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36 miles S of the Georgia border; 134 miles NE of Orlando; 340 miles N of Miami
Once infamous for its smelly paper mills, the sprawling metropolis of Jacksonville -- residents call it "Jax," from its airport abbreviation -- is now one of the South's insurance and banking capitals. Development was rampant throughout Duval County during the 1990s, with hotels, restaurants, attractions, and clubs springing up, especially in suburban areas near the interstate highways. Aside from that, there are 20 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches upon which to sun and swim, championship golf courses, and an abundance of beautiful and historic national and state parks to roam.
Spanning the broad, curving St. Johns River, downtown Jacksonville is a vibrant center of activity weekdays and on weekend afternoons and evenings, when many locals head to the restaurants and bars of Jacksonville Landing and Southbank Riverwalk. These two dining-and-entertainment complexes face each other across the river and have helped to revitalize the downtown area.
We've made it easy to plan an affordable, relaxing family getaway with convenient American Airlines flights to Jacksonville! Why not take a trip to Florida that goes beyond the expected? We think Jacksonville could not be more perfect for families seeking a fun and memorable trip that won't break the budget. We hope our list of things to do in Jacksonville help you create a fun-filled family vacation.
The city is home to more than 20 miles of gorgeous beaches and waterways -- it's in sunny Florida, after all -- so there are many activities in Jacksonville centered around the water. You can take your pick of the type of experience you're after. If you'd like to stretch out and unwind on a pretty beach, you can find it. If you want to go kayaking, you can do it. If you'd like to go fishing, you can do that, too. It's the diversity of water activities in Jacksonville that make it so unique. Why not try kiteboarding in Huguenot Memorial Park? Or relax and go bird watching on the seven islands that make up Talbot Island State Parks? Pack a picnic, and afterward you can hunt for seashells, go fishing or simply walk along the beaches.
If one of the top things to do in Jacksonville for you includes a hook, line and sinker, then be sure to head to the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier. Teach your children (or learn yourself) how to cast a line. You can rent poles and supplies once you arrive, and children under the age of six receive free admission.
Another one of the most popular activities in Jacksonville is a visit to the Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve, which is located near the Jacksonville Beach. Part of the National Park Service network, this 46,000-acre preserve is one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. It includes historic sites, wildlife observation trails and places where kayaking, fishing and boating are allowed. Don't miss exploring Fort Caroline National Monument, where you can view 16th-century artifacts, and Kingsley Plantation, a preserved historical plantation where Zephaniah Kingsley lived in the early 1800s.
American Airlines can help you fly to Jacksonville and plan a vacation that your entire family will enjoy. With so much fun to be had along the water, your kids will hardly notice they're learning about history and the environment at the same time.
|Jacksonville Jazz Festival||24 - 26 May 2013 (annual)||Jacksonville|
|Jacksonville Film Festival||Nov 2013 (annual)||Jacksonville|
|Light Parade||Nov 2013 (annual)||Jacksonville|
|NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars||Sep - Dec 2013 (annual)||EverBank Field|
|TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl||Dec 2013 - Jan 2014 (annual)||Jacksonville|
|The Artist Series||Sep 2013 - May 2014 (annual)||Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts|
|World of Nations Celebration||May 2014 (annual)||Metropolitan Park|
|Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra||Sep 2013 - May 2014 (annual)||Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts|
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