If you’re a new Jacksonville resident, you probably know your way around your new community and places you must go such as grocery stores. But unless you’re familiar with “JAX,” or spent significant time here while searching for your new home, foraging further might be a challenge.
We at ICI Homes are here with your game plan. It’s a list of places to go and things to do all over metropolitan Jacksonville. Knock out several in one day, or devote an entire day to one activity.
You’ll get our bearings in no time with our list of 10 things new Jacksonville residents should do.
1. Ride the Mayport Ferry
Head northeast to the historic fishing village of Mayport. It’s on the south bank of the St. Johns River, near where the river empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s renowned for its seafood restaurants, but the St. Johns River Ferry will cross that natural divide and take you and your vehicle north from Mayport to Fort George Island, and back again.
2. Pose with Jaguar statue at EverBank Field
Th stadium, located on the north side of the St. Johns River, downtown, is the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Outside it, the 16-foot-long, snarling statue of their namesake weighs 2,850 pounds. Grab a selfie or pose with family and friends.
3. Visit American Beach
This 8.5-acre tract on the south end of Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville, is the site of an historic African-American beach community founded in 1935, a time when African Americans couldn’t enjoy other public beaches. Today, the tract is owned by the National Park Service. Look for the historic marker and be respectful of surrounding private property.
4. Visit the Treaty Oak, the Jacksonville Navy Memorial and Friendship Fountain
These icons are clustered on or near the Riverwalk on the south side of downtown. The Treaty Oak is a massive live oak that dates to 1822. The Jacksonville Navy Memorial is a statue of a sailor that’s emblematic of “JAX’s” longtime association with a massive U.S. Navy base here. The circa-1965 Friendship Fountain is a circular water feature that’s one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.
5. Take a water taxi across the St. Johns River
Do it! It’s more fun than sitting in traffic on a bridge. There are several downtown locations on either side of the river, where water taxis will zip you across the waterway.
6. Attend THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
One of the PGA Tour’s biggest events, it happens in Ponte Vedra Beach, south of Jacksonville. TPC Sawgrass is the home course of the PGA Tour National Headquarters, also located in Ponte Vedra Beach.
7. Catch a show at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining
It’s the oldest continually operating professional dinner theater in the U.S., dating to 1967. Graze the pre-show buffet, relax afterward in the Library Lounge or stroll the Harry Frisch Garden.
8. Take the Budweiser Tour.
“JAX” is home to one of only five Bud breweries in the U.S. You have to, right? Once you’re finished, hit the JAX Ale Trail to check out local homegrown breweries and tap rooms.
9. Get soft-serve ice cream at Dreamette’s
These folks have been churning up homemade frozen treats since 1948. There are three Jacksonville locations (St. Johns Town Center, Neptune Beach and Riverside).
10. Kids Free November
Have a family? Take advantage of this month-long promotion, when select Jacksonville businesses allow kids free admission with an adult is in tow. It’s a great way to introduce youngsters to your new city. Check visitors’ guides for the updated list. Museums, restaurants, recreational companies and local attractions are some of the past participants.
Ready to live your Jacksonville lifestyle? Talk to ICI Homes here.