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10 Unique Things To Do Near Jacksonville, Florida


Jacksonville, Florida offers countless things to do and explore, and the nearby area expands travelers’ horizons even more.

Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida, is the ideal starting point for side trips into the state. Tourists may swim with dolphins and find natural springs within a short drive. They can also find historic villages. Even if they only have a short amount of time in Jacksonville, the nearby barrier islands and famous Daytona Beach will cause them to reevaluate their travel schedule.


To enjoy natural beauties like Blue Spring State Park or even the renowned historic city of St. Augustine, tourists shall venture outside of Jacksonville. Here are 10 unique things to do near Jacksonville, Florida.

10/10 Tour The Mesmerizing Blue Spring State Park

The waters of Blue Spring State Park cover an astonishing 2600 acres (10.5 km2) of clean, untouched, and tempting terrain, making it one of the most stunning and well-liked sections of the St. John’s River.

The springs are also home to West Indian manatees, which are visible during manatee season and contribute to the warm waters’ stunning blue appeal.

A lot of residents and tourists flock to the area during the summer months to kayak and swim in Blue Spring and go on escorted ecological tours of the region.

  • Distance:
    118.5 miles (190.7 km) away from Jacksonville

9/10 Climb The Iconic Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet is home to Florida’s tallest lighthouse. The scenic beaches in Daytona Beach provide excellent waves for surfing, making it a great retreat for the whole family.

Children can enjoy their time finding a variety of vibrant shells along the coastline. Tourists can climb the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse’s 203 steps to be rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of the surroundings.

  • Distance:
    107 miles (172.2 km)

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Florida

8/10 Spend An Unforgettable At Ocala

The sunny Ocala, which boasts miles upon miles of an unspoiled natural reserve, the most alluring of which being the Ocala National Forest, offers another immaculately lovely retreat from city life.

Tourists will discover a blend of serene springs with pure water and lovely glens bordered by weeping willows here.

While Silver Springs State Park provides outdoor activities like horseback riding, Juniper Run and Silver Glen Springs are particularly well-liked for a cool dip in swimming holes and tubing routes.

  • Distance:
    101 miles (162.5 km)

7/10 Let’s Experience Some Adrenaline Rush At Daytona International Speedway

The Daytona International Speedway is a delight to visit any day of the year, whether tourists get to attend one of the major events like the Daytona 500 or not. It is home to one of the country’s most adored and thrilling sports.

Visitors will get the chance to go along the racetrack and see some of the race-winning vehicles kept there. Speedsters have the option of riding alongside an expert or taking the wheel themselves.

  • Distance:
    92.6 miles (149 km)

6/10 Dive In The Clear Water Of Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs provides guests the option to relax in cold, clean waters as they escape Florida’s hot summer temperatures.

Open water and cave divers will find this place perfect since the huge caves below the water’s surface provide access to a whole new world of underwater wealth. It is also an excellent area to swim or snorkel.

  • Distance:
    About 83 miles (133.5 km)

Related: What To Know Of Visiting Florida’s Popular Blue Hole Spring

5/10 Swim In The Gorgeous Ichetucknee Springs

Ichetucknee Springs is regarded as a great natural spring in North Florida. Over 6 miles (9.6 km) of cool spring-fed waters and shady hammocks can be found here, along with an astonishing 9 crystal clear springs, making it the ideal setting for a day of relaxation.

Visitors of all ages may enjoy swimming, tubing, and wildlife viewing at the neighboring Blue Hole Spring, which is the largest of the springs.

  • Distance:
    79.7 miles (128.2 km)

4/10 Connect With Mother Nature At Gainesville

Gainesville is a sizable college town that provides access to many of Florida’s splendid state parks, gardens, and geological sites.

The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ bamboo exhibits, the Butterfly Rainforest display at the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the sinkhole at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park are just a few of the natural attractions available to nature enthusiasts in this city.

At the acclaimed Swamp Head Brewery, they can unwind with a refreshing beer after a day of touring.

  • Distance:
    71.4 miles (1 km)

3/10 Let’s Go Back In Time By Visiting Palatka

The traditional city of Palatka is a hearty dose of old-town charm offering an intriguing look into a historic Florida colony and an unusual contrast to the streets of Jacksonville. Visiting this nearby city may seem like going back in time with its beautifully maintained homes and churches from the 1800s.

The colorful and culturally rich ambiance is enhanced by the growing art scene, which is best appreciated on an excursion like the Palatka Mural Tour. Tourists may also go on a nature adventure to the Ravine Gardens State Park, which has two sizable ravines and a ton of lovely gardens.

  • Distance:
    53.7 miles (86.4 km)

2/10 Visit The Romantic And Historical St Augustine

St. Augustine, one of Florida’s most romantic vacation spots, must be included on any list of activities to do near Jacksonville. St. Augustine, the oldest city in the nation, is a destination that history fans from all over the country flock to visit because of its stunning architecture and cobblestone streets.

They may take a stroll around the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument’s ramparts, sip from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and climb the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse for stunning views of this ancient city in this setting, which has a distinct European-style feel.

  • Distance:
    About 42 miles (67.5 km)

1/10 Enjoy The Wonderful Amelia Island

Amelia Island and adjoining Fernandina Beach are picturesque barrier islands with expansive Atlantic beaches, tranquil marshes, and oak trees covered in moss near Jacksonville.

Here tourists may spend their days exploring the neighborhood’s art galleries and independently run shops in search of a one-of-a-kind memento, seeing the historic downtown on the Amelia Island Trolley, or enjoying a cocktail at The Palace Soon, Florida’s oldest and longest-running saloon.

  • Distance:
    About 30 miles (48.2 km)



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