How to Plan An Awesome Long Weekend Getaway in Jacksonville
Jacksonville Florida is a perfect long-weekend destination. With its Atlantic ocean and St. John River coastal location, warm weather year-round, diverse foodie scene, waterfront dining options, beautiful beaches and a myriad of things to see and do, this destination is the ideal place to get away and rejuvenate. But before you take off on your Jacksonville adventure, be sure to keep these travel tips in mind:
WHERE TO STAY:
You’re only traveling for a short getaway, so why not splurge at a luxury resort and live it up for a change. Here are some of the best deluxe resorts in Jacksonville FLorida.
Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront: This upscale hotel has everything going for it. In addition to its central location right across the street from the famous Main Street Bridge, the hotel also offers stunning views of the river. Just a short walk from central downtown, this hotel is the ideal place to just park your car for the weekend and explore Jacksonville on foot.
One Ocean Resort & Spa: No trip to Jacksonville is complete without sinking your toes into the sand. Beach lovers would be wise to make this Atlantic Beach resort home base for the weekend. One Ocean Resort & Spa delivers a relaxing stay with its premium spa services and private beach cabanas offering the best of Florida living. To avoid the beach crowds, this weekend trip is best made in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa: Golf enthusiasts will delight in this top golf resort, home to both the TPC Sawgrass Stadium and TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley courses. The 25,000-square-foot Sawgrass Spa is an amazing way to relax after a day spent out on the greens. Or take a dip in one of the resort’s four swimming pools.
THINGS TO DO:
Tee it Up: Jacksonville is a golfer’s paradise. It is no wonder that so many PGA tour events are held in The River City. In addition to the world-class TPC Sawgrass, the city also features a host of public courses designed to encourage both experienced and novice golfers to try out their swing.
Run, Hike, Bike in Cary State Forest: Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the expansive open space of this pristine state forest. Visitors can run, hike, or bike through the massive network of trails running through wetlands and Cypress swampland. Horseback riding and wildlife viewing are also popular activities at this outdoor oasis. Be sure to go early in the day during the warmer months to avoid the infamous heat and humidity.
Go Fishing: The water is clearly the main attraction in Jacksonville. Although there are many ways to experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, the city is mostly known for is exceptional fishing opportunities. The quarter-mile-long Jacksonville Beach Pier is the best place to cast your line. The pier is open daily from 6 am – 10 pm and even offers a concession stand that sells bait. There are also lots of fishing charter boats available for hire.
Chill At The Beach: Whether you’re looking forward to conquoring the waves on a boogie board, paddle board or surf board, you’ll be happy to know that Jacksonville Beach has some of the best surfacing waves in the region. So come to work on your tan and lounge on the soft sand, or get active with one of the many beach activities.
Go Island Hopping: Take a short drive north to Amelia Island for the day. Here you’ll find a fascinating community with split personalities. Step into southern plantation life by visiting the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, hang out at the beach mid-island, and stroll the quirky streets of the Fernandina Beach community. Fernandina is populated by stately Victorian homes, ecletic boutiques and an interesting array of waterfront bars and restaurants. You can even take a sightseeing ferry over to exclusive Cumberland Island to learn the Carnegie family history and see wild horses frolic in the sand.
WHERE TO EAT:
There’s an abundance of wonderful dining opportunities in Jacksonville from seafood shacks to fine dining. Here are two of our very favorite spots that should not be missed.
River & Post: As one of the hottest restaurants in town, you would be wise to visit River & Post for a meal. This modern hot spot features magnificent views of the city and the St. Johns River partnered with some of the city’s best cuisine. Dine on favorites such as the ceviche appetizer, the seared filet mignon Diane, linguine and clams, seared sea scallops, and much more seasonal and local fare. The moderately-priced restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
Singleton’s Seafood Shack: Jacksonville is famous for its casual seafood shacks, offering up a cornucopia of fresh favorites straight from the sea. Singleton’s is a great place for a quick lunch or dinner on the water. Be sure to try the fried oysters with a side of hush puppies.
About The Author: Kim Harington is a Florida native who has spent the last two years living in Jacksonville. She loves writing travel pieces for various locations, but the Sunshine State has a special place in her heart.