The Weekly Catch: Things to Do in Jacksonville – 15 Gems of Jacksonville

As the largest land-mass city in the country, Jacksonville has a lot of fun and exciting things to do and see. Catch a Jacksonville Jaguars game, visit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens or hit one of Jacksonville’s beautiful beaches for some fun in the sun. Looking for something a little different? Reel Keeper Realty recommends 15 things to do in Jacksonville that are off the beaten path.

Check out these “Gems of Jacksonville”:

1. Norman Studios Did you know Jacksonville was once called the “Winter Film Capital of the World”? In the early 1900’s, film producers from New York City came to Jacksonville to create some of the first silent films. Norman Studios is the last remaining studio from Jacksonville’s time as a production hub.

Norman Studios

Norman Studios

2. Kingsley Plantation Designated as a National Park Service site, Kingsley Plantation is the oldest plantation in Florida. Visitors can learn about pre-Civil War history by viewing the plantation’s planter’s houses and tabby slave quarters.

3. Jacksonville Fire Museum Learn about the history of the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department while you view thousands of items detailing Florida’s fire service history.

4. Jacksonville Historical Society From the Great Fire of 1901 to the development of the River City’s modern communities, the Jacksonville Historical Society showcases historic photos and provides links to additional web-based research about the history of Jacksonville.

5. Mandarin Museum & Historical Society at Walter Jones Historical Park As the city of Jacksonville’s first historical park, this 10-acre former farm now features a museum, agricultural exhibits, a boardwalk, nature trails and pavilions for resting or picnicking.


6. Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center Located inside the Jacksonville Landing, the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center exhibits maritime artifacts relating to the maritime history of the First Coast.

7. Downtown’s Off The Grid Galleries Off the Grid galleries pair local artists with owners of vacant property in Downtown Jacksonville. View amazing works by lesser-known artists in one of the city’s 20 Off the Grid Galleries.

8. Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve This 46,000-acre preserve run by the National Park Service features undisturbed natural habitats, salt marsh and forest upland views, along with recreational activities like boating, fishing, hiking and kayaking.

9. Tree Hill Nature Center Tree Hill Nature Center offers low-cost access to natural spaces and educational opportunities for all ages. Tree Hill strives to be Jacksonville’s leading resource  for environmental and sustainability education.

10. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary Northeast Florida’s longest operating sanctuary, Catty Shack offers big cats such as lions, tigers and leopards a life-long home while giving visitors a chance to learn about these amazing creatures.

11. Confederate Park Dog Park Located in historic Springfield just north of Downtown Jacksonville, this off-leash dog park offers two spaces for four-legged family members to play: the big dog and little dog park. Additionally, this city-run facility includes a children’s play area with new equipment such as swings, slides and more.

12. Kona Skatepark With hardcore concrete, a modern street course, vert ramps, a kidney pool and a downhill snake run, the oldest surviving private skatepark in the world is right here in Jacksonville.

13.  X Camp Since 1998, X Camp has been teaching newbies to wakeboard, waterski or surf on the Ortega River and the Intracoastal Waterway.

14. Jax Brew Bus Touring all of the local craft breweries in the River City, these guided brew tours allow riders to sample beers from across Jacksonville while enjoying a comfortable ride around the city.

15. Budweiser Brewery Tour Complimentary tours of Jacksonville’s Budweiser plant show beer lovers how Anheuser-Busch has been brewing beer since 1852. Cap off your tour with two free beers in the Budweiser tasting room.

Still looking for unique and different things to do in Jacksonville? Visit Jacksonville‘s website is full of activities including sports outings, arts and cultural events, dining and nightlife options, shopping tips and family-friendly entertainment. With 848-square-miles of fun to explore, Jacksonville is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy.

Need to know more about Northeast Florida? Looking to buy or sell a home in Jacksonville? Look no further than Reel Keeper Realty, the agency that gives back with every sale. Call 904.414.4000 or email today to learn more about listing or purchasing a home with Reel Keeper Realty. Have an event you’d like covered on Reel Keeper Realty‘s Weekly Catch? Let us know!

Ship image credit: 1971yes / 123RF Stock Photo

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