Answers from Our Experts (1)
Jetting off to Jacksonville? Here are a few items I would suggest adding to your packing list:
A bathing suit or swim trunks. Jacksonville is just a 20-minute drive from the Atlantic Ocean. It would be a shame to miss out on a chance to sunbathe in the sand because you forgot to pack beachwear!
Flip flops. If you want to blend in with the locals, let your pedicured toes breathe in a casual pair of flip flops. They're a wardrobe staple for breezy alfresco lunches, meandering through the city's outdoor shopping malls and exploring the city's outlying beachy neighborhoods.
Hiking shoes. Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the United States. Take some time out of your schedule to reconnect with more than 80,000 acres of nature across the city. Hiking trails at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park or Fort Clinch State Park are always a popular choice among locals. A lesser-known gem is the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, a nature preserve in the middle of the city's Arlington neighborhood.
A sweater or light jacket. There's no avoiding the hot, sticky temperatures that plague Jacksonville almost year-round. Still, it's a good idea to pack at least one long-sleeved item in your bag for restaurants and shops that like to keep the air conditioning cranking at full blast.
A map... or a GPS... or the phone number of a friend who lives in the area. Don't ask us why, but there are a handful of streets in Jacksonville that go by several names — which can be a nightmare if you're trying to navigate the city blindly. Interestates 10, 95 and 295 will be your main navigational thoroughfares, but keep an eye out for State Road 13 (which morphs into San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin and Hendricks Avenue in San Marco) and U.S. Route 17 (which becomes Park Street in Orange Park and Roosevelt Boulevard in Ortega).