If you are contemplating moving to Jacksonville, Florida, you probably already know that the weather is pretty marvelous all year long, with 221 average sunny days per year and mild temperatures even in winter. What you might not know is that the city is filled with arts, culture, beautiful gardens and gorgeous sandy beaches. Let’s take a look at some of what Jacksonville offers.
The Great Outdoors
Though not as well known as Miami’s South Beach or Clearwater Beach, Jacksonville does have a beautiful oceanfront complete with sand that stretches for miles, clear water, and a boardwalk with nearby shops and restaurants. Jacksonville also boasts one of the best surfing spots on the eastern coast of Florida.
Parks abound in the area
Hanna Park offers more than 20 miles of biking and hiking trails that runners and mountain bikers will love, a huge freshwater lake for fishing, kayaking or canoeing, along with Kids Splash Park and picnic facilities. Big Talbot Island State Park offers nature at its most pristine and is a popular spot for kayaking and touring salt marshes and other maritime forest spots.
Arts and Culture
At the Cummer Museum, you’ll find large permanent collections of world-class art objects dating from 2100 B.C. onward. The museum offers diverse exhibits, and one of its most popular exhibits is the Wark Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain. The museum’s gardens feature fountains, sculptures, and beautiful oak trees.
Then there is the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) that is well-loved by kids and adults alike. The Beaches Museum and History Center tells the story of early Jacksonville, and there is a thriving theater scene, including the Ritz Theater and Museum.
Reward yourself with a mouthwatering dinner from one of the many fantastic restaurants you will find here. Chances are good that you might want to try something a little different than what you usually eat. After all, this city is known for its interesting cuisine by both locals and tourists, so you may as well step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Some of our favorites are:
- Clark’s Fish Camp – The establishment is known for its great seafood options as well as its selection of exotic meat.
- The River Club – From escargot to duck to venison, this fine dining restaurant offers a little something for everyone. Try the famous, She Crab Soup.
- 13 Gypsies – Where else are you going to find Pan-seared Cheese with Roasted Red Pepper, Warm Crab Dip, Roman-style Gnocchi and Pork Kabobs all in one place? 13Gypsies also happens to have the best hummus you will ever taste in your life!
Low Cost of Living
Sperling’s Best Places tells us that the cost of living in Jacksonville is almost ten percent lower than the national average, led by extremely affordable housing in safe neighborhoods such as, Sandalwood, Loretto, Avondale, and Downtown. The median price for a home is just $112,000, with decent appreciation. Coupled with an unemployment rate of less than six percent, Jacksonville’s economy is doing well, and the city is growing at a rapid clip.
There are 500 diverse neighborhoods to choose from with excellent school districts. A few coveted ones include:
- Elementary Schools – Bartram Springs, John Starkton, Loretto, Hendricks’s Avenue, Mandary Oaks
- Middle Schools – Darnell Cookman, Kirby-Smith, Lavilla School of the Arts
- High School – Mandarin, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, River City Science Academy, Paxon School for Advanced Studies
Jacksonville offers something for everyone – young professionals to retirees, so now that you know a little more about it, check out the Unpakt website for great Jacksonville moving companies and our blog for packing tips.