Here’s the thing- chances are that you’re either familiar with Florida or it’s on your list. It has to be- it has everything you need for the perfect girls trip.
The question isn’t really that tho- it’s whether Jacksonville, in particular, is on your list, and if it isn’t we’re going to do our very best to make sure that we convince you by the end of this post because this Jacksonville travel guide will you show why!
Sitting pretty right on the northeast corner of Florida, and almost bordering the Florida-Georgia border, means that Jacksonville not boasts one of the most charming and confusing collection of southern accents in Florida but also the lovely mild weather, and is the largest city by landmass.
What that means for us is that there is so much to explore and discover as each little pocket has its own flavour, and charm. From the quaint village vibes of Avondale to the beach town charms of Jacksonville Beach, there’s something for everyone to discover- regardless of whether a foodie, an ocean lover, a shopaholic, or a combination of everything in between.
How to get to Jacksonville:
Jacksonville is pretty easy to get you. You can fly in, or drive.
BY AIR: There’s an airport which is located about 30 mins away from the beach.
TIP: Rent a car for your time in the city because the city is spread out and get around isn’t the easiest.
When to Visit Jacksonville
While summer is always a great time to visit Jacksonville, we’d recommend visiting during shoulder season (March to May, and September to November) to not only get great weather but also the most bang for your buck.
Where to stay in Jacksonville
Regardless of whether it’s your first time or you’ve been here before, you can’t go wrong with the the oceanfront views of One Ocean Resort and Spa- sitting right on the beach in Jacksonville Beach. Walking up to the sunrise, and hearing the waves hitting the shore is one of the experiences that are quintessential for beachtown (or at least beach neighbourhoods), and it’s offered in spades at One Ocean.
What we also loved is the proximity to all the shops and restaurants around the resort. Seriously, park your car, and forget about it until you want to explore the rest of Jacksonville.
Things to do in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE BEACH: You can’t come to Jacksonville and not spend a day here. Seriously, there’s a reason why it’s on every single things to do in Jacksonville list. The beach area in particular is charming, quaint, and has a ton of food and fun things to do.
SPA DAY: Want something a bit more relaxing other than laying out on the beach? Head to One Ocean and get pampered at their spa. You won’t regret it.
BLUE JAY LISTENING ROOM: So, we’ll be honest- we hadn’t been to a listening room before but this is was certainly an adventure and one that we’d love to repeat in other cities. A listening room is exactly what it sounds like- a place you go to grab a drink and listening to musicians jam together- these could be bands that are testing a new sound or a bunch of friends who are really good and want to play and entertain other people.
The best thing I can compare it to you is the comedy clubs in NYC where comedians go to test out their acts before taking it on the round. This one, in particular, has such a neat vibe and we’re going to recommend one thing you do in Jacksonville Beach at night, it’s check out Blue Jays.
Ps- it’s a bit hard to find. It’s on the second floor in a plaza and cover is $5, and drinks are reasonable.
CUMMER MUSEUM AND GARDENS: Arts lovers will love spending time not only checking out the beautifully curated exhibits (the tea cup is a personal favourite), but also have a wonderful time checking out the gardens with the great views. We recommend stopping by the cafe and grabbing a coffee as well.
BONEYARD BEACH: Located on Big Talbot State Park, Boneyard Beach is an unexpected visual delight, and something that we did not expect to find near Jacksonville. The 3 mile long stripe of prestine, unobstructed, beach is full of massive driftwood trees and is a sight to see!
While it does require a car to get there (you can take your car on the ferry!), it is so worth the trip.
FLORIDA THEATER : This beautiful theatre is located in Downtown Jacksonville, and is the place where Elvis Presley had his first indoor appearance in 1956.
GO TUK’N: This Certified Public Art Tour is a collaboration with the renowned ArtRepublic Global and is an excellent way to explore the art in Downtown Jacksonville, Springfield, Riverside, Avondale and San Marco. And while it’s not one of the free activities to do in Jacksonville, we do recommend it!
Neighbourhoods to explore
Avondale: Charming homes and cute shops. Avondale gives you that small town feel in a big city.
Murray Hill: The arts and culture scene is one of the biggest draws to this up and coming neighbourhood. It’s full of cute cafes, music shops and extremely creative street art.
Five Points: We had some of the best food here.
Jacksonville Beach: Perfect if you’re looking for that beach town vibe with all the amenities at your disposal.
Where to eat in Jacksonville
TIMOTI’S: Get the hushpuppies, and thank us later. But, seriously, they serve some of the best seafood we’ve ever had.
VAGABOND COFFEE: Located in Murray Hill. And an hipster dream- with a cute van to boot!
MIDTOWN TABLE: Great atmosphere, delicious pasta options. Head here for dinner.
BREAD AND BOARD: Located in Five Points, and is a great spot for lunch or after work apps.
STRONG GROUNDS: Highly, and we mean HIGHLY recommend trying their cheesecake and their turmeric milk. Located near One Ocean Resort in Jacksonville Beach.
1748 BAKEHOUSE: a true hipster loving vibe. Loved the inside and the fact that they have vegan and gluten free dessert options readily available.
MAYDAY ICE CREAM: You want really good ice-cream? Go here. Seriously. You can also buy pints of it to take home. We recommend doing that if possible.
MINI BAR DONUTS: They have delicious mini donuts and a pretty Instagrammable wall. Do we need to say anything else?
TACOLU: Tacos! Tacos! Tacos! Really cool atmosphere, and great tacos. You don’t need to know anything else.
And there you have, a quick getaway guide to Jacksonville. It’s full of food and fun and basically the best way to spend time with your girlfriends.