Resident Graphic Designer, Bike Rider, and typical Duval Artsy Fart here to talk a little bit about some of Jacksonville’s best assets. Downtown and its surrounding environs – San Marco, Riverside, and Avondale – certainly hold a special place in our hearts, where the St. Johns River, winding through and through, is only a stone’s throw away from it all. We’re especially proud of our park system in these areas where UNF’s current president, John Delaney, once mayor of Jacksonville, sought to preserve pre-existing parks as well as to create new ones.
I became a Jacksonville resident in 2008 and dove headfirst into the city scene. When I initially became settled in San Marco, I was really excited to find that one can actually rent at a fair price in one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city. Living quite literally right around the corner from San Marco Square has been especially ideal for me when I discovered just how conducive this neighborhood is for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the other neighborhoods like St. Nicholas, Riverside, Avondale, and Murray Hill.
The weather here is perfect for those who really appreciate warm weather, but who also like to throw on a few winter-worthy clothes with stylish layers during the holiday months. Jacksonville is right on the cusp of Georgia’s border, so we have our fair share of crisp and cool wintery days, a welcome change from our otherwise toasty sunshine. Luckily for all of us down here, the winters never really get all that cold and there’s not a speck of snow in which we have to shovel.
Jacksonville in general has broad appeal in a variety of aspects:
- The Jaguars and the Suns for you Sports Fanatics
- A strong and diverse art and design scene for the Artsy Farts
- Tons of parks, preserves, and beaches for Nature Lovers
- Deep-seated roots and our neighboring town of St. Augustine for you History Buffs
- Secret little pockets of roadway with little to no traffic for Bicycle Aficionados
- Architecture from world renowned designers for you Architecture Enthusiasts
- And opportunity for growth and to mold this great city as you see fit for all you dreamers, movers, shakers, and all around entrepreneurs
Though on-campus living is always highly recommended, becoming a regular patron by losing yourself in and around the downtown areas makes for a much richer living experience and a more well-rounded You. And who knows, perhaps you’ll fall so much in love with these neighborhoods, you’ll find yourself moving out of the dorms, come senior year, to take up a more permanent dwelling here in Jacksonville as you establish yourself in a career.
For a good way to keep up to date with great venues and fun events read: Folioweekly or The Florida Times Union.
My favorite online go-tos include: