Located in Duval County, along the scenic banks of the St Johns River, the seaport city of Jacksonville is Florida’s most populous destination, and an attractive proposition for both travellers and those keen to make it their permanent home.
Despite its size, Jax, as it is affectionately known, continues to draw large numbers of new residents each year. Young professionals pursuing career success, newly-wed couples looking to get a foot on the property ladder, families wanting to be close to good schools, and retirees who want to enjoy their twilight years in the famous Florida sun, all see value in relocating to Jacksonville.
Unlike many of the more well-known US expat destinations such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Jacksonville’s cost of living is incredibly affordable. There's also an abundant supply of accommodation and new arrivals will be able to take their pick from modern apartments, plush condos and humble family homes.
Jacksonville boasts a growing economy where job opportunities abound in a variety of different industries including finance, healthcare and logistics. Residents not only report enjoying job security, but Jacksonville employers in the city are known to emphasise the importance of a healthy work-life balance, which allows workers to capitalise on all the enticing lifestyle offerings available in the River City.
New residents won’t ever be at a loss when it comes to leisure activities in the River City. Jacksonville is famous for its beaches, and the all-year-round good weather means that there are plenty of opportunities to top up that tan and enjoy time on the coast. Outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element as they hit up the hiking, biking and running trails of nearby Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve or Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. If history, arts and culture are of interest, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cummer Museum and the Museum of Science and History, are just a few of the attractions to be found in Jax.
Those moving to Jax with kids in tow will soon learn that this is a truly wonderful place to raise a family. Home to a number of good public and private schools, new arrivals can rest assured that their youngsters are in good hands when it comes to learning. Beyond its selection of schools, Jax is just generally a family-friendly city. Whether its a family day out at one of the city’s urban parks, a wildlife encounter at Jacksonville Zoo, or fun-filled afternoon at the beach, there's plenty for the kids to get stuck into.
As with life in any new city, there are also downsides to living in Jacksonville. One of the most noticeable is the limited nature of the city’s public transport infrastructure. While buses, trolleys and the Skyline suffice for commuting within the downtown area, in reality investing in a car is an expense that can’t be avoided here. It’s a vast city and getting around is infinitely easier with a set of wheels.
All in all, Jacksonville’s favourable Sunshine State location, the strength of its economy, and the terrific quality of life it offers its residents serve to attract newcomers from all over the USA and beyond. Regardless of one's age, or whether one is enticed by the city’s stunning coastline, eclectic entertainment options, or proximity to nature, Jax appeals to anyone looking to start a new chapter.
►To learn more about the highs and lows of life in Jax, check out the Pros and Cons of Moving to Jacksonville
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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