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16 Must-Do Activities When You Wander Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. From pristine beaches to captivating sunsets, historical attractions to museums, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your itinerary for a week-long adventure. And for those with a penchant for delectable delights, Jacksonville offers an array of mouth-watering culinary experiences to indulge in.

Things to do in Jacksonville, FL

Choosing from the plethora of things to do in Jacksonville can be overwhelming, but personally, I prefer to immerse myself in the great outdoors, where I am always rewarded with wondrous discoveries. The Jacksonville area is teeming with breathtaking scenery, and if you’re an outdoor enthusiast like me, you won’t be disappointed with my top 16 picks for outdoor activities. My recipe for a good time typically involves a combination of outdoor recreation, epicurean delights, and stunning vistas, and Jacksonville offers endless options to satisfy all your cravings every time you visit.

While hours, fees, and location information has been provided below, always to remember to verify directly due to changes that can occur.

The Cummer Museum is a stunning destination along the banks of the St. Johns River, where fine art and European-inspired gardens blend together to create a mesmerizing experience. Once the cherished home of art collector Ninah Mae Holden Cummer, the museum now showcases a diverse range of dynamic artworks that celebrate the beauty of nature. Moreover, the museum’s interactive children’s exhibit offers a fun and engaging way to introduce younger visitors to the world of art. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or a curious beginner, the Cummer Museum is a must-visit attraction that caters to all ages.

Cummer museum gardens

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
829 Riverside Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32204

Phone: 904.356.6857

Monday                  CLOSED
Tuesday                 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday            11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday               11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday                    11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday               11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday                  12 p.m. to 4 p.m. .

Children (Ages 5 and under): Free
Students (Ages 6 – 17): $10
Adults: $15
Seniors: $10
Military: $10
College Students: Free Tues – Fri, $10 Sat & Sun with I.D.
First Responders & Healthcare Workers: Free with I.D.

See Free Admission schedule

This unique ranch is dedicated to tiger conservation and rescue. With a deep commitment to providing a safe and humane environment for these majestic creatures, the ranch serves as a sanctuary for tigers and other big cats rescued from inhumane captivity.

At the ranch, volunteers offer informative tours that provide a glimpse into the fascinating lives of these big cats. Through detailed explanations and historical accounts, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation of the ranch’s operations and the efforts made to preserve these endangered species.

For a truly unforgettable experience, make sure to purchase tickets in advance for the night feeding event. As the cats pace eagerly around their enclosures, anticipation builds as they prepare to tear into their meal. Witnessing these powerful predators in action is an awe-inspiring sight that you won’t soon forget.

Big cat laying with paws in the air.

Catty Shack
1860 Starratt Road
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Daytime Tours are every afternoon

1:00 – 3:00 PM

Adults: $15

Children (3-11): $7  

Children (2 and younger): Always free and do not require a ticket

Wednesday-Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m


  • Sunday9:00 AM–4:30 PM
  • MondayClosed
  • TuesdayClosed
  • Wednesday9:00 AM–4:30 PM
  • Thursday9:00 AM–4:30 PM
  • Friday9:00 AM–4:30 PM
  • Saturday9:00 AM–4:30 PM

fountain play

[email protected]

(904) 757-4463

370 Zoo Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218

9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Includes 4D Theater, Unlimited Train and Carousel Rides and Animal Feedings (limited). Tickets must be purchased online. Dinosauria is now included in Total Experience tickets!

Save $5 when you purchase in advance online.

Adult Total Experience  (ages 13-64)

Price Range$34.95 – $44.95

Child Total Experience  (ages 3-12)

Price Range$27.95 – $37.95

Senior Total Experience  (ages 65+)

Price Range$32.95 – $42.95

See all fee options

Visiting the beaches in Jacksonville, Florida is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the coast. With miles of pristine sand, the beaches offer plenty of space for outdoor activities like swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and fishing.

The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens is a serene and picturesque nature reserve located in the heart of Jacksonville. The 120-acre park boasts over three miles of hiking trails that wind through lush forests, stunning gardens, and tranquil water features. Visitors can explore a variety of habitats, including a wetland, a hardwood forest, and a sandhill ecosystem, each with its own unique flora and fauna. The park also features a collection of beautifully crafted sculptures, as well as educational exhibits and events. With its peaceful atmosphere and abundant natural beauty, the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

1445 Millcoe Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32225

Open 8 am to 7 pm

Monday – Sunday

$3 non-member visitor admission

Tree Hill Nature Center is a peaceful natural oasis located in Jacksonville, Florida. The center offers visitors the opportunity to learn about and explore the diverse natural habitats of Northeast Florida through its hiking trails, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and animal exhibits. It also offers a range of educational programs for both adults and children, including summer camps and school field trips. Visitors can also participate in community events, such as guided nature walks and astronomy nights. Overall, Tree Hill Nature Center provides a unique and engaging experience for those interested in learning about and appreciating the natural world.

7152 Lone Star Road
Jacksonville FL 32211

Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Closed major holidays.

$5 Adults
$4 Seniors, Students, Military, Teacher
$3 Children 3 -17
Free 2 & Under

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a beautiful and expansive natural park located in Jacksonville, Florida. It features over 20 miles of scenic trails for hiking, biking, and jogging, as well as a pristine beach for swimming, fishing, and sunbathing. Visitors can also enjoy various water activities, including kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, on the park’s freshwater lake. The park also offers camping facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds, making it a perfect destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse range of recreational activities, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Jacksonville.


500 Wonderwood Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32233

Sunday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time

$3 for Pedestrians and Bicycles
$5 for Vehicles up to 6 people ($1 for each additional person
$92.52 Annual Pass

See all fees including online camping reservations

The Dune Ridge Trail Loop at Little Talbot Island State Park takes visitors through a stunning landscape of ancient dunes. This unique natural feature, formed over thousands of years, offers a glimpse into the geological history of the area. The trail loop offers a moderate hike through lush forests and along scenic beaches, with interpretive signs providing information about the flora and fauna of the area. The park also offers opportunities for fishing, camping, and picnicking, making it a great destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.

palm in the sand

12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville FL 32226

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days

$5 per vehicle

See all fees

Get ready to discover a wonderland of wetlands, marshes, and hidden beaches at Big Talbot Island! This stunning natural oasis boasts breathtaking scenery and is home to must-see destinations like Blackrock Beach and Boneyard Beach. Take in the sights and sounds of this amazing location by exploring the bike paths or hiking trails, or get up close and personal with the water by joining a guided kayak tour. With so much to see and do, Big Talbot Island is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike!

State Road A1A North
Jacksonville FL 32226

8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. The boat ramp is open 24 hours a day.

$2 for fishing pier, $3 per vehicle entrance

See all fees

Fort Caroline is more than just a historical monument, it’s a time machine that takes you back to the sixteenth century and the clash of cultures that occurred in Florida. Walk through the fort and experience the stories of the brave explorers who risked everything to establish a French presence in the New World. You’ll learn about the harsh realities of survival in a foreign land, the religious conflicts that shaped early America, and the brutal territorial battles that raged between European powers. And don’t forget about the fascinating encounters between the native people and the French colonists, which set the stage for centuries of cultural exchange and conflict. Fort Caroline is an essential destination for anyone who wants to understand the complex history of the United States.

12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225


9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday


Friendship Fountain and the Jacksonville Riverwalk are two of the most popular attractions in Jacksonville, Florida. The Friendship Fountain is a stunning landmark that overlooks the St. Johns River and offers a beautiful display of water and lights. It’s a great spot to relax, take pictures, and enjoy the scenery.

Just a short walk away is the Jacksonville Riverwalk, a 2.5-mile stretch of pedestrian walkway that offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline. The Riverwalk is a popular spot for jogging, biking, and taking a leisurely stroll.

Along the Riverwalk, visitors can find many restaurants, shops, and other attractions. The area is particularly vibrant at night, with colorful lights and live music often filling the air.

friendship fountain

1015 Museum Cir Jacksonville, FL 32207


Castaway Island Preserve is a nature lover’s paradise located along the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. The 312-acre preserve boasts an intricate marsh ecosystem, teeming with fascinating marshland wildlife waiting to be discovered. Explore the nature trails, catch breathtaking views from the wooden boardwalk, or enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst the picturesque surroundings. The preserve also offers a canoe/kayak launch, an interactive trail, and a hummingbird and butterfly garden, all designed to immerse visitors in the beauty of Northeast Florida’s flora and fauna.

2885 San Pablo Road South Jacksonville, FL 32224

Sunrise to Sunset


Try these 3 highly recommended Jacksonville tours:

Jacksonville, Florida has plenty of things to do for families. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, there is something for everyone. Visitors can explore the city’s beaches, parks, and nature preserves like Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park and Castaway Island Preserve. Families can also enjoy interactive exhibits at the Museum of Science and History and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. For a taste of history, Fort Caroline National Memorial and Kingsley Plantation offer insights into the city’s past. Other must-see attractions include the Friendship Fountain and Riverwalk, Big Talbot Island, and the Cancer Survivors Park. With so many exciting options, Jacksonville is the perfect destination for a family vacation.

Happy Wandering Jacksonville attractions!

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