It is one of Florida's more industrial cities and serves as a business and commerce hub with well established road, rail, sea and air infrastructure. The emphasis on business and industry has not compromised its quality of life and in fact it has been rated among the better cities to live.
Located on the St. Johns river, its downtown district is a workable combination of business, industry and public facilities and services. Within an area on both sides of the river are included a convention center, the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Museum of Science and History, the Florida Theater, and Jacksonville Landing.
The Cummer Museum of Art features an impressive array of Western art from 2000 BC to the present. A formal garden extends from the museum to the river. Those who appreciate fine art may also wish to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art on the south side of the river which shows a collection 20th century masters, pre-Columbian art, and a sculpture garden.
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra presents a wide variety of programs throughout the year. The Florida Theater, a beautifully restored 1920s-era theater, also serves as a performing arts center.
Jacksonville Landing is one of the area's greater successes. This lively shopping, dining, entertainment complex is nestled among high-rise buildings and overlooks the St. John's River. It features dozens of specialty shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
On the south side of the river opposite the Landing is Riverwalk. This is a pleasant city park with a 1.2 mile boardwalk.
Nearby to the east are the Fairgrounds, Metropolitan Park and the EverBank Field - home of the Jaguars football team.
Moving further east, there are twenty miles of wide, beautiful beaches along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and sunning are popular at several beaches in the coastal communities of Mayport, Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beaches. There is a 1,000 foot long fishing pier that accommodates fishermen and sightseers. It has a restaurant and gift shop on premises.
Fishing can be enjoyed on the St. John's river and from shore where trout, sea bass, flounder and an occasional redfish may be caught, or further offshore, where sport fish including dolphin, bonito, tuna, wahoo, cobia and barracuda can be found.
Near the mouth of the St. John's river is Mayport Naval Station -- one of the nations larger naval ports. Naval ships including aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and mine sweepers can be seen here when in port. Selected ships may be available for free tours on the weekends.