A huge part of what draws people to Jacksonville is the lifestyle the city offers. As is the case throughout much of the Sunshine State, the pace of life in Jax is somewhat slower than elsewhere in the USA. Jacksonvillians ‘work to live’ rather than ‘live to work’ and it's very normal to see families out spending quality time together of a weekend.
Jacksonville has a wide range of options when it comes to making good use of one’s spare time. Sports fans, outdoor enthusiasts, and culture vultures alike are bound to find plenty to keep them busy in Jacksonville.
Sports and outdoor activities in Jacksonville
Sports enthusiasts will be in their element in Jacksonville. The River City is something of a sports hub and residents will find a local team to support no matter which game they choose to follow. Football fans can take their picks of the Florida Gators, the Seminoles, or the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those that follow baseball can get behind the Jacksonville Suns. Not forgetting the fact that the River City is golfer's dream with the PGA Tour being a highlight on Jacksonville’s sporting calendar.
For those who are looking to participate in sporting activities, rather than just cheering from the bleachers, living in Jacksonville provides endless opportunities for residents to get active in nature’s playground. Jacksonville proudly boasts the USA’s largest urban park system where visitors hike, bike, or take a jog along miles of dedicated trails. Spend an evening under the stars by camping at one of the beautiful national parks. With pleasant weather all year round, a day at one of Jacksonville’s many beaches is always a great option. Whether its surfing, swimming, fishing, boating or simply catching some rays on the beach, Jacksonville really does have it all.
Arts and culture in Jacksonville
Perhaps culture isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Florida but don’t be fooled, Jacksonville is a real treasure trove when it comes to arts and culture. From the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Science History to the annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival, live performances at the Everbank Stadium, or catching a show at the historic Ritz theatre, there’s never a dull moment in the River City.
Prospective residents planning a move to Jax with the kids in tow will be pleased to learn that most of the city’s attractions have a child-friendly element to them. Come November kids are spoilt rotten as Jacksonville’s museums and galleries put on special events with families in mind, most of which are free for children under 12.
Nightlife in Jacksonville
For night owls looking to let their hair down, Jax’s diverse nightlife options won’t disappoint. Head to ‘The Elbow’, a cluster of bars and clubs in downtown Jacksonville, for a fun night on the town where revellers can indulge in local beers and craft cocktails while enjoying live music.
As one might expect, Jacksonville has a long-standing tradition on vibey beach bars when once can take in a view of the ocean while sipping a tropical cocktail. At Beaches Town Centre visitors will find a range of nightlife venues from upscale champagne bars to historic waterholes.
For something more low-key, head to Times Union Center or the Florida Theatre which both host a wide range of shows from classical music performances, dance ensembles, and poetry readings.
Eating out in Jacksonville
A melting pot of cultures and tastes, foodies won’t be disappointed with Jacksonville’s culinary offerings. The food scene in Jax is eclectic; from a wide range of international fare to classic Southern soul food, Jacksonville residents will always find something to satisfy a craving.
Expats and new arrivals are also sure to find an eatery for every occasion and budget. From sophisticated bistros to rustic local fish camps on the rocks, Jax offers a real range of dining experiences.
The ‘farm to table’ movements is taken seriously in Jacksonville with local chefs are showing a real commitment to sustainable practices and regularly make use of local seasonal produce.
Newcomers should be sure to test the Jacksonville staple, Mayport Shrimp - a dish made up of the four types of shrimp found off the Jacksonville coast. Whether its paired with date pepper in ceviche, served over grits or deep-fried on a po'boy, seafood lovers are sure to be in for a treat.
►For a list of the River City's best attractions check out the See and Do in Jacksonville page
Are you an expat living in Jacksonville?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Jacksonville. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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