Just a few minutes away from the vibrant and exciting Jacksonville downtown are three stunning beaches. Offering 22 miles of white sand and thrilling water sports, these beaches should top your list of must-see Florida attractions. Forget simply lying in lounge chairs while trying to get a tan. Jacksonville has an active beach style all its own.
Stay Near Windy Hill
If you’re looking to save some money on your beach vacation, consider hotels in the Windy Hill. Properties in this area offer convenient access to both downtown Jacksonville and the beaches. The Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park is a modern hotel with trendy yet comfortable rooms plus an on-site lounge.
Another budget-friendly hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Mayo Clinic, offers everything you expect from a full-service vacation hotel. Relax by the pool, dine on-site at the Bistro, and stretch out in your spacious room with free Wi-Fi.
Sports and Entertainment on the Beach
Image via Flickr by Rob Bixby
Shops, restaurants, and nightlife overlook the ocean at the Beaches Town Centre. Spend some time here and you’ll soon forget that you’re just minutes from a major city. This quaint coastal complex is found between Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach. Get your body beach-ready at the One Ocean Spa and mingle with the locals at the popular Pete’s Bar.
With few crowds, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are relaxing slices of sandy paradise. The calm water makes these beaches ideal for swimming, body boards, and the popular SUP boarding. Stand-up paddle boarding is a fun workout for all ages, and board rentals and lessons are readily available. Head north along Atlantic Beach to “The Poles” at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park for the best surfing in Jacksonville.
Amusement Park Fun
Image via Flickr by Leigh Caldwell
Take your family to Adventure Landing & Shipwreck Island Waterpark near Jacksonville Beach. Your kids will wear themselves out playing mini-golf, go-karting, and barreling down the water slides. In winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with “snowfalls” and an outdoor skating rink.
Stay close to this amusement park at the affordable Hampton Inn and Suites Jacksonville. Within a short drive of the park and beaches, you’ll love sinking into the comfortable pillow top mattresses at the end of a busy day. Wake up to fresh coffee made right in your room and a free hot breakfast.
Getting to Jacksonville Beaches
If you’re flying to your Jacksonville Beach vacation, you’ll arrive at the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). Your best bet for exploring the area is to rent a car. There is ample public parking and street parking near the beaches at the street ends off First Street. Once parked, you can use the summer Beach Trolleys to explore all three beach neighborhoods for just $1.50 per ride.
Jacksonville Beaches are often overlooked by tourists visiting Florida for fun in the sun. Head to this thriving city and take advantage of the spacious beaches, warm water, soft sand, and affordable room rates. With sun all year long, anytime is a good time to relax on Jacksonville beaches.
A former journalist, Tammy Banfield is a freelance travel writer who loves scouring the web for the best travel experiences. Tammy has written about more than 2,000 hotels and has traveled extensively throughout Canada and the United States.