Attractions

Explore all 840 Square Miles of a different side of Florida. Stretches of stunning beaches and waterways, the largest urban park system in the country, extraordinary cultural and historical spots, and experiences that engross the mind, body, and inner adventurer.

Jacksonville's 21 miles of uncrowded beaches, affordable lodging, and activities for less than $10 makes this “River City by the Sea” an ideal family getaway. Immerse yourself in Jacksonville without breaking the bank with these inexpensive and entertaining activities:

1. Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier

Take in a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville's expansive shoreline from the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier , rocketing nearly a quarter mile into the ocean. Pedestrians, $1; children six and under, free; fishermen, $4.

2. The Ritz Theatre and Museum

Begin your discovery of Jacksonville's African-American heritage with an animatronics story of native sons James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson who composed the Negro national hymn, “Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing.” At The Ritz Theatre and Museum , you can stroll along recreated streets depicting the daily lives of African Americans in Jacksonville during recent history. Adults, $6.00; children and seniors, $3.00.

3. Tree Hill Nature Center

Minutes from Downtown, discover Florida's ecosystems at Tree Hill Nature Center 's interactive, natural experience. Explore 50 acres of trails, a Florida natural history museum, butterfly and hummingbird gardens and live animal displays. Adults, $4; seniors/students/military, $3; children $2.

4. Championship Sporting Events

Every spring, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the double-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins. Games are played at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville , with tickets starting at $5. In the summer, tackle a new sport – rugby - with the National Champions, the Jacksonville Axemen. All games are played at UNF's Hodges Field and tickets are just $5. New to Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Giants, an American Basketball Association team, play in the fall/winter at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena . Tickets start at $8. Or the 2011 Arena Bowl Champion Jacksonville Sharks , who play from March-August.

5. National, State, and City Parks

With the largest urban parks system in the country, Jacksonville offers outdoor experiences for every level of adventure. From bird watching on the Great Florida Birding Trail at Huguenot Memorial Park to kayaking the creeks and tributaries winding through the Talbot Island State Parks and hiking the trails of the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve . Most parks offer free admission. Some entrance fees required, but are less than $5.

6. Renowned Museums

Arts and culture is accessible in Jacksonville. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville , the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) all offer daily adult admission for $10 or less and offer special free admission days. Visitors will find exhibits to delight every age.

7. The Riverwalk

Stroll along the St. Johns River while taking in views of the Downtown skyline, boats and favorite attractions. Stop by The Jacksonville Landing for a family-friendly festival, concert or meal. Or continue along the Riverwalk on the Northbank to the Riverside Arts Market , Florida' largest weekly, free arts festival. The market is held Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from March to December, under the Fuller Warren Bridge and offers fresh produces, local art vendors, live entertainment and more.

8. Kingsley Plantation

Tucked away in the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is Kingsley Plantation – Florida's oldest, still-standing plantation house. A living history exhibit includes the barn, plantation gardens, plantation house, kitchen and 20 remarkably preserved tabby slave cabins. Admission is free. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve has unveiled a new audio tour entitled, “The Lion's Storyteller”. The tour will give visitors a chance to hear the entire story of Kingsley Plantation, not just the owners' perspectives.The audio tour captures their story in an immersive, multi-media experience, drawing on some first-hand accounts, documents from the time, and stories from the historic record.

Visitors can request the audio tour at the visitor center at Kingsley Plantation. After a quick tutorial by park staff, visitors start their immersive journey into the past of this remarkable historic site. Audio described as well as subtitled versions are available for visitors needing assistance. The tour is available at the park during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please allow one hour to fully enjoy the experience.

9. Beaches Museum & History Center

Relive the days when Jacksonville's beaches first became a tourist destination with the expansion of the railroad at Beaches Museum & History Park . Walk along a replica boardwalk, while soaking in historical tales, including the story of devastating Hurricane Dora. Other exhibits outside the museum at Pablo Historical Park include the Mayport Railway Depot and a once-working Old #7 Locomotive. Adults, $5; Senior Citizens (65+), $4; Children (6-17), $3; Children 5 and under, free.

10. Quirky Museums

Take in historical documents at one of only seven national Karpeles Museum located in historic Springfield. And don't forget Jacksonville's Fire Museum , which displays an Ahrens Fox steam pumper used in Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901.

Jacksonville Activities for Ages 4-9:

Keep these little explorers busy with hands-on activities. Here are solutions to keep little minds busy while in Jacksonville.

  • The Bryan Gooding Planetarium at the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is the next-generation in planetarium technology with a visual display that is four times better than the best available HDTV. Programming reaches beyond astronomy to include history and natural science, blockbuster films and documentaries. MOSH also features hands-on exhibits exploring nature, history and science with small animal exhibits and aquariums to view and special exhibits featured seasonally.
  • Families with children are welcome on Saturday mornings to come and discover their inner artists at Yes You Canvas! . A theme is selected for each class and a professional artist walks children through creating their own masterpieces. Classes are only $20, which includes supplies.
  • Sweet Pete's is a confectionary emporium of roughly 23,000 sq. ft., making it one of the largest candy shops in the United States. The Jacksonville location boasts a fully functioning factory with an interactive gallery, two large retail areas, a full restaurant and bar called The Candy Apple Café and Cocktails, rooftop patio and dessert bar. Sweet Pete's features an event center that offers space for children's field trips, catered events and parties, hands-on interactive candy making sessions and birthday parties. It's no wonder they're called the Sweetest Destination on Earth!
  • The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens ' newest exhibit features Magellanic penguins at Tuxedo Coast. The exhibit, situated in the zoo's Play Park, features a splash ground, playground and other kids' activities. The Asia Bamboo Gardens is home to beautiful botanical gardens and most important to the kids' -the largest lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon. The zoo also boasts a Giraffe Overlook with giraffe feeding station and the Range of the Jaguars.

The Jacksonville Landing is located in the midst of a wide variety of things to do and see to make your day, evening or weekend complete! From Broadway Shows and National Recording Artists to the Jacksonville Jaguars or a trip to the Museum of Science & History, downtown Jacksonville has it all. The Landing restaurants, shops and nightlife venues can all be paired up with one of our area attractions to form the perfect package! So please, explore what the area has to offer and make your trip to The Landing and downtown Jacksonville even better!

Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville

Take me out to the ball game! The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville sits on a little more than 9 acres and includes a 112,000-square-foot field and an 18,400-square foot sky box. In addition to six concession stands, six portable kiosk locations, three dressing rooms, a media room, weight room and kitchen, the ballpark also features a place for players to practice indoors.

EverBank Field

Home of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, EverBank Field is adjacent to the St. Johns River in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. EverBank Field is the result of a $135 million renovation project; this 76,000 seat facility also hosts the annual NCAA University of Florida vs. University of Georgia and Gator Bowl football games.

Florida Theatre

With its lavish interior décor and 1920's fantasy style architecture, the Florida Theatre provides entertainment and educational experiences to the public. The theatre is one of only four remaining high-style movie ‘palaces' built in Florida during this period.

Friendship Fountain

  • TYPE: Park
  • PHONE: (904) 630-1382
  • E-MAIL: LBoyer@coj.net
  • WEBSITE: http://coj.net/parks
  • Get directions

Situated at the west end of the Southbank Riverwalk adjacent to the Museum of Science and History is Friendship Fountain. Dedicated in 1965, it is one of the largest self-contained fountains built, pumping 3,500 to 6,500 gallons of water per minute to a height of 100 feet, with 265 lights molding the water into a sparkling mist. Whether you are looking for a peaceful place for a picnic, or just want to watch the river flow by, Friendship Fountain provides the ideal setting for a sunny afternoon or a romantic evening Downtown.

In 2010, the City of Jacksonville broke ground on park improvements. The $3.1 million project included restoring full functionality to the fountain, updating the fountain's lighting and adding green space, landscaping and pedestrian accents to the park.

Hemming Park

Located in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, Hemming Park is bounded by City Hall at St. James, the Federal Building, MOCA Jacksonville and Historic Snyder Memorial. The park covers one block and boasts two fountains, Imagination Playground, Hemming Cafe, a main-stage area and two additional stages. Just four blocks north of the Jacksonville Landing, Hemming Park is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the outdoors Downtown.

Hemming Park is managed by Friends of Hemming Park.

Jacksonville Expo Center at the Fairgrounds

The Jacksonville Expo Center, formerly the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, sets the scene for many colorful events in Downtown Jacksonville, including the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair. Located adjacent to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, the Jacksonville Fairgrounds provides ample space for large gatherings in the Downtown area.

Jacksonville Historical Society

  • TYPE: Tours
  • PHONE : (904) 665-0064
  • EMAIL: jaxhistorical@bellsouth.net
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jaxhistory.com
  • Get Directions

The Jacksonville Historical Society strives to foster and promote appreciation of the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida by conducting, encouraging and promoting research of local history; maintaining a program of information, promoting the sale or distribution of historical publications, promoting the collection, preservation and presentation of materials pertaining to the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida; and, encouraging the preservation and restoration of historic sites and properties.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • TYPE: Sports
  • PHONE: ( 904) 630-2000
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jaguars.com
  • Get Directions

It's the team that put Jacksonville on the map – our very own NFL Jacksonville Jaguars!

Jacksonville Main Library

  • TYPE: Other
  • PHONE: ( 904) 630-2665
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jpl.coj.net
  • Get Directions

Whether you're looking for information, researching your genealogy, or simply browsing for an afternoon read, the Jacksonville Public Library's Main Branch is the place to be. The full selection of fiction, nonfiction and reference materials are available, and the friendly staff is always available to assist you.

Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center

  • TYPE: Sports
  • PHONE: (904) 358-2846
  • EMAIL: info@jaxsuns.com
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jaxsuns.com
  • Get Directions

Join Southpaw and the AA Jacksonville Suns in their premier baseball stadium. Pick up some popcorn and a hot dog, and enjoy a day in the stands as the Suns play ball!

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

  • TYPE: Performing Arts
  • PHONE: (904) 630-3900
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jaxevents.com
  • Get Directions

The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is an up to 15,000 seat multi-purpose arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Built in 2003, the Arena is home to the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame and has hosted events such as the 2006 & 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournaments, Elton John and the NFL's Superbowl Concert Series.

Jacksonville's "Top to Bottom" Walking Tour

Experience Jacksonville like never before – from the rooftop of the historic Florida Theater to the underground bank tunnels and secret vaults. Once known as “Cowford”, the picturesque city along the river has grown to be the largest city in land area in the continental United States. Hear how Jacksonville rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1901 to emerge as an architectural gem of the South.

Tours start at the bottom of The Jacksonville Landing escalators every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Approximate walking distance: 1 mile. Approximate tour length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Price: $20/person. Mention The Landing and receive $5 off!

PRESENTED BY ADLIB LUXURY TOURS

Metropolitan Park

  • TYPE: Parks & Recreation
  • PHONE: (904) 630-3690
  • EMAIL: cgoodell@coj.net
  • WEBSITE: Click HERE
  • Get Directions

Located in Downtown Jacksonville on the St. Johns River across from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Metropolitan Park is just minutes from I-95 and easily accessible from any part of the First Coast. This beautiful park is home of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Starry Nights Series, as well as many other concert events. Guests enjoy the public docking space, playground, picnic areas, landscaped gardens and riverfront walk that this charming plot of nature offers.

MOCA Jacksonville

  • TYPE: Museum
  • PHONE: (904) 366-6911
  • EMAIL: info@mocajacksonville.org
  • WEBSITE: http://www.mocajacksonville.org
  • Get Directions

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA) is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, Florida next to City Hall on historic Hemming Plaza. Focusing on exhibiting and collecting art created since 1960, the Museum displays the works of national and international artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Museum also features the ArtExplorium Loft, a family learning center with adjoining classrooms offering exciting educational programs.

Café Nola @ MOCA offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience – serving upscale bistro fare for lunch and dinner in a relaxed and upbeat setting.

Museum of Science & History (MOSH)

  • TYPE: Museum
  • PHONE: (904) 396-MOSH (6674)
  • EMAIL: admin@themosh.org
  • WEBSITE: http://www.themosh.org
  • Get Directions

The Museum of Science & History strives to increase the knowledge and understanding of the natural environment and history of Jacksonville as well as Northeast Florida. Focusing on creating an awareness and appreciation of science and history through quality programs, MOSH offers exhibits and events that stimulate and inspire learning in all visitors.

Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center

  • TYPE: Other
  • PHONE: (904) 630-4000
  • WEBSITE: http://www.jaxevents.com
  • Get Directions

With 265,000-square-feet of space, the Prime Osborn Convention Center is large enough and versatile enough to accommodate gatherings of virtually any size, small or large. The Convention Center has been the home of events such as the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show, the Southern Women's Show, Christmas Made in the South, and a variety of other community events.

Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum

  • TYPE: Performing Arts
  • PHONE: (904) 807-2010
  • EMAIL: ritztheatre@coj.net
  • WEBSITE: http://www.ritzlavilla.org
  • Get Directions

A must-visit, this area represents the mecca for African-American culture and heritage in all of Florida. Designed in 1929, the renovated theater seats 400 and has a large stage for a variety of movies, music, dance and theatrical productions. Joined at the hip is the recently opened LaVilla Museum, which features an eye-catching mix of African and African-American cultural exhibits.

Riverside Arts Market

  • TYPE: Other
  • PHONE: (904) 389-2449
  • EMAIL: info@riversideartsmarket.com
  • WEBSITE: http://www.RiversideArtsMarket.com
  • Get Directions

A 15 minute walk down the Northbank Riverwalk from the Landing is Jacksonville's high energy, free weekly art, food, crafts, and farmers market under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge. Open April 4 to Dec 19, every Saturday from 10am to 4pm, the Market features live entertainment on the River Stage, fresh produce, art of all kinds, good local food and a variety of street performers. Also served by the Water Taxi from/to the Landing.

S.S. Marine Taxi

  • TYPE: River Cruise
  • PHONE: (904) 372-3318
  • EMAIL: ssmarinetaxi@comcast.net

S.S. Marine Taxi invites you to ride with us to and from your destinations across the St. Johns River of downtown Jacksonville, Florida.

Hours:
Sunday through Thursday: 11am-9pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm

One Way Downtown Fares:
Adults $3, Children & Seniors $2

The Elbow

  • TYPE: Nightlife
  • PHONE: (904) 358-2846
  • WEBSITE: http://theelbowjax.com/
  • Get directions

The Elbow is Downtown Jacksonville's Entertainment District . Committed to creating an authentic entertainment experience, The Elbow offers a wealth of diverse, walkable and award-winning culinary, nightlife, live music and performance venues. Cultivated around the historic Florida Theatre, The Elbow is one destination that encompasses eight restaurants and nine bars with three additional spots to open by 2016. The formal boundaries are Bay Street to Adams Street and Main Street to Liberty Street .

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

  • TYPE: River Cruise
  • PHONE: (904) 372-3318
  • EMAIL: ssmarinetaxi@comcast.net
  • Get Directions

The Times-Union Center houses three distinct halls built to host a variety of artists and attractions. The lobby and meeting areas are spacious and welcoming, many with a spectacular view of the St. Johns River.

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