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Jacksonville

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Jacksonville

Your guide to the River City by the Sea!

Welcome to Jacksonville – a city that is rich in culture and beauty, yet surprisingly affordable. In many ways, this coastal beauty might just be considered to provide the whole package!


Jacksonville is actually the largest city in terms of population in the state of Florida. Centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, and only about 25 miles south of the Georgia state line, the Jacksonville Beach communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. There are plenty of employment opportunities here in this northeast Florida haven - primarily in the banking and insurance niche. The United States Navy is also a key employer here, as the city boasts three local naval bases. From an architectural standpoint, Jacksonville is an interesting place, having 14 different buildings that are listed on the "Florida Architecture: 100 places, 100 years" document from the American Institute of Architects. Some of these include the Jacksonville Public Library, the University of North Florida Student Union, and the Florida Theatre. It is estimated that there are in excess of 500 different neighborhoods in and around Jacksonville - each offering their own unique taste, diversity, and amenities. So, if you're thinking of calling Jacksonville home, you're sure to find a neighborhood that suits you.


What to do in Jacksonville

Whether its watching a sunrise, going for an early morning stroll along the St. Johns River, or just taking in the beauty of the coastline, there is plenty to do in Jacksonville. This city also offers a plethora of cultural and entertainment for those who love the arts and theatre. And, if you're seeking a dining experience of nearly any culture, you won't be disappointed. The mild weather here provides ample opportunity to visit one - or all - of Jacksonville's ten state and national parks, or to stroll along the nearly 40 miles of intracoastal waterway. There is also a thriving craft beer scene here if you're up for a tasting spree. And, for those who are into the nightlife scene, Jacksonville offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to choose from.


How to Get Around in Jacksonville

Getting around in Jacksonville is relatively easy. Although there is no subway system, the area does provide other forms of public transportation. For example, the JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority) offers bus service in and around Jacksonville. The Beaches Trolley system is also available via the JTA. This service takes riders to and from numerous points of interest in and around Jacksonville. Weekend service also runs during the summer months, with trolleys running every 20 minutes from South Beach Regional Shopping Center to Atlantic Blvd. There is also the JTA Skyway, which serves points of interest on both sides of the St. Johns River. This mode of transportation provides riders with an easy way to access hotels, restaurants, entertainment and sports venues, and places of employment. Because the Skyway is also interconnected with the JTA Trolley service, riders can easily expand their mobility.Because of the temperate climate year-round in Jacksonville, this area is also extremely bike- and walker-friendly.


What it's like to live in Jacksonville

Living in Jacksonville can be a great experience - starting with this city's year-round awesome weather. That is, if you like mild temperatures. On average, you'll find that the thermometer reads an average of 82 in July and roughly 53 in January - so there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy, regardless of what the calendar says. Being a coastal area, you have the beach and all of its related water fun. But Jacksonville offers a great deal of other plusses, too, such as its 80,000+ acres of parks, and its hunting and fishing access - especially being adjacent to the St. Johns River. For the sports fan, get your jersey ready, because Jacksonville will give you a lot to cheer about. Here, you've got the NFL Jaguars football team. There are also a number of other minor league teams in the area, including the Suns baseball, the Sharks arena football, and Giants basketball, and the Axemen rugby. In addition, the Players Championship PGA golf tour is hosted in Ponte Vedra Beach, just outside of Jacksonville, each year. You will also find that Jacksonville regularly makes the list for big cities with a low cost of living. In fact here, housing can be extremely affordable - especially in comparison to other major east coast living.


Where to find apartments in Jacksonville

There are apartments both directly in Jacksonville proper, as well as in the surrounding areas. However, before you head out to start looking at actual units, it is typically best to do some preliminary research first. When you are seeking an apartment in the Jacksonville, Florida area, you are generally required to give both a security deposit, and the first month’s rent. This will also typically need to be accompanied by proof from your employer that you have stable income that is more than what you will need for your monthly rental amount, as well as that your income is stable. Also, it is important that you have a good credit history, and that you provide credit references. As far as locating that perfect Jacksonville apartment for rent, there are some factors that you will likely want to consider. For instance, think about the type of neighborhood that you would like to live in regarding the proximity such as parks, restaurants, shopping and other amenities, as well as public transportation. Also, do you want to live near your place of employment? Once you have determined your ideal location in the Jacksonville locale, there are other factors to consider as well. For instance, what size apartment will you be renting? The available apartments in Jacksonville can come in a wide range of sizes and price ranges. They can also include a variety of other options such as pools, garages, and laundry facilities. But, once you have your list in place, finding the right Jacksonville apartment for you will be a breeze.


Neighborhoods in Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville


While downtown Jacksonville is primarily the business center of town, you will still find that there is also residential living here, too. In fact, there is a wide variety of apartments and lofts to choose from that can accommodate most budgets and floor plans. Living in downtown can provide the convenience of walking to many of Jacksonville's shops, dining establishments, and entertainment venues.

Northside


Although this was at one time an industrial area, the Northside has now become a residential area - and its popularity as such as quickly taken off. This may be due in large part to its convenience to the airport, as well as other amenities like Huguenot Park and the Jacksonville Zoo. This can be an ideal location for young professionals, as well as for young families.

Brooklyn


Brooklyn - no, it's not just in New York. You will also find a Brooklyn in Jacksonville, Florida, too. This neighborhood was at one time a residential suburb of the city, with its location just southwest of downtown. You will still find some high rise buildings here, but it is becoming more of a residential area as time goes on.

Springfield


Just slightly north of downtown Jacksonville you will find Springfield. Here you will see many historic homes - many that were first constructed in the mid- to late-1800s. While this area fell into disrepair over time, it rebounded in the late 1900s - and was even named the number one rebound neighborhood in the U.S. in 2009 by Southern Living Magazine.

Eastside


Eastside is considered to be a part of downtown. If you're a sports fan - especially a Jacksonville Jaguars fan - then you might really love Eastside. That's because this is where the Jaguars play. Because of that, there are oftentimes fairs, festivals, and even other sporting events that will also take place in this particular area.

Riverside


Riverside is a beautiful, tree lined area. Back in the early 1900s, this part of Jacksonville was known as one of the nicest neighborhoods in the entire U.S. In addition to its beauty, though, there are a number of things that draw residents to this locale, including its close proximity to downtown, and its closeness to the St. Johns River. In addition, it is also near the St. Vincent's Medical Center. Residents can enjoy numerous neighborhood restaurants, clubs, and shops, too.

Lake Shore


Lake Shore is located in the southwest Jacksonville area. Here you will find beautiful historic archways at the entrance to the neighborhood. If you happen to have a boat and you want to live near the water, then this may be the ideal place to check out - especially because there are several nice marinas located in this area.

Ortega


Located on the river sound of Riverside you will find Ortega. This area is bordered by three different rivers - the Cedar, the St. Johns, and the Ortega. Like many of the other Jacksonville neighborhoods, Ortega is also historical in nature. The area of the neighborhood labeled as "Old Ortega" offers a number of restaurants and shops. You will also find The Naval Air Station located near here, as well as Ortega Farms and Ortega Hills. The prices in Ortega do tend to be on the higher side in terms of housing.

Mandarin


Once an orange grove on the southern tip of Jacksonville, Mandarin was actually at one time its own city. It was also once the summer home of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Prices here can be a bit steep. But it can be well worth it if you enjoy the tranquility of this beautiful area.

Murray Hill


Murray Hill was also at one time its own city. It is located just west of the Riverside area. Here you will find some nice dining and entertainment establishments - including the Murray Hill Theatre.

Southside


Over the past two decades, the Southside area has really expanded in terms of residential living space. There is a myriad of amenities, including parks and recreation complexes, as well as some nice golf courses. While not quite as close to the downtown hub as some of the other neighborhoods, there is easy access to I-95, so commuting to downtown can still be quick and easy.

San Marco


The San Marco area is considered to be more of an artsy district where you can find dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. It is located just south of downtown Jacksonville. San Marco Square is one of the primary landmarks in this area. You will also find Theatre Jacksonville, a community theatre group - which is actually the oldest in the United States. This is a great locale for young professionals and young singles, as well as creatives who are looking for space to work.

The Beaches


If you're seeking the "salt life," you will find it in the Beaches area of Jacksonville. This area includes beach communities like Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. While nobody lives too far from the ocean here, this particular locale will put you even closer. The main drag here is First Street, and it runs through all of the beach communities. Many of these communities even still have an "old Florida" feel to them. The residents here are diverse, from young professionals, to families, to retirees - and all want to be close to the surf and sand of the Atlantic.

Sandalwood


Sandalwood is also somewhat close to the beach - as well as near downtown Jacksonville. So, if you are looking for a "best of both worlds" scenario, then this could just be it. This is actually a planned community, so you may notice that in some of its features.

Orange Park (Westside)


Orange Park offers more of a rural setting. If you're seeking convenient shopping and dining venues, you're sure to find it right here. There are also a number of undeveloped wooded acres, as well as options for boarding horses. If you work in the downtown area, the commute is still under an hour.

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