Jacksonville. The Bold City, The River City, The First Coast, Dirty Duval, 904. A city known by many names, but most importantly "My Home."
Most people from Florida overlook the beauty and appeal of Jacksonville. Growing up in Jacksonville, I am not going to lie, I wanted to leave. I left the city to move to Orlando to go to college at the University of Central Florida. It was then when i realized how much I actually loved an missed my home city and that after graduation, I would want to be back.
So why is it that I love this city so much? It doesn't have the beaches like the Gulf Coast or Miami. The city doesn't have attractions like Orlando or the premiere sports teams like Tampa and Miami. But it is not about what Jacksonville doesn't have but what it does have it what makes it so great.
Just take a walk downtown on the river walk or The Landing and you'll see what I mean.
These places speak for themselves. I could honestly make an entire post on my favorite restaurants in Jacksonville and who knows? Maybe one day I will. But here are a few of my favorites:
Metro Diner - Probably the most popular breakfast place in Jax and now spreading across the country. You are sure to leave here happy.
Maple Street Biscuit Company - A relatively new concept serving various types of biscuits (my favorite: The Squawking Goat and cup of their delectable coffee.)
Taco Lu - If it's tacos you're looking for, there is only one option in my book.
Angie's Subs - Headed out to Jax Beach? Make sure to take a sub from Angie's with you or cap off the day here.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare - Also located in Orlando, you'll find all types of Asian small plates. Be sure to take a friend so you can order even more! Make sure to get the Duck and the Roti Canai!
Poe's Tavern - A restaurant themed with the work of Edgar Allen Poe? Not only is the decor unique, but you'll also see a few strange burgers on the menu coupled with a stellar beer selection!
Blue Fish - Best happy hour in Jax if you ask me. Make sure to get the raw oysters and order of mussels, fried mushrooms, and the Ahi tuna taco. Wash it all down with a Bold City Brewery Beer.
Bold Bean - Once you try this, you'll never want to stop at Starbucks again.
Trust me, the list does not stop there! You can also check out Cantina Louie's, Nick the Greek, Mojo No. 4, Black Sheep, and The Bearded Pig!
Yes, that is right. We have our own "trail" of breweries. And guess what, I have had them all! So I am here to tell you the ones that you have to try!
Intuition Ale Works - Hand's down the best brewery in Jax. You'll find a beer for anyone here. I find myself trying something different almost every time that I am in, and trust me I am a regular. Want a nice night out with a friend? Their rooftop bar is a great place to get a good view especially in the fall and spring when the nights are pleasant.
Bold City - The biggest craft brewery in Jax, but still worth checking out. I personally love the Killer Whale! With two locations and a slightly different selection in both, you'll never run out of beers to try.
Wicked Barley I almost put this one on the Restaurant because the food was fantastic! Stick to their more popular beers as some of the others we had were unfortunately not so great.
Green Room - How could I not mention Jacksonville's first microbrewery? A great place to check out after a trip to the beach with a local feel for a nice refreshing brew.
Engine 15 - Another place right near the beach to check out. My favorite here is the "Nut Sack" their flagship beer.
As much as I like supporting the local breweries, I also highly recommend checking out the local Budweiser factory for a glimpse on how "big beer" is made!
With miles of what seems like never ending beaches there is always a place free of people if that's what you like, or if crowds are your thing check out Jacksonville Beach for some people watching that surely won't disappoint.
Little Talbot Island - Little Talbot is perfect for a group looking for room to throw a football or kick around a soccer ball. No matter the time of year, you can always score a big section to yourself.
Big Talbot Island - Home to Driftwood Boneyard and a great place for a little something different!
Amelia Island - Head north just outside of Jacksonville city limits and you'll hit a small town with one of the best beaches in the state!
Jacksonville is the largest city by landmass in the lower 48. Did you know that? Being just south of the Florida-Georgia line, we also have a HUGE influence from the Southern culture. You will see plenty of big trucks with mud slung over the sides almost anywhere in town.
Want to get away from "the country" or "rednecks?" Head over to one of our many neighborhoods where any "hipster" is happy to explore. These include 5 Points, Avondale, Riverside and San Marco! All home to quaint shops, cafe's, and other great finds such as-
Riverside Arts Market - Every Saturday morning, support other locals by attending the arts market for some great in home trinkets, good eats, and much more.
Jacksonville Farmer's Market - It may not look the greatest or even be in the best area of town, but this is one of Jacksonville's hidden gems. I grew up going here every Saturday for produce for the week and still love doing it to this day when I get the chance
Jacksonville Jaguars - Even if you don't like football, supporting your local NFL team can still be a blast. AND you'll be sure not to miss anything with the ginormous screens on both ends!
Minor League Sports - Jacksonville Sharks, Jumbo Shrimp, the Armada, and the Icemen! A minor league sports game is a great family outing as it is much cheaper and typically more laid back than your typical Major League game.
The Players Championship - A golf tournament that I have come to love and look forward to every single year, also known as the 5th Major. If you are a Jacksonvillian and haven't been yet... You are quite frankly wrong. Oh, and make sure to try the lemonade.
Concerts - All kinds of talented musicians pour into our many venue options on a regular basis. From the NEW Daily's Place Amphitheater, to Everbank field and the Arena, Jacksonville has the ability to host concerts of all magnitudes.
In addition to those, there are other regularly occurring events like one of the largest jazz festivals outside of New Orleans, the Shrimp Festival in Fernandina and the air show at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.