Jacksonville Guide

Jacksonville stretches across a whopping 840 square miles in northeastern Florida, making it the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. Naturally, there’s tons to do in this immense space, which encompasses white-sand beaches, a thriving downtown, and undeveloped nature preserves inhabited by local wildlife. If you’re looking to explore the greater area, Jax—as it’s known to locals—is a good jumping-off point for visits to St. Augustine (45 minutes south) and Savannah, GA (2 hours north).

Downtown Riverfront

The St. Johns River—one of the only rivers in North America that flows north—cuts right through the middle of Jax. Take to the slow-flowing waterway on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to drift past some of the city’s top attractions.

  • Jacksonville Landing: This riverfront entertainment complex has been attracting visitors for more than 20 years with international eateries, live music clubs, and more than 300 special events held annually.
  • Museum of Science & History: Interactive exhibits at the MOSH include a planetarium, a larger-than-life model of the human body, and a nature center with Florida wildlife.
  • Friendship Fountain features a dazzling light show each evening; it’s a great spot to watch summer fireworks displays, too.
  • Historic neighborhoods: A few minutes from downtown, the highly walkable Five Points and San Marco areas boast historic homes and businesses, trendy restaurants, and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Outdoor Adventure

Thanks to its location along the Atlantic Ocean, Jax has miles of white sand beaches and lush parkland. Winters are dry and mild, so you can enjoy the outdoors all year long.

  • 22 miles of beaches are divided into three main areas—Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach—frequented by surfers, kayakers, and stand-up paddleboarders.
  • Sprawling parkland: More than 80,000 acres of parkland lie within the city limits, including the oceanfront Little Talbot Island State Park and Fort Clinch State Park, where you can see Civil War reenactors.
  • Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary: Lions, bobcats, and coatimundi are among the 40 residents at this non-profit sanctuary run completely by volunteers. Day and night tours are offered several times a week.

Golfer’s Paradise

Not only is Jax home to numerous championship courses, but the PGA Tour National Headquarters is located in the oceanfront community of Ponte Vedra Beach. Two major PGA tournaments are held in the area each year.

  • World Golf Hall of Fame: View hands-on exhibits and artifacts from the hall’s more than 140 members and practice your short game on an 18-hole natural grass putting course.
  • 70 public and private courses are within a short drive of downtown. These include courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, and other experts.
  • The Players Championship: Each May, Ponte Vedra Beach hosts 50 of the world’s top-ranked players at the iconic TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course—ranked the #1 course in Florida by GolfWeek.

Where to Stay

  • Downtown: The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel is within walking distance of Jacksonville Landing and a short water-taxi ride from the MOSH and Friendship Fountain.
  • Close to the beach: Set on the soft, white sands of Neptune Beach, Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront hotel features a 120-foot lagoon-style pool with four waterfalls, a whirlpool, and ocean views.
  • For historic character: Housed in a turn-of-the-century home near the St. Johns River, the antique-filled Riverdale Inn offers an elegant afternoon tea service.
  • For golf: Play on two 18-hole courses, including an oceanfront course, at the AAA Five Diamond Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
See More

Market PicksHotels Selected for Top Ratings and Value + 5% Groupon Bucks Credit

Get a 5% Groupon Bucks credit when you book a Market Pick hotel here.
image placeholder image for Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville Airport
Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville Airport
From $97/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
From $379/nt
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville Airport
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville Airport
From $120/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Flagler Center
Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Flagler Center
From $99/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort
World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort
From $179/nt
St. Augustine, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Ramada Jacksonville / Baymeadows Hotel & Conference Center
Ramada Jacksonville / Baymeadows Hotel & Conference Center
From $98/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hyatt Regency Jacksonville
Hyatt Regency Jacksonville
From $139/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
From $249/nt
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville JTB/Deerwood Park
Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville JTB/Deerwood Park
From $89/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Baymeadows
Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Baymeadows
From $118/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Butler Boulevard
Courtyard by Marriott Butler Boulevard
From $139/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Jacksonville
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Jacksonville
From $67/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hyatt Place Jacksonville Airport
Hyatt Place Jacksonville Airport
From $119/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront
Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront
From $259/nt
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Omni Jacksonville Hotel
Omni Jacksonville Hotel
From $149/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Butler Boulevard
Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Butler Boulevard
From $107/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville Orange Park
Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville Orange Park
From $89/nt
Orange Park, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront
From $119/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville I-295/East Beltway
Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville I-295/East Beltway
From $149/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Airport
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Airport
From $130/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for One Ocean Resort & Spa
One Ocean Resort & Spa
From $249/nt
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hampton Inn Jacksonville South/I-95 at JTB
Hampton Inn Jacksonville South/I-95 at JTB
From $159/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Mayo Clinic/Jacksonville
Courtyard by Marriott Mayo Clinic/Jacksonville
From $159/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Jacksonville Marriott
Jacksonville Marriott
From $200/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra
Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra
From $127/nt
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island
Residence Inn by Marriott Amelia Island
From $189/nt
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville SE- Med Ctr Area
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville SE- Med Ctr Area
From $136/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel
Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel
From $137/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
From $139/nt
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Lexington Hotel & Conference Center - Jacksonville Riverwalk
Lexington Hotel & Conference Center - Jacksonville Riverwalk
From $119/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Ramada Jacksonville Hotel and Conference Center
Ramada Jacksonville Hotel and Conference Center
From $90/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Orange Park
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Orange Park
From $118/nt
Orange Park, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard Jacksonville Orange Park
Courtyard Jacksonville Orange Park
From $119/nt
Orange Park, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Airport
Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Airport
From $121/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Baymeadows
Residence Inn by Marriott Jacksonville Baymeadows
From $164/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
From $649/nt
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Airport
Courtyard by Marriott Jacksonville Airport
From $107/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
image placeholder image for Homewood Suites by Hilton Jacksonville/St. Johns Center
Homewood Suites by Hilton Jacksonville/St. Johns Center
From $70/nt
Jacksonville, Florida
Get 5% Credit
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks
Get 5% Credit in Groupon Bucks.