There’s nothing worse than getting stuck indoors with nothing to do on a beautiful summer day. If the sun is shining, we like to be outside exploring our gorgeous hometown and all it has to offer! Living in Jacksonville, there is absolutely no excuse for being bored because our city has so many fun activities and interesting places to discover and enjoy! We’ve compiled a list of all our favorite activities to keep you out of the house this summer!
If you love being outdoors and immersed in nature, the Jacksonville Arboretum is the place for you! They have over 120 acres of undisturbed natural northeast Florida nature with 7 different trails to choose from! These trails venture through 13 different ecosystems, varying from ravines and riverbeds to marshlands and rosemary shrublands. Keep your eye out for their cyber yoga stations which are scattered throughout their trails and can be accessed through QR codes secured on posts. If you’re lucky, you can spot plenty of Florida wildlife along the trails too. The Arboretum also offers lovely botanical gardens and other various raised garden beds.
The general public can enjoy the Jacksonville Arboretum for only $3 per person, and children 3 years or younger can get in for free. You could also become a member for unlimited use of the park!
BrewHound Dog Park + Bar
Does your puppy need a place to completely unleash (pardon the dog pun) all of its energy and run free? BrewHound can provide the perfect place for that, while also allowing you to sit back and enjoy a nice coffee or cold one. Spend your next sunny day off with man’s best friend! This dog park has separate fenced areas for large and small dogs to run free, and off-leash. Ruffarees pay close attention to every furry friend to make sure no one is getting into any trouble. Owners can enjoy various beverages from the outdoor bar, lawn games, and large outdoor TVs for any sports that might be playing. Pay close attention to their events schedule, too! they always have something fun going on.
They offer membership passes or one-time visits. To see pricing and packages, visit their website!
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
If you want to see a big cat up close and personal, the Catty Shack Ranch will certainly make that dream come true! Currently, you can visit with their current residents, which include tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, bobcats, arctic foxes, and coatimundis. They provide tours in the afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00, and from 6:00 to 7:30 on weekends for feeding! Be sure to buy your tickets online to ensure your spot!
While it may be fun to experience these beautiful wild animals in close quarters, the Catty Shack wants to teach people how dangerous they really are. The Catty Shack’s primary focus is to rescue big cats from serious situations, such as being kept as house pets. They wish to educate people on the dangers of this, as well as their plight in the wild. “Our mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity.”
The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears, Oh My! Embark on a fun-filled safari over the summer by visiting all the animals at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! The zoo has a menagerie of animals from different ecosystems and continents. The enclosures are all beautifully landscaped and uniquely built – some animals even walk over you! Don’t forget to stroll through the beautiful gardens on your way to each animal, too.
The zoo also offers animal feedings, like giraffes and stingrays, play zones and a water park, a goat petting zoo, train rides, and a carousel! This would be the perfect family destination on a sunny summer day!
Catillos de San Marcos
Treat yourself to a little day trip down to St Augustine and explore the incredible history this city sits on! Step back in time with a visit to the Castillo de San Marcos and see just how old our hometown is.
The Castillo’s construction was completed in 1695 and was used by the Spanish to defend Florida and the Atlantic Trade Route. Meaning, that this monument is over 300 years old and holds the title of the largest masonry fortification in the continental US. And it’s right in our backyard, how cool is that?
You can tour the inside and outside of the Castillo and learn about the intriguing history that stains the First Coast. Be sure to stop at Fort Matanzas and Fort Caroline, too, to make sure you get the full picture of Northeast Florida’s Spanish and French history.