If you're looking to visit an attraction-packed city by the sea, then a trip to Jacksonville, Florida is bound to please. When you're not enjoying the downtown attractions on Jacksonville vacations, you can make a break for any number of beaches, which line the northeastern Florida coast. Jacksonville Beach, which is due east of the downtown area, is just one of the places where hanging out with your feet in the sand all day is possible. Jacksonville getaways are ideal year round, though if you're looking to enjoy some beach time, then you'll be better off visiting in the late spring, the summer, and the early fall. During the winter, the cooler temperatures aren't exactly conducive to splashing around in the ocean, though you can always don a wet suit and do some surfing if you please.
There is seemingly an endless amount of things to do on Jacksonville vacations, and if you like good museums, then you'll be in luck. Along the south bank Riverwalk, the Museum of Science and History can be found, and it's a museum that you won't want to miss. When it comes to Jacksonville family vacations, the Museum of Science and History is arguably the best museum to visit. To the southeast of the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art attracts art enthusiasts who are looking for fun things to do. Crossing over the St. Johns River, which bisects the downtown area, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is another museum that art aficionados will want to include on the itinerary. In addition to visiting some museums, those who are enjoying Jacksonville vacations can also visit some historic sites, such as the Kingsley Plantation.
Some of the best historical attractions can be found in the Jacksonville parks, and you might be interested to know that the city boasts the largest urban park system in the country! There are parks of all kinds to choose from in the Jacksonville, and if you're looking for some places to go hiking, kayaking, or camping, the state parks are good places to look. Both Talbot Island and Amelia Island, which can be found northeast of Jacksonville, boast some excellent state parks that beg to be explored Jacksonville getaways. Amelia Island is about 45 miles away from Jacksonville, and it offers some of the best beaches in the area, not to mention beach resorts, which helps to add to its appeal as a vacation destination.
When looking for a good beach resort for your trip to Jacksonville, Amelia Island is a good place to start. Here, you'll find the sprawling Amelia Island Plantation Resort and the smaller, yet still expansive Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Resort. If you want to be closer to downtown Jacksonville when staying at an area beach resort, then the One Ocean Hotel Resort & Spa in Atlantic Beach should be a good fit. Less than 20 miles away to the southeast, Ponte Vedra Beach boasts three beach resorts that you'll also do well to keep in mind. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway to Jacksonville or a family vacation, staying at one of the area resorts can be utterly ideal. Couples will also want to consider the Jacksonville bed and breakfast inns, and any and all visitors should see what the vacation rentals have to offer. The Jacksonville vacation rentals, which come in the form of condos, cottages, and homes, are excellent alternatives to the Jacksonville hotels and resorts.
Regardless of where you stay during your trip to Jacksonville, there will be a wide array of activities to choose from, and booking tours on the side is recommended if you want to add some depth to your vacation. Among the top activities that you can enjoy on Jacksonville getaways include golf, sailing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and fishing. Should you wear yourself out with a bunch of activities, treating yourself to a spa treatment is always a good idea. The Jacksonville spas can be found in all the right places, and they can definitely have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated come time to leave.
Jacksonville Beach Vacations
Jacksonville Beach, which is due east of downtown Jacksonville, is one of the best places to enjoy a Jacksonville beach getaway. In addition to miles of soft, white sand, the beaches here feature some of the best waves in the region. As such, surfing is among the top things to do, much as it is in nearby Neptune Beach. Neptune Beach can be found north of Jacksonville Beach, and it offers more peace and quiet. North of Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach provides another ideal destination for beach vacations near Jacksonville. Here, you'll find one of the better Jacksonville beach resorts. The One Ocean Hotel Resort & Spa in Atlantic Beach can definitely make for a wonderful, oceanfront base on your Jacksonville beach getaway.
The coastal cities of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach are the best places to enjoy a Jacksonville beach getaway if you want to be close to the big city, but they aren't the only destinations worth considering. Approximately 45 miles to the northeast of the downtown area, Amelia Island presents Jacksonville locals and visitors alike a delightful vacation destination that is almost guaranteed to please. Whether you stay at one of the bed and breakfasts in Fernandina Beach, or opt instead to book a stay at one of the resorts on the south side of the island, your Amelia Island getaway can definitely include a lot of time on a beautiful beach. Stay at the Amelia Island Plantation, and you'll be right on the water.
Heading down to the southeastern side of the Jacksonville area, Ponte Vedra Beach is another coastal community worth keeping in mind when beach vacations near Jacksonville are the name of the game. An upscale resort community, Ponte Vedra Beach boasts some of the best beach resorts in the area, and they include the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Beach Club, and the Lodge and Club at Ponte Vedra Beach. While most of the beaches in Ponte Vedra Beach don't feature public access points, you should still have little trouble finding a spot on the sand. You'll be just steps away from a private beach that will be yours to enjoy if you stay at one of the beachfront resorts.
While staying at a resort or a smaller hotel is what some people will have in mind when planning Jacksonville beach vacations, others will prefer staying at a vacation rental property. There are quite a lot of beachfront vacation rentals in the Jacksonville area, and they can be found in all the top beach destinations. While a condo rental will be just fine for smaller groups, a larger cottage or home will better suit larger groups. Most of the Jacksonville area beach vacation rentals are well equipped and feature things like full kitchens and laundry facilities, which adds to their overall attractiveness. Start searching for your ideal hotel, resort, or vacation rental on the Jacksonville area beaches, and treat yourself to a fun in the sun escape will leave little to be desired.
Top image: RobBixbyPhotography (flickr)