Jacksonville, with a population of 670,000, is the insurance and banking capital of the South. It is located in northernmost Florida, 36 miles south of Georgia on the Atlantic coast, on the mouth of the St John’s River. It is named for General Andrew Jackson who, in 1882, forced Spain to cede Florida to the United States.
Jacksonville is one of the largest cities, by area, in the United States.
Its unusual combination of skyscrapers and Southern hospitality, white sandy beaches and fine art museums, renovated old neighborhoods and military fortifications, and two riverfronts, attracts visitors from all over the world.
Jacksonville Landing is a glass and steel arts and entertainment complex on the north shore of the river and is similar to Boston’s Faneuil Hall. This is the hub of downtown activity, with restaurants, shops, festivals, and concerts.
Southbank Riverwalk is a 1-mile boardwalk which is popular for jogging, strolling, or sitting on a bench and looking at the skyline. Other attractions on the Southbank Riverwalk include the Friendship Fountain, the nation’s largest selfcontained fountain, and the Museum of Science and History of Jacksonville, a children’s interactive museum. The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve covers about 46,000 acres within the city, and offers a look into the lives of the Timucuan Indians, who were the original inhabitants of central and northern Florida.
Jacksonville has an abundance of parks and community centers and an impressive zoo. Other activities include fishing, swimming, sailing, horseback riding, golfing, cruising the river on the Annabelle Lee, and watching a game of baseball at the Alltel Municipal Stadium in the huge sports center.
Camping with hookups and a sump station is available at the Little Talbot Island State Park.
Amelia Island is 45 minutes by car from Jacksonville. It is a barrier island that offers 13 miles of beaches, two luxury golf courses and tennis resorts, a quaint Victorian town called Fernandina Beach, and plenty of moderately priced lodging.
Conveniently, Jacksonville has its own international airport.