TPC Course at Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Ponte Vedra Beach.

    TPC Course at Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Ponte Vedra Beach.

    - VISIT FLORIDA file

    Things You Have to Do In and Around Jacksonville, Fla. 

    Jacksonville, also known by locals  as “Jax,” is one of the hottest cities in Florida these days.

    Why? Well, Jax, encompassing 840 square miles, is the largest city, by area, in the contiguous United States. That's plenty of room more than 20 miles of beach, plus a wealth of activities that'll keep you busy and entertained for days.

    Jacksonville and the surrounding area has great attractions for the whole family, healthful outdoor activities, and fine and casual dining.

    There’s no way to list all the great things to do and experience in Jacksonville, but here are some of our favorites.:


    Outdoors Activities

    Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

    The popular tours are local 2-hour paddles on inland waterways, salt marshes, and the Amelia River. Experience peaceful, relaxing tours in natural settings for aquatic vegetation, birds, and wildlife.
    Where: Amelia Island, FL

    Kelly Seahorse Ranch

    One of only a handful of beach-riding opportunities in the nation. About 40 minutes from the center of Jacksonville, you can enjoy the scenery of Amelia's fantastic white sand beaches and the beauty of the ocean by horseback.  Kelly’s family-owned ranch offers guided rides on gentle, well-trained horses and is a great way to take in these beautiful views.
    Where: Amelia Island, FL


    A family enjoys the beach in Jacksonville Florida

    Dad and Brandon take a rest and enjoy some 'kayak cookies' from Kayak Amelia's owner and guide, Ray Hetchka.

    - Jennifer Michaels, VISIT FLORIDA Family Travel Expert

    People riding on horseback on the beach on Amelia Island just outside of Jacksonville

    Enjoy the scenery of the ocean by horseback at Amelia Island's Kelly Seahorse Ranch.

    - Kelly Seahorse Ranch

    Jax Area Attractions


    The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

    The Stadium Course has been honored by multiple golf publications as a top golf destination. This is also the home of The Players Championship, with its par-3 17th island green, known as one of the world's most recognized and emulated holes.
    Where: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

    Castillo de San Marcos

    The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. originally was constructed by the Spanish between 1672 and 1695. Proclaimed a national monument in 1924, the Castillo is now a prominent tourist destination where people of all cultures step back in time and reflect on the forces and events that have shaped world history.
    Where: St. Augustine, FL

    playing golf at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course

    The 17th hole of the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course

    - Daron Dean for VISIT FLORIDA

    A view of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine

    Overhead view of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.


    St. Augustine Ghosts and Gravestones Haunted Tours

    Explore the darker side of the Nation’s Oldest City and let our ghost be your guide. Revisit the site of the tragedy that killed the lighthouse keeper in 1873 at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and enter the town’s most haunted building, the “Old Jail,” for an up close and personal encounter. Don’t miss this frightfully fun ghost tour.
     St. Augustine, FL

    St. Augustine Alligator Farm

    Lush, tropical wildlife surrounds you. See every crocodilian species, the rare white alligator, exotic birds, reptiles and monkeys.
    St. Augustine, FL.

    St. Augustine's historic vibe

    Take advantage of St. Augustine’s spooky historic vibe.

    - St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches VCB

    thrills on the Python Challenge

    Get ready for thrills on the Python Challenge

    - St. Augustine Alligator Farm

    Catty Shack Rach Wildlife Sanctuary

    Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary's mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity. Enjoy a leisurely guided tour by one of the volunteers and learn more about these incredible species.
    Jacksonville, FL

    Jax Area Shopping

    St. Augustine Premier Outlet Mall

    Find impressive savings at Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Coach, Converse, Gap Outlet, J. Crew, Movado, and more.
     St. Augustine, FL

    A Siberian Tiger at a Wildlife Sanctuary in Jacksonville Florida

    A Siberian Tiger at the Catty Shack Wildlife Sanctuary

    - Daron Dean for VISIT FLORIDA

    The St. Augustine Premier Outlet Mall

    St. Augustine Premium Outlets

    - VISIT FLORIDA Editor

    Dining in the Jax Area


    Taverna draws inspiration from the simplicity and warmth of Italian kitchens. Located in Jacksonville’s historic San Marco neighborhood, this rustic yet sophisticated dining destination has earned many accolades since opening in 2009.
    Where: Jacksonville, FL

    III Forks

    III Forks Steakhouse embodies the great American steakhouse. The finest USDA Prime steak, buttery lobster and ocean-fresh seafood are prepared to perfection, exactly to order.
    Where: Jacksonville, FL

    for things to do in Jacksonville Florida visit the 3 Forks restaurant

    III Forks is Jacksonville's newest hot spot.

    - III Forks

    the Metro Diner in Jacksonville Florida

    The Metro Diner in Jacksonville

    - The Metro Diner

    Metro Diner

    A "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" TV Alumnus, Metro Diner is the kind of place you’re proud to take out-of-towners for one of the several things to do in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s the kind of place where last night is recalled over pancakes.
    Where: Jacksonville, FL

    Seasons 52

    Seasons 52 is a celebration of what’s good now, using seasonally inspired ingredients at their peak of freshness. Rustic cooking techniques bring out natural flavors and an ever-changing selection of global wines is featured, all in a casually sophisticated setting.
    Where: Jacksonville, FL


    Throughout the years, Verandah has established itself as one of Amelia Island's finest restaurants. Enjoy fresh, traditional seafood along with an extensive yet approachable wine list in a relaxing setting.
    Where: Amelia Island, FL

    Jax Nightlife

    Downtown Jacksonville

    Downtown Core is known as the traditional city center of Jacksonville. Historic buildings and churches add charm to the neighborhood and corporate offices, restaurants, and bars bring in the crowd. High-rise apartments decorate the neighborhood with Italian Renaissance and Art Deco-style architecture. Residents are center stage for all the downtown action without the hustle and bustle.
    Where: Dowtown Jax.