Flights & Travel Guide
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Why fly to Jacksonville?
If you love getting out on your boat and lazily enjoying an afternoon in the sun than Jacksonville is your city.
Jacksonville is Florida's largest city and sits on the St. Johns River, is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and hosts a 40-mile stretch of Intercoastal Waterway canal. The city is virtually floating in water and that's why being on or near the water is an inherent part of everyday Jacksonville life and culture.
Of course, off the water are the gorgeous stretch of beaches including Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Mayport, TPC Sawgrass and Ponte Vedra Beach make up the the beaches area. Atlantic Beach is a great place to visit if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing day by the water.
Besides fun at the beach is fun at the numerous parks that dot the city. Stretches of green are everywhere and make for wonderful afternoons of biking and hiking or just relaxing in nature.
Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Area for a hike and wildlife spotting. The park is located on the St. John's River and there is a path that goes alongside it. The park includes a forest as well as wetlands and is part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve.
The city has great shopping and dining speckled along the many waterfronts where you can find international cuisine and fresh seafood. For a bit more of an earthy down-home shopping experience check out the Riverside Arts Market. You will find a space full of energy with artists selling their works, lovely handmade crafts, fresh produce and all of it is held together with fantastic live music.
From water to land Jacksonville has it all going on and add to that the fantastic weather year-round and you have got yourself quite a vacation.
Jacksonville has hot summers and cool but short winters. Temperatures in the summer months can hit the mid 30s and this is also when the city receives a dumping of rain and thunderstorms are common. The winter months the temperatures dive into the 10s. Snow does not visit the city too often. Jacksonville is in a hurricane zone and has suffered damage due to cyclones making touch down in the city.
When to fly to Jacksonville
Jacksonville is very popular to visit during early summer as the city is hot and perfect for taking in all of the outdoor fun that city has to offer. This also means flight ticket prices are fairly high.
The first three months of the year are not a very popular time to visit the city as the temperatures are cool. The low tourist numbers during this time also means flight ticket prices drop.
Getting into Jacksonville
Your gateway into Jacksonville opens up at the Jacksonville International Airport. If your trip was long and you need a moment before you head into the city, the airport has rocking chairs for you to take a breather before you get down to Jacksonville business. Once you've refreshed you can head outside and use the airport shuttle or a private shuttle to get intot he city center. Alternatively, there is a taxi stand located outside of the airport.
Getting around Jacksonville
The city is quite spread out and public transportation options are limit so it may be best to rent a vehicle if you plan to get to know a large part of the city. However, it is possible to plan your trip around the city center and use the available public transport services. Jacksonville has a fabulous skytrain, which is not just great for getting from point A to B, but also makes for a nice way to see a large swath of the sea while hovering above. Public transit buses are also available as is a trolley service in the downtown area. If you want to take a taxi you need to call for pick up.
- If you are traveling with children take in the Museum of Science and History. Although nowhere does it say this is for kids, you will find that a lot of the science exhibits would be best for children. The exhibits are very interactive like the hurricane simulator and provide a fun way for kids to learn.
- Head to the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve on a Saturday for a guided tour. The Saturday-only tours are provided to help you understand all of the different ecological areas of the park and help you find some of those bird species you may want to check out.
- Visit Jacksonville beach or a perfect afternoon. This beach is fairly quite and is great for families. Here you can go kayaking and if you want to go fishing there is even a fishing pier. Additionally, if you're traveling with kids and they love gathering stones and shells, this is the perfect place to do it. You can pack a picnic or grab something from the eateries that sit along the beach.
- Visit Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary for a truly wonderful and unique experience. Here you will have a chance to get up close and personal with several types of cats including cougars, lions and bobcats. The guides will tell you a little bit about the history of the sanctuary's residents and then it is time for feeding which is really something interesting to see - as you watch your friendly guide get into the cage with one of these creatures.
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