15 Things to Do in Jacksonville Beach (FL)

Jacksonville Beach is a small city, but a popular tourist destination along Florida’s northeastern coastline.

It’s a resort city where you’ll find hotels, restaurants and bars, and of course beautiful beaches.

Jacksonville Beach is just a short distance from Florida’s largest city, Jacksonville, but you’ll find this seaside resort away from the big cities. You can relax on the beach, enjoy the marina, or explore the north and south coastlines.

There are islands to visit, nature reserves and state parks to visit, and more. Here are 15 things to do in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

1. Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach

The city of Jacksonville Beach, named for its surrounding sandy beaches, is a great place to visit.

It has been a popular vacation destination since the late 19th century, when tourists began to come here from expanding Jacksonville in search of outdoor recreation. The beach is perfect and since then it has become a great place to enjoy the sea, the sea breeze and the sun.

You can walk along the boardwalk that runs parallel to the beach itself, walk along the sand, and if you want to cool off, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Jacksonville Beach Pier

Jacksonville Beach Pier

The Jacksonville Beach Pier stretches from the boardwalk to the sand and into the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

It’s only a quarter mile long and it’s a great place for a walk. You can overlook the sea and then go back to the city itself to admire the sea and the skyline.

The pier is the perfect spot for sunrise or sunset as it gleams in the sun. If you like fishing, you can buy a license that allows you to fish at the end of the pier.

3. Beach Museum and Historical Park

Beach Museum and Historical Park

Although Jacksonville Beach is best known for its resort and namesake beach, the city also has a fascinating history behind it that is often overlooked by those who vacation here.

During your visit, you can stop at the Beach Museum and Historic Park and take time to learn more about the city.

You can learn about the fascinating local history of the area – from the indigenous cultures that lived here before the arrival of Europeans, then the Spanish, British and American history of the area.

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Get an up-close look at local artifacts and important historical pieces, and find plenty of old photos showing you how Jacksonville Beach evolved into the popular tourist destination you see today.

4. Pontevedra Beach

Pontevedra Beach

Jacksonville Beach isn’t the only resort city on Florida’s northeast coast.

The wider Jacksonville Beach area has more beautiful sand and attractive resorts, including Pontevedra Beach.

Ponte Vedra Beach is just a 10-minute drive from Jacksonville Beach, but if you want to take a scenic stroll, just walk along the boardwalk. Just head south and follow the coast.

In addition to its stunning sandy beaches, Ponte Vedra is one of Florida’s most famous golf courses. You’ll find some excellent classes and clubs where you can practice your game.

5. Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Jacksonville Beach is a little further south along the coast than Ponte Vedra Beach, but if you’re looking for a day trip, head to Daytona Beach.

Easily one of Florida’s most iconic names, it’s a city known for its beaches and home to NASCAR racing.

Daytona Beach is an hour and a half drive from Jacksonville Beach. You can enjoy the beautiful coastline, visit the Daytona International Speedway, and if you come just in time, watch a great NASCAR race.

6. Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing is one of the most popular things to do in Jacksonville Beach. Amusement parks are great for families as you can find a wide variety of activities and activities here.

There’s mini golf, laser tag, go-karts and baseball batting cages, just to name a few. This is the perfect place to take the kids.

7. Shipwreck Island​​Waterpark

Shipwreck Island Water Park

Although it’s part of the Adventure Landing, Shipwreck Island Water Park is worth a full day in itself.

This is a great place to visit in summer when the hot Florida sun is fully out.

There are huge water slides, epic attractions and a huge wave pool. You can hang out in the undercover cabin, enjoy the cafe, and spend a refreshing day on Shipwreck Island.

8. Cradle Creek Reserve

Cradle Creek Reserve

Cradle Creek Reserve is located along the inland waterway that separates Jacksonville Beach from the city of Jacksonville. It’s a lovely nature preserve where you can enjoy Florida’s outdoors without going too far from the city itself.

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There are boardwalks along the creeks and waterways, and you can enjoy great views of the reserve from the lookout deck.

If you’re adventurous and want to get closer to nature than walking the boardwalk, you can bring a kayak or canoe and paddle down the creek.

Watch out for wildlife in the trees; the reserve is home to everything from snakes and other reptiles to birds and raccoons.

9. Timuchuan Ecological and Historical Reserve

Timuchuan Ecological and Historical Reserve

Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve is located along the coast, across the St. Johns River from Jacksonville Beach.

The reserve is a great place to spend the day, with nearly 200 square kilometers of wilderness and historic attractions, which means there’s a lot to see.

You can explore some of Florida’s best natural beauty along hiking trails, mountain biking trails if you’re looking for some downhill thrills, or exploring rivers and creeks by kayak or canoe.

You can also visit important sights such as Fort Caroline, where you can learn more about the history of the area. Fort Caroline is a reconstruction of a French fort that stood here centuries ago when Europeans first began to colonize Florida.

10. Black Hammock Island

black hammock island

On the northern edge of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Reserve, you can explore the peaceful climate of Black Hammock Island.

This is part of the state’s rich history, as ancient indigenous artifacts have been discovered on the island. You’ll also find remnants of the early colonial Europeans’ battle for Florida.

Rich in history, this is a fascinating place with few visitors it deserves.

11. Amelia Island

amelia i.

Continuing along the coast from Black Hammock Island, you’ll soon arrive at Amelia Island, another of the many islands that make up the island and the northernmost island on the Florida coastline.

Amelia Island is known for its excellent sandy beaches as well as the island’s beautiful natural scenery.

This is a great place to escape from it all. You’ll find all the amenities you need to enjoy a day or a long trip, from restaurants and cafes to hotels and other accommodations.

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12. Cumberland Island

Dungeness Ruins at Cucumber Island

Cumberland Island is the largest of the islands; however, it is actually found on the Georgia border.

From Jacksonville Beach, it’s still an easy day trip to explore the long coastline and take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The island is full of history; you can visit old plantations and even the Dungeness Ruins – a famous mansion that was once home to the wealthy Carnegie family.

13. Catherine Abbey Hannah Park

Catherine Abbey Hannah Park

Just north of the beach on the outskirts of the city, you’ll find Catherine Abbey Hannah Park.

It’s a great place to escape the resort-style vibe of Jacksonville Beach, as it’s a protected stretch of shoreline that’s not overbuilt.

Enjoy nature, and if you really want to get away from it all, you can camp overnight at Hannah Park.

14. Surf

Surf at the Jacksonville Beach Pier

Jacksonville is fast becoming a popular surfing destination, as the huge waves of the Atlantic Ocean provide excellent conditions for surfing.

One of the most popular spots along the coast is the Jacksonville Beach Pier, where you’ll find surfers year-round.

Of course, check the conditions before you set off, as the Atlantic can be a stormy place. If you’re a beginner, this is a great place to learn when the waves aren’t too big.

15. Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL

Of course, no trip to Jacksonville Beach would be complete without a tour of the city of Jacksonville itself. Florida’s largest city is close to the northern border and thus serves as the state’s gateway.

From Jacksonville Beach, the city is on the Intracoastal Waterway and is only a half-hour drive from downtown.

There are many museums in this city. You can visit the Cummer Art and Garden Museum, the Science and History Museum, and the local Fire Museum.

Immerse yourself in the culture, enjoy dining on the banks of the St. John’s River, and stay for a few drinks in the evening.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Jacksonville Beach (FL), FL
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