Things to do in Jacksonville

12 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Jacksonville

Fantastic, fun and interactive indoor attractions in Northeast Florida

Things to Do Outside in Jacksonville and Amelia Island

From kayaking and surfing to beach-bumming, this is how to experience Florida's northeastern coast.

Things to Do in Northeast Florida

Ride horses on the beach, swim with dolphins and drink from the Fountain of Youth in Amelia Island, Jacksonville and St. Augustine

Things to Do in Jacksonville: Top Attractions

From surfing the Atlantic waves to enjoying the local foodie scene, there is plenty to do in Jacksonville and Amelia Island.

About Jacksonville

Founded in 1822, Jacksonville rests on the banks of the St. Johns River, 15 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. Just up the coast resides Amelia Island, dubbed "Queen of Summer Resorts" since the turn of the century. Today, life is still all about the water. From a dramatic riverfront skyline of Fortune 500 companies and corporate headquarters to a laid-back vibe on the beaches, Jacksonville and Amelia Island afford locals with a work-life balance and tourists with a well-rounded vacation combining the natural beauty of the ocean with the dining, culture and shopping of a modern metropolis. 


One of Florida's most northern destinations, Jacksonville and Amelia Island are perhaps the most Southern in culture. While Lynyrd Skynyrd hails from Jacksonville, stately homes, horse-drawn carriages and regal oaks draped in Spanish moss reveal a more genteel side. Southerners love their football, and Jacksonville not only boasts its own NFL team, the Jaguars, but the city hosts the "world's largest cocktail party," the annual collegiate match between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs. The catch-phrase "Salt Life" stamped across T-shirts and surfboard-toting SUVs was coined here, reflecting the prevalent culture of fishing, surfing and beach bumming. When the sun goes down, a new wave of chefs and brewers reinvent the food scene and diverse cultural offerings take the spotlight. 


Florida's favorable climate and beautiful beaches are the number-one appeal. Year-round sunshine allows tourists to take full advantage of Atlantic beaches, state parks and scenic golf courses. In downtown Jacksonville, business travelers and conventioneers head to the riverfront for a post-meeting drink, while hipsters taste their way down the Jax Ale Trail, highlighting the city's craft breweries. When the sunburn kicks in, the Jacksonville Zoo is fun for families, while cultural travelers enjoy MOCA and MOSH, museums of contemporary art and science and history, an active symphony, professional and community theaters and the historic Ritz Theatre for live music. 


The heart of Jacksonville lies in its neighborhoods. Historic Riverside presents tree-lined streets, brick cottages, riverfront parks and the charming Avondale shopping and dining district. Five Points is the funky, hipster side of town with vintage record and clothing shops, breweries and a weekly outdoor market. Across the river, the quaint borough of San Marco Square is lined with independent boutiques and eateries, the country's oldest community theater and an art-deco movie house. Fernandina Beach in the nearby resort town of Amelia Island is popular for day-trippers or week-long guests who've made the island their family beach tradition for generations. The upscale community boasts oceanfront golf courses and a quaint Victorian downtown district.

Latest Jacksonville travel ideas & articles

The Best Waterfront Restaurants in Northeast Florida

Whether it’s a laid-back family meal or celebratory fine dining, First Coast restaurants frame picture-perfect landscapes on the Atlantic Ocean, St. Johns River and inland waterways.

An Art Lover's Guide to Northeast Florida

Find the best art galleries and art museums in Amelia Island, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine.

Cool-Weather Cocktails on the First Coast

Toast your vacation with cocktails from the area's best bars and restaurants, plus hot stops on the A1A Cocktail Trail.

Saving the Sea Turtles on Northeast Florida's Coast

Thousands of sea turtle eggs are laid on the beaches each year in Amelia Island, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine.

Take a Scenic Drive on Florida's Highway A1A

Explore the coastal cities of Amelia Island, Mayport, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine along Highway A1A.

24 Fun Facts to Treasure About Amelia Island

Learn the curious history of the Isle of Eight Flags.

Experience Jacksonville Like a Local in Downtown's Hemming Park

With creative dining, fine arts and cultural experiences, Hemming Park is a hip gathering place in the heart of downtown.

Things to Do Right Now in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Amelia Island

A roundup of the top stops and hip happenings going on this season in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Amelia Island.

14 Must-See Historic and Architectural Gems in Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s great variety of architecture reflects the diversity of cultures that call the city home. Here are a few notable examples of architecture that illustrate Jacksonville’s eclectic personality.

Where to Ride Horses on the Beach in Amelia Island

Take a trip with Amelia Island Horseback Riding and Kelly Seahorse Ranch for this exhilarating experience.