Jacksonville, Florida


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What's it like to live in Jacksonville?

What is it like to live in Jacksonville, Florida, USA?

Hi, Jacksonville is known as the “Gateway to the South.” It is the first large city you enter driving south on I95 from Georgia. Jacksonville is the largest city in the US in square miles (lower 48)It is 747 sq mi. It is very spread out. Metro Jacksonville consists of 5 counties: Duval (most of Jacksonville), Clay. (Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, Middleburg, Fleming Island, Keystone Heights), St. John’s (St. Augustine, parts of Beaches, St. John’s, Hastings), Nassau (Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Callahan) and Baker (macclenny, parts of St. Marys). Duval is the county that includes the city of Jacksonville. It is home to the NFL Jaguars. It is known for its beautiful beaches. Jax (Jax is what residents call our city) is basically an overgrown small town, even though we have over a million people. Downtown does not have the attractions of other large cities, even though the City and investors have tried hard to develop it.

It does not have the amenities that would draw people downtown. We do have a nice art museum and a beautiful state of the art public library. We also have a great baseball stadium that used to be the home of the AAA team, Jacksonville Suns, but the team recently was renamed the Jacksonville Shrimps ( which most residents balked about the name change). It is a great arena and very family friendly. The football stadium houses the Jaguars and the once a year game between the college teams of Florida Gators (UF) and the Georgia Bulldogs (UG). The Jags have a following, but the stadium is rarely full and most can’t afford tickets and the food/drink that goes along with the NFL experience. Downtown also has an excellent performing arts center and coliseum. We do get a lot of Broadway musicals, the symphony orchestra and big name concerts.

What is it like to live in Jacksonville, Florida, USA?

The short, but accurate answer is: if you are from Jacksonville, yes you most likely think it is a great place to live.

If you are from Jax and haven't traveled to many other cities in the U.S., then you KNOW Jax is a great place to live.

But if you have visited other large cities, you will know that Jax is not a great place to live

Lack of culture. Horrible education system in Duval county. And look up the % of residents who have college degrees vs other cities. Wow. Makes for interesting days though. And the crime - it's a constant “who got killed today?” on the news. Good ole boy politics (backwards conservatives run the show). HOT + HUMID = miserable.

No downtown nightlife or culture still. The beaches are OK. Much better beaches throughout Florida.

I have lived in Jax too long. I have 11.5 more years until my son is grown and and I can move again :)

What do you like/dislike about living in Jacksonville?

There is a ton of beauty all over Jacksonville if you take the time to truly explore. From the largest parks system in the country to sprawling examples of "urban decay", there's so much to just see. Here is my Instagram for some examples: https://www.instagram.com/jacksonvillephoto/.

I come from a small-to-mid sized city in South Carolina. Before that it was the middle of nowhere mountains of North Carolina. Growing up, options when you went out was to go to a lake, go hiking somewhere, or don't go out at all. The only shopping was Wal Mart, and it was 20 minutes away at highway speeds. The closest mall was a two hour drive. Here, there is always something to do.

It's also one of the few places where you can get the river and beach Florida landscapes at once. There are incredible state parks, beaches are clean and beautiful, the waves are perfect for boogie or surfboarding, and the airport is one of the cleanest and nicest I have ever been to.

Being right on 95 makes it easy to hop on and drive wherever you want. 295 is a convenient circle around the whole city as well. The restaurant scene is stellar, and there are bars-a-plenty.

Additionally, I've noticed that the people here are so NICE. So much more so than other cities. People make eye contact, people hold doors open for you, people greet one another, even if they are complete strangers, in most cases. In general, everybody just seems happier than in places like Atlanta, San Francisco, etc. Even in my wanderings downtown, the homeless are always kind when they speak.

What do you like/dislike about living in Jacksonville?


-You should never be bored. So many things to do and go see. Fishing, Football, beach, rivers, etc…

-Great location. Close proximity to the ocean, theme parks down in Orlando, cruises out of Jacksonville and Port Canaveral

-Weather is great year round. You can wear shorts and flip-flops in December sometimes.


Traffic, with so many people moving to Jacksonville it seems to be getting more and more crowded everyday.

-Heat and Humidity, for some people it's just too much. Call me crazy but I actually like the humidity, so for me this is not so much a con. July and August can be brutal if your coming from a much milder climate up north.

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