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Die Skyline von Jacksonville, Bild: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

Jacksonville – the perfect combination of city life and nature

With over 880,000 inhabitants, Jacksonville, located in Duval County, is the most populous and largest city in Florida. It is located at the confluence of the St. Johns River with the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean; i.e. in the far northeast of the state. Despite its size, it looks very original and authentic – it is said that you can experience the “real” Florida here.

Tourism is becoming more and more important, but Jacksonville is even quieter compared to other hotspots in America. That’s why you will find a great mix of good tourist infrastructure and still enough space to look at the sights in peace and quiet and not be trampled down by hordes of visitors.

Particularly noteworthy is the nature in and around the city. Jacksonville is crisscrossed by a vast system of parks that not only offer the perfect opportunity for a break in the countryside, but also improve air quality and the urban climate as a green lung. A special highlight are of course the sandy beaches, which stretch over a length of more than 35 km and thus offer enough space for all water rats and sun worshippers.

This is what makes Jacksonville special

The city is best known for its authenticity and a relaxed, fun-loving ambience. Instead of mass tourism, you will find typical South American lifestyle and hospitality here. The open and friendly mentality of the “Jacksons”, as the inhabitants are called, creates a feel-good atmosphere and lets you immediately take the city to your heart. It is therefore particularly suitable for travellers who want to spend a carefree holiday. Another advantage is that it is a rather cheap American destination. Instead of pomp and ostentation, the focus here is on having fun in life and having a good time.

Pure nature and water as far as the eye can see

Everbank Field, Jacksonville
Everbank Field, the home of the NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars, Image: RozenskiP / shutterstock

Jacksonville is considered a paradise for all those who like to indulge in the cool water. The large parks are peppered with lakes, there are numerous fountains and the water spectacles of the fountains enchant many a visitor. In the lush green spaces, residents like to take a little break from everyday life and let their minds wander and then plunge back into city life strengthened. A special feature is of course the Intracoastal Waterway and the St. Johns River, where boating enthusiasts and fishing enthusiasts get their money’s worth. No matter what kind of water sports; Jacksonville offers enough liquid surface and a variety of rental offers to plunge into the waves in every conceivable form. There are also many restaurants along the river where you can enjoy freshly caught seafood and fish.

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Another highlight are the city’s beaches. The most famous among them are Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Mayport Beach, and Atlantic Beach. On the north side of the city are more remote stretches of coastline, which can be reached by a short ferry ride or a car tour via the scenic Heckscher Drive. More than 30 coastal reefs along the local Atlantic coastline offer divers the opportunity to explore a fascinating underwater world. You can rent the necessary equipment in one of the surf shops, which can be found on the beach sections.

What not to miss

TRIDENT CHALLENGE, Jacksonville
Trident Challenge participants, Image: Rob Wilson / shutterstock

If you come to Jacksonville for the first time, you will quickly notice that the city is not characterized by huge, historic buildings and magnificent landmarks, but rather by the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and way of life of the people. The true characteristics are art and culture, because the metropolis has a lot to offer of them.

The theater scene in particular is known far beyond the borders of Florida, as legendary Broadway shows regularly stop here. For a nostalgic touch, the Theatre Jacksonville, the oldest continuously active city theatre, still offers shows and performances.

Again and again, the city ranks among the 25 best cultural destinations in the USA, including the Jacksonville Symphony, the most famous orchestra in the state. Among the museums, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is probably the first port of call. Here, the great presence of nature in Jacksonville is taken up and combined with art and culture. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in the heart of the city is also one of the largest and most modern museums for contemporary art.

If you’re looking for vibes and music, head to the turbulent annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival. There, well-known jazz artists and newcomers will play on four stages in the city center, enriching the Memorial Day weekend with music of the highest level and a good atmosphere. The art market on the riverbank, the RAM, is also a popular destination. There, a wide variety of artists sell their works in a cheerful, colorful environment that invites you to browse and marvel. A trip is worthwhile not only for art lovers, but also as a family venture. The atmosphere is relaxed and child-friendly, usually there are small show interludes and performing arts in charmingly chaotic, cheerful surroundings.

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Jacksonville is the ideal destination for a relaxed, casual vacation filled with good humor and exciting activities. The inviting atmosphere makes you immerse yourself in the way of life of the locals after just a few days. Art and culture also enrich the trip with educational, fascinating and entertaining moments. All this, against the background of lush nature and great opportunities to get active, make a visit to the city a special experience that will make you forget the stress of everyday life.

General information

Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida in terms of population and geographic area. It is a major economic and cultural centre in the region, offering a mix of urban flair and natural beauty, with several beaches nearby and the St. Johns River running through the town.

Climate

Jacksonville experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters. The city attracts visitors all year round, especially during the spring and autumn months when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities.

Sights

  • Beaches: Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach offer sunny excursions and water activities.
  • St. Johns River: Great for boating, fishing, and water sports.
  • Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens: Offers an impressive collection of artwork as well as beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: A popular destination for families that showcases a variety of animal species as well as botanical gardens.
  • Museum of Science and History (MOSH): Offers interactive exhibits that focus on the local environment, science, and history.
  • Little Talbot Island State Park: A pristine natural paradise great for hiking, beach walks, and bird watching.

Activities

  • Golf: Jacksonville is known for its world-class golf courses.
  • Festivals: The city plays host to numerous cultural and music festivals throughout the year, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
  • Sports: Home of the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL), attend a football game for real local atmosphere.
  • Dining experiences: Explore the growing food scene, which ranges from fresh seafood to Southern specialties.

Culture

Jacksonville has a vibrant art and music scene. Annual cultural events and local museums, such as the Ritz Theatre and Museum, which showcases African-American culture and history, add to cultural diversity.

Gastronomy

The culinary scene in Jacksonville is diverse, with a strong emphasis on seafood freshly caught from nearby waters. Local specialties also include southern cuisine, which is deeply rooted in the region.

Journey

Jacksonville is accessible through Jacksonville International Airport, which offers direct flights from many U.S. cities. The city is also a hub for highways such as I-95 and I-10, which makes it easy to get there by car.