Expert Tips


Best Things to Do in Jacksonville

Jacksonville's Got Sunshine, Sand and So Much More

A visit to Jacksonville, aptly coined the “River City by the Sea”, is likely to end up in the water at some point. However, you may be surprised at the variety of things to do on the First Coast. Whether it’s the need for speed you’re craving, or a taste of North Florida’s culture, we’ve narrowed down the best of the best attractions for you and the whole family.

If it’s the beach you are bound for, consider one of the local favorites Atlantic Beach. This charming residential community is less touristy than Jacksonville’s main beach thoroughfare, and also holds some of the beach’s best shopping and restaurants. While you’re enjoying the sunshine and outdoors make sure to include the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve on your list of things to do. With over 46,000 acres of natural wonders, it’s the perfect place to discover the 6,000 years of history recorded in the region.  

To get a feel for Jacksonville’s cultural fabric, enjoy the Cummer Museum which boasts nearly 5,000 objects in its permanent collection. Stroll the historic Cummer Gardens and marvel at the unique specimens found in this century old treasure.

For memories the entire family will cherish, go wild at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens where the brand new Land of the Tiger exhibit has been wowing visitors young and old.

Whatever your pace, Jacksonville is the place to keep you and the whole family entertained and inspired.


Experience European-style indoor go-kart racing at Jacksonville's own Autobahn Speedway. This 80,000 sq ft facility features two challenging Grand Prix-themed courses designed to impress and thrill even the most demanding adrenaline junky. Reach speeds of up to 50 mph as you wind your way through each twist and turn in this upscale entertainment facility where real time scores are displayed for competitors to compare and beat. Between races lounge on leather couches, watch the latest pro race on the huge flat screen tvs, or indulge on your favorite snack while enjoying the free wifi. Perfect for date night, birthday parties, corporate events, or the professional hobbyist, Autobahn accommodates racers over the age of 8 and has thriving race leagues for adult and junior racers alike.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Autobahn Speedway is the largest indoor go-kart speedway of it's kind in the region and offers year around entertainment for the whole family.

Amy's expert tip: Ladies receive $5 off every race after 6pm on Fridays for Autobahn's ladies night.

Read more about Autobahn Indoor Speedway →

Enjoy non-stop family fun at Northeast Florida's largest family entertainment center on your next visit to Jacksonville. Located just off the sandy shores of Jacksonville Beach, Adventure Landing offers year around fun including the splashtastic Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Area 51 Laser Tag, Adventure Speedway Go-Karts, and one very Wacky Worm Rollercoaster. Get competitive over a round of Miniature Golf, shoot to score at the Arcade, or tempt your sweet tooth at Sweet Adventure Candy Shop. Whether you're visiting with the entire family, or making your way in for a creative date night, Adventure Landing will keep dishing out the fun. Whatever you choose to do, you can be sure you'll find hours of fun on your next adventure when you visit Northeast Florida's place to play.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Adventure Landing is Northeast Florida's largest family entertainment center.

Amy's expert tip: Make sure to visit Adventure Landing's website for great online coupons and package deals.

Read more about Adventure Landing →

Visit Jacksonville's longest ongoing festival when you attend the Riverside Arts Market. Chock full of regional goodness, guests will enjoy local art, tasty street fare, and fresh produce from surrounding farms all to the soundtrack of local entertainers and musicians. Stroll through the artisan booths under the shade of the Fuller Warren bridge where, rain or shine visitors are welcome to get a taste of Jacksonville's culture and experience it's talents first hand. The Riverside Arts Market is both family friendly as well as pet friendly, and known to be a lively, and affordable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: RAM is an affordable and festive place to bring the whole family and get a taste of Jacksonville's local culture and talent.

Amy's expert tip: The Riverside Arts Market is open every Saturday between 10am-4pm and is free of admission.

Read more about Riverside Arts Market →


Established in 1927, the Florida Theatre was originally a glamorous movie palace that featured a rooftop garden for dancing, and even child care. After careful preservation and renovations throughout the years the Florida Theatre proves that some icons are destined to be treasured throughout the decades. Today the theatre hosts over 200 entertainment and cultural events a year. Guests enjoy nearly perfect acoustics during performances by their favorite musicians, comedians, and plays amongst other community events. Throughout the years the Florida Theatre's stage has seen appearances by the legendary figures like Elvis, Diana Ross, and Bon Jovi. The Florida Theatre represents a significant role in the history of the First Coast, and thanks to it's dedicated staff and leadership, continues to remain one of the best destinations for entertainment in Jacksonville.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Florida Theatre is a beautiful example of history preserved, and a romantic destination for entertainment on the First Coast.

Amy's expert tip: Look for the Loge seating to be some of the best seats in the house.

Read more about Florida Theatre →

Museum of Science & History
Photo courtesy of The MOSH

Get hands on at one of Jacksonville's most believed attractions, the Museum of Science and History. Visitors will enjoy an exciting roster of traveling and core exhibits built to both fascinate and inspire guests of all ages. Explore the inner workings of the human body, marvel at the universe in the planetarium, and discover more about Jacksonville's role in history over the decades. Kids will also love getting up close and personal with some of the region's most common wildlife in the Florida Naturalist's Center, and getting their wiggles out climbing on the giant tree house in KidsSpace. Located along the St Johns River, MOSH enjoys easy access to popular shopping, restaurants, and the beautiful Friendship Fountain.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: MOSH is an interactive museum full of exhibits that both fascinate and inspire visitors of all ages

Amy's expert tip: Be sure to look into MOSH's entertaining adult only functions like beer making classes, and special effects makeup tutorials during their MOSH after dark program.

Read more about Museum of Science & History →

History and nature buffs will enjoy wandering through centuries of history spread over North Florida's stunning coastal marshlands, hardwood hammocks, and coastal dunes at the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Encompassing around 46,000 acres of natural beauty, the Timucuan Preserve includes Fort Caroline, the Kingsley Plantation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Area. Visitors will walk the grounds where 6,000 years of human history have been recorded. Learn more about the Timucuan culture native to the region, discover one of Florida's last standing nineteenth century plantations, and embrace the wild on miles of trails and wetlands begging to be explored at one of Jacksonville's most treasured gems.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Timucuan Preserve is the ideal place for exploring with 46,000 acres and over 6,000 years of human history.

Amy's expert tip: The National Park is free of admission, however there are several agencies that operate within the park that may charge per person or per vehicle.

Read more about Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve →

View one of Northeast Florida's finest collections of art at the Cummer Museum. Situated in Jacksonville's historic Riverside neighborhood, the Cummer houses nearly 5,000 objects in its permanent collection spanning from 2100 BC to the 21st Century. Recently undergoing an expansion, The Cummer features ancient and timeless masterpieces including seven special collections. When your path leads you to fresh air, take in the impressive Cummer Gardens along the St Johns River. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the history and design of the century old Gardens are as fascinating as the permanent artwork located within the museum. After taking in an afternoon of beautiful art, make sure to save space for a bite at the Cummer Cafe' where fresh local brew and tasty nibbles are sure to refresh the soul, and satiate your appetite.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Cummer holds one of Northeast Florida's finest collections of art with close to 5,000 objects in its permanent collection.

Amy's expert tip: Score free admission into the Cummer on the first Saturday of every month.

Read more about Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens →

If you are a local to Jacksonville, and headed to the beach on the weekend, you are more likely to find your way to the more private and residential Atlantic Beach. If you are a visitor looking to bypass the crowds, put Atlantic Beach's well preserved sands at the top of your list. Not only will you enjoy the white sandy expanse of beach, you'll also be steps away from local shops, and eateries at the Beaches Town Center. At the Northern point of the beach, you'll find ample recreation opportunities at Hanna Park where miles of hiking and biking trails attract active visitors and campers for hours of outdoorsy fun.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: Atlantic Beach is the less crowded and more lovingly preserved little sister of the beaches community that's also home to great shopping and local restaurants.

Amy's expert tip: Atlantic Beach is a more residential area so be prepared to search and potentially pay for parking on the weekends.

Read more about Atlantic Beach →

Ponte Vedra

Enjoy the ultimate golf experience at the home of the PGA and THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass. Built to challenge the top professionals in the field, TPC consists of THE PLAYERS Championship course, and Dye's Valley Course. Avid golfers and fans will get a thrill out of facing both demanding courses, while seeing how they measure up against three of the most challenging holes in the world. Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, just thirty minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport, TPC Sawgrass allows access to courses usually restricted to PGA Tour professionals. Walk where champions have walked and play like a pro on your next visit to the First Coast at TPC Sawgrass.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: TPC Sawgrass is home to THE PLAYERS Championship course, where avid golfers and fans get the chance to play like a pro.

Amy's expert tip: Take advantage of the personal forecaddies trained to educate players on the history, and heritage of these amazing courses.

Read more about TPC Sawgrass →

Recently rated one of the Top 25 Zoos in the U.S., the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens continues to impress with it's state of the art habitats, and exhibits. Among it's popular attractions are the recently unveiled Land of the Tiger Exhibit, a 2.5 acre habitat featuring three Malayan, and two Sumatran tigers. This ground-breaking exhibit allows the tigers to roam through an innovative trail system that weaves itself around and over top guests heads. Other exciting features include the Giraffe Outlook, Stingray Bay, and the Range of the Jaguar. As a staple in the community the Jacksonville Zoo leads the way in education and conservation through annual cultural events, holiday activities, and outreaches.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because: The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens was recently rated one of the Top 25 Zoos in the US.

Amy's expert tip: A membership to the Jacksonville Zoo packs in a huge savings if you plan on visiting more than twice a year and includes discounts to many other museums and zoos around the nation.

Read more about Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens →


Meet Amy West

Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".

New Zealand, China, Malta, Germany, and Brazil all find...  More About Amy