Ports Jacksonville, Florida
Sights to see & things to do
Water, water everywhere! That's the
impact on many visitors getting their feet wet before sailing from
Jacksonville. Located on the banks of the St. Johns River, Florida's
"first" city is a haven for beach and water sports
enthusiasts, not to mention the water hazards on the area's many golf
Only twenty minutes from
downtown and fifteen minutes from the "temporary" cruise
port at Dames Point, Jacksonville International Airport is served by
national and regional airlines that offer flights to and from most major U.S.
cities. By car, Jacksonville is at the intersection of two Interstate
Highways (I-95 and I-10) and within a day's drive of cruise passengers
who reside in nearby southeastern states.
Sights to see
& things to do
Range of the Jaguar
Culture, sports, outdoor
adventures, and beaches—the Jacksonville area offers them all.
Ideally suited for families are a host of stimulating activities. In-town museums,
such as the Cummer Museum, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, and
Museum of Science and History feature hands-on, interactive exhibits
designed to entertain and educate children of all ages. The Museum of
Science and History is particularly interesting with its roller
coaster motion simulator, planetarium show, and HUGE Jaguar football
exhibit. In addition to fun stuff, like playing beach volleyball
against a robot, there is an entire area devoted to learning "how
things work." The
action can get really wild at the Jacksonville Zoo. Home to birds,
reptiles, monkeys, bears, wolves, and other species, the zoo's "Range of the Jaguar"
is where the big cats don't need a
football to be ferocious. Yes, you'll find real Florida alligators there as well! The
zoo is a must-do for every visitor.
Kids Kampus is a mini-town set in a
riverfront park where children learn bicycle safety and play in a
secure setting designed just for them. Next door, concerts are
performed in Metropolitan Park and just across the street is Alltel
Stadium, home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as the site
of the annual Gator Bowl and Georgia-Florida Football Classic (or
Florida-Georgia Football Classic, depending on where you live). A real
treat for choc-holics is in the San Marco neighborhood. Peterbrooke
Chocolatier offers factory tours and free samples to their guests. Golf aficionados can find
challenging play on every one of the 70-plus courses in the
North of the "beaches"
area, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is
natural and unspoiled slice of long-ago Florida with camping
facilities, picnic areas, bike rentals, and tranquil
get-away-from-it-all beaches. Along with Hanna Park, oceanfront Big Talbot
and Little Talbot Islands are ideal spots for bird-watching, hiking
along nature trails, and kayaking through salt water marshes.
A short drive from downtown,
Jacksonville Beach's wide swath of sand is ideal for sunning and
collecting shells. Swimming, surfing, and windsurfing are popular
Where to stay
Downtown is where the action
is and anchoring either side of the St. Johns River are luxury
Wyndham, Omni Jacksonville, and Crowne Plaza hotels. With
several trolley lines, busses, and a skyway as well as water taxis,
getting around is easy and, best of all, the trolleys are free.
In the historic Riverside
downtown, but light years away in charm—are gracious bed and breakfasts only
a few blocks from
the riverfront. Luxurious and serene, proprietors have thought of
everything to provide comfort and a romantic setting.
At Jacksonville's beaches, nearly all
accommodations face the sea or are within a stone's throw. John
Grisham fans will recognize The Sea Turtle Inn, one of the settings in
his best-selling novel The Brethren. Every spring sea turtles
come ashore to lay their eggs and in summer; when they hatch beneath a
full moon, the babies follow the moonlight to the water. Sensitive to
these special guests, the Sea Turtle Inn, now the One Ocean Resort, features light dampening
windows so the new-born turtles aren't confused about which direction
to go. The hotel's slogan is, "Let their first sight be
Intimate boutique hotels, chain
hotels, and cheery bed and breakfast establishments are spread out
along the shore, most within walking distance to restaurants and
Where to eat
Local residents claim
Jacksonville has such a profusion of great restaurants that they
seldom have to visit the same one twice. Down home southern style
restaurants to upscale steak and seafood houses prove them right.
Centrally located downtown, The
Jacksonville Landing is a riverfront marketplace with numerous casual
eateries. Cross the river and head for the equally casual River City
Brewing Company to enjoy seafood with a view of the city skyline and the Friendship
Fountain, an outdoor bar with live music, and to-die-for key lime
pie. Trendy Bistro Aix in the San Marco area proves that fashionable
food doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be good!
of the Jaguar © CruiseDiva.com™
& the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau
Return to Embarkation