Centered at the intersection where the Saint John’s River collides with the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is a primary destination for beach lovers and summer travelers to Florida. There are several seashores to visit, but the most popular are the Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach—both known for their golden sands, clear ocean waters, and seaside restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and attractions.
Little Talbot Island State Park on Heckscher Drive is a local Jacksonville favorite, where you can camp, walk nature paths, stroll a beautiful boardwalk that ends in an ocean pier, and wade in the tide pools. There are also picnic areas, salt marshes with abundant wildlife, natural sand dunes, and hiking trails. If you go for a hike, be sure to bring plenty of water and non-perishable snacks to keep yourself hydrated and aware.
There are so many fun things to do in Jacksonville, so plan on spending a few days here!
Sunshine and good weather play a huge role in the traveling decisions of numerous guests to the Jacksonville area annually. There are hundreds of things to do and see outdoors, and most sites have indoor alternatives for the cases of pop-up thunderstorms and brief cold fronts. The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is one such place, where a museum highlights 5,000 artworks from centuries of artists. Once done with the indoor exhibits, guests can head outdoors to walk the nature paths of well-kept botanical gardens and hedge mazes.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must-see for families, as there are miles of animal exhibits, walk-through gardens, kiddie zones, and playgrounds. There is even a small traveler train that transports guests to anywhere in the park.
Jacksonville, according to research by TravNow, is one of the most popular traveler cities in Florida. TripAdvisor has pinpointed the best hotels to consider for your trip. Those hotels include the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville South, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, and the Hotel Indigo. Check back to TravNow on a regular basis to learn more about your favorite Florida destinations.
Holiday Inn Express
Close to a cruise port, the Holiday Inn Express is an award-winner and overall top-ranker as one of the best hotels in Jacksonville. Families, business professionals, and honeymooners are in love with this place. The rooms are comfortable, spacious, and modern, with a well-equipped kitchenette, full-stocked bathroom, and very cozy, plush bed. Other amenities are as follows: free high-speed internet, meeting rooms within a business center, free parking spaces, shuttle services, free daily breakfast, a swimming pool and hot tub, and close proximity to multiple activities, restaurants, and shops.
One such restaurant that happens to be a local favorite is Chowder Ted’s. Dubbed a beloved hole in the wall, this little restaurant serves up fresh-caught, delicious fried seafood in homemade batter, with a side of homemade slaw, fresh-cut fries, and baked beans. Their stews, soups, and salads are all great, light starters, but you should definitely try the conch fritters and clam cakes.
After lunch, head 4 miles from the Holiday Inn Express to Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. This place is lakeside with beautiful views and interactive features, like nature paths, hiking trails, duck ponds, and observatory decks. TripAdvisor reviewers have advised future park visitors to bring lots of water, sunscreen, and bug spray for summer strolls.
Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville South
Seated near Lenoir Avenue South, the Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville South is a favorite for business professionals, with close proximity to the airport. Ranked number one in Jacksonville, the hotel is clean, bright, and well-kept, with a quiet, peaceful atmosphere for all kinds of travelers. Named the best hotel for families and honeymooners, the accommodations are simple but luxurious. The rooms are equipped with air-conditioning systems, a kitchenette, super-comfortable queen-size beds, and superb shower pressure. Other features include free breakfasts in the dining area, a business center for impromptu business meetings, and high-speed internet access. There is also a swimming pool and hot tub for your relaxation.
For guests with kids, be sure to visit the Hands On Children’s Museum, where youngsters can learn, play, and explore with interactive games and toys. Kids will love the playgrounds, dress-up areas, ball pits, STEM centers, and heaps of fun stations that teach them about life skills, weather, science, and everything in-between.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
Located in Downtown Jacksonville, alongside Riverplace Boulevard, the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel offers a bunch of fun and essentials for families, business travelers, weekend trippers, couples, and singles. The downtown area provides restaurants, shops, and more attractions than you could possibly do in a weekend. While the hotel itself offers a restaurant, bar, lounge, high-speed internet, swimming pool, and fitness center. There are dry-cleaning and laundry services, as well as a concierge service to prep and plan the entirety of your vacation in Jacksonville.
Strolling through downtown will give you everything you want to do, see, and eat, but Friendship Fountain is a specific must-see. The fountain sprays water in changes of color, forming a friendship rainbow next to the river. It’s a beautiful sight that you should definitely capture a picture.
The Hotel Indigo
Ranked a high-standing 2 of 133 hotels in Jacksonville, the Hotel Indigo combines luxurious indulgences with essential accommodations. Kind of like living at home, but with maid, room, and breakfast services. Situated on Tapestry Park Circle, the hotel provides 4-star amenities to each suite. The rooms feature different themed murals for a peaceful, upscale atmosphere, and include hardwood floors, a spacious shower with excellent water pressure, and beautiful views of the nearby lake.
Other room accommodations include comfy, plush king-size beds, a full-stocked kitchenette, and free high-speed wireless internet. Hotel-wise, amenities include an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, a swimming pool and hot tub, and an on-site fitness center. You also have access to laundry services, meeting rooms, conference facilities, and a business center. While sophisticated, the Hotel Indigo is affordable, but be aware that prices rise a bit in the summertime because of the influx of beach goers.
Celebrate something—anything—with Jax Brew Bus, located less than a mile from the hotel. Hop on and take a guided tour of the breweries around Jacksonville.
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