Salt in my hair and ocean breeze equals happiness to me. This last Spring Break, we visited Jacksonville Beach. It is located on the Atlantic Coast in Duval county in, Florida. It is approximately 2 hours from Orlando and almost 4 hours from Tampa. We spent five days exploring this area and its surrounding cities and towns. This part of Florida made us feel like we were miles away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. 

Jacksonville Beach

What is Jax Beach?

The locals call Jacksonville Jax; Jacksonville Beach is nicknamed Jax Beach.

Where to stay in Jacksonville Beach

Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant is located right on Jacksonville Beach. This unique and cute hotel has a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its rooms have a 20s’ style décor. They also offer a delicious breakfast that you can have on the terrace while enjoying the Florida sun. Check out Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant

The Four Points by Sheraton in Jacksonville Beach is a great place to stay. The location is unbeatable. The Four Points is located right on the beach. It is also a short walk down a no-driving boulevard to Downtown Jacksonville Beach. This allows the hotel to remain calm and quiet at night yet close enough to all the nightlife. Check out The Four Points

Four Points Jacksonville Beach

Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach is a unique place to stay. This hotel has personality from the moment you walk in. It is located right on the beach, with beautiful pools and activities to enjoy. Guests love the food and the location. Check out Margaritaville Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach Apartment with Yard is the perfect place to stay while visiting Jacksonville Beach. This is an excellent fit if you prefer an apartment vs. a hotel. This property is located 0.8 miles from Jacksonville Beach. It features one bedroom and one bathroom with linens, a full kitchen, flat-screen TV, and Wi-Fi. The apartment has one sofa bed and one queen bed. Check out Jacksonville Beach Apartment with Yard

Jacksonville Beach Home this property is located within a short walking distance of the ocean. This house is perfect for larger families. This vacation home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a backyard, and it even comes with free bikes for the family. The location is perfect for exploring Jacksonville and its surrounding areas. Check out Jacksonville Beach Home

Element by Westin is another excellent accommodation in the Jacksonville Beach area. Although it is not right on the beach, it is only a short 2-minute walk to the ocean. Check out Element by Westin

Where can I park in Jacksonville Beach?

On-street parking is available on Third Street and Second Street. The most street ends on First Street in Jacksonville Beach have public parking and beach access. There are also a few parking lots:

  • P4 Jacksonville Beach Pier N. 5th & 6th Avenues
  • P5 N. 1st Street & 4th Avenue
  • P6 N. 2nd Street & 2nd Avenue

Dining in Jacksonville Beach

Catullo’s Italian Restaurant is located 11 minutes from Jacksonville Beach. You must visit this restaurant if you like Italian food and fresh pasta. It is the perfect place for dinner. Their primary focus is fresh pasta, and they do that exceptionally well. Every time we are in the area, we make it a point to stop by. This is the best pasta since our last trip to Italy. My favorite dish is the Pear Fiocchi. These “little purses” are stuffed with pear, grana padano, taleggio, and robiola, coated in a caramelized pear, creamy gorgonzola, and goat cheese sauce, then finished with fried prosciutto. It is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. It is a small place and very popular, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. We generally sit at the bar to avoid the long wait as we enjoy meeting people around us while we dine. 

Salt Life Food Shack is located about 3 blocks from the beach and is super delicious. Their open-air patio is perfect for dining outside while visiting Jacksonville Beach. They also offer inside dining. They have a variety of dishes, from seafood to tacos and burgers, as well as beautifully crafted cocktails. 

Hawkers Asian Street Food is located in Neptune Beach, right next to Jacksonville Beach. Downtown Neptune Beach has much to offer, but we love the food and the atmosphere at Hawkers Asian Street Food. The restaurant is beautifully decorated in an eclectic style. The food is delicious, and there is a lot to choose from. We generally order a few small plates to share. Our favorites include Korean Twice Fried Wings, Pork Belly Bao Buns, Yaki Udon, Chow Faan, and Chicken Lo-Mein. This location also offers inside dining plus outdoor dining on its beautiful patio. 

Hawkers Asian Street Food Jacksonville Beach
Hawkers Asian Street Food Jacksonville Beach
Hawkers Asian Street Food Jacksonville Beach

Hoptinger is a German-style Beer Garden and Sausage House in Jacksonville Beach that is to die for. They offer a large patio with plenty of coverage from the sun as well as inside dining. In addition, they offer a variety of adult beverages and German/American-style food to enjoy with family and friends. 

Cup of Job Community Cafe is a lovely small cafe in the heart of Jacksonville Beach. It is a 1-2 block walk to the beach. Their coffee is top-notch; however, the breakfasts and sandwiches are also to die for. They have a small outdoor patio where you can dine while watching beachgoers come and go to and from the ocean. There is plenty of indoor seating if you prefer to eat inside. This is an excellent place for breakfast/brunch or an afternoon pick-me-up. 

Cup of Job Cafe Jacksonville Beach
Cup of Job Cafe Jacksonville Beach Breafast

What to do in Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach and the surrounding areas have many exciting things to do and a lot of places to explore. Activities vary from swimming, surfing, beach cruising, birdwatching, exploring local parks, relaxing, kayaking, paddleboarding, enjoying delicious food, or simply sunbathing on a lovely Florida beach. 

Explore local parks in Jacksonville, Florida.

Alpine Groves Park is located 40 minutes from Jacksonville Beach, and it’s the perfect place to go for a walk, enjoy a picnic, experience natural Florida, and learn about Historical sites. The park spans about 55 acres and has a lot to explore. Remember to walk the boardwalk towards the magnificent St. Johns River that will captivate you. There is no fee to access this park and no fee to park.

Alpine Groves Park

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a park 20 minutes from Jacksonville Beach. Hannah Park has a 1.5-mile public beach where you can play, explore, swim, and bike. It also has 447 acres ready to be explored. There are a variety of activities that you can partake in, from kayaking, swimming, biking, and hiking. This park has an entrance fee of $5 per car (up to six people) that you pay at the park entrance. 

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

What can I do in Jacksonville Beach?

You can explore the Jacksonville Beach pier, swim at the beach, rent a bike, take surf lessons, rent a kayak or paddleboard, enjoy many restaurants, or sunbathe in the sun. 


How much does it cost to access the Jacksonville Beach Pier?

  • $2.00 Day Pass (non-local)
  • $1.00 Day Pass (local)
  • $90 Annual Pass (includes VIP discounts)
  • $5.00 for day fishing (non-local)
  • $4.00 for day fishing (local)
  • $300 Annual Pass (includes VIP discounts)

Can I fish at the Jacksonville Beach Pier?

Yes, you can fish at the Jacksonville Beach Pier. If you like to fish, this is the perfect place as you will find many people fishing. 

Is the Jacksonville Beach Pier only for fishing?

No, you can walk and enjoy the pier. The Jacksonville Beach Pier is almost a mile long and offers impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Jacksonville Zoo

The Jacksonville zoo was recently named one of the best in the United States. This zoo has all the animals you can imagine. Still, you also have opportunities to get close to some, like feeding a giraffe or stingray. In addition, the zoo has a very popular Splash Park where kids and families cool off after spending a day in the Florida heat. Jacksonville Zoo has over 2,000 animals and 1,000 plants for you to enjoy. The zoo is located on the edge of the Trout River, approximately 7 miles north of downtown Jacksonville. It is about a 35-minute drive from Jacksonville Beach. 

Jacksonville Zoo

Is it worth visiting the Jacksonville Zoo?

Yes! The Jacksonville Zoo has been named one of the best in the U.S. You can get up close to animals and spend the day learning, exploring, and cooling off at the Splash Pad. 

Splash Pad Jacksonville Zoo

Neptune Beach

Neptune beach is next to Jacksonville beach and is a lovely, quaint beach town with lots of fun for every age. Neptune Beach is home to various delicious restaurants, ice cream shops, and beautiful stores full of adorable items. Neptune Beach, like Jacksonville Beach, has a variety of activities, from kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, surfing, fishing, etc. 

Neptune Beach Downtown
Neptune Beach Shopping and Dining

Beach Rentals in Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach offers various rentals, including surfboards, kayaks, beach bikes, paddle boards, chairs and umbrellas, games, footballs, boogie boards, life jackets, beach balls, and even coolers. 

Where can I rent a bike in Jacksonville Beach?

In Jacksonville Beach, you can rent a bike from East Coast Sport Rentals, Beach Life Rentals, or Rent Beach Stuff. Many visitors and locals use bikes along the beach, the boulevard, and downtown areas. Bikes are a lovely way to know the area, transport your belongings and also enjoy the area. If you decide to rent a bike, consider whether it’s a better deal for you to rent by hour or day. 

Biking in Jacksonville Beach

Can I rent an electric bike in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! You can rent electric bikes from Beach Life Rentals in Jacksonville Beach. If you haven’t tried an e-bike before, this could be the perfect time. Electric bikes are so much fun! Because they require less strenuous activity, most riders tend to go further and exercise more. 

Can I paddleboard in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! You can paddleboard on Jacksonville beach. Whether this is your first time or you are an experienced paddle boarder, Jacksonville Beach and its surrounding areas offer beautiful scenery. 

Can I rent a paddleboard in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! You can rent a paddleboard from Beach Life Rentals, East Coast Sport Rentals, and Rent Beach Stuff. Paddleboarding is a fun sport that allows you to enjoy Jacksonville Beach and the surrounding areas. 

Can I rent a kayak in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! You can rent a kayak from Beach Life Rentals or East Coast Sport Rentals. So whether you need a 1 person kayak or two people kayak, these awesome rental companies have you covered. Jacksonville Beach is a great place to start your kayaking adventure, but remember that Jacksonville is also home to many waterways worth exploring. 

Kayaking in Jax

Games and activities in Jacksonville Beach

You can do many activities and play many games in Jacksonville Beach: beach volleyball, bocce ball, bean bag toss, frisbee, surfing, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Can I rent games in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! You can rent a bean bag toss game, frisbees or bocce ball from East Coast Sport Rentals. Did you know you can even rent a cooler from them? East Coast Sports Rentals has your back. 

Can I take surf lessons in Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! Rent Beach Stuff offers Surf Lessons. I remember my first surf lesson, and although I can still recall the major wipeouts, I can tell you it is enjoyable. It is also a fantastic workout. Kids have a knick for better balance than adults, and they get to ride the waves quicker. The process is so rewarding, so go out there and book a surfing lesson. It’s totally worth it. 

Surfing Jacksonville Beach

Are dogs allowed on Jacksonville Beach?

Yes! Dogs are allowed on Jacksonville Beach. From October 1 through March 1, dogs can be on the beach anytime. Having said that, dogs are not permitted on the beach between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 7 days a week from April 1 through September 30.  To explore Jacksonville Beach with your dog click here .

Remember that all dogs must be leashed at all times while on the beach. 

Dog Friendly Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach has everything you need for a fantastic solo or family vacation. Spend a day relaxing by the ocean, being active with the many activities in the area, enjoying the nearby shops and restaurants, or trying something new like a surf lesson. Remember to bring your flip-flops, plenty of sunscreen, and the attitude to enjoy and try new things!

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