Jacksonville Beach Vacations has a little bit of something for everyone. Bring your flip-flops and pack that sunscreen. Sunbathe on 22 miles of wide, uncrowded beaches. Gorgeous white sand beaches await you just minutes from downtown Jacksonville. With plenty of beachfront and walking-distance accommodations, the beaches are a quick and easy escape from the everyday. Along the 22-miles paradise, Jacksonville offers a range of activities including water sports, relaxation, nightlife, and family fun. During the Summer months jump aboard Jax Beach’s convenient Beaches Trolley to explore all the beach neighborhoods and attractions for just $1.50 fare. Visit the beautiful beaches of Florida’s East Coast There are four separate beach areas, each with its own unique characteristics:
Jacksonville Weather – When to Visit
The best times to visit Jacksonville are from March to May and September to November. You will have pleasant weather, as well as fewer tourists and lower prices than the summer months. June through August is peak travel season in northeast Florida, with hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine drawing beach bums in droves. Winter, on the other hand, can see average temperatures drop into the 40s, driving visitors away and prices way down. If you’re looking for a deal, then plan on a cold-weather visit to Jacksonville.
Beaches Town Center
At the nexus of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach, these shops and restaurants offer entertainment, dining, and nightlife options in a beautiful ocean-side setting. Enjoy casual and upscale dining options as well as a happening nightlife scene. The Beaches Town Center is across the street from One Ocean Spa and Resort and where you can find the delicious Azurea restaurant. Another nearby local favorite is Pete’s Bar or Lemon Bar inside the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn. Telephone: 904-241-1026 Web: Beaches Town Center.
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Their mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity. They do not breed, sell, or trade any of our animals. Current residents include tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, bobcats, foxes, and coatimundis. Telephone: 904-757-3603 Web: Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Big Talbot Island State Park
Explore the diverse island habitats by hiking Blackrock Trail to the shoreline, Big Pine Trail to the marsh or Old Kings Highway and Jones Cut through the maritime forest. Launch a boat or rent a kayak. Visit The Bluffs and enjoy a picnic at one of the pavilions overlooking the water or take a quick stroll down the trail to Boneyard Beach. The unique beach is famous for the salt-washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore. Telephone: 904-251-2320 Web: Big Talbot Island State Park
Castaway Island Preserve
Castaway Island Preserve is located along the Intracoastal Waterway and is adjacent to an intricate salt marsh ecosystem that is ideal for spotting marshland wildlife. Visitors may stroll along the Preserve’s wooden boardwalk, take in a view from an observation platform overlooking the waterway, walk along the kid-friendly interpretive nature trail, use the kayak launch to explore the marsh, and explore the theater style education center during scheduled programs.
Fort George Island Cultural State Park
Native Americans feasted here, colonists built a fort, and the Smart Set of the 1920s came for vacations. A site of human occupation for over 5,000 years, Fort George Island was named for a 1736 fort built to defend the southern flank of Georgia when it was a colony. Today?s visitors come for boating, fishing, off-road bicycling, and hiking. A key attraction is the recently restored Ribault Club. Once an exclusive resort, it is now a visitor center with meeting space available for special functions. Behind the club, small boats, canoes, and kayaks can be launched on the tidal waters.
Things to Do in Jacksonville
Thompson Surf School
Thompson Surf School teaches everyone from beginner surfers looking to ride their first wave, to advanced surfers wanting to push their surfing to the next level! Their surf instruction is lead by professional surfer, and Jacksonville Beach native, Evan Thompson. Whether you want a private lesson, group lesson, coaching session, or surf camp, your next surf adventure starts here! Telephone: 904-316-8573 Web: Thompson Surf School.
Enterprise Fishing Charters
Do you love the thrill of your heart racing when a monstrous fish strips the line from your reel? Does your heart pound as you gain control and lift an eight pound redfish from the water? Then it’s time to experience an adventure of a lifetime with Captain Kirk Waltz of Enterprise Fishing Charters. Captain Kirk Waltz is a U.S. Coast Guard Charter Captain with over 20 years experience. His intimate inshore and offshore knowledge of the Jacksonville area’s waters stretching from St. Augustine to Amelia Island assures you of the fishing opportunity of a lifetime. Telephone: 904-241-7560 Web: Enterprise Fishing Charters.
Jacksonville Beach is the prime location for kiteboarding lessons all year round, as well as Huguenot Park (Huguenot Memorial Park). Let them select kiteboarding gear that is appropriate for your body weight, size, riding style, and local conditions. They will set up your gear, adjust it for you, and teach you to use it safely! Kite self launches and landings can be difficult for beginning kiteboarders. Beginners are always welcome to join in on the beach, so you can watch others in training. It also lets you feel more secure with their help which is readily available. Call in advance for your kiteboarding lesson and meet them on the beach! Telephone: 904-434-8987 Web: KGB Kiteboarding.
E2Ride Bike Tours
Relax with sunlit Spanish moss and amazing water views on your choice of these informative bicycle tours with interesting sites, a knowledgeable guide, and a leisurely pace. See historic architecture, Florida wildlife, and rich history. A helmet, snacks, water bottle and everything is provided. Flat Terrain makes our tours good for all level and all age riders. Telephone: 904-945-1571 Web: E2Ride Bike Tours
Now and Zen Sailing Charters
Now and Zen Sailing Charters offers you a private sailing charter. Each cruise is customized to your requests. You may be celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, a family get together, or just a time to relax. The most popular charter is the sunset sail on the St John’s River but you may request it to be a dinner cruise, a luxury boat tour, a private river cruise, a day sailboat charter, or an overnight or week sailing vacation. Telephone: 904-803-8843 Web: Now and Zen Sailing Charters
Best Jacksonville Restaurants
Azurea Restaurant $11 – 30
Located on the beach, Azurea remains true to its local surroundings, providing an elegant, artfully inspired atmosphere, where a view of the ocean is accessible from any seat in the house. Azurea showcases the area’s culinary movement with an eclectic tribute to the flavors of Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. The menu changes with each season, representing the latest trends and finest ingredients. Following the swirling waves in the wall of glass, guests are led to Azurea’s ultra chic lounge that features an idyllic setting and delicious drinks. The outdoor veranda of the lounge also offers the perfect setting to enjoy a quality cigar or settle in by the fire pit with a cocktail in hand. The lounge provides community seating for a relaxed and sociable experience. Toast to an unforgettable evening with an ocean inspired cocktail, delicious martini or specialty mixed drink as you admire gorgeous sunset views. Telephone: 904-249-7402 Web: Azurea Restaurant.
Flaming Seafood & Shao Kao BBQ $11 – 30
Flaming Seafood & Shao Kao BBQ would like to introduce you to Shao Kao BBQ, which are a variety of meat and vegetables served on bamboo sticks. Shao Kao is a very popular street food in China, it’s also getting popular in NYC and LA. Our chef’s at Flaming’s use their knowledge of eastern spice and infuse it with western flavor to bring you this unique and delicious dining experience. Locally owned and locally prepared. Telephone: 904-853-6398 Web: Flaming Seafood & Shao Kao BBQ.
Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant $11 – 30
Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant is perched along the east edge of the Jacksonville Beach Boat ramp. A glance in any direction is rewarded with views of the majestic marsh and lively boating scene for which our city is so proud. The casual setting ensures comfort and relaxation will accompany your divinely fresh meal. Telephone: 904-479-3474 Web: Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant.
Eleven South $31 – 60
Located in South Jacksonville Beach, Eleven South provides a warm and elegant setting to enjoy seasonally inspired world cuisine by our award winning team. Named for its distinctive location, just blocks from the ocean, Eleven South balances a casual environment, professional service and an exceptional menu offering, while maintaining a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. They believe fine dining can be fun and invite you try it first hand. You will see why so many of their customers go back time and time again and why so many love to say…Meet me at Eleven. Telephone: 904-241-1112 Web: Eleven South.
Jaxon Social $11 – 30
Their name reflects two things they value most: community and relationships. At Jaxon Social they celebrate all things Jacksonville, all things local. You may spot their chefs at the local green market and you’ll always find local craft brews ready to pour at their tap tables. They use local purveyors and choose locally grown food whenever possible. Of course, no community exists without relationships which brings us to social–the second part of their name. At Jaxon Social, they believe the experience of dining is as important as the food and drink, so go and be social with them. Put down your smartphones and experience dining unplugged. Their doors open, board games are on the patio, Chef Matt’s in the kitchen and Carissa’s behind the bar. You might even find Ben crowd-pleasing in the front of the house. Telephone: 904-990-8573 Web: Jaxon Social.
Best Jacksonville Nightlife
Green Room Brewing
Green Room Brewing is Jacksonville Beach’s first microbrewery! Their goal is to bring great, locally made beer to the Beaches and beyond. They brew beers that interest the casual drinker and the beer aficionado. Feel free to bring that furry friend of yours to the bar! Just make sure that the pup has a leash and can play well with others. A great beer can complement a good meal. However, they don’t serve food, so feel free to bring your own! A binder of menus of restaurants that deliver is available at the bar! Telephone: 904-201-9283 Web: Green Room Brewing.
Really Good Beer Stop
They’re Jacksonville Beach’s ultimate craft beer and growler store—bringing the highest quality craft brews to all you hop heads and casual beer drinkers alike. They offer many grab’n’go bottles and cans as well as 20 rotating taps ranging from local brews to regional and national craft beers. Just grab a 32oz. or 64oz. growler, fill ‘er up and take it virtually anywhere. They also have Crowlers®—ginormous 32oz. cans you can fill up with any really good beer you want. As craft beer experts, they’re always on the hunt for both popular and hard-to-find beers so check the beer list daily then drop by and see if they can help you discover your new favorite brew. Telephone: 904-372-0910 Web: Really Good Beer Stop.
The Wine Bar
Set amongst the refreshingly relaxed beach atmosphere, The Wine Bar is the perfect marriage of a upscale aura combined with a an aroma of friendship. Their beloved bar is located in the heart of Jacksonville Beach, perfect for visitors and locals alike. Purporting the longest daily Happy Hour in Jax Beach, this gem of a bar boasts more than just wine: seasonally modified craft beers, house-crafted red and white sangria, fun and affordable Jell-o shots, and live music 4 nights a week. Fresh, handmade tapas procured from local sources and an extensive wine list featuring boutique-style wines creates a unique atmosphere unlike any other in the area. Telephone: 904-372-0211 Web: The Wine Bar.
The Mellow Mushroom
Mellow Mushroom is proud to serve Jacksonville Beach with delicious pizza, hoagies, calzones and salads. Providing quality food since 1974, they use fresh ingredients on all their menu items. Locally owned and operated by John and David Valentino, the Mellow Mushroom is more than just a pizza restaurant; it is where Jacksonville Beach pizza lovers and beer lovers gather. Their menu and locations are as eclectic as our fans. Join the beer club, shop our Mellow shirts and see the unique artwork in each of the locations. And yes it is true, they have a bus in the restaurant! It is a must see and a perfect place to hold a birthday party. They serve slices until 2 a.m. and a full menu until 1:30 a.m. Telephone: 904-241-5600 Web: The Mellow Mushroom.
Shim Sham Room
Welcome to The Shim Sham Room, a rock n’ roll cocktail lounge where the art of drinking is on display nightly. Never stuffy…The Shim Sham Room’s classically trained bartenders will lovingly create you everything from an extraordinary Old Fashioned to a Jager Bomb. Upon entering, you are greeted in the public house with comfortable seating and an expansive bar. Up the staircase and you’ve got their vintage spirit lounge with live music. Out back, you’ll find yourself in their secluded patio where smoking is permitted and yet another bar to take care of your drinking desires. Telephone: 904-372-0781 Web: Shim Sham Room.
Top Jacksonville Beach Hotels
Hotel Indigo is a boutique hotel that delivers an engaging and sensible boutique experience without sacrificing service or style. Hotel Indigo provides guests with the best of both worlds – the refreshing design and intimate service synonymous with a boutique, along with the consistency and reliability of the world’s largest hotel company – offered at an affordable price.
Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel
Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida is just steps from attractions such as the Avenues Shopping Mall, the Mayo Clinic, University of North Florida-UNF, and the St. Johns Town Center Mall.