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Unique Things To Do In Downtown Jacksonville

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Downtown Jacksonville

You can only claim to have experienced the charm of Jacksonville once you have experienced the many attractions at Downtown Jacksonville. Known for its St. Johns river, downtown Jacksonville has a lot to offer to the wanderer’s soul.

The place is known for its music and art culture and we are sure you will have a lot of fun exploring it. Here is an article to help you figure out the cool things that you can do at downtown Jacksonville. We hope you have fun exploring this scenic place. 

Places To Visit In Downtown Jacksonville

Confused which place to start with on your trip to Jacksonville? Here are a few suggestions for you:

1.Downtown Jacksonville Public Library

If you like reading and love to see books, one of the best things to do in Jacksonville Fl is to visit the Downtown Jacksonville Public Library. This is one of the largest library systems in Florida and here you will find over three million items.

The library remains open from Monday to Saturday from 10 to 6 pm. Here you will find books and other resource material on almost everything. This is one of the best things to do in the city and you will surely have fun exploring it.

2.Jacksonville Artwalk

One of the attractions in Downtown Jacksonville is the monthly festival of Jacksonville Artwalk.
Jacksonville Artwalk | Photo Credit – Michel Curi

Jacksonville is known for its rich music and art culture. One of the attractions of the city is the monthly festival of Jacksonville Artwalk. This happens on the first Wednesday of each month. At this time, more than 40 galleries, musical venues, museums, and restaurants open their gates to welcome visitors to come and explore.

Imagine being surrounded by the locals and navigating through around 15 blocks of live music and other art. The Jacksonville Artwalk comes across as a great chance to explore the local flavor of the city and a place to form new bonds. This is one of the best things to do in Jacksonville Florida because it will enable you to feel the essence of the place.

Here you will have the chance to shop for some unique items that will always remind you of your sweet time in downtown Jacksonville.

3.St. Johns River

A visit to St. Johns River will enable you to appreciate the beauty of Downtown Jacksonville and we highly recommend it.
St. Johns River | Photo Credit – Jon Worth

Looking to spend your day enjoying the natural beauty of downtown Jacksonville? How about a visit to the St. Johns River? The river is 310 miles long and is the longest in the state of Florida. Spend a day by the riverside with your significant other and watch the sun go down. After that, plan a dinner date at the Blackwater Inn Restaurant & Lounge which is located near the river.

If you wish to indulge in outdoor activities, you could also spend a day at the Blue Springs State Park, which also makes for a very scenic site. A visit to St. Johns River will enable you to appreciate the beauty of downtown Florida and we highly recommend it.

4.Memorial To The Great Fire Of Jacksonville

Use the opportunity of your visit to downtown Jacksonville to learn a bit about its history. One of the most important lessons would be to learn about the Great Fire of 1901. This tragic incident shook the core of the city as it was one of the largest metropolitan fires to have occured in the South.

It destroyed over 2,000 buildings and rendered many people homeless. In order to remember this tragic incident, a memorial called “rising from the ashes” was constructed. Visit this memorial at the Northbank River Walk to remember this tragedy and to feel the spirit of regeneration of downtown Jacksonville.

5.Watch Dolphins

One of the best things to do in downtown Jacksonville is to spend a day simply watching its dolphins.
St. Johns | Photo Credit – Michel Curi

One of the best things to do in downtown Jacksonville is to spend a day simply watching its dolphins. This is a perfect thing to do if you are taking the trip with children. Just simply drive down to St. Johns River which is home to about three hundred bottlebose dolphins.

Studies say that 150 of these dolphins are permanent so no matter what time of the year you decide to visit St. Johns, you are bound to spot them. This will be one of the calmest experiences for you at downtown Jacksonville and we highly recommend it.

6.Live Bakery And Bar

Looking for a place to eat and rest at downtown Jacksonville? Simply visit Live Bakery and Bar. The ambience of the place is such that you will instantly feel at home.

Apart from their lip-smacking bakery products they are celebrated for their beer. People who visit here often speak highly of its beer quality so make sure that you try some.

Museums To Visit In Downtown Jacksonville

One of the best things to do in downtown Jacksonville is to explore its museum. Here is a list of two museums that you must visit for a good time at downtown Jacksonville.

1.Museum Of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

Museum Of Contemporary Art | Photo Credit – Michel Curi

Known as MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville is one of the most famous in the downtown area and a visit to it is one of the top things to do in Jacksonville, Florida. Here you will find exhibits of art by regional, national, and even international artists. This museum is the largest contemporary art institution in the Southeastern United States of America and will certainly blow your mind.

If you are interested in learning about contemporary art, you will certainly enjoy visiting this museum. Here at the museum, make sure that you check out their permanent collection, which consists of works of artists like Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, James Rosenquist, Ed Paschke, among other artists. In order to attract audiences, the museum tries to continuously reinvent itself by putting up a number of exhibitions.

Currently, it is showcasing five exhibitions, namely- Breaking Boundaries: The Vision of Jacqueline B. Holmes, The Circle And The Square, Project Atrium: Carl Joe Williams, Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives In Print Media, A Decade of Art With A Heart: Celebrating 10 Years Of Partnership. When you are done visiting the museum, do not forget to treat yourself to a meal at the MOCA Cafe.

2.Museum Of Science & History, Jacksonville

MOSH | Photo Credit – Michel Curi

Abbreviated as MOSH, the Museum of Science & History is one of the best places to visit in Jacksonville, Florida. It is the city’s most visited museum owing to its many attractions. One of the chief attractions of the museum is its planetarium- the Alexander Brest Planetarium. It was built in the year 1988 and has an 18m dome-shaped projection screen.

With seating of about 200 people, it is one of the most attractive things at the museum. A visit to this museum will enable you to learn a number of things about the native wildlife of Florida. Not just this, you shall also be able to engage with a number of scientific experiments and gain some hands-on experience.

The museum constantly keeps reinventing itself and offers a number of exhibitions from time to time. So if you are intrigued by history and science and are driven by the quest to learn more, this museum is just the right place for you.

Please also read about things to do in Smokies.


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