How To Spend a Weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, Like a Local
It’s a spot with small town charm and big city fun.
If you're in the mood for a Florida getaway, set your sights on a destination that has something for everyone. Jacksonville, also known as Jax, is a laid-back city on North Florida's Atlantic coast, and it's the best of both worlds: a vibrant city that's also a beach escape with plenty of places to have fun. It's made up of personality-filled neighborhoods that are packed with restaurants, cafes, and breweries and enjoy close proximity to surf, sand, and outdoor adventure.
Start your day with a cup of local brew from Social Grounds Coffee, Southern Grounds, Bold Bean Coffee Roasters, Vagabond Coffee Co., or BREW espresso bar. Move on to breakfast, lunch, and dinner with local eats from a place like Congaree and Penn, a restaurant fed by a connected farm that supplies grits, rice, and jellies. (Don't miss the sunset wagon tour!) There's also Restaurant Orsay, a French bistro; Jax Bread Co, an artisan bakery; and Safe Harbor Seafood, which serves locally caught seafood.
There's no better way to see all the sights and try all the sips than the Jax Ale Trail, which offers a self-guided tour of 22 local craft breweries. You can pick up an ale trail passport at the downtown visitors center. Be sure to get it stamped as you make your way around town visiting the stops on the trail, including locations like Intuition Ale Works and Hyperion Brewing Co. Find a full list of participating businesses here. Also be sure to stop by Manifest Distilling in the Sports District for a tour of the full-scale facility.
There are lots of places to explore outdoors in and around Jacksonville. For a shopping jaunt, check out the Jax Farmers Market, Beaches Green Market, and 904 Pop Up at Seawalk Pavilion to stock up on local goods. To explore the art scene, set out for the Riverside Arts Market, CoRK Arts District, North Beaches Art Walk, and Downtown Art Walk to see what local makers are creating. You can also soak up the sun at the area beaches (Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune Beach among them) and along the St Johns River, which flows through Jacksonville. There's no shortage of places to explore in this fun Florida city.
You can find more information and start planning your trip at visitjacksonville.com.
What's your go-to Florida destination? Have you ever spent a weekend in Jacksonville?