A Local's Guide to Jacksonville
Giraffes at the Jacksonville Zoo


So, you made it to Jacksonville, Fla. Congratulations! But now, what are you going to do while there? There are so many fun activities to participate in while visiting. These are just a few of my favorites.

The Jacksonville Zoo

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a great way to have fun and learn at the same time. It has more than 2,000 animals in its collection and sits on around 110 acres. The zoo opened in 1914 in the Springfield neighborhood as the Municipal Zoo, with a red deer fawn as the first animal on exhibit. In 1925, the zoo moved to its current location off Hecksher Drive. A popular exhibit is the Range of the Jaguar, which one the 2005 AZA Exhibit of the Year award. There is also an outlook where you can feed and pet the giraffes. This is a great way to have fun and learn!


Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars had their inaugural season in 1995. Since then, the community has embraced and celebrated this NFL expansion team. Crowds gather on Sundays to see the teal and black take on opponents at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. This would be a great family event for those whole love a good game of football! Tickets can be found here.
Gator Bowl
Every year, Jacksonville hosts the Gator Bowl, a college bowl game that features teams from the ACC, Big East and Big 12. It is the sixth oldest college bowl, held continuously since 1946. The game is held sometime in late December or early January. This would be a great event to take part in!
Florida-Georgia, also known as 'The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,' is an annual college football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia held every year since 1915. Since 1933, it has almost always been held in Jacksonville. The game is usually held on the last Saturday of October, and attracts large crowds. This great rivalry is always a fun time!


If you are looking for some retail therapy while on vacation, Jacksonville is the place to be. There are several malls located in various areas around town. Enclosed malls include Orange Park and The Avenues. An upscale outdoor mall is the St. Johns Town Center. It features stores like American Eagle and Hollister for the younger crowd, but also has an upscale side with places like Louis Vuitton, Brooks Brothers and Tommy Bahama.
Ghost in the window in St. Augustine

St. Augustine

Looking for something a little scarier? Well, head just down the road to the nation's oldest city. St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by the Spanish. This town has historic significance and is known for being haunted. Try out a walking ghost tour. A guide will take you around historic downtown St. Augustine while telling chilling stories. You will be sure to have a haunting experience! Can you see the face in the picture to the right?