The best things to do in Jacksonville, Florida

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Discover the best things to do in Jacksonville, Florida. From pristine beaches to thrilling adventures, explore the best activities for an unforgettable experience.

Experience Jacksonville's stunning skyline at night, featuring a striking blue bridge and towering skyscrapers. Unwind in the city that never sleeps with endless things to do.
Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Believe it or not, Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest city in the United States by area. It boasts around 840 miles and is located in the northeast part of Florida.

Jacksonville offers a diverse range of activities for visitors of all ages, from scenic beaches to cultural attractions and thrilling adventures. It offers a vibrant culinary scene, numerous family-friendly attractions and plenty of outdoor adventures. 

Jacksonville is located just an hour north of St. Augustine and one and a half hours north of New Smyrna Beach, so if you’re in the area for a few days, both are worth a visit. Don’t miss out on Amelia Island, either. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day by the ocean or an action-packed itinerary filled with exploration, there are many things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, for everyone.


Jacksonville is known as Florida’s shrimp capital. The locally caught Atlantic shrimp are called Mayport shrimp. They have a shrimp passport, where you can find and eat the best shrimp dishes around Jacksonville.

In addition to shrimp, Jacksonville has a very sought-after food scene. Taco Lu beckons Mexican cuisine enthusiasts with its vibrant atmosphere and mouthwatering tacos. 

With its popularity leading to lines out the door, Catullo’s is renowned for its exceptional Italian fare, making the wait worthwhile. Visit on weekdays upon opening if you can. 

To taste fresh seafood, visit North Beach Fish Camp or Dockside; both promise a memorable dining experience. Burger lovers rejoice at Carolina Jax, where you’ll find the best burgers in town. 

Tampa Bay skyline at night offers a stunning view.
Photo Credit: Yayimages.
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Jacksonville’s cultural landscape is enriched with various museums, offering immersive experiences for visitors of all interests. At the Museum of Science and History or MOSH, curiosity knows no bounds, as interactive exhibits and hands-on activities provide engaging learning opportunities for curious minds of all ages. 

Meanwhile, the Cummer Museum and Gardens beckon art and nature enthusiasts alike to immerse themselves in a world of creativity and natural beauty. With a diverse collection of artwork and stunning gardens, the Cummer Museum offers a tranquil escape and a feast for the senses. 

For those seeking a glimpse into the contemporary art scene, the Museum of Contemporary Art or MOCA, delivers innovative exhibitions showcasing Jacksonville’s dynamic and ever-evolving artistic landscape and beyond. Whether delving into science and history, indulging in artistic expression or marveling at the beauty of nature, Jacksonville’s museums offer enriching experiences that leave a lasting impression.


Nature enthusiasts have an array of outdoor destinations to explore, each offering its unique charm and natural beauty. Little Talbot Island State Park invites visitors to discover pristine beaches and dunes, meandering nature trails and an abundance of wildlife, providing an idyllic setting for outdoor adventures. 

Take a stroll along the Riverwalk in downtown Jacksonville, where you’ll escape the downtown bustle. Enjoy leisurely strolls while taking in picturesque views of the waterway. 

For a botanical escape, the Jacksonville Botanical Gardens beckons with its captivating landscapes and themed gardens, providing a serene oasis for nature lovers to explore and unwind. Memorial Park stands as an ideal spot for picnics and relaxation in Riverside, where visitors can admire river views and lush greenery while enjoying leisurely outdoor activities. 

Enjoy the view of the water from two white chairs on a railing, a perfect spot to relax in Jacksonville.
Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Other attractions

Enjoy Jacksonville’s vibrant arts and culture scene with a visit to the Riverside Art Market. Here, you can peruse unique artworks crafted by local artists and artisans, showcasing the dynamic and diverse creative community of the city. 

For sports enthusiasts, catching a baseball game or a football game is a must-do activity. Alternatively, embark on a scenic river taxi tour to explore Jacksonville’s waterways and landmarks from a unique perspective. As you glide along the river, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the city’s skyline and iconic sights in a leisurely and picturesque manner. 

Bookworms are in for a treat at Chamblin Bookmine, where they can dive into a literary paradise filled with a vast collection of new and used books. Perfect for readers of all ages. 

Things to do with kids

Families visiting Jacksonville can enjoy many activities tailored for kids of all ages. Start the day at Sunshine Playground Park, where children can release their energy and partake in outdoor playtime activities. 

For a thrilling adventure, head to Mickler’s Landing Beach to embark on a shark tooth-hunting expedition with the family, an activity sure to excite and engage young explorers. Hanna Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from volleyball and fishing to kayaking and surfing, providing endless opportunities for kids. 

Witness a woman feeding a giraffe at the Jacksonville Zoo.
Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Meanwhile, Adventure Landing stands out as an entertainment hub, boasting a water park, arcade games, go-karts and more, catering to both kids and adults alike with its diverse attractions. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Flight Adventure Park offers exhilarating aerial activities, including trampolines and obstacle courses, promising a thrilling experience for adventurous families. 

Alternatively, families can opt for a day of entertainment at Main Event, where a variety of options, such as laser tag, VR games, bowling and mini golf, await to provide hours of fun for the whole family. Lastly, animal lovers won’t want to miss the chance to visit the Jacksonville Zoo, where they can experience wildlife from around the globe and enjoy interactive exhibits, making it a favorite destination among families exploring Jacksonville.

There are plenty of things to do in Jacksonville, Florida. With its array of restaurants, attractions, family-friendly activities and nearby destinations, this city offers an unforgettable vacation experience for travelers of all interests. Whether you’re soaking up the sun at the beach, exploring cultural landmarks or indulging in delicious cuisine, Jacksonville promises adventure and relaxation at every turn. Plan your next getaway to this vibrant coastal city and discover why it’s a beloved destination for visitors from near and far.

Lara is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. She is also a photographer and recipe developer and has a food and travel blog, Lara Clevenger. She shares easy recipes that are mostly low-carb, along with some bowling and travel adventures. Whether you’re cooking with an air fryer, Blackstone or Instant Pot, she has you covered with healthy recipes.

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