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Jacksonville Travel Guide

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Downtown Jacksonville ©

Anyone who thought that Florida was all about theme parks, glitz and kitsch should take a trip to the northeast coast of the Sunshine State, where the St John's River meets the Atlantic in Duval County, to explore the sprawling delights of one of the biggest cities (by area) in the United States, Jacksonville.

The city's tourist authority boasts that Jacksonville hosts more than five million visitors a year. Not surprising, because those who come in search of winter sunshine have many pleasures in store in this attractive city, which offers miles of uncrowded sandy beaches and some of the world's greatest green golf courses, coupled with historic sites and neighbourhoods, culture, unique shopping and dining, lively nightlife and entertainment, river cruises, and a plethora of fun events. There are also several nature and wildlife reserves within the city limits.

It is no wonder that a major cruise line uses its busy 'Jaxport' terminal as a base for Bahamian cruises. Many visitors who enjoy what Jacksonville has to offer are cruise passengers who spend a few days before or after their cruise exploring the city and surrounds. Jacksonville Landing (located downtown on the north bank of St John's River) is a hub of restaurants and nightlife in Jacksonville, while Hemming Plaza is surrounded by museums and beautiful city buildings that will appeal to sightseers.

It may be a big, modern city today, but Jacksonville still retains its tranquil southern charm, with oaks lining the avenues, lawns spreading alongside the river, and friendly locals greeting passers-by from their porch-swings. For visitors there is seldom a dull moment with art galleries to marvel at, a brewery tour to totter through, warm water to dip in, museums to trawl, the riverside market to browse through, historic architecture to admire, delectable restaurants to sample, and so much more.

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