Saturday, February 24, 2024

Greatest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida (By a Metropolis Native)


Because of its wonderful location, there are tons of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville, only a quick drive from downtown. Jacksonville is situated subsequent to attractive islands and seashores, nature preserves, and historic websites. I by no means get sick of exploring this space – there are such a lot of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville available.

After visiting the world for 5 years and residing south of Jacksonville for over a 12 months, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing dozens of day journeys. The very best half? I do know there are nonetheless so many locations to go to close to Jacksonville that I haven’t found but!

Greatest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida

From seashores and kayaking to historic websites and museums, simply hop within the automotive, and also you’ll be a brief drive away from many unimaginable day journeys from Jacksonville. It’s exhausting to decide on the “greatest” excursions close to the Daring Metropolis as a result of there are such a lot of implausible ones. I’ve narrowed down this listing to my favourite day journey locations; there’s one thing for everybody;

1. Saint Augustine

A historic architecture, a miniature fountain, and a landscape with trees.

Only a 45-minute drive from downtown Jax is the attractive metropolis of Saint Augustine. What makes this such a special occasion journey from Jacksonville is that St. Augustine is the oldest metropolis within the nation – based in 1565. So, anticipate a ton of wealthy historical past, an outdated fort/monument, museums, parks, eating places, and extra.

I dwell midway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, so I’m fortunate sufficient to go to the “Historic Metropolis” very often. To me, it’s by far top-of-the-line locations to go to close to Jacksonville, FL. Regardless of in the event you’re a frequent customer or a first-time vacationer, it’s a metropolis that’s at all times price testing. Simply by turning a distinct nook, you’ll discover one thing new.

St. Augustine can be residence to a number of nice outlets, breweries, parks, and occasional outlets. Personally, nonetheless, I discover merely strolling across the historic downtown space enjoyable to do by itself. The structure and cobblestone streets are simply unimaginable.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 40 miles/64 kilometers from downtown Jacksonville
Location: Downtown St. Augustine
Getting There: If you wish to head right down to St. Augustine from Jacksonville, your greatest wager is to lease a automotive. You may also take the bus if a automotive isn’t an choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: St. Augustine: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with Museum Entry
Should-Do Actions: Taking a trolley tour is an absolute should in St. Augustine. Stroll by means of the grounds of Castillo San Marcos. In the event you occur to be visiting through the holidays, I extremely suggest the Nights of Lights Pirate Ship Tour.
The place to Eat: Llama is certainly one of my favourite eating places on this planet – and I’ve been to 25 nations! It’s Peruvian and the meals is to die for. The Conch Home is a enjoyable restaurant and bar proper on the water. And River and Fort has an superior rooftop bar with an unimaginable view.

2. Amelia Island

A large stone on the side sea and an extensive bridge in the middle of the water. at sunset

Amelia Island is situated 45 minutes northeast of downtown Jacksonville and is one other implausible choice for a day journey from Jax. The family-friendly island has a pristine seaside, an lovable downtown space/predominant avenue, and nice eating places and bars. To not point out an nearly infinite listing of out of doors/nature-centric actions as properly.

Amelia Island can grow to be crowded through the summer time months, so I desire visiting through the shoulder seasons months of April and Might or September and October. It’s nonetheless heat sufficient to sunbathe on the seaside, however the crowds have subsided.

I really like going to Amelia Island to get some contemporary seafood, a craft beer, and stress-free within the solar for a few hours. It’s actually exhausting to not love this space.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 33 miles/53 kilometers
Location: Amelia Island
Getting There: Touring to Amelia Island is best by automotive. Sadly, there isn’t any public transportation to the island, except you are taking an Uber.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek
Should-Do Actions: Taking a stroll down the charming predominant avenue in Fernandina Seaside is a blast. There’s tons of procuring, a brewery, and many eateries to check out. Renting an electrical bike to cruise alongside the seaside is a good outing as properly.
The place to Eat: Every time I go to Amelia Island, going to Amelia Island Brewing Co. is an absolute should. Their beer is nice, and the shrimp chowder and gouda quick rib sandwich dishes are tremendous scrumptious. One other nice choice for a enjoyable atmosphere is the Salty Pelican Bar & Grill.

3. Little Talbot Island State Park

The sea water was divided by a wavy beach and a large number of large stones.

The Talbot Islands supply an ideal day journey from Jacksonville – and Little Talbot Island is my favourite. Right here, you’ll discover 5 miles of attractive seashores, bike trails, and wildlife-watching alternatives. I really like mountain climbing the traditional dunes, on the lookout for seashells, and taking a swim.

Many individuals don’t consider tenting in Florida, however this state park is a extremely enjoyable and exquisite choice if you wish to sleep underneath the celebs. What’s nice about Little Talbot Island is that it’s solely half-hour exterior of Jacksonville.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: half-hour – 26 miles/42 kilometers
Location: Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Getting There: When visiting Jacksonville, it’s greatest to have entry to a automotive; driving is the best approach to get to Little Talbot Island State Park. You may also take the automotive ferry.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Talbot Island Kayak Tour
Should-Do Actions: Basking within the glory and great thing about nature is what it’s all about at Little Talbot Island State Park. Take a kayak tour, go mountain climbing, or get away the binoculars to do some chicken watching.

4. Cumberland Island

A small pier with a parked small boat, a solar light, and a beach view.

Georgia’s largest barrier island is Cumberland Island, and it’s situated an hour away from Jacksonville. It’s recognized for having one of the vital spectacular pure habitats on this planet with gorgeous, undeveloped seashores.

The island is residence to the most important nesting of loggerhead sea turtles, and there are additionally feral horses, armadillos, wild hogs, and plenty of species of birds. It’s really a wild and exquisite place to go to for a day journey.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: Hour and a half – 38 miles/61 kilometers
Location: Cumberland Island
Getting There: You’ll have to drive and take a ferry from St. Mary’s, Georgia.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Cumberland Island Strolling Tour
Should-Do Actions: It’s all about nature and historical past on Cumberland Island. Go mountain climbing, swimming, or fishing. Go to the First African Baptist Church, tour the well-known Plum Orchard Mansion, and discover the Dungeness Ruins.
The place to Eat: There’s just one restaurant on the complete island on the famend Greyfield Inn, run by the Carnegie household. They solely supply one seating per evening at 7 p.m., so it’s in all probability not the most suitable choice for a day journey. You may need to pack a picnic and a few snacks.

5. Jekyll Island

A beach with some tree branches at sunset

A little bit over an hour from Jacksonville is Jekyll Island, Georgia. You’ll need to pay a toll to get on the island, but it surely’s a small charge and so price it. This stunning island options quiet, attractive seashores, nice eating places, golf programs, museums, and extra.

Every time I am going to Jekyll Island, going to Driftwood Seaside is a necessity. I at all times make time to go to Tortuga Jacks for a waterside drink and a chunk, and I like to recommend you do the identical! You’ll be able to simply spend the complete day exploring this enjoyable hidden gem.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and quarter-hour – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Jekyll Island
Getting There: Touring by automotive is your best choice. You may also take a bus from the Jacksonville airport.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Jekyll Island Dolphin Excursions
Should-Do Actions: Go to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Middle, play mini golf, or go to the Summer season Waves Water Park. There’s a lot to do!
The place to Eat: As talked about earlier, Tortuga Jacks is certainly one of my favourite locations for a chunk. Another nice choices are Harry’s Lounge, Salty’s Oceanside Bar & Grill, and The Anchor.

6. Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park

A stairwell and a little balcony with views of a lake surrounded by green trees.

Florida is residence to among the most stunning geological options. The Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park is simply exterior of Gainesville and makes for a brilliant cool day journey from Jacksonville.

The principle attraction of the park is the 120-foot-deep sinkhole. Take a small hike to the staircase that leads you near the underside of the sinkhole with lush vegetation and cooler temperatures. It’s a pleasant respite through the summer time warmth!

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 20 minutes – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Millhopper Highway, Gainesville, FL
Getting There: Driving to the state park is the best and most suitable choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Each day ranger-led excursions
Should-Do Actions: The principle level of the go to is to admire the fantastic thing about the limestone sinkhole. Mountaineering down and up these stairs is bound to get your coronary heart pumping!
The place to Eat: Gainesville is only a quick drive away with a number of eating choices. I normally at all times cease at The Social at Midtown, Satchel’s Pizza, or El Indio Mexican Restaurant.

7. Osceola Nationwide Forest

There are forests, lush grass, and a blue sky.

Lower than an hour from Jacksonville is the Osceola Nationwide Forest. This stunning gem is the right place to go if you’re on the lookout for a peaceable day in nature. It’s additionally an ideal day journey in Jacksonville for {couples}.

There are miles of trails for mountain climbing, seashores for swimming, and ponds for fishing. There’s additionally an space for goal capturing and trails for OHV driving. Though situated simply 45 minutes from the town, you’ll really feel such as you’re hours away.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 48 minutes – 49 miles/79 kilometers
Location: Osceola Nationwide Forest, 24874 US-90, Sanderson, FL 32087
Getting There: Touring by automotive is your best choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: There aren’t any excursions accessible, however attempt to time your go to with the annual Civil Struggle reenactment.
Should-Do Actions: With over 200 acres of nature, you may spend hours wandering the paths, swimming on the seaside, or simply holding a be careful for wildlife.
The place to Eat: Lake Metropolis is the closest city to the park. This tiny however lovable city has some yummy choices for meals, like Jessica’s Bistro, Marion Avenue Bistro, and Cedar River Seafood of Lake Metropolis.

8. Gainesville

An Aerial view of green mountains, lakes, and building structures.

Gainesville is a brilliant enjoyable choice for a day journey from Jacksonville. The College of Florida school city is full of life, and hip, and presents tons of the way to spend your day. There are attractive parks, scrumptious eating places, and enjoyable actions on this inland Florida city.

The proper day in Gainesville, in my view, appears to be like like going to the Florida Museum of Pure Historical past or the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens earlier than heading to Swamp Head Brewery for an IPA. Though, there’s something to supply everybody – regardless of the age.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 22 minutes – 72 miles/115 kilometers
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Getting There: A automotive is essentially the most handy and quick approach to get to Gainesville. You may also take the bus from Jacksonville.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Pure Historical past
Should-Do Actions: Begin your day with a stroll in nature at Sweetwater Wetlands Park then head to the Harn Museum of Artwork. Take a stroll on the College of Florida campus earlier than discovering someplace to eat downtown.
The place to Eat: Gainesville has a ton of eating places to select from however a few of my private favorites embody Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Alpin Bistro, and Underground Kitchen.

9. Saint Simons Island

An old fishing pier on St. Simons Island beyond rock seawell.

Saint Simons Island, Georgia is among the greatest locations to go to close to Jacksonville. It’s been named certainly one of Journey + Leisure’s World’s Greatest Islands within the Continental U.S., and U.S. Information’ 16 High Romantic Getaways in Georgia, in addition to 15 Most Romantic Small Cities within the United States.

The small island is the right day journey to hang around on the seaside, stroll the oceanside predominant avenue, and eat some scrumptious seafood. I used to be not too long ago in Saint Simons Island with my sister, and we couldn’t recover from how charming it was.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 13 minutes – 75 miles/120 kilometers
Location: Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Getting There: Driving by automotive is one of the best journey choice.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll round Pier Village and stroll the grounds of Fort Frederica. Then, spend a number of hours on the right sandy seashores.
The place to Eat: This small island has quite a lot of nice eating choices! After I not too long ago visited, I beloved Porch, Barrier Island Brewing, and Mallery Avenue Cafe. I’d suggest any of those spots.

10. Daytona Seaside

A structure and an amusement park, people enjoying themselves on the beach, and a cloudy sky.

It’s a little bit little bit of a drive from Jacksonville, however in the event you’re up for it, head south for a day to Daytona Seaside. This world-famous seaside city is bustling through the peak summer time months and the celebrated Bike Week.

Residence to the Daytona Worldwide Speedway and the famend Daytona 500, this metropolis welcomes a whole bunch of hundreds of vacationers every year; not just for the race – but additionally for its vibrant seaside scene.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 28 minutes – 95 miles/153 kilometers
Location: Daytona Seaside
Getting There: Driving your self is the quickest choice, nonetheless, you could possibly additionally take a bus.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Daytona Seaside: Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour
Should-Do Actions: The Daytona Worldwide Speedway is a sight to behold, the seaside’s boardwalk has a Ferris wheel and different rides and video games, and you may also drive your automotive on the seaside, which is a extremely cool expertise.
The place to Eat: Ocean Deck Daytona Seaside has an superior, relaxed vibe with unimaginable meals. Crabby’s Oceanside and Fratelli’s Pizzeria are additionally implausible.

11. Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka

The long wooden staircase on the trail in Ravine Gardens State Park with green plants and trees.

Palatka is a quiet and charming inland, riverside city with quite a lot of character. The Ravine Gardens State Park is a day journey from Jacksonville that’s significantly underrated. I went right here a few month in the past and was blown away by how stunning it was.

Take a hike by means of the park and its lush vegetation, cross two suspension bridges, and marvel on the waterfalls. It’s a peaceable escape from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Location: Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St, Palatka, FL 32177
Getting There: Driving by automotive is one of the best and best choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Guided excursions are supplied by the park.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll the 1.8-mile paved highway by means of the breathtaking ravines with stunning views. Attempt to time your go to through the peak flowering season for azaleas – January by means of March.
The place to Eat: The downtown Palatka space has some nice eating choices. My favourite eateries are The Magnolia Cafe, Corky Bell’s Seafood at Gator Touchdown, and Velchoff’s Nook.

12. Ginnie Springs

Beautiful view of the turquoise crystal clear waters of the lagoon of Ginnie Springs, Florida. USA

In the event you’re on the lookout for a singular spot to chill off through the sizzling summer time months, Ginnie Springs is such a enjoyable day journey choice. It’s a little bit little bit of a distance from Jacksonville, however belief me after I let you know that it’s completely price it.

Kayak, paddleboard, or float the crystal clear waters of the Sante Fe River. You may also lease a snorkel and a masks to discover the waters crammed with massive bass, catfish, and turtles. It’s for sure, among the most stunning water I’ve ever seen.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 37 minutes – 85 miles/133 kilometers
Location: Ginnie Springs, 5000 NE sixtieth Ave., Excessive Springs, Florida 32643
Getting There: Touring by automotive is the most suitable choice.
Should-Do Actions: It’s as much as you the way you’d wish to spend your day at Ginnie Springs – it will depend on what actions you love to do! You’ll be able to relax on an internal tube, get pleasure from a extra energetic day on a paddleboard, or play a sport of volleyball.
The place to Eat: You’ll need to drive into north Gainesville for a meal after a day of swimming. Head to Northwest Grille, Nation Foodly, or Las Margaritas.

13. Juniper Springs Recreation Space

Crystal-clear waters of Juniper Spring are reflected against a lush forest canopy of ferns and oaks.

One of many oldest and hottest recreation areas on the East Coast, the Juniper Springs Recreation Space appears to be like like one thing out of a postcard. It’s an oasis underneath a dense cover of palms and oaks.

The crystalline pool of contemporary spring water is a magical place to swim, and you may take a brief stroll on the Juniper Run Nature Path. There are many picnic areas as properly.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 50 minutes – 111 miles/178 kilometers
Location: Juniper Springs Recreation Space, 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488
Getting There: Attending to the springs is best and quickest by automotive
Should-Do Actions: Merely soaking within the good, clear waters is sufficient to make the day journey price it. There’s a shallow finish to chill out and funky down in, and a deeper finish for leaping.
The place to Eat: Sadly, there aren’t any eating choices close to the park. It’s greatest to pack your individual snacks and a picnic.

14. Savannah

A wide green field with scattered trees

One among my favourite issues about residing in Jacksonville is its shut proximity to the wonderful metropolis of Savannah, Georgia. In the event you rise up early and hit the highway, you may spend all day in Savannah and be again residence earlier than it will get too late.

Savannah is understood for its historical past, French structure, huge oak timber with hanging Spanish moss, and thriving arts and tradition scene. There’s one thing about this metropolis that oozes the epitome of Southern attraction. Plus, they’ve some implausible eating places and breweries.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 2 hours and a pair of minutes – 139 miles/224 kilometers
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Getting There: You will get to Savannah both by automotive, prepare, or bus.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Should-Do Actions: There’s SO a lot to do in Savanna; stroll by means of Forsyth Park, spend a few hours on Tybee Island, stroll by means of the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, and admire the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
The place to Eat: Savannah is overflowing with scrumptious meals. My favourite eating places are The Olde Pink Home, Alligator Soul Restaurant, and The Bizarre Pub.

15. Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens

A connecting bridge flanked by a garden and a lake.

One other day journey from Jacksonville, that’s a little bit additional afield, however completely price it, is to Cedar Lakes Woods and Backyard. With over 50 backyard shows to admire, these botanical gardens have koi ponds, waterfalls, and beautiful views.

The paths take round an hour and a half to finish and every step is surrounded by pure magnificence. It’s one other peaceable and tranquil journey to get you out of the town’s bustle.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 52 minutes – 96 miles/154 kilometers
Location: Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens, 4990 NE a hundred and eightieth Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Getting There: Touring by automotive will probably be your greatest and best selection.
Should-Do Actions: The paths will information you thru backyard shows like Bamboo Island, Ginger Gardens, and others.
The place to Eat: Southern Gainesville will probably be your choice for yummy meals. I’d suggest Blue Gill High quality Meals, Pink Rice Kitchen, or Yummy Home.

Greatest Day Journey Excursions from Jacksonville Florida

If you wish to take the guesswork out of planning a day journey from Jacksonville, you may at all times take an organized tour. Listed here are some highly-rated, enjoyable tour choices to select from:

1. CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seaside: Have a blast on Amelia Island by taking a CraigCat Boat Tour out of Fernandina Seaside. The two.5-hour tour can have you on the water on a CraigCat Boat, which is actually a go-cart on water. Spot wildlife akin to dolphins, manatees, and turtles. Click on right here for extra particulars.

2. Huge Talbot Island Self-Guided Tour with Sensible Helmets: Discover Huge Talbot Island at your individual tempo on this 2-3 hour tour. You’ll cruise on electrical bikes with good helmets that will let you talk with different riders. Click on right here for extra particulars.

3. Jacksonville: Florida Wildlife Guided Airboat Journey: Get an adrenaline rush by taking a guided airboat tour. The 1.5-hour tour leaves from northeast Jacksonville and also you’ll skim throughout the water with 500 horsepower – maintain onto your hats! Click on right here for extra particulars.

4. Personal Guided Boat Tour as much as 6 passengers in Fernandina Seaside: Discover Amelia Island by water by yourself non-public boat. The boat will probably be pushed by a USCG-certified captain and can take you round Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, and Fort Clinch State Park. Click on right here for extra particulars.

5. Downtown Fernandina Historic Strolling Tour: Downtown Fernandina is stuffed with wealthy tradition. Study 300 years of Fernandina historical past on this 1.5-hour guided strolling tour. Pirates, historic properties, and native figures are coated matters. Click on right here for extra particulars.

Day Journeys Round Jacksonville Florida: FAQs

Listed here are some solutions to essentially the most generally requested questions on one of the best day journeys from Jacksonville, FL:

What’s the hottest day journey from Jacksonville Florida?

The most well-liked day journey from Jacksonville is the CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seaside.

What number of days do you want in Jacksonville Florida?

I like to recommend spending no less than 3 days in Jacksonville, or ideally per week.

What are one of the best day journeys from Jacksonville Florida by prepare?

The very best day journey from Jacksonville, Florida by prepare is to move as much as Savannah, Georgia, to discover the world. Tickets begin from simply $30.

What’s the most stunning place close to Jacksonville Florida?

Essentially the most stunning place close to Jacksonville, Florida, in my view, is St. Augustine. Different stunning areas embody Amelia Island, St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island.

Can you are taking a day journey from Jacksonville, Florida to Orlando?

Sure! You’ll be able to take a day journey to Orlando because it’s lower than 2 hours away.

Which standard place could be very near Jacksonville Florida?

The favored vacation spot of Saint Augustine is simply 45 minutes from Jacksonville, Florida.

In Conclusion

Jacksonville’s geographical location makes it an ideal place to have some wonderful day journey excursions. That’s one of many largest causes I really like residing right here a lot. Inside a brief drive, you will be someplace completely completely different.

Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a day on an island or a dip in some pure springs, Jacksonville has a day journey outing for each curiosity.

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