Named after President Andrew Jackson, Jacksonville offers a wide array of entertainment options for history buffs, party animals, and everyone in between. Things to do in the city include more than just visiting the beautiful beaches. You’ll also find a variety of cultural offerings that highlight the arts, history, sports teams, and special events in the area. You can even make a side trip for some deep relaxation at one of the city’s many spas. Here are a few can’t-miss Jacksonville destinations to visit with friends, family, or the grandkids for a guaranteed good time.
The city appreciates the arts and has several venues where you can too. The Cummer Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the southeast US and has more than 5,000 different pieces in their permanent collection. During the cooler months, guests will also want to check out the 2.5 acres of historic gardens surrounding the museum where you’ll catch a glimpse of beautiful local flora and fauna, as well as the 150-foot Cummer Oak, one of the oldest trees in the city.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), part of the University of North Florida’s arts and culture program, features modern artwork from 1960 to present. Their permanent collection has over 1,000 pieces, and their regularly rotating special exhibits feature incredible works from around the world. On the property, you can grab a bite at NOLA MOCA, known for their seasonally changing menu, decadent dishes, and a full craft cocktail, wine, and local beer bar.
The Jacksonville Museum of Science and History (MOSH) is located on the Southbank Riverwalk and is one of the most visited museums in the city. Visitors can explore exhibits on local history, do some stargazing in the planetarium, and catch one of the seasonal traveling exhibits that highlight interactive learning and exciting displays.
The Jacksonville Zoo is home to over 2,000 different animals and over 1,000 different plant species and is a fun destination for the entire family. A walk through the zoo takes visitors to scenes from around the world, like the African planes, the deep ocean, on an Australian adventure, and into the bamboo gardens of Asia. Most of the animal exhibits are outdoors, but there are several air-conditioned indoor exhibits as well, making it a fun place to visit year-round.
Football fans have a home team in Jacksonville, the Jaguars. The NFL pro team plays during the fall out of EverBank Field in the city. Fans of soccer can watch the amateur Jacksonville Armada FC team play, and baseball fans can catch a game with the minor league Jacksonville Suns.
Held annually at the Jacksonville fairgrounds right next door to the Jaguars EverBank Field, the Jacksonville Agricultural Fair has a little something for everyone. Beginning in early November, the Fair is the largest in northeast Florida and offers two weeks of livestock shows, carnival rides, exhibits, events, and more.
When you’ve had your fill of adventure and are looking for a day of relaxation, one of the cities many award-winning day spas are just the ticket. The Spa at Pointe Verde Inn & Club was voted “Best Day Spa” by Jacksonville Magazine readers and offers posh services, including packages that combine massages with facials, a body polish, and a champagne luncheon from the on-site restaurant.
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