If you want to live in a Southern city that's a city of firsts, look no further than Jacksonville. Florida's most populous city, it's one of the southeastern United States' as well. Jacksonville was even the site of the state's earliest European colony. The city gets its name from Northern Florida's first military governor (and future POTUS) Andrew Jackson. And this big and bustling city is a leader in other ways as well. Jacksonville is the hub for business, banking, and the arts in this part of the state. And despite its size and busyness, the city has a number of distinct, livable neighborhoods. Read on to learn more about three of them.
Why let tourists have all the fun? With its proximity to the ocean and roadway US 90, it certainly draws them, but locals and their families will enjoy the Adventure Landing and Shipwreck Island Water Park, too. This attraction offers everything from waterslides to go karts to laser tag. Families with teenagers may find that it offers summer employment opportunities for them as well. Those looking for quieter outings can take advantage of the nearby Beaches Museum and History Park, which offers railroad exhibits and public-accessible records. The neighborhood offers golfing, tennis, and swimming opportunities, and hosts Players-By-The-Sea, a highly regarded community theater. A solidly middle-class community, Jacksonville Beach is home to a number of well-reviewed elementary schools and several private ones.
Located on San Pablo Island and near major roadway A1A, the Neptune Beach neighborhood is a quieter, more relaxed version of Jacksonville Beach, which it was once part of. Its unique island environment offer not just opportunities for water recreation, but bird watching. This community has a number of restaurants and upscale shopping experiences, in addition to many businesses and services for the many families that live here. Neptune Beach hosts an elementary school, a private school, and an acclaimed public high school.
Hip, affluent young professionals? This is the neighborhood for you. Adjacent to the Riverside community and often linked to it, Avondale features a number of beautifully restored homes, many of them on the National Register of Historic Places. Avondale (named for a community in Cincinnati, Ohio) was built on 19th century plantation land, and is considered to be one of the most planned communities in the state. Southwest of downtown Jacksonville with the St. Johns River and Highway 10 nearby, the neighborhood offers many dining and shopping opportunities, including the famous Shoppes At Avondale, first opened in the 1920s. The historic Five Points commercial district is also nearby. In addition to a couple of parks, this area also hosts the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. This facility is famous for its porcelain collection along with its Oriental art and gardens.