Jacksonville is the first major city in Florida, just 25 miles inside the border from Georgia. The St John's River runs through Jacksonville to meet the Atlantic Ocean, which makes the city a perfect channel for shipping and fishing, not to mention all the leisure it provides. Jacksonville is also a major banking, financial and transportation hub making it an ideal place to visit or live.
Downtown Jacksonville is a very beautiful place; the architecture of the buildings is spectacular and there's a bridge that runs right through the heart of downtown over the water. The bridge is made of blue steel and is quite a sight, especially at night when the downtown area is all lit up. One of the must visit places in downtown Jacksonville is Jacksonville Landing: The premier dining, shopping
and entertainment center in the heart of downtown, right along the river.
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Jacksonville Beach is a great place to spend a few days, as it will take you that long to see it all. They have many hotels there, similar to the ones you'll find in Daytona Beach, as well as one of the main draws being the Pier. The beaches are nice and wide so I guess that's why they made the pier's boardwalk so nice and wide. Jacksonville Beach is a beautiful stretch of land set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intra-Coastal Waterway; it consists of wide beaches as well as resorts and oceanfront hotels, shopping, fabulous places to eat and businesses, not to forget many golf courses, festivals and concerts for the whole family to enjoy. They have a great pier with a wonderful boardwalk full of shops and places to eat or get a drink.
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Ponte Vedra Beach
Ponte Vedra Beach is known for two things, posh resorts and pristine golf courses, but they do have great beaches as well as having the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve located there. Some of the swankiest of the resorts are the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, the Lodge and Club, and the Marriott at Sawgrass. Located in St John's County, its one of the wealthiest areas in Florida, just behind the Palm Beach and Naples. The beach there is wide and sandy, great for laying out getting a tan or looking for shells, as lifeguards watch over all guests.
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St. Johns River & Inlet
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida; it is 310 miles long and runs through or borders twelve counties. It is a very slow running river and is one of the few rivers in the United States that runs north. The waterways in this area are beautiful and Huguenot Memorial Park is a great place to spend a day with your family. The Mayport ferry is a once in a lifetime experience and a great way to see the area. So come cast a line, bring your boat, Jet Ski or binoculars. You'll have fun not matter what you like to do.
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Hanna Park is 17 miles east of Jacksonville. It's over 450 acres are made up of sandy beaches, freshwater lakes, wooded camping sites and natural dunes. It has a water playground with fountains for the kids, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and is known for excellent surfing. Most of the land has been left in its natural, wooded state.
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Jacksonville is a very beautiful, very cosmopolitan city; it's downtown area is cut in half by the St. Johns River which makes the challenges of getting around Jacksonville different from the challenges other cities face. To this end the Jacksonville Transportation Authority has come up with several unique ways to make it easier for the citizens of Jacksonville. One is obvious; bridges. A great example is the Blue Bridge that spans the city in the downtown area, while there are several bridges in Jacksonville, this is the most recognizable one.
Look under this bridge and you might see another example of how people get around, the water taxis that take people back and forth across the river. The water taxis run from Jacksonville Landing, in the downtown area to Jacksonville’s Stadium on game days with several stops in between. On land they have trolleys that run on set schedules and set routes throughout the city and beaches, some are free to ride while there is a very low cost on others. They have bus routes too, with frequent stops at frequent intervals along the city streets. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority also has a monorail type transit system called the JTA Skyway. The Skyway runs across the St. Johns River in the downtown area between two stations, there is a small fee to ride with trains leaving every few minutes. So when you come visit Jacksonville, feel free to park your car and be a guest on one of the cities many public transportation options.
Jacksonville is the county seat of Duval county and fights with Miami
for the title of the largest city in Florida. Jacksonville, founded in 1791, was named after Andrew Jackson, who was the first military governor of the Florida territory. Along with the waterways, the railways are also a big part of the transportation system that works its way through Jacksonville, picking up people and goods for deposit all over the country. The city itself is beautiful and the architecture has the influence of both the Georgia and Florida styles, meaning there are more brick buildings there than you'll see in cities further south, all with loads of windows in them. Jacksonville is also home to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars
football team; they are a pretty good team and the stadium downtown is a big tailgating draw on game day. Jacksonville is also becoming a major vacation destination and it's no surprise with all that there is to do here. So come on down and don't forget your jet ski.
By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com