As one of the largest cities in Florida, Jacksonville is rich in cultural and historical heritage. While it might not get as much attention as Florida's other cities, it is a fantastic spot to visit when exploring Northern Florida. Take your family to see all the exotic animals at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens or catch a show at the historic Florida Theatre. Our apartments in Jacksonville boast a central location that places residents in the heart of all the city has to offer. With so much to do and see, Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP, is here to share our must-do list of places to visit in Jacksonville.
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Established in 1914, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports wildlife conservation on a riverfront landscape. Here, you can visit all the rare and exotic animals and plants the zoo has to offer, from the smallest butterfly to the largest elephant. People and children of all ages can enjoy feeding the giraffes at the zoo's African Overlook or watch the otters float along the river at the Wild Florida exhibit. Keep a sharp eye out if you go to the Trout River dock, as you might spot a manatee.
Originally the home of Ninah Maw Holden Cummer, a philanthropist who wanted to create a center of beauty and culture in Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is home to over 5,000 pieces of art from renowned artists, including Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell. The Museum offers year-round opportunities and exhibits for different ages and provides a creative outlet for kids who want to refine their skills and explore art.
The Catty Shack Ranch focuses on conserving big cats and educating the public on threats to the cats, such as changing weather conditions, pollution, diminishing habitats, and poachers. Take a tour from one of the ranch's volunteers to see some of the most exotic cats up close and learn about their history. You can even purchase tickets to see a night feeding and watch the cats pace around their enclosures waiting to eat!
Kingsley Plantation is an excellent example of a southern mansion during the 19th century, pre-civil war, and the lifestyle of that time. The house was built in the 1790s and is the last remaining plantation house in Florida. Native Americans lived on the land more than 1,000 years ago, and some who visit have claimed to have seen ghosts on the property. The Kingsley Plantation offers guided tours, but be sure to check ahead for availability. Make sure to keep an eye out for any spooky sights!
Fort George Island Cultural State Park was built in 1736 to defend the southern flank of the British colony of Georgia. The state park has various natural beauty, wildlife, and other recreational activities, such as fishing, biking, and hiking! The state park is also home to the Ribault Club, which was a club for the rich and famous during the Roaring Twenties.
Located only 20 miles north of Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a perfect day or weekend trip for you and your family. In the island's main town of Fernandina Beach, there are brick sidewalks and the red-brick Victorian buildings built in the late 1800s, which have been converted into shops, restaurants, and galleries. You can even visit the Maritime Museum and hear sea stories from divers who have found Spanish gold and silver from the seas around Florida.
Take a pleasant 3.5-mile stroll along the walkways of the St. Johns River, which is the commercial, transportation, and historic heart of Jacksonville. Take a walk alongside the river at dusk and watch the sunset along with the city lights coming alive at night. During the day, you can take a walk while stopping to listen to the many street entertainers and bands that perform along the bank.
Only a short drive away from Jacksonville is Atlantic Beach, where you can hear the soothing waves of the ocean and lay on the beach. Not only can you go for a swim, but you can also catch a fishing charter boat, and if you happen to snag a good-looking fish to eat, a local eatery may be able to cook it up for you. Atlantic Beach is an excellent place to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Listed on the National Register of Historic places, the Florida Theatre first opened its doors in 1927. It has hosted more than 200 annual events and performances, such as ballet and opera to country and blues music. The Florida Theatre is one of four remaining Movie Palaces built in Florida in the 1920s. This cultural and historic entertainment center is located in the middle of Downtown Jacksonville.