Are you looking for someplace sunny to take your bunch? See what Jacksonville has to offer, where the weather is warm 300 days out of the year, and there is an abundance of fun things to do.
Not only is it the most populated city in all of Florida, but it is also one of the biggest cities in the contiguous United States. Mostly known for beaches, art, and culture; Jacksonville is a perfect destination for family-friendly vacations. In this post, we’ve listed some of the best things to see and do there. Ready to take a look?
Discover beauty and history on Amelia Island, consistently voted as one of the top family-friendly beaches in Florida. In addition to swimming and kayaking, your family can enjoy horseback riding, and explore the National Park. There are also a ton of unique shops to pass through and places to grab a bite to eat. Save room for dessert- “Fantastic Fudge” is a Fernandina staple. They are most known for their fudge (it really is fantastic!), but they have ice cream and other sweet treats too.
This is the perfect spot for families to go swimming and just enjoy each others company. It doesn’t get much better than miles of white sand, clear water, and not too much company, does it?
A bit of a busier beach but still worth a visit. Most people play volleyball here, fish off of the pier, go surfing (thanks to the best waves in the area) or stroll the one-mile boardwalk. You can usually expect to catch a good concert at the Sea Walk Pavilion, see some offshore boat races, or spot a pod of dolphins rolling around near the surf line. So, always keep your waterproof camera with you and handy.
The Museum of Science and History has a few levels filled with permanent interactive exhibits such as the fan-favorite planetarium auditorium as well as one exhibit that changes out quarterly to offer something fresh and exciting to visitors. Teacher and military discounts are available.
This small, local museum is inside of what used to be the old Sheriff’s department. Learn all about the island and surrounding area with a guided tour, and even get to see inside of an old jail cell.
Go on a walking safari and enjoy looking at the animals and botanical gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo. It’s located near the trout river and is well maintained, with animals that have been rescued and a placed with a visibly nurturing staff. In addition to the regular zoo things you might expect to see like giraffe feedings and a sting-ray bay touch-pool, there is plenty of hands-on stuff for kids of all ages (even adults) to enjoy.
More plants, and more animals, but an experience that is truly individual to this location which is made up of more than 50 acres of preservation land. Go on a multiple nature trail and delight in the areas natural environment and wildlife. Also, there are museums on the premises with numerous exhibits featuring butterflies, hummingbirds and more.
Schedule a one or two hour guided horseback-riding trail at Diamond D Ranch. Get a feel for what life is like on a ranch with a behind-the-scenes look. The tour goes around the perimeter of 550 acres with plenty of meadows, trees, deer, cattle and water buffalo to see.
Enjoy your family vacation in Jacksonville! For more kid-friendly adventures in other Florida cities like St. Augustine, Apopka, and Key West, check out this post.