Jacksonville is a beautiful city found in Florida. This fantastic city covers an estimated area of 2,265 square kilometers. Additionally, as per the population census of 2019, Jacksonville has a population of 890,467, making it one of Florida’s populated cities. Jacksonville is home to various museums, sanctuaries, zoos, and beautiful gardens.
Here are the 10 best things to do in Jacksonville, Florida.
# 10 – The Museum of Art and Gardens
This museum of art and gardens is named after a local philanthropist called Ninah May Holden, who wanted to create a center of beauty and culture in Jacksonville. Museum of Art & Gardens is home to over 5000 pieces of art that have been collected for more than 3000 decades. Additionally, works from artists such as Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran, and even Norman Rockwell are found in this museum. This museum is home to Ancient Egyptian artifacts like the Stele of Iku and Mer-imat, among others. The manicured gardens surrounding this museum are also beautiful and attractive. The museum is found at 829 Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville. Last, every first Saturday of every month and every Tuesday evening. There are free guided tours.
# 9 – Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary is a non-profit organization. Its main objective is to provide a safe and loving environment for endangered animals by changing weather patterns, environmental pollution, diminishing habitats, and hunters. This wildlife sanctuary is home to over 38 species of animals. The animals that call Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary home include tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, and bobcats. Additionally, there are foxes and coatimundis housed in this wildlife sanctuary. There are both day and nighttime tours offered. During October, there are seasonal events such as the Haunted Forest held in this wildlife sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary is located at 1860 Starratt Road.
# 8 – Museum of Science and History
This museum is located at 1025 Museum Circle in Jacksonville, Florida. It is also known as MOSH. The museum features a variety of both permanent and temporary exhibits, which are outstanding. The variety of exhibits housed in this museum range from historical looks at Northeast Florida to glimpses of future technology, communications, energy, and ecosystems. Additionally, there is a peaceful courtyard with native plants and an interactive playground for children in case you are visiting with kids. Some of the MOSH exhibits include fossils from around the world, full-scale skeletons, and the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, among other exhibits.
# 7 – Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Do you love animals and plants? Well, if you do, then you should visit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to over 2000 animals and 1000 exotic plant species. Additionally, there is a butterfly garden inside this zoo and tiger exhibits, among other things. The zoo also features an old-fashioned carousel for kids in case you are visiting with them. African savanna animals, the Australian outback, including lorikeets, cassowaries, and kangaroos, are also found in this zoo and gardens. The Jacksonville zoo and gardens are located at 370 Zoo Parkway.
# 6 – Museum of Contemporary Art
Are you a fine art lover? If you do, then there are plenty of outstanding exhibits and works from great artists of modern times in this museum of contemporary art. Inside this six-story building, there are permanent and temporary exhibitions. Some of the exhibits featured in this museum include paintings, sculptures, photography, and printmaking. The museum is opened every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1100 HRS to 1700HRS. On Thursdays, the museum opens from 1100 HRS to 2300HRs, while on Sundays it opens from 12 noon to 5 P.M. there is an Art Walk every first Wednesday of every month. Finally, the temporary exhibits change periodically in the year.
# 5 – Riverside Arts Market
A visit to the Riverside Arts Market will give you a glimpse of the culture of the people living in Jacksonville. This market is open every Saturday from 1000HRS to 1500HRS. Riverside Arts market over 100 artists display various homemade products such as paintings, pottery, sculptures, and silkscreen shirts, among others. Additionally, there is local produce such as fresh cheese, artisan bread, gourmet spreads, and other handcrafted treats found in this art market.
# 4 – Jacksonville Beach & Beaches Museum
Do you want to learn the history of the beach communities that stretch along the coast? Well, a visit to Jacksonville Beach & Beaches Museum will provide you with the needed knowledge. Additionally, various activities such as fishing, swimming, and surfing are available in this place. There are lifeguard attendants too. Along the 4.5-mile stretch, there are permanent exhibits such as the 19th-century chapel. Various events such as music, educational talk, and seminars are regularly held in Jacksonville Beach & Beaches Museum.
# 3 – Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens is an excellent place for individuals who like the outdoors, especially during the summer. The garden plant has some fresh air that can help in the recreation and cooling of minds. The arboretum and gardens cover a vast area of around 120 acres. The 120-acre facility is located at 1445 Millcoe Rd in Jacksonville, and it features hiking trails, walking trails, and a 1-acre lake, among others. Additionally, there are different varieties of plants and flowers in this arboretum and gardens. Wildlife such as alligators, armadillos, foxes, turtles, gopher tortoise, and various snakes are also found in this facility.
# 2 – Jacksonville Farmers’ Market
If you want to interact with Jacksonville’s residents and understand their culture, then Jacksonville Farmers Market is a perfect place. This market has been open since the 1930s, and it is open daily except on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. Various things, such as fresh seasonal produce, fish, seafood, artisan cheese, syrups, and baked goods, among other types of food, are sold in Jacksonville Farmers’ Market. The market is found at 1810 W Beaver Street.
# 1 – Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park covers a large area of up to 450 acres. The park features over 15 miles of mountain biking and a 60-acre lake ideal for fishing, kayaking, pedal boating, and canoeing. Additionally, various species of birds nest in this park. There are also areas for a picnic within the 450-acre park. Finally, on the north side of this park lies a playground and a splash pad for kids.