Did you know Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city, by area, in the United States? It’s true. With all that space, it’s no wonder the city has so much to offer residents and visitors. Jacksonville is home to 22 miles of beaches, numerous parks, street art, historic neighborhoods, museums, local restaurants and so much more. And many of them don’t cost a thing! Here’s a list of five of our favorite free things to do in Jacksonville.
Wander through the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens covers 120 acres and is perfect for nature lovers. It offers 7 nature trails through 13 different Florida ecosystems. These included forested wetlands, marshlands, hardwood forests, ravines, and creeks. The gardens onsite include palm, tea, and pollinator plants. It also boasts cyber yoga stations you can access via a QR code. Pack a picnic and head out for a day of exploring and connecting with nature.
Explore the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
The Timucuan Preserve is one of the National Parks located in Florida. It covers 46,000 acres and houses 5 distinct park sites. They are: Fort Caroline National Memorial, Theodore Roosevelt Area, Ribault Club, Kingsley Plantation, and Talbot Islands State Park. Fort Caroline is a great place for history lovers to learn about the Timucua Indians and explore the French fort. The Theodore Roosevelt Area offers 5 different Florida ecosystems in a single hike. The Ribault Club is a launch point for canoes and kayaks. It also has 3.5 miles of hiking trails. Kingsley Plantation is the oldest standing plantation house in Florida and another destination for history lovers. Talbot Islands State Park is a great place for photographers and bird watchers.
Go for an Art Walk
Jacksonville is home to numerous galleries and street art. According to Visit Jacksonville, you can go on an art walk any day of the week. Two of our favorites are the Jacksonville Beach Art Walk and the Riverside Arts Market. The Jacksonville Beach Art Walk is hosted on the second Tuesday every month from 5 pm to 9 pm. It’s located along 1st St from Beach Blvd north to 5th Ave N. The Riverside Arts Market is open every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Both events are completely free and showcase local artists.
Ride the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail
The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail is an old railway that was converted to paved trails. It’s perfect for bike enthusiasts looking for a safe, long stretch to ride. The trail connects Jacksonville to Baldwin and is 14.6 miles long from end-to-end. The trail passes through pine forests and under canopy oaks. Bathrooms are located at the trailheads and there are benches along the route to rest or eat a quick snack.
Snap Instagram-Worthy Pics at Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The Cummer Museum is the largest fine arts museum in Northeast Florida. It’s home to gorgeous artwork, historic gardens, and unique architecture, making it a great place to explore and snap amazing pics! Admission is free for college students every Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. Free admission for non-college students is available every Tuesday and Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm as well as the first and third Saturday of each month from 11 am to 4 pm. SNAP EBT and WIC cardholders get in free every day.
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