Whether it’s your first time here or you’re a native, it’s always fun to take some time and explore the city! There are so many things to do in Jacksonville, even most locals haven’t seen it all–because let’s face it, our city is HUGE, and sometimes just traveling from one end to the other is a day trip in itself!
We’ve created this guide of the most Jax-tastic things you can do in the city for three days packed with fun. We’ve made sure to include everything that makes our city unique while showing off the culture and vibe our city is known for. So put your tourist caps on, and let’s get exploring!
The Best Things to Do in Jacksonville
Friday: Go to the Beach
Jacksonville’s beaches are spectacular, and many people travel here just to see them! They are wide, less crowded than most Floridian beaches, and home to some pretty primo waves if you’re feeling like catching some surf. With fewer high-rise buildings and a small, beach town feel, this area of Jacksonville has a great vibe and is the best place in the city for having some fun outdoors.
Breakfast at Brunch Haus
Check out Jax Beach Brunch Haus for an adorable local diner with great coffee options, spectacular food, and friendly service! They’ve got killer Bennis and hash options plus an extensive vegan menu. It’s a perfect, healthy start to your beach day.
Head to the Beach & Chill
Get a Cold Treat at Rita’s Italian Ice
When you’ve heated up enough, walk over to Rita’s Italian ice to cool down. It’s always packed there because their frozen custard and Italian ice combos are sweet and hit the spot after a hot day in the sun.
Get a Sub from Angie’s Subs
Angie’s Subs are a staple at the beach, and you’ll know why when you head inside! This little sandwich spot is about as Jacksonville Beach as it gets with funky, eclectic décor and tons of locals grabbing some grub.
Don’t forget the Peruvian sauce!
Hit the Jacksonville Beaches
This is Florida after all and we love our beaches! Jacksonville has such a diverse beach system with beaches for adventure, environmental studies, classic beach days, and more! Check out this post to find the beach that fits your beach day needs best! Or do a beach crawl and hit them all!
Drinks and Games at Surfer the Bar
Surfer Magazine opened Surfer the Bar in Jacksonville Beach, making a unique experience. With a permanent “food truck,” upstairs venue, and downstairs stage for music, the bar always has something going on. Head there for a cocktail and go upstairs for some prime viewing of Jacksonville Beach.
Lemon Bar for Drinks
Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach is always a great place to sip a cocktail and catch some live, outdoor music. One of the few bars located shoreside, this little bar and hotel combo is a laid-back way to feel the ocean breeze and keep your feet in the sand while getting serviced with food and drinks!
Dinner @ Dockside Seafood
Dockside Seafood is one of the most scenic places to grab some delicious seafood, and it’s also super laid back! Order at the counter the fresh catch of the day and grab a seat next to the St. Johns River for the best way to enjoy a seafood basket.
Rent Bikes & Ride During the Sunset
As the sun goes down and the beach cools off, rent a bike and take a tour down 1st Street for the perfect way to end your day. Most of 1st Street is designated for bikers and residents, so traffic is light, and the unique seaside houses are always great for viewing.
Try Beach Life Rentals for a bike!
Go Bar Hopping
Grab your friends or make new ones on a Jacksonville bar hop! We suggest throwing on your cutest swimsuit and cover up and heading out to Jacksonville Beach for a bona fide Florida beach crawl! This is what people come to Florida for and we may be a little biased but Jacksonville has some of the best beach bars in the state!
Saturday: See the City
Our cityscape is one of the points of pride for locals and once you’re headed downtown, you’ll know why! Nestled by the St. Johns River, metropolitan Jacksonville has tons of unique things to do and is a mecca for art and food. At any given weekend there are festivals, sports games, and excitement here so be sure and check the city calendar or our weekend guide, so you don’t miss out!
Get Breakfast at Good Dough
Just as the name suggests, Good Dough has some seriously good doughnuts. Pair a unique and seasonal pastry with another Jacksonville staple–Vagabond Coffee, which is sold in-house.
Explore Downtown Jacksonville
Downtown Jacksonville is one hopping city! With so many local shops, restaurants, breweries, and views to see all in our great city! Hop on a scooter and check out some of our favorite eateries in downtown – oh and don’t forget to bring your appetite!
Go On a Foodie Tour of the City
It’s no secret that Jacksonville is full of great restaurants! We have just about everything from soul food, to seafood, to basically every noodle dish you could imagine! Bounce around the city using this guide to find your favorite spot!
Pro tip: share some apps with your friends so you can hit more places before filling up!
Find a Souvenir at the Riverside Arts Market
Local artisans, music, food, and fun always make an appearance every Saturday at the Riverside Arts Market, located under the Fuller Warren Bridge. Here you will find all the little mementos of your Jacksonville adventure and then some! It’s the perfect place to spend some time browsing, talking to locals, and really feeling the pulse of the city.
Have Lunch at Corner Taco
Tacos are the street food of not only Mexico but Jacksonville as well! Pop into Corner Taco for some of the best the city has to offer. This little taco joint is a hidden gem of deliciousness with freshly made corn tortillas and unique toppings.
Ride the Ale Trail on a Scooter
No city adventure is complete without having a taste of their local brews, so head to the ale trail and get tasting! It’s the fastest and most fun way to brew hop around downtown! We recommend hitting up one of the city’s electric scooter rentals, which can be easily picked up at any corner and paid for via an app.
Have Dinner at River & Post
With a belly full of beer and hungry eyes, it’s time to get dinner. We recommend stopping at River & Post for not only excellent food and drinks but some of the best views of the city. Their upstairs patio is a gorgeous place to sip on a cocktail and wait for your table.
Take a Kraken Boat Tour
The day isn’t quite done without a romantic boat ride around the city via water. Book a tour with Kraken, and you won’t be disappointed. The city really looks amazing by water, and with stunning river visages, you may never want to leave.
Sunday: Shop at Midtown
In between the city and the beach is a whole lot of fun things to do in Jacksonville! No day trip is complete without a little retail therapy, so feel free to pamper yourself! Most of our shopping, hiking, and entertainment destinations are located in this area, near our residential spaces.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
The Arboretum and Gardens is a perfect place to start your day. Beautiful hiking and scenic views are tucked away in this little nature reserve, which even has lots of flora and educational tags to help you learn all about Florida’s ecology during a shady hike.
Get Breakfast at Keke's Breakfast Café
Once you’re good and hungry after your hike, head to Keke’s Breakfast Café for some hit-the-spot pancakes or waffles. The decedent offers are really spectacular at Keke’s, from Banana Split Waffles, Granola Pancakes, and Stuffed French Toast–it will really hit your sweet spot.
Go Shopping @ the St. Johns Town Center
The Town Center is a gorgeous outdoor mall brimming with everything you can imagine. From local shops to national chains, this extensive mall will have you overflowing with shopping bags! Do it until you drop or are totally spent.
Top Golf for Drinks & Golf
Near the Town Center is TopGolf, a gigantic golf and entertainment venue with a high-tech driving range and plenty of drinks! Their lounge area is perfect for relaxing after hitting some golf balls as far as possible or indulging in a little mini golf. Florida is all about golf, and Jacksonville doesn’t shy away from the stereotype.
Prati Italia for Dinner
Local Chef Tom Grey opened Prati Italia for locals in need of some fresh and unique pasta, and it does not disappoint! After a long day, hiking, shopping, and golfing–you’re going to be hungry, and a big bowl of homemade pasta will be the perfect complement to your day. Pair it with a signature cocktail, and you’ve got the nightcap fitting for a great weekend in Jacksonville.
Take a piece of Jacksonville with you and go on a little shopping spree! Jacksonville is full of local boutiques, grocers, and shops that are so unique and fun to rummage through! Cook your own Jacksonville flavored dinner when you get home and stop at a farmers market or local grocer for your ingredients!
More Things to Do in Jacksonville
It’s true! There is so much more to do and see in Jacksonville, which is constantly growing! If you want to know more about all the new businesses, fun things to do in Jacksonville, and incredible places to eat, be sure to follow Stuff to Do Jacksonville on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest updates on new events and businesses all around town!