About Jacksonville, the Bold New City of the South
Jacksonville University is located in northeast Florida in the heart of a metropolitan center of more than one million people, including one of the youngest populations in Florida. Boasting 68 miles of ocean coastline, 300 miles of riverfront, and one of the largest park systems in the country, the city of Jacksonville offers an outstanding array of outdoor activities of all types. There's a lot to love about the River City, but you don't have to take our word for it. We've gathered a collection of links to some of the best things about life in Jacksonville. Take a look.
The city of Jacksonville is the largest city, in terms of area, in the contiguous United States. It can be loosely broken down into a few major areas, all of them uniquely appealing to virtually all tastes and interests.
Arlington offers plenty of outdoor activities including Tree Hill Nature Center and the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, which features many biking and hiking trails, as well as the Fort Caroline National Memorial and Kingsley Plantation.
- Tree Hill Nature Center
- Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
- Fort Caroline National Memorial
- Kingsley Plantation
Downtown & Riverfront
Downtown and the Riverfront offers some of Jacksonville’s biggest attractions including The Jacksonville Landing, a centerpiece for shopping, fine dining and nightlife, as well as the Sports Complex, home to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Jacksonville Suns. Downtown also features a variety of museums, including the Ritz Theatre & La Villa Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and the Museum of Science and History.
Riverside & Avondale
The historic district of Riverside/Avondale is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated a local historic district by the City of Jacksonville. The Riverside’s Five Points area is an artsy neighborhood with coffee shops, outdoor cafés, one-of-a-kind shopping, nightclubs, and antique stores, as well as the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
Located just minutes away from Downtown’s Southbank is the historic neighborhood of San Marco. San Marco Square boasts diverse dining opportunities, upscale clothing boutiques and art galleries. Theatre Jacksonville, the oldest community theatre in the country dating back to 1938, is also located within the square.
The Southside area has movie theaters, restaurants, specialty shops and a thriving nightlife. The area is also home to the Avenues Mall, as well as the St. Johns Town Center – a 1.1 million-square-foot, open-air lifestyle center offering innovative new retail, residential, hotel and dining choices for Jacksonville shoppers.
Beaches & Mayport
Jacksonville has over 20 miles of beaches featuring nearby oceanfront clubs, diverse shopping, casual and fine dining, and even a music amphitheatre – The Sea Walk Pavilion.
The historic village of Mayport is home to casino boats and seafood restaurants as well as Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, providing what many consider to be Jacksonville’s favorite biking and hiking trails.
Jacksonville International Airport, the city’s Amtrak station and JAXPORT’s Dames Point Cruise Terminal are located on the Northside – some neighborhood attractions include the Talbot Island State Parks, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and the Budweiser Brewery.
We like our sports in Jacksonville, and we have a lot of teams to support. Obviously, here at JU, we're always going to be Dolphins first, but we're also fans of the Jaguars, the Suns, the Armada, the Sharks, the RollerGirls, the Axemen, the Giants...
- Football: Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL - AFC)
- Baseball: Jacksonville Suns (Southern League - Southern Division)
- Arena football: Jacksonville Sharks (Arena Football League)
- Rugby: Jacksonville Axemen (USA Rugby League)
- Basketball: Jacksonville Giants (American Basketball Association)
- Soccer: Jacksonville Armada FC (North American Soccer League)
- Roller derby: Jacksonville RollerGirls (WFTDA)
Eats and Treats
We also like our food around here. Jacksonville is home to an incredible variety of restaurants and food trucks, and new options open all the time. These are just a few of the local favorites:
Ready for a Day Trip?
There are a lot of great things to see and do within just a few hours of our beloved River City by the Sea. If you get an itch to hit the road, you could easily spend the day enjoying any of these nearby attractions:
- City of St. Augustine: About 45-60 minutes south of Jacksonville, this historic city offers an incredible variety of shopping opportunities, great restaurants, and the oldest masonry fort in the U.S.
- Orlando Theme Parks: The Theme Park Capitol of the World is just a 3-hour drive from Jacksonville.
- Kennedy Space Center: Located 150 miles south of town, the Space Center is home to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Training Experience.
- Ginnie Springs Outdoors: A favorite spot for river tubing and camping, about a 2-hour drive from campus.
- Daytona International Speedway: The home of the Daytona 500 is a 90-minute drive south of Jacksonville.