Explore Jacksonville with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Jacksonville is rich with natural beauty. Situated in northeast Florida where the St John’s river meets the Atlantic, Jacksonville is famous for its many beaches. But beyond the sand there is much to explore. Get a hire car in Jacksonville and head out to discover the swamps and wetland areas, or try the forests and wildlife refuges. There is plenty to see. As well as all of that, there is also a cosmopolitan city with lively nightlife and a popular spring break scene.
Fly in to Jacksonville International Airport, which is just 14 miles from the city centre, a drive of about 20 minutes. Orlando Airport is a two hour and 15 minute drive of 160 miles. If you are arriving by car then the I-95 runs all the way south to Miami and north through Washington, Philadelphia and New York. The I-10 also caters for those coming east from Texas and Louisiana.
Budget and Avis are among the companies offering a rental car in Jacksonville, with pick-up points in the city centre. Alamo, Thrifty and Hertz also have collection counters at Jacksonville Airport.
Once you are armed with your hire car head out and start exploring Jacksonville. If you like golf there are many courses in the area, otherwise visit the wetlands of the Timucuan preserve, the Ocala Forest or some of the various islands dotted along the coast. Amelia Island is 33 miles from Jacksonville and connected to the mainland by bridge. Its beaches are pristine and generally quieter than those closer to the big resorts, and if you are there in winter look out for the Atlantic whales that migrate to these waters every year.
Jacksonville has 22 miles of wide sandy beaches, which are split into distinct neighbourhoods. Mayport is the most northerly and offers fresh seafood and a quiet village feel, it is also popular with surfers. Neptune Beach has a lively nightlife and some upmarket restaurants, while Jacksonville beach has beachfront clubs and movie nights.
Gainesville, 80 miles or one hour and 20 minutes from Jacksonville, is home to The Swamp, otherwise known as the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium where the Florida Gators play American football. You could also head to Lake City, which is an hour’s drive west from Jacksonville and was the site of the Civil War’s Olustee battle. A museum and walking trail along the battle lines are open all year round, and if you happen to be there in February you can watch the annual reenactment. An hour’s drive north into the state of Georgia and you reach the coastal city of Brunswick. Nestled on the shores of Fancy Bluff creek, Brunswick has a relaxed atmosphere. Sit beside the harbour and watch the to and fro of the numerous shrimp boats, before enjoying their haul at one of the local restaurants.
The I-95 and I-10 cater for travellers heading north, south and west, giving Jacksonville great links with the rest of the USA. Hire a car and make the most of these easy, if busy, routes.
If you need help to organise your trip to Jacksonville and other parts of the US then use the Expedia search tool to source bargain flight, hotel and car hire deals, as well as researching the best activities and attractions.
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