There is nothing more exciting than planning a family friendly vacation that the whole family will enjoy. Exploring a different area and finding somewhere new to make memories is important. It’s a great way to bond as you finally take some time away together. Are you interested in hiking? Paddleboarding? Museums? Whatever your family is interested in, you’ll be happy to know there are at least five reasons to visit Jacksonville.
Surprisingly, not far from the city you can relax on huge stretches of sandy beaches. Building sandcastles, playing in the waves, and enjoying family beach time is the best. You can also see some of the most extraordinary cultural and historical spots in the country, and there’s something for everyone. There are so many activities in Jacksonville to choose from. If you throw in amazing restaurants and cafes, exploring nature and even people-watching, you won’t want to vacation anywhere else. Are you still on the fence? Don’t be. Here’s just a sampling of the options available:
Family hikes are often left out as many families have forgotten how to unplug from screen time and social media. A hike can bring you all together once again. In Jacksonville, there are many walks and trails available, like the Timucuan Preserve. Explore the salt marshes and rivers, birdwatching, and exploring all together. Perhaps hiking many not sound glamourous but it will allow you to be together as a family and even bring along your dog! Shady hammocks and pristine beaches await you – and you can walk the paths the Timucuan Indians walked.
2. Art Appreciation
Jacksonville is packed with galleries, museums, and art scenes in hand-painted street murals and more. Public art is booming in Jacksonville, and there are downtown walks that will allow you to see two miles worth of murals that have been painted by the locals and beyond! If art museums are your preference, make sure you plan time to see the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
Jacksonville has a fusion of French and Southern influences, and there are meals on the menus here that are divine. From the unique flavors to the locally sourced ingredients, there are restaurants that have won awards, serving entrees like scallops cooked to perfection and duck leg confit. The flavors will keep you coming back again and again — especially to Restaurant Orsay. The Caramel Macchiato Semifreddo with espresso shortbread will have you craving seconds! Jacksonville specialties also include anything from shrimp and grits to fried chicken or biscuits and gravy.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens are located just on the banks of the St Johns River, and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is a winner for all. Some of the prettiest gardens in North Florida are found here and with a century-old history, there’s always something to see and appreciate. There are sculptures and other artifacts to find here, too. Perhaps one of the best places to enjoy nature is found at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. It’s 120 acres of rustic trails through the woods with plant life labels.
If you can appreciate the buildings, you’ll love the history behind the architecture here, with prominent gems dotted throughout the town and along the St. Johns River. The buildings and bridges are beautiful and breathtaking. Each has quite the story behind them. You could enjoy exploring the streets and buildings as much as the views of the river!
Exploring Jacksonville, Florida, should be on your family bucket list. If it isn’t yet, be sure to add it now. Remember, there are so many reasons to visit Jacksonville and we’ve only touched on a few!