If you’ve ever visited Jacksonville before, I recommend you make it to the beach area pronto.
Walking around downtown Jacksonville as my first stop was nice, but it was not the Florida feel I was looking for. Midday, during lunchtime, it was pretty quiet with seeing maybe two persons per street at a time. I really wanted to enjoy downtown more, but I think I should leave it for a happy hour moment when everyone is out of work.
Jacksonville Beach was next to visit and I was glad I snagged an Uber over there. It was less than $30 from downtown and it was where A LOT more people were!
Jacksonville Beach Pier
I got dropped off right at Jacksonville Beach Pier, which is the perfect place to start and end your day. The pier has been around for years and is a great spot for fishing. Not only is it a pier, but it seems to be the standing monument of the beach where I have seen many photos taken before by visitors.
The pier is vast which also makes it appear bigger than other piers. People tend to lay around underneath it for the shade or near it for the views. If you want to fish on the pier, there is a $4 entry fee.
Head to The Pier Cantina & Sandbar, Lynch’s, or the Blind Rabbit. These three are the closest to the water and have pretty good prices. At least, that is me saying as a New Yorker.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew took its toll on Jacksonville and you can see the difference if you go there now. The sane dunes or eroded and more like mountains. The pier sustained damage also but is still standing.
Overall, the beach has calm waves best for body boarding or walking in low tide. The water is green and reminds me somewhat of a “better Charleston” beach.
Walk north to venture 2 miles through Neptune Beach and reach Atltanic Beach which has a nice boardwalk and restaurant scene. The people are friendly. You will pass many private beach entrances and docks which are locked as they lead to the expensive beach homes which are not able to be seen.
In short, I would love to return to Jacksonville Beach again and spend more time in the sun and at the beach bars!
Location: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Driving: 30-40 minutes from the airport. 25 minutes from downtown.
Best Hotel: Best Western Oceanfront for $120 average/night
Have you visited Jacksonville Beach? Where did you dine?