Jacksonville

For other places with the same name, see Jacksonville (disambiguation).

Jacksonville arguably occupies one of the most coveted spots on the Atlantic coast. The city is located in the Northeast Florida region, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and about 340 miles (547 km) north of Miami. Set amongst abundant beaches and possessing an ideal subtropical climate, its crown jewel is the unique habitat and natural beauty of the St. Johns River. For this reason "The River City" is a popular nickname associated with Jacksonville. It is also the westernmost city on the Eastern Seaboard.

Understand

Statue of Andrew Jackson, near the Jacksonville Landing

Jacksonville is the largest city proper in Florida and largest city, by area, in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits; with a population of 827,908, it is the most populous city in Florida, and the eleventh most populous in the United States. Jacksonville is the principal city in the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, with a population of 1,345,596 in 2010.

Simply put, Jacksonville is an authentic Florida city. It's economy is diversified and not wholly based in tourism. Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port. Its river line location facilitates two U.S. Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport. Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics. As with much of Florida, tourism is also important to the Jacksonville area, particularly in regards to historical, cultural and environmental assets. Once holding the distinctions of Insurance Capital of the South and Winter Film Capital of the World, not to mention currently housing a formidable financial industry, this underrated cosmopolitan city is a composite of northern aesthetics and southern charm. In combination with rich architectural diversity, influential African-American ancestry, and substantial musical contributions, Jacksonville has garnered international appeal for its relatively small piece of the world. Jacksonville was listed as a "High sufficiency" world city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. It ranks alongside cities such as Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

History

The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and Cowford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States acquired the colony of Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.

Get in

By plane

  Jacksonville International Airport (IATA: JAX) is the primary commercial airport in Northeast Florida, with scheduled service offered by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, jetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. The airport is located approximately 15 miles north of downtown. The airport has one terminal building, with ticketing on the upper "Departures" level and baggage claim and ground transportation on the lower "Arrivals" level. There are two areas for ground transportation, at the center front for taxis and area hotel shuttles, and at the north end (outside of Baggage Carousel 1) for Pre-Arranged Ground Transportation, including limousines, Rental Cars, intercity buses/shuttles, and local JTA city buses. Airline gates radiate from three concourses, A, B, and C which all funnel through one central security screening area. Generally arriving one hour before a flight's scheduled departure is plenty of time, but during major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, allow one and a half to two hours.

Terminal Serves
A Delta, jetBlue, Silver Airways, United
C American Airlines, Southwest

Public airport transportation

Public transit from JAX to Downtown Jacksonville is provided by JTA Route CT-3, every hour, picking up at Pre-Arranged Ground Transportation (north end of the terminal outside Baggage Carousel 1, lower level). $1.

Other airports

Northeast Florida Regional Airport IATA: UST, formerly St. Augustine Airport, is four miles north of St. Augustine, and about 30 miles south of Jacksonville. The airport offers service to Trenton, New Jersey through Frontier Airlines.

Jacksonville has three general aviation airports, including Cecil Field, Herlong, and Craig airports, all of which are administered by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

By train

By bus

By ship

Get around

The Jacksonville Skyway connects the Southbank and Northbank districts of Downtown

Jacksonville is sprawling with most of the city's more popular destinations not within walking distance of each other, with the exception of the city center. Downtown monorail service is free and connects the Northbank, Southbank, and LaVilla districts, offering travelers a great view of the city and an easy route to their destination. Most travelers to Jacksonville will want to venture out, see the beaches, shop and dine in its commercial districts, or visit historical sites and parks. This would be impossible or greatly hindered without a car. Unless you are planning on remaining at the beaches or the downtown area it can be time consuming to travel by bus, and too expensive by taxi.

By public transit

JTA

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) operates the Skyway monorail system in the heart of Jacksonville, and a fairly extensive regional bus network. Rosa Parks Transit Station currently serves as the main transfer hub between systems. Nearly all bus lines, and both lines of the Skyway stop at Rosa Parks.

The Skyway is a free automated people-mover system in downtown Jacksonville. Eight stations are located throughout the Northbank, Southbank, and LaVilla districts. The system is open to commuters 6AM to 9PM, Monday through Friday. Extended hours vary with special events, check JTA's website if you are planning on traveling in downtown during the weekend.

Bus frequency is between 30 minutes to an hour. Buses are reasonably comfortable, but JTA buses struggle with on-time performance. Buses do not run past midnight, and many bus routes stop running at around 8 or 9PM. All buses are linked via GPS to a central control system and stops are well-marked throughout the entire city.

By taxi

Taxi services are available, but expensive due to the sprawl of the city. Jacksonville is not New York City. Taxis are not readily available in every part of town, though they can be found at some downtown tourist destinations and central hotels. Service is also readily available at the airport.

By car

Car rentals are the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.

Car Rental Companies include:

By bike

Biking has become a popular means of getting around in some of Jacksonville's central neighborhoods and districts, such as Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill, San Marco, and downtown. Starting in Riverside, you can walk or bike down the Riverwalk to the Main St. Bridge, located in downtown. Ride or walk over the bridge to access San Marco and its many shops and restaurants. Biking is a great way to enjoy the urban core's varied and beautiful architecture which is so easy to miss by car.

See

View of Hemming Park looking toward the St. James Building.

Landmarks

Museums

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, at the corner of Duval and Laura

Neighborhoods

Parks and outdoors

Jacksonville Beach Pier

Do

Events

Sports

Buy

San Marco Square

Shopping districts

Shopping malls

Specialty Stores

Eat

Downtown

Riverside

Avondale

Springfield

San Marco

Southside

Beaches

Drink

Adult beverages

Downtown

Five Points

King Street

Springfield

Beaches

Coffee

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Publications

Consulates

Go next

Routes through Jacksonville

Fayetteville Savannah  N  S  Palatka Orlando
Raleigh Savannah  N  S  Palatka Orlando
Tallahassee Osceola Nat'l Forest  W  E  Ends at
Savannah Brunswick  N  S  St. Augustine Daytona Beach
Augusta Callahan  N  S  St. Augustine Daytona Beach
Savannah Brunswick  N  S  Orange Park Orlando
Macon Callahan  N  S  END
Tallahassee Osceola National Forest  W  E  Jacksonville Beach Ends at
Callahan Amelia Island  N  S  Neptune Beach Daytona Beach


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 30, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.