Jacksonville Beach Vacations

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.

Jacksonville Attractions

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is beaches-town-center-300x200.jpgBeaches 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Catty-Shack-Ranch-Wildlife-Sanctuary.jpgCatty 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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Big-Talbot-Island-State-Park-300x124.jpgBig 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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Castaway-Island-Preserve-300x200.jpgCastaway 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Fort-George-Island-Cultural-State-Park-300x196.jpgFort 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.

KGB Kiteboarding

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


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.

Residence Inn Jacksonville South / Bartram Park


Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville South/Bartram Park features an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning as well as a complimentary manager’s reception on select days. Public areas are equipped with complimentary high-speed wired and wireless Internet access.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Jacksonville Deerwood Park


Enjoy spacious suites and at-home comforts at Homewood Suites by Hilton Jacksonville Deerwood Park. Encircled by pine trees in a quiet residential area, the hotel offers quick access to businesses, restaurants and St. John’s Town Center. Reach EverBank Field in 15 minutes for a Jaguars football game, and sink your toes in the sand at Jacksonville Beach within 20 minutes. JAX Airport is just 25 minutes away from our extended-stay hotel.

Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville Deerwood Park


Relax in a luxurious guest room with a clean and fresh Hampton bed® or upgrade to a suite with space for the whole family. Start the day right with Hampton’s free hot breakfast. Don’t miss out if you have early appointments — grab one of our free Hampton On the Run® Breakfast Bags, available Monday to Friday. For dinner, consult their local experts for inside info on the best Jacksonville, FL restaurants.


Booking.com

28 Comments

  1. Alan ONeill

    I haven’t been to the Florida coast yet so your blog has helped me learn some highlights. Thanks so much for the information. I’m planning to be there for next winter. I can’t wait to go. I have not heard of Jacksonville Beach but sharing your information as you have gives insight into what mostly only the locals know about.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think you will really enjoy the Florida Beaches and Jacksonville beach is great. Please let me know if you need any other information.

      Reply
  2. cristina

    I can’t get enough of following your posts. Every time you show an amazing place in the world where I would love to have a few days break from the routine and the problems.
    I would really love a holiday 🙂 I see there are many things to do in Jacksonville.Many restaurants pubs, beach bars…the best time to go, i suppose is in June or when do you think I can find the best prices?you understand, to not be hight season price.
    And another important question, I don’t know if you can help me but..there are animal-friendly hotels? I always travel with my dog and I need to know if I can find accommodation that allows my dog with me
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cristina

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      High season is going to be June thru August. Any other time is fine. These three Jacksonville beach hotels are dog friendly:

      Hotel Indigo Jacksonville-Deerwood Park Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville So-St. Johns Town Ctr Area

      All are very good 🙂

      Reply
  3. Elaine

    Hi, Leahrae

    I like your website, and I can see that you’re a real beach fan. Your website is uncluttered, well laid out, and attractive. You’ve obviously done your research, and coupling that with your experiences, you make the beaches come alive. Who knows? I just might visit Jacksonville Beach one day!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Elaine

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Elaine! I am glad I could help. Please let me know if there is anything else you need.

      Reply
  4. Daniella

    Hi Lea,
    Jacksonville looks absolutely fantastic. I assume that it is even better in reality. I love uncrowded beaches. It relaxes me. I will put this beach on my bucket list for my next holiday. I didn’t find any question left to ask as you have given all the information needed for an ideal family vacation!
    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you and glad everything you needed was in one place. I hope to see you soon at Jacksonville beach!

      Reply
  5. Bobby

    Oh, to dream of the perfect vacation spot! You have made my imagination run wild. Especially since the last 4 days here have been with freezing temperatures where I am. I like the look of your site and the ease of navigation. You have definitely done your research, and I plan on bookmarking your site. Right now vacations are just dreams in my world, but someday soon I will use your resources and knowledge to go places. Thank you.

    Bobby

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Bobby, and I hope you really can visit soon. Jacksonville Beach is really not a super expensive place to visit. For being an exceptional Florida beach, I would consider it a bargain 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jason

    Well, that does sound like a great place. Especially when it is freezing cold up here. I’m talking negatives lol. You have really made this sound like a great vacationing spot.

    The white, sandy beaches part is what dos it for me. The beer also, plenty of beer :).It looks like Jacksonville has everything in one place that you would want. Good pizza, craft brews, beaches, and I’ve always wanted to take a shot at kiteboarding.

    Thanks for the read and maybe I’ll go there soon.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I agree that Jacksonville Beach does have everything you would need to enjoy a great beach vacation! Of course, I love most beaches in Florida. Thank you so much for reading!

      Reply
  7. John

    Leahrae,
    Most of my trips to Jacksonville have been on business. Never made it to the beach. Made several trips to St. Augustine. You make it very inviting to plan a trip down that way while it is cold up north here.You have covered the main things that will need to be researched for a trip to the Jacksonville beach area. I did purchase a Dolphin Sofa Table with a glass top in Jacksonville about 20 years ago, still have it. Are there any good shopping areas for Florida type stuff still left in the area, kinda like ST. Johns pass in St. Pete Beach.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, and I know St. Johns pass. Absolutely love St. Pete the best. And yes, you can find the same Florida stuff there as well. I am moving there, so I have been collecting stuff every chance I get for my new home. Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
      1. John

        Leahrae,
        Lived in the Riverview area for 6 years in the 90’s. Worked too many hours to enjoy the area. Now that I am retired, the move back may happen.
        John

        Reply
        1. Leahrae (Post author)

          I am with you John. I visit often, but I am actually moving that direction in a matter of months! I can’t wait. I will be at the beach almost daily I am sure! Florida Beaches are awesome!

          Reply
  8. Kiki Sh

    Hi Mattysom,

    What a great Idea for Vacations!!!! Jacksonville Beach Vacations looks like a dream. White sand beaches, with plenty of beachfront and walking distance accommodations, the beaches are a quick and easy to escape from the everyday… It sounds like the perfect holiday. Thank you very much for the useful information you have included in your article.!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Kiki for stopping by and learning more about Jacksonville Beach. You will enjoy a visit here for sure!

      Reply
  9. Kikij

    Wow, thank you for providing me with so much valuable information! I’ve heard really great things about Jacksonville Beach, so have been considering a beach vacation there. I was wondering out of all the hotels you have listed, if you have a favorite…as far as luxury goes? I was previously thinking about the Hampton Inn, but you mention on your site that the Courtyard has been recently renovated. I guess I’m wondering if you have a preference between the two? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You know, both hotel lines are great. I always love staying in a newly renovated hotel. Just that everything is fresh and new. You will enjoy Jacksonville Beach!

      Reply
  10. Letsret

    I was looking at vacation in Florida and read your post on jacksonville beach vacations. Everything I need to book my vacation is on your post, from car rentals to hotels and airports. Thanks. Just one question. I see there are fishing charters as well. Can you tell me what kind of fish we can expect to catch in Jacksonville?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You can catch Redfish, Sea Trout, Flounder, Tarpon, Cobia, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Snook, Kingfish, Bluefish, Triple Tail, Snappers, Ladyfish, and others! There are a lot of different fish to be caught. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  11. Josephine

    Jacksonville Beach is actually one beach I would have never considered making travel plans. You offer a lot to do that I never knew existed. I tend to venture to Myrtle Beach a lot, but even that beach is not popular for the water because it tends to be very murky. Thank you so much for this article and providing a new destination to get my tan on! 😉

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Josephine, I am glad I could help and eeeww I hate murky water for sure. I like to be able to see my feet. Glad you enjoyed reading!

      Reply
  12. Maxine

    Such an informative article! Makes me want to pack up and leave right now.
    I like how you have broken everything down into sections. I don’t really need to go anywhere else for information.
    You have covered pretty much everything I need to know about travelling to jacksonville beach.
    Thanks for taking the time to do all the work for me!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Maxine 🙂 If you need any help with anything else, please let me know.

      Reply
  13. Brittanie S

    Wow what a thorough article, thanks for the great read. I like that you list pretty much everything you will need to know about this destination and cover ground on what many people will find interesting to do there. When some focus on the “things to do” section, they often just focuz on restaurants and night life activities, but I’m glad you put actual sports and recreation. Not everyone travels to party, so that was refreshing to see.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I like to have things to do when I vacation….not just sit around and eat and drink. Thanks for reading about Jacksonville beach vacations!

      Reply

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