We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Ellie, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Ellie lives in Canada, and submitted the following report about Jacksonville, Florida. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: English
Reasons to Visit Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is a big city with small town charm. Located near the border of Georgia, this city feels like a true mix of the two states. The culture and vibe in many parts lean closer to Georgia, with the pristine beaches that are synonymous with Florida.
What I liked most about traveling through Jax (a nickname locals–and now I–use) is that you feel like you could have two very different trips in one: the beachside vacation and the city explorer. With a car you can easily interchange between the two and have the best of both worlds.
I recommend finding accommodation close to the beach so you can wake up every morning to that saltwater air smell. There is nothing like the stunning vista of the ocean to get your day started. First on the agenda to explore: the food. There is an incredible array of dining experiences to choose from in Jax and breakfast is no exception. My favorite was Maple Street Biscuit Company for a quick, friendly, and delicious breakfast.
Next, spend some time just enjoying the sunshine and the 22 miles of beaches the city has to offer. Read a book, relax, and sprawl out because chances are you won't be fighting for a spot to lie down. If you want a bit of adventure on the ocean, try your hand at paddleboarding with lessons from Jacksonville Surf and Paddle.
Now that you have worked up an appetite, head over to the Beaches Town Center and enjoy some fresh seafood at North Beach Fish Camp. I went with the Blackened Mahi with a side of delicious and a little extra of the mouth-watering. If you are in the mood for Mexican instead, my recommendation is TacoLu, also located at the beach and also unbelievably good.
Stomach full, hop in your car for an evening on the town. Drive past the 40 miles of intracoastal waterway and to the St. Johns River downtown. Riverside is a trendy neighborhood that features the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. This museum is one of the most visited in the southeast and for good reason. It has a simple yet impressive layout inside and one of the most beautiful gardens outside. You might just spend your entire evening enjoying it!
If you are able to tear yourself away, head over to the Aardwolf Brewing Co. in the historic San Marco neighborhood to start off your late evening on the Jax Ale Trail, a self-guided tour of the city's craft breweries. Hang out long enough to enjoy the vibe, a pint, and to pick up your brewery passport. Spend the rest of your trip to Jacksonville, Florida collecting those stamps!
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 1 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 2 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)