Located right on the Atlantic Coast in northeast Florida, Jacksonville offers its residents all of the amenities that come with a beachfront city for a fraction of the cost of some of the popular destinations nearby.
Known as the “River City on the Sea,” Jacksonville is packed with more than 22 miles of beaches, a scenic stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River, the largest urban park system in the nation, historic neighborhoods, and a thriving street art scene.
The history of Jacksonville dates all the way back to 2500 BC according to pottery remains that have been found in the area, but the modern history of the city starts when it was founded in the early 1800s. American settlers moving to the area named it after President Andrew Jackson.
Following the Civil War, Jacksonville became a popular winter tourist destination for wealthy visitors from the north. Then the real boom came to the area shortly after World War II thanks to the postwar economic growth that helped many cities in Florida become popular places to live.
In 1991, Mayor Ed Austin issued a $235 million bond to fund the River City Renaissance program that would lead to a revamping of the city’s historic neighborhoods and eventually help stake the claim as a major city by being awarded an NFL franchise in 1993.
In a city that is known for its beaches, waterways, and greenspaces, everything about the lifestyle in Jacksonville revolves around taking advantage of those amenities.
In addition to those beaches, residents can also find tons of boating, fishing, and kayaking opportunities along the St. John’s River, which is one of the few northward flowing rivers in the country.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are more than a few greenspaces to choose from here in “The City of Parks,” including 10 different state and national parks inside the city limits.
Where many Florida cities have cultural communities that you have to go looking for, you simply can’t avoid all of the arts and culture that exists in Jacksonville. The Art in Public Places Program, which displays the city’s art collection in public buildings, plays a major role in creating that atmosphere.
There are also more than 18 different museums and art galleries across the city that create a never-ending cycle of cultural excitement for anyone who is interesting in the arts.
And that’s not even scratching the surface of all that Jacksonville offers through its thriving theatre community and all of the history that you will find in its unique neighborhoods.
Jacksonville offers a wide range of shopping opportunities depending on the type of experience you are looking for.
Beachfront shoppers can find some of the best shops in the area right at Beach Town Center, and then there are dozens of other stores located up and down A1A.
Jacksonville Landing is the focal point for downtown shopping, which includes a huge selection of retail stores and some excellent restaurants located right on the St. John’s River.
As you might expect, the largest city in Florida brings quite a bit to the table when it comes to culinary appeal. No matter where you find yourself in the city, you’re never going to be more than a stone’s throw away from a great place to eat.
And if you have never had the pleasure of visiting a poutinerie, then we highly recommend a trip to The Stuffed Beaver to try their Chicken Pot Pie Poutine.
For special occasions, there is nothing quite like a meal from Orsay, which offers the perfect combination of French cooking techniques and the local ingredients available along the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
Nearby 55+ Communities
Freedom at Arbor Mill and Freedom at Azalea Ridge are two 55+ active adult neighborhoods located practically next door to each other, in Jacksonville, Florida. Both communities offer a low stress, low maintenance lifestyle in a great location. The communities feature a gated entrance, private amenities, including a clubhouse and outdoor pool. Both communities will also have a Lifestyle Director who will cultivate the ideal selection of clubs and events for homeowners.
New homes are single story, thoughtfully designed and feature many upgrades and covered lanais to enhance your Florida lifestyle. All yard maintenance is included in the monthly HOA fee. The central aspect of each community will be an amenity center with an exercise room and covered patio, outdoor fireplace, pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, and a dog park.
All of the benefits of living in Jacksonville can be summed up nicely in the fact that the city was named one of “21 Supercool U.S. Cities” by Expedia’s Viewfinder blog, and it doesn’t hurt that it was also named to Lonely Planets list of “10 Best Value Destinations for 2018.”
The only real issue with relocating to Jacksonville is choosing which of the historic neighborhoods or nearby retirement communities you want to call home.