of the Players Championship, on the beach.
Ponte Vedra Beach Resorts, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd.. Historic — open since 1928. Rated a 5 Diamond resort by AAA. Features four challenging golf courses, tennis facilities, swimming pools, luxury shops, and fine dining restaurants on site.
Florida Times-Union. The main newspaper in Jacksonville.
Financial News & Daily Record. Another daily newspaper.
Jacksonville Business Journal. Daily publication focused on the Jacksonville business world.
Folio Weekly. The most popular weekly alternative.
Buzz Magazine. Another popular free-weekly.
EU Jacksonville. Weekly insiders guide to the area.
Arbus Magazine. The art and business magazine of Northeast Florida
Void Magazine. A monthly magazine focused on North Florida's culture.
Jacksonville Magazine. A monthly magazine devoted to Northeast Florida culture.
Metro Jacksonville. A daily blog dedicated to insider city and event info for Jacksonville.
Denmark (Honorary), 609 Wyndham Ct., ☎ +1 904 910-9620, fax: +1 904 696-7760, e-mail: [email protected]
France (Honorary), 7255 Salisbury Road, Suite 4, ☎ +1 904 469-4964, fax: +1 904 821-0315, e-mail: [email protected]
Netherlands (Honorary), 644 3 Independent Dr, ☎ +1 904 366-6682, fax: +1 904 353-6343, e-mail: [email protected]
Norway (Honorary), 50 N. Laura St., Suite 3900, ☎ +1 904 798-7360, fax: +1 904 358-1872, e-mail: [email protected]
Amelia Island - A beautiful island about an hour north of Jacksonville along FL-A1A, it is home to upscale houses, and the Amelia Island Plantation. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Amelia Island was used as a pirate base for raids on Spanish shipping. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it is the only location in the United States to have been under the allegiance of eight different nations.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Olustee Battlefield - About an hour's drive west along I-10 in Olustee is the Olustee Battlefield, site of the only Civil War engagement in Florida. The battle is reenacted each February, and is a popular site for Civil War buffs.
St. Augustine - Founded by Spanish colonists in 1565, St. Augustine lays claim to being the oldest permanent settlement in the United States. It is about a 45-minute drive south of Jacksonville by I-95, or about an hour taking the more scenic route down FL-A1A. It boasts many fine restaurants and tourist attractions, as well as a unique blend of old world architectural styles inherited from its Spanish and British masters. The fort, the old city, the Flagler Museum, St. George's Street, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and the Bridge of Lions are all recommended.