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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Finest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida (By a Metropolis Native)

Because of its wonderful location, there are tons of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville, only a quick drive from downtown. Jacksonville is situated subsequent to attractive islands and seashores, nature preserves, and historic websites. I by no means get sick of exploring this space – there are such a lot of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville available.

After visiting the world for 5 years and residing south of Jacksonville for over a 12 months, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing dozens of day journeys. One of the best half? I do know there are nonetheless so many locations to go to close to Jacksonville that I haven’t found but!

Finest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida

From seashores and kayaking to historic websites and museums, simply hop within the automotive, and also you’ll be a brief drive away from many unimaginable day journeys from Jacksonville. It’s exhausting to decide on the “greatest” excursions close to the Daring Metropolis as a result of there are such a lot of implausible ones. I’ve narrowed down this record to my favourite day journey locations; there’s one thing for everybody;

1. Saint Augustine

A historic architecture, a miniature fountain, and a landscape with trees.

Only a 45-minute drive from downtown Jax is the attractive metropolis of Saint Augustine. What makes this such a special occasion journey from Jacksonville is that St. Augustine is the oldest metropolis within the nation – based in 1565. So, count on a ton of wealthy historical past, an previous fort/monument, museums, parks, eating places, and extra.

I reside midway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, so I’m fortunate sufficient to go to the “Historical Metropolis” very often. To me, it’s by far among the best locations to go to close to Jacksonville, FL. Irrespective of if you happen to’re a frequent customer or a first-time vacationer, it’s a metropolis that’s all the time value trying out. Simply by turning a unique nook, you’ll discover one thing new.

St. Augustine can also be dwelling to numerous nice retailers, breweries, parks, and low retailers. Personally, nevertheless, I discover merely strolling across the historic downtown space enjoyable to do by itself. The structure and cobblestone streets are simply unimaginable.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 40 miles/64 kilometers from downtown Jacksonville
Location: Downtown St. Augustine
Getting There: If you wish to head all the way down to St. Augustine from Jacksonville, your greatest guess is to hire a automotive. You may also take the bus if a automotive isn’t an choice.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: St. Augustine: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with Museum Entry
Should-Do Actions: Taking a trolley tour is an absolute should in St. Augustine. Stroll via the grounds of Castillo San Marcos. If you happen to occur to be visiting in the course of the holidays, I extremely suggest the Nights of Lights Pirate Ship Tour.
The place to Eat: Llama is one in all my favourite eating places on the planet – and I’ve been to 25 international locations! It’s Peruvian and the meals is to die for. The Conch Home is a enjoyable restaurant and bar proper on the water. And River and Fort has an superior rooftop bar with an unimaginable view.

2. Amelia Island

A large stone on the side sea and an extensive bridge in the middle of the water. at sunset

Amelia Island is situated 45 minutes northeast of downtown Jacksonville and is one other implausible choice for a day journey from Jax. The family-friendly island has a pristine seashore, an lovely downtown space/principal avenue, and nice eating places and bars. To not point out an virtually limitless record of outside/nature-centric actions as effectively.

Amelia Island can turn out to be crowded in the course of the summer time months, so I choose visiting in the course of the shoulder seasons months of April and Might or September and October. It’s nonetheless heat sufficient to sunbathe on the seashore, however the crowds have subsided.

I really like going to Amelia Island to get some contemporary seafood, a craft beer, and enjoyable within the solar for a few hours. It’s actually exhausting to not love this space.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 33 miles/53 kilometers
Location: Amelia Island
Getting There: Touring to Amelia Island is best by automotive. Sadly, there isn’t any public transportation to the island, until you’re taking an Uber.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek
Should-Do Actions: Taking a stroll down the charming principal avenue in Fernandina Seashore is a blast. There’s tons of buying, a brewery, and many eateries to check out. Renting an electrical bike to cruise alongside the seashore is a good outing as effectively.
The place to Eat: Each time I go to Amelia Island, going to Amelia Island Brewing Co. is an absolute should. Their beer is nice, and the shrimp chowder and gouda quick rib sandwich dishes are tremendous scrumptious. One other nice choice for a enjoyable atmosphere is the Salty Pelican Bar & Grill.

3. Little Talbot Island State Park

The sea water was divided by a wavy beach and a large number of large stones.

The Talbot Islands provide an amazing day journey from Jacksonville – and Little Talbot Island is my favourite. Right here, you’ll discover 5 miles of attractive seashores, bike trails, and wildlife-watching alternatives. I really like mountaineering the traditional dunes, on the lookout for seashells, and taking a swim.

Many individuals don’t consider tenting in Florida, however this state park is a extremely enjoyable and delightful choice if you wish to sleep beneath the celebs. What’s nice about Little Talbot Island is that it’s solely half-hour outdoors of Jacksonville.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: half-hour – 26 miles/42 kilometers
Location: Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Getting There: When visiting Jacksonville, it’s greatest to have entry to a automotive; driving is the simplest technique to get to Little Talbot Island State Park. You may also take the automotive ferry.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Talbot Island Kayak Tour
Should-Do Actions: Basking within the glory and great thing about nature is what it’s all about at Little Talbot Island State Park. Take a kayak tour, go mountaineering, or escape the binoculars to do some hen watching.

4. Cumberland Island

A small pier with a parked small boat, a solar light, and a beach view.

Georgia’s largest barrier island is Cumberland Island, and it’s situated an hour away from Jacksonville. It’s recognized for having one of the vital spectacular pure habitats on the planet with gorgeous, undeveloped seashores.

The island is dwelling to the most important nesting of loggerhead sea turtles, and there are additionally feral horses, armadillos, wild hogs, and plenty of species of birds. It’s really a wild and delightful place to go to for a day journey.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: Hour and a half – 38 miles/61 kilometers
Location: Cumberland Island
Getting There: You’ll have to drive and take a ferry from St. Mary’s, Georgia.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Cumberland Island Strolling Tour
Should-Do Actions: It’s all about nature and historical past on Cumberland Island. Go mountaineering, swimming, or fishing. Go to the First African Baptist Church, tour the well-known Plum Orchard Mansion, and discover the Dungeness Ruins.
The place to Eat: There’s just one restaurant on your complete island on the famend Greyfield Inn, run by the Carnegie household. They solely provide one seating per night time at 7 p.m., so it’s most likely not the best choice for a day journey. You may need to pack a picnic and a few snacks.

5. Jekyll Island

A beach with some tree branches at sunset

Just a little over an hour from Jacksonville is Jekyll Island, Georgia. You’ll need to pay a toll to get on the island, nevertheless it’s a small price and so value it. This stunning island options quiet, attractive seashores, nice eating places, golf programs, museums, and extra.

Each time I am going to Jekyll Island, going to Driftwood Seashore is a necessity. I all the time make time to go to Tortuga Jacks for a waterside drink and a chunk, and I like to recommend you do the identical! You possibly can simply spend your complete day exploring this enjoyable hidden gem.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and quarter-hour – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Jekyll Island
Getting There: Touring by automotive is your only option. You may also take a bus from the Jacksonville airport.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Jekyll Island Dolphin Excursions
Should-Do Actions: Go to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Heart, play mini golf, or go to the Summer season Waves Water Park. There’s a lot to do!
The place to Eat: As talked about earlier, Tortuga Jacks is one in all my favourite locations for a chunk. Another nice choices are Harry’s Lounge, Salty’s Oceanside Bar & Grill, and The Anchor.

6. Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park

A stairwell and a little balcony with views of a lake surrounded by green trees.

Florida is dwelling to a number of the most stunning geological options. The Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park is simply outdoors of Gainesville and makes for a brilliant cool day journey from Jacksonville.

The primary attraction of the park is the 120-foot-deep sinkhole. Take a small hike to the staircase that leads you near the underside of the sinkhole with lush vegetation and cooler temperatures. It’s a pleasant respite in the course of the summer time warmth!

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 20 minutes – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Millhopper Street, Gainesville, FL
Getting There: Driving to the state park is the simplest and most suitable choice.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Day by day ranger-led excursions
Should-Do Actions: The primary level of the go to is to admire the fantastic thing about the limestone sinkhole. Mountain climbing down and up these stairs is bound to get your coronary heart pumping!
The place to Eat: Gainesville is only a quick drive away with numerous eating choices. I often all the time cease at The Social at Midtown, Satchel’s Pizza, or El Indio Mexican Restaurant.

7. Osceola Nationwide Forest

There are forests, lush grass, and a blue sky.

Lower than an hour from Jacksonville is the Osceola Nationwide Forest. This stunning gem is the right place to go while you’re on the lookout for a peaceable day in nature. It’s additionally an amazing day journey in Jacksonville for {couples}.

There are miles of trails for mountaineering, seashores for swimming, and ponds for fishing. There’s additionally an space for goal capturing and trails for OHV driving. Though situated simply 45 minutes from town, you’ll really feel such as you’re hours away.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 48 minutes – 49 miles/79 kilometers
Location: Osceola Nationwide Forest, 24874 US-90, Sanderson, FL 32087
Getting There: Touring by automotive is your only option.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: There aren’t any excursions out there, however attempt to time your go to with the annual Civil Conflict reenactment.
Should-Do Actions: With over 200 acres of nature, you may spend hours wandering the paths, swimming on the seashore, or simply retaining a be careful for wildlife.
The place to Eat: Lake Metropolis is the closest city to the park. This tiny however lovely city has some yummy choices for meals, like Jessica’s Bistro, Marion Avenue Bistro, and Cedar River Seafood of Lake Metropolis.

8. Gainesville

An Aerial view of green mountains, lakes, and building structures.

Gainesville is a brilliant enjoyable choice for a day journey from Jacksonville. The College of Florida faculty city is vigorous, and hip, and affords tons of the way to spend your day. There are attractive parks, scrumptious eating places, and enjoyable actions on this inland Florida city.

The proper day in Gainesville, for my part, seems to be like going to the Florida Museum of Pure Historical past or the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens earlier than heading to Swamp Head Brewery for an IPA. Though, there’s something to supply everybody – regardless of the age.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 22 minutes – 72 miles/115 kilometers
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Getting There: A automotive is essentially the most handy and quick technique to get to Gainesville. You may also take the bus from Jacksonville.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Pure Historical past
Should-Do Actions: Begin your day with a stroll in nature at Sweetwater Wetlands Park then head to the Harn Museum of Artwork. Take a stroll on the College of Florida campus earlier than discovering someplace to eat downtown.
The place to Eat: Gainesville has a ton of eating places to select from however a few of my private favorites embrace Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Alpin Bistro, and Underground Kitchen.

9. Saint Simons Island

An old fishing pier on St. Simons Island beyond rock seawell.

Saint Simons Island, Georgia is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to close to Jacksonville. It’s been named one in all Journey + Leisure’s World’s Finest Islands within the Continental U.S., and U.S. Information’ 16 Prime Romantic Getaways in Georgia, in addition to 15 Most Romantic Small Cities within the United States.

The small island is the right day journey to hang around on the seashore, stroll the oceanside principal avenue, and eat some scrumptious seafood. I used to be just lately in Saint Simons Island with my sister, and we couldn’t recover from how charming it was.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 13 minutes – 75 miles/120 kilometers
Location: Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Getting There: Driving by automotive is one of the best journey choice.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll round Pier Village and stroll the grounds of Fort Frederica. Then, spend a number of hours on the right sandy seashores.
The place to Eat: This small island has plenty of nice eating choices! Once I just lately visited, I cherished Porch, Barrier Island Brewing, and Mallery Avenue Cafe. I’d suggest any of those spots.

10. Daytona Seashore

A structure and an amusement park, people enjoying themselves on the beach, and a cloudy sky.

It’s somewhat little bit of a drive from Jacksonville, however if you happen to’re up for it, head south for a day to Daytona Seashore. This world-famous seashore city is bustling in the course of the peak summer time months and the celebrated Bike Week.

House to the Daytona Worldwide Speedway and the famend Daytona 500, this metropolis welcomes a whole bunch of hundreds of vacationers annually; not just for the race – but additionally for its vibrant seashore scene.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 28 minutes – 95 miles/153 kilometers
Location: Daytona Seashore
Getting There: Driving your self is the quickest choice, nevertheless, you may additionally take a bus.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Daytona Seashore: Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour
Should-Do Actions: The Daytona Worldwide Speedway is a sight to behold, the seashore’s boardwalk has a Ferris wheel and different rides and video games, and it’s also possible to drive your automotive on the seashore, which is a extremely cool expertise.
The place to Eat: Ocean Deck Daytona Seashore has an superior, relaxed vibe with unimaginable meals. Crabby’s Oceanside and Fratelli’s Pizzeria are additionally implausible.

11. Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka

The long wooden staircase on the trail in Ravine Gardens State Park with green plants and trees.

Palatka is a quiet and charming inland, riverside city with plenty of character. The Ravine Gardens State Park is a day journey from Jacksonville that’s critically underrated. I went right here a few month in the past and was blown away by how stunning it was.

Take a hike via the park and its lush vegetation, cross two suspension bridges, and marvel on the waterfalls. It’s a peaceable escape from the hustle and bustle of town.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Location: Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St, Palatka, FL 32177
Getting There: Driving by automotive is one of the best and best choice.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Guided excursions are provided by the park.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll the 1.8-mile paved street via the breathtaking ravines with stunning views. Attempt to time your go to in the course of the peak flowering season for azaleas – January via March.
The place to Eat: The downtown Palatka space has some nice eating choices. My favourite eateries are The Magnolia Cafe, Corky Bell’s Seafood at Gator Touchdown, and Velchoff’s Nook.

12. Ginnie Springs

Beautiful view of the turquoise crystal clear waters of the lagoon of Ginnie Springs, Florida. USA

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a singular spot to chill off in the course of the sizzling summer time months, Ginnie Springs is such a enjoyable day journey choice. It’s somewhat little bit of a distance from Jacksonville, however belief me after I let you know that it’s completely value it.

Kayak, paddleboard, or float the crystal clear waters of the Sante Fe River. You may also hire a snorkel and a masks to discover the waters crammed with giant bass, catfish, and turtles. It’s undoubtedly, a number of the most stunning water I’ve ever seen.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 37 minutes – 85 miles/133 kilometers
Location: Ginnie Springs, 5000 NE sixtieth Ave., Excessive Springs, Florida 32643
Getting There: Touring by automotive is the best choice.
Should-Do Actions: It’s as much as you the way you’d prefer to spend your day at Ginnie Springs – it will depend on what actions you love to do! You possibly can sit back on an interior tube, get pleasure from a extra energetic day on a paddleboard, or play a recreation of volleyball.
The place to Eat: You’ll need to drive into north Gainesville for a meal after a day of swimming. Head to Northwest Grille, Nation Foodly, or Las Margaritas.

13. Juniper Springs Recreation Space

Crystal-clear waters of Juniper Spring are reflected against a lush forest canopy of ferns and oaks.

One of many oldest and hottest recreation areas on the East Coast, the Juniper Springs Recreation Space seems to be like one thing out of a postcard. It’s an oasis beneath a dense cover of palms and oaks.

The crystalline pool of contemporary spring water is a magical place to swim, and you’ll take a brief stroll on the Juniper Run Nature Path. There are many picnic areas as effectively.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 50 minutes – 111 miles/178 kilometers
Location: Juniper Springs Recreation Space, 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488
Getting There: Attending to the springs is best and quickest by automotive
Should-Do Actions: Merely soaking within the good, clear waters is sufficient to make the day journey value it. There’s a shallow finish to chill out and funky down in, and a deeper finish for leaping.
The place to Eat: Sadly, there aren’t any eating choices close to the park. It’s greatest to pack your personal snacks and a picnic.

14. Savannah

A wide green field with scattered trees

One among my favourite issues about residing in Jacksonville is its shut proximity to the wonderful metropolis of Savannah, Georgia. If you happen to rise up early and hit the street, you may spend all day in Savannah and be again dwelling earlier than it will get too late.

Savannah is understood for its historical past, French structure, huge oak timber with hanging Spanish moss, and thriving arts and tradition scene. There’s one thing about this metropolis that oozes the epitome of Southern appeal. Plus, they’ve some implausible eating places and breweries.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 2 hours and a pair of minutes – 139 miles/224 kilometers
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Getting There: You may get to Savannah both by automotive, practice, or bus.
Finest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Should-Do Actions: There’s SO a lot to do in Savanna; stroll via Forsyth Park, spend a few hours on Tybee Island, stroll via the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, and admire the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
The place to Eat: Savannah is overflowing with scrumptious meals. My favourite eating places are The Olde Pink Home, Alligator Soul Restaurant, and The Abnormal Pub.

15. Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens

A connecting bridge flanked by a garden and a lake.

One other day journey from Jacksonville, that’s somewhat additional afield, however completely value it, is to Cedar Lakes Woods and Backyard. With over 50 backyard shows to admire, these botanical gardens have koi ponds, waterfalls, and beautiful views.

The paths take round an hour and a half to finish and every step is surrounded by pure magnificence. It’s one other peaceable and tranquil journey to get you out of town’s bustle.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 52 minutes – 96 miles/154 kilometers
Location: Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens, 4990 NE a hundred and eightieth Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Getting There: Touring by automotive will probably be your greatest and best alternative.
Should-Do Actions: The paths will information you thru backyard shows like Bamboo Island, Ginger Gardens, and others.
The place to Eat: Southern Gainesville will probably be your choice for yummy meals. I’d suggest Blue Gill High quality Meals, Purple Rice Kitchen, or Yummy Home.

Finest Day Journey Excursions from Jacksonville Florida

If you wish to take the guesswork out of planning a day journey from Jacksonville, you may all the time take an organized tour. Listed below are some highly-rated, enjoyable tour choices to select from:

1. CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seashore: Have a blast on Amelia Island by taking a CraigCat Boat Tour out of Fernandina Seashore. The two.5-hour tour may have you on the water on a CraigCat Boat, which is basically a go-cart on water. Spot wildlife akin to dolphins, manatees, and turtles. Click on right here for extra particulars.

2. Huge Talbot Island Self-Guided Tour with Good Helmets: Discover Huge Talbot Island at your personal tempo on this 2-3 hour tour. You’ll cruise on electrical bikes with good helmets that mean you can talk with different riders. Click on right here for extra particulars.

3. Jacksonville: Florida Wildlife Guided Airboat Journey: Get an adrenaline rush by taking a guided airboat tour. The 1.5-hour tour leaves from northeast Jacksonville and also you’ll skim throughout the water with 500 horsepower – maintain onto your hats! Click on right here for extra particulars.

4. Non-public Guided Boat Tour as much as 6 passengers in Fernandina Seashore: Discover Amelia Island by water by yourself non-public boat. The boat will probably be pushed by a USCG-certified captain and can take you round Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, and Fort Clinch State Park. Click on right here for extra particulars.

5. Downtown Fernandina Historic Strolling Tour: Downtown Fernandina is stuffed with wealthy tradition. Find out about 300 years of Fernandina historical past on this 1.5-hour guided strolling tour. Pirates, historic houses, and native figures are coated subjects. Click on right here for extra particulars.

Day Journeys Round Jacksonville Florida: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to essentially the most generally requested questions on one of the best day journeys from Jacksonville, FL:

What’s the hottest day journey from Jacksonville Florida?

The preferred day journey from Jacksonville is the CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seashore.

What number of days do you want in Jacksonville Florida?

I like to recommend spending a minimum of 3 days in Jacksonville, or ideally every week.

What are one of the best day journeys from Jacksonville Florida by practice?

One of the best day journey from Jacksonville, Florida by practice is to move as much as Savannah, Georgia, to discover the world. Tickets begin from simply $30.

What’s the most stunning place close to Jacksonville Florida?

Essentially the most stunning place close to Jacksonville, Florida, for my part, is St. Augustine. Different stunning areas embrace Amelia Island, St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island.

Can you’re taking a day journey from Jacksonville, Florida to Orlando?

Sure! You possibly can take a day journey to Orlando because it’s lower than 2 hours away.

Which well-liked place may be very near Jacksonville Florida?

The favored vacation spot of Saint Augustine is simply 45 minutes from Jacksonville, Florida.

In Conclusion

Jacksonville’s geographical location makes it an amazing place to have some wonderful day journey excursions. That’s one of many largest causes I really like residing right here a lot. Inside a brief drive, you might be someplace completely totally different.

Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a day on an island or a dip in some pure springs, Jacksonville has a day journey outing for each curiosity.

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