I had a great time exploring Jacksonville in my favorite mode of transportation: my Jeep! Jacksonville, Florida is actually the largest city by area in the USA and is also the most populous city in Florida. Translation - there's a lot going on here!
As you drive into the city, you can see the famous Jacksonville skyline, even if it is storming! It rained a good amount while I was there this time around, but that didn't stop me from having a great time. I loved seeing all the cool bridges towering over the river.
I stayed in the heart of downtown when I visited. My room had a gorgeous view over the river and I could see a few bridges too! I was hyped to have such an amazing view to look out of, especially since it was raining on and off when I visited. If you're planning a trip to Florida in the spring, be aware of the rainy season! That being said, there's a ton to do here rain or shine.
Besides the killer view at the hotel, I also loved the location and how close it was to everything downtown. My room overlooked the St. Johns River, which cuts through the heart of the city offering scenic views and river boat rides.
Jacksonville is a HUGE city with more than 500 neighborhoods. I ended up staying right next to the iconic Florida Theatre, which is one of only four remaining Movie Palaces built in the 1920's. This amazing building is currently being renovated and is still used as a place to host a ton of cool events for people of all ages.
Whether you want to mall crawl and explore downtown attractions like the Jacksonville Zoo or see the Jaguars Stadium, there are endless places to check out. If you love historic attractions or artsy places, you'll find a ton of museums and events to attend.
If you're itching to get your Jeep on some sand, follow me my friends! One of the first things I figured out was where I could get my Jeep on the beach. Turns out, there are a lot of cool places. Since the Jacksonville area is so big, you really have a ton of great options.
Jacksonville boasts the largest urban park system in the country, with over 80,000 acres of parks, gardens and arboretums to explore. Naturally, one of the first things I did was head to the beach. The drive from downtown was cool because you island hop along the way. There are a ton of different beaches and pull offs along the way to fish or relax on the beach. The drive itself is gorgeous as you drive across all the different bridges.
Another great spot to check out is Amelia Island. What I didn't realize at first is Amelia Island is not actually part of Jacksonville, it's actually an hour north. So if you want to spend the extra time to get to this spot, you will be happy you did, but if you just want to hit the beach in your Jeep, you have a lot of options closer to Jacksonville that I highly recommend. The whole area has a ton of drive on beaches! Just a few hours south is the world's most famous beach - Daytona!
After a long day of exploring, you'll have countless options for restaurants, bars and hotels. Jacksonville is one of the biggest cities I've visited in a long time and I was super happy to have so many options to choose from.
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