About Jacksonville

by SmarterTravel Staff
The Jacksonville Landing (Photo: Visit Jacksonville)

White sand beaches line Jacksonville's eastern border, and the St. Johns River flows through the city's heart. Add a vast parks system and a thriving downtown, and it's easy to see how Jacksonville, spread over 840 square miles, earns its place as the largest city by area in the lower 48.

Beaches draw visitors to Florida from around the world, and Jacksonville Beach unites sun and sand within city limits. A day out is easy with boogie board and bike rentals, plus plenty of oceanside restaurants. Beaches line the coast in either direction too, and famed destinations like Amelia Island to the north and St. Augustine to the south are a quick drive from Jacksonville.

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The beach isn't the only way to enjoy the natural surroundings. Jacksonville has the largest urban park system in the country, with more than 100,000 acres of parks. Downtown, the North- and South-bank Riverwalk paths offer an ideal way to enjoy the river and the skyline. And Jacksonville Landing offers riverfront entertainment with shops, restaurants, and nightclubs that draw crowds night and day.

There's plenty to do indoors as well. Jacksonville is a burgeoning arts destination, with galleries galore and the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Discover history at the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, or the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum.

Jacksonville celebrates throughout the year, with annual events such as the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in May, the Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament in July, and the Thanksgiving weekend Jacksonville Light Parade.

Flights to Jacksonville are abundant, with nonstop flights from more than 30 cities.

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