Geographically, Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States at a staggering 840 square miles. Within that 840 square miles of sunny Florida, there is something for just about everyone. It doesn't matter if you're traveling for business, family vacation or even a romantic getaway, Jacksonville has something for your entertainment.
From romantic river views to must-see museums and unique tours, here are the Jacksonville attractions you don't want to miss.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Only 15 minutes from Downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the city's top attractions. It features a unique walking safari where visitors can view the zoo’s 2,000 animals and 1,000 exotic plant species. Located on the Trout River, this family adventure offers a wide range of award-winning exhibits. A local favorite, the "Land of the Tiger" features an innovative walk-through trail for the zoo's fascinating felines. Other exhibits highlight the African savanna, great apes, the Australian Outback and animals native to the state of Florida. A day here is perfect for kids, as they can learn about animals and greenery from all around the world. Admission tickets range from $15 a child to $20 an adult but increase depending on your itinerary.
The Jax Ale Trail
Jaxsons are proud of their many local breweries, and the Jax Ale Trail offers beer lovers an exciting way to experience the flavors of Jacksonville. Besides being a major Budweiser hub, the city has more than a dozen local breweries to explore. Grab a free Jax Ale Trail Brewery Passport and start visiting the breweries on a self-guided tour or reserve a seat on the Brew Bus Jacksonville. The trail also visits restaurants and bars that brew their beer and include tastings of local craft beers and delicious local cuisine along the way. Be sure to have your passport stamped at every brewery visited in order to receive special prizes and giveaways. This adventure is perfect for those 21 and older who love great beer and food.
The Escape Game Jacksonville
Located in St. Johns Town Center, The Escape Game Jacksonville offers an experience that is the perfect challenge for families, friends and anyone looking for a thrilling adventure. You and your team can choose from five different games to find clues, decipher puzzles and work together to complete a mission. Find hidden gold, break out of prison, recover a priceless painting in an art heist, revisit the rush of summer or accept a special ops mission — the choice is yours. The rooms vary in difficulty and most hold eight players each, with the largest holding 12. If you have 13 or more players, consult a dedicated event coordinator to help with your reservation. The exciting atmosphere is perfect for a unique date night, family fun and even company outings. Tickets are $32.99 per person, and you have 60 minutes to complete your mission and escape.
Museum of Science and History
Jacksonville's Museum of Science and History, commonly referred to as MOSH, specializes in a variety of spectacular exhibits that focus on science and local history. A signature exhibit is "Brain Teasers," an interactive exhibit that features brain-boosting skills to challenge the innermost workings of the mind. Other exhibits include full-scale skeletons, fossils from around the world and "Dinosaurs Unearthed," an interactive exhibit that features life-sized dinosaurs. The museum also showcases the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, one of the largest single-lens digital dome planetariums in the United States. Watch live star shows, cosmic concerts and productions at the Alexander Brest Space Science Theater, as well as plays, presentations and community events. You can find the museum on the lovely Southbank Riverwalk, and it is a great place for kids to explore. Tickets run $12 for kids and $15 for adults, making it an affordable destination for the whole family.
If you've ever wanted to feel like a kid in a candy store again, visit Sweet Pete's in Downtown Jacksonville. This candy shop offers so much more than just a place to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can dine at its full-service restaurant, take classes in candy making, stroll through the toy shop, enjoy the ice cream parlor, and watch the magic of candy creation. Sweet Pete's is a great place to grab a bite and leave with sugary souvenirs no matter your age.