Boats are a common sight in Jacksonville and play a crucial role in the livelihood of the city. Jacksonville is reputed for being the largest city in the USA. However, its economy and most of its activities are related to water. The St. Johns River cuts the city into two; the Atlantic which lies on the eastern part of the city acts as a home to the Jacksonville Beaches residents. Boats are important in Jacksonville as they are used as the main means of transport for tourists and the US military. Although the city is famous for its military base and suburban city, both visitors and residents of all ages can find a lot of fun. There are numerous activities in Jacksonville Florida to stir you up.
Beach activities in Jacksonville Florida
With beaches stretching for 21 miles, there are innumerable opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing or just watching the sun as it sets in Jacksonville. Backgrounders can begin with the Jacksonville Beaches Museum and History Centre, where artefacts, historic photographs and a 28-ton steam engine are displayed. In case you are on a fishing expedition or headed out to the sea to watch the dolphins, birds and manatees, the best place to start with is the Jacksonville Beach Pier. It protrudes out some 1,320 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and has a wide deck measuring 20 feet wide and can even be accessed by the handicapped. Here, there are bait shops, fish cleaning stations and boat chartering services.
You can opt for kayaking or explore the watercourses, or take the cruise ships to the Bahamas. Offshore and inshore fishing are on offer in Jacksonville and there are a number of fish species which you can catch inshore. These include the sea trout, sheephead, redfish, flounder and blackdrum. Also, the charter boats’ expert skippers come in handy especially when you are trying to locate the secret hideaways for fish flying. Some of the saltwater fish found offshore include Wahoo, grouper, tuna and grouper among others.
One of the most popular activities in Jacksonville Florida is the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament which takes place each year. It attracts about 500 participants in the boat racing game with each one of them set to clinch the top prize of thousands of dollars.
The Jacksonville Landing
The Jacksonville Landing is a gigantic hangout for tourists and residents alike, particularly on weekends. The Landing comprises of nineteen restaurants and twenty two shops. There is live entertainment in the large courtyard on most weekends and various special events held throughout the year. Come football season, buffs come to the Landing for pre-game and post-game bashes specifically held for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the various college teams visiting the city for the yearly Florida-Georgia and Gator Bowl games. The Landing is strategically situated along the St. Johns River, making it easy to access the river boat rides and other activities.
Here, the whole family can have great fun. Adventure Landing comprises of a game room, batting cages, mini roller coaster, miniature golf and other children rides. In addition, concession stands, candy shops among other important services are available. Children of all ages together with their parents will definitely find something to enjoy for a considerable time and although every attraction is charged separately, combination packages are on offer in a bid to reduce the costs.
These activities in Jacksonville Florida will doubtless be truly memorable to residents and visitors alike.
Image: “Looking across the world’s finest beach…” from Flickr by Boston Public Library