6 Reasons Outdoor Enthusiasts Can’t Get Enough of Jacksonville, FL
Get Outside and Play in Jacksonville
Jacksonville is home to many miles of seashore, tons of acres of preserved forests with paths and trails for hiking and biking, and plenty of adventure amenities for fitness buffs and adrenaline junkies alike. Whether you’re just visiting Jacksonville for a vacation or you’ve lived here for years and are ready to get back in shape, there are plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Check out our Jacksonville listing page to get a feel for the neighborhoods and local areas before you head out to explore, or if you’re thinking about relocating. Now on to the fun in Jacksonville!
Fishing at Guana River State Park
Forty minutes outside of the city, Guana River State Park is perfect for those looking to spend a day out on the water fishing, crabbing, viewing wildlife, hiking, and biking. Game and Fish Magazine put Guana in the list of the top five best areas to hunt waterfowl in North Florida.
Paddle around Lake Ponte Vedra or enjoy unique views as you bike or horseback ride around the trails that weave through the scenic park.
Surfing at Jacksonville Beach
Jacksonville Beach is the mecca for Jacksonville watersports – this is where all of the surfing, boogie boarding, windsurfing, and kitesurfing go down, and it’s nonstop action. The Jacksonville Pier is currently closed to the public, so don’t accidentally pay for parking only to be denied access! But you can still enjoy the surf, sand and sun elsewhere along the beach.
If you want a quieter beach day, try Ponte Vedra Beach, which is just a ten minute drive south. Courtney from The Daring Darling blog recommends driving through the neighborhoods to check out some of the beautiful houses along the way.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
With all of the marshes and wetlands located around Jacksonville, there is a plethora of amazing rivers, lakes and shorelines for stand-up paddle boarding. If you’re looking for some ocean paddling, check out Big Talbot Island State Park, which also boasts tidal pools and unusual shimmering black rocks along the beach.
Try something new with a SUP yoga session, offered by Kayak Amelia. Or try out one of their SUP eco tours along the rivers and streams of the Talbot Islands.
Biking the Jackson-Baldwin Trail
This 14.5 mile path spans the historic railroad route of the Battle of Olustee during the Civil War. It now takes you along the shaded path through rolling hills from Jacksonville to Baldwin, Florida. Pack a lunch and plenty of water, as there are no commercial amenities along the trail.
If you’re looking for a smaller bike loop, try out The Landing Riverwalk, which meanders along the shoreline right in Jacksonville.
Hiking in Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
Within the city limits of Jacksonville, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park is as wild as you can get without having to drive outside of the city. The park spans 4,000 acres of estuaries, scrubland and forest with winding trails throughout the Nassau river.
Sailing in the Mug Race Sailing Regatta
Every year on the first Saturday of May, sailors from all over the country gather in Palatka, just 30 minutes north of Jacksonville, and sail the 38 miles down to Orange Park. Known as “the longest sailboat race in the world,” the race is open to canoes, catamaran and sunfish.
Even if you aren’t up for racing, you can rent or charter a boat and take sailing lessons at Windward Sailing, located on the beautiful Amelia Island.
Enjoy the Sun and Sea in Jacksonville
With over 200 days of sun a year, Jacksonville is the perfect place for outdoor lovers and adventure buffs. Swimming, biking, hiking and water sports abound in the scenic areas of wildlife both within the city limits and in the surrounding areas, making this a perfect city for fun!
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