5 Outdoor Activities You Must Not Miss In Jacksonville, Florida

BY RYAN TYSON

Flickr/Mathias Appel

Located along the shores of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida is the beautiful city of Jacksonville. Known for being both a nature lover’s paradise and a go-to destination for spas, shopping and fine dining, it’s the perfect vacation spot for just about anyone. Regardless of whether you want to explore the great outdoors, reignite romance or enjoy the city’s many cultural offerings, Jacksonville is ideal for every kind of traveler.

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With more than 20 miles of stunning beaches, situated next to 40 miles of the scenic Intracoastal Waterway canal and the biggest urban park system in the country, there are plenty of great outdoor activities. However, its flourishing craft beer scene, endless boutiques, and fun nightlife appeal to those looking for a more cosmopolitan experience. Here are five activities you must not miss in Jacksonville, Florida.

1. See Wildcats At Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful place for the rehabilitation and care of wildcats. Once a wildcat is found and taken in, it will have a loving home for life, as the sanctuary does not sell any of its animals. Kids of all ages will enjoy meeting the wildcats. From tigers, leopards and bobcats, to lions and cougars, you’ll be blown away by the diversity and beauty of the resident felines. If possible, try to catch a night feeding, which begins with a tour, followed by a feeding of the magnificent beasts!

2. Enjoy Golfing At Blue Sky Golf Club

Jacksonville boasts some of the best golf courses in the nation. In fact, many are award-winning courses and home to PGA competitions. Blue Sky Golf Club is a favorite, and it is located just a short drive away from downtown. The Club underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 2014, and the clubhouse and course are amazing. You’ll love their updated driving range with both day and night practice opportunities. The club has a full-service restaurant along with a 9-hole and an 18-hole course.

3. Try Surfing At The Annual Super Grom Surf Festival

If you like to surf, or just enjoy watching it, you’re never going to want to leave Jacksonville! Jacksonville Beach hosts the Annual Super Grom Surf Festival for kids in early June and is home to the world famous Annual Wave Masters Contest, where over 200 competitors converge for a weekend of friendly rivalry, raves and waves. Jacksonville has a plethora of wonderful Jacksonville beachfront hotels, resorts, and bed-and-breakfasts to choose from in the area, whether you are traveling solo or with family.

4. Explore Scenic Routes At Little Talbot Island State Park

Located about 17 miles northeast of Jacksonville is an area with over 2,500 scenic acres, meandering trails, tranquil woods and beautiful beaches called Little Talbot Island State Park. The park is rarely crowded and therefore makes for a great escape from the city. Take your walking shoes, camera and bird-watcher’s guide because you’re going to need them.

5. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is situated at the mouth of the mighty Trout River and is a wonderful experience. It includes over 117 acres, 2,000 fascinating animals and about 1,000 different plants. The zoo has ingeniously adapted parts of it to provide for the needs of its resident animals. You’ll feel like you’re walking through the plains of East Africa or the Australian rainforest.

No matter what time of year you go, Jacksonville is always a great place to visit. With so many wonderful activities available, you’ll be sure to enjoy a memorable visit as you partake in the culture and entertainment of this wondrous city.

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Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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