Locals Guide

Make the most of your trip

Northeast Florida has an abundance of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Discover downtown Jacksonville’s young and vibrant atmosphere and lively riverfront. Explore St. Augustine’s history as you walk some of the country’s oldest streets.

Visit one of the regions national parks, play golf on one of its more than 50 golf courses or put your toes in the sand on nearly 120 miles of beach. Whatever you prefer, Northeast Florida has something for you.

Jacksonville is listed as the 11th most affordable destination in the United States 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report, one of The 20 Best Cities For Travel This Summer in 2016 by Forbes, and ranked #8 Best Summer Vacation Destination for 2016 by Travelocity. Coastal Living Magazine listed Ponte Vedra Beach as one of the Top 20 Best Places to Live on the Coast in 2018.


Go Wild

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the Top 25 zoos in the nation. The Zoo has something for everyone with more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. Visit the “Land of the Tiger” exhibit and watch Malayan and Sumatran tigers roam through the area via an innovative trail system.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park has one of every species of crocodilian in the world, plus Madagascar lemurs, exotic birds and mammals. Feel daring? Zip through the treetops on the park’s zip line attraction, Crocodile Crossing. You’ll see live alligators and crocodiles right under your toes!

Swim with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, reel in the big one on one of several deep sea charter fishing boats, or kayak the ocean and rivers through “real Florida” with St. Augustine EcoTours or Ripple Effect EcoTours.

Get Artsy

St. Augustine’s arts scene dates back to the 19th century and today boasts more than 20 art galleries, and over 60 historic sites. See remnants from the gilded age at the Lightner Museum and take a journey through the Golden Age of piracy at the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. Jacksonville has been ranked one of the Top 25 Big Cities for Arts in the nation. Art lovers can view Renaissance masterpieces at the Cummer Museum, see contemporary works at MOCA or visit local galleries to support up-and-coming artists.

Florida’s Historic Coast is a haven for musicians. There is no shortage of live music at hundreds of bars, restaurants, and pop up stages. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre, situated in tranquil Anastasia State Park, welcomes top national and international touring acts. This outdoor concert venue has a seated capacity of more than 4,000 and has repeatedly been named one of the best in the world.

If you’re looking for a more intimate venue highlighting singer-songwriters and the like, head to Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. North of the Nation’s oldest city. PVCH (as it’s known) welcomes award-winning artists spanning every musical genre and offers family-friendly events as well as stand-up comedians and performing arts.

Jacksonville is a city of festivals with monthly events that capture the attention of thousands of visitors like the annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Welcome to Rockville, The Springing the Blues Festival, and JAXtoberfest.


Take a Tour

Drink some beer while discovering first-hand how it’s carefully crafted while on the Budweiser Brewery Tour. Take The Top to Bottom Tour to learn about Jacksonville and what lies beneath while navigating the old underground bank tunnels. Remain on edge during a ghoulish ghost tour in St. Augustine. If history is your thing, St. Augustine is the place for you. This 450 year old city exudes old world charm with more than 40 historical sites and 60 attractions. From history to drinking, ghost to outdoors, Northeast Florida has a tour for every personality.

Readers of USA Today ranked St. Augustine Historic Area among the Top 10 Attractions in Florida. St. Augustine, the Nation’s oldest city, features more than 60 historic sites and attractions, national monuments, and architecturally-rich churches that render old world charm with a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.


Hit the Beach

Northeast Florida is made up of a series of beach communities including Amelia Island (rated the #8 best beach in Florida by Conde Nast Traveler), Atlantic Beach (named Top 10 Best Florida Beach by Travel Channel), Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine Beach (rated the #8 beach in the U.S. by TripAdvisor) and Ponte Vedra Beach. Over 120 miles of pristine beaches deliver endless family fun. Sit back and relax in the sand or take a dip in the water to cool off. Looking for something active? Rent aquatic equipment and go paddleboarding, surfing, boating, fishing and more!

Catch a Game

Northeast Florida is a sports lover’s dream. Attend THE PLAYERS and watch the pros show you how it’s done, or how it isn’t. Grab a hotdog, or two, at a Jumbo Shrimp baseball game. Coming back in the fall? Visit EverBank Stadium and watch the Jacksonville Jaguars score some touchdowns or attend one of the other professional sporting events in the region including arena football, rugby, ice hockey and soccer.


Experience Nature

Jacksonville’s 450 city parks, 7 state parks and 2 national parks take you from peaceful riverfront views, to kayaking the marshes and wetlands, biking miles of nature trails, paddleboarding in freshwater lagoons, surfing the best waves in the region, fishing all year-round, and connecting to the local wildlife in settings you’ve never experienced in Florida before.

Immerse yourself in the history of St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. The fort was built in 1695 to protect the Spanish town from pirates and other invaders. Other must-see-parks include Ft. Matanzas, Anastasia State Park, the GTM Research Reserve and Favor Dykes State Park.

Florida’s Historic Coast is the perfect place to get back to nature. Paddling, hiking, fishing and birding can all be in and around the waterways of the region.

Eat and Drink

Northeast Florida is an eclectic hybrid of inspired casual elegance and classic southern comfort, infused with the flavors of the coast and a dash of international flair. With dining options ranging from upscale bistros, to popular chains, down-home fish camps and everything in between, the region provides an abundance of flavors suitable for everyone’s pallet. Jacksonville was named as one of the 5 Surprising Foodie Cities to Visit Right Now by Forbes Travel Guide.


Family Friendly

In 2013, Budget Travel magazine editors selected St. Augustine as one of the Top 12 destinations when traveling with toddlers, tweens and teens. And nearby Ponte Vedra Inn & Club was named by Florida + Leisure magazine as the number one family hotel in America. So if you’re looking for a vacation that will satisfy your family members at every age, Florida’s Historic Coast is a guaranteed family-friendly destination.

Historic attractions that keep little kids busy with interactive activities include the Pirate and Treasure Museum, the Fountain of Youth, Timucuan Indian village, The Colonial Quarter and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. Teens and tweens will enjoy the many water sports on Florida’s Historic Coast. Feed the alligators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, hunt for shark’s teeth at Mickler’s Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach, take the 3D movie experience to the extreme at the World Golf Village IMAX Theater, or check out all of St. Augustine’s haunted spots on a ghost tour adventure.

With indoor and outdoor putting greens, a golf simulator and an island green replicating the 17th hole on TPC Sawgrass, kids of all ages have plenty to experience at the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, adjacent to the World Golf Village IMAX Theater.

Jacksonville has no shortage of activities to keep the kids entertained. Visit the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) for a hands-on learning experience, take candy making classes at Sweet Pete's Candy Factory, or visit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, one of the Top 25 zoos in the nation. Cool off at Adventure Landing Waterpark, which features go-karts, putt-putt, laser tag and arcade.

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