Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida, the most populous city proper in the state and the second largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits. As of 2020, Jacksonville’s population is 949,611, making it the most populous city in the Southeastern United States and the largest in the South outside the state of Texas. With a population of 1,733,937, the Jacksonville metropolitan area ranks as Florida’s fourth-largest metropolitan region.
Jacksonville straddles the St. Johns River in the First Coast region of northeastern Florida, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of the Georgia state line (25 mi or 40 km to the urban core/downtown) and 350 miles (560 km) north of Miami. The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast. The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States. Under British rule, a settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and the Cow Ford to the British. A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States gained Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.
The area of the modern city of Jacksonville has been inhabited for thousands of years. On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BCE.
In the 16th century, the beginning of the historical era, the region was inhabited by the Mocama, a coastal subgroup of the Timucua people. At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. Johns River. One early French map shows a village called Ossachite at the site of what is now downtown Jacksonville; this may be the earliest recorded name for that area.
The city has lots of interesting museums like the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and MOSH (Museum of Science & History). You can learn about history at Kingsley Plantation or explore nature at the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. There are also plenty of places to go shopping, grab a bite to eat, and even take surfing lessons.
Jacksonville also offers plenty to do outdoors. The beaches are great for playing in the sand or taking a dip in the ocean. You can also go fishing from any of the local piers or visit one of the many parks for some fun activities like biking, hiking, or picnicking.
Downtown Jacksonville is the historic core and central business district (CBD) of Jacksonville, Florida. It comprises the earliest area of the city to be developed and is located in its geographic center along the narrowing point of the St. Johns River.
Downtown Jacksonville is one of eight districts in the city. The other seven include: the Central Core (or Northbank), the Southbank, LaVilla, Brooklyn, the Working Waterfront, the Cathedral, the Church, and the Entertainment & Sports District. Downtown Jacksonville is the home to several major corporations, including CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Financial, TIAA Bank, Black Knight Financial, Rayonier Advanced Materials, Interline Brands, Haskell, FIS, and Stein Mart.
LaVilla is a historic African American neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida and a was formerly an independent city. It developed after the American Civil War and was eventually annexed to the city of Jacksonville in 1887 and is now considered part of downtown.
It was struck by the Great Fire of 1901. During its height, the area was referred to as Harlem of the South and considered “the mecca for African American culture and heritage” in Florida, particularly its northern sections. It remains primarily an African-American neighborhood. The Ritz Theatre, Richmond Hotel, and the Clara White Mission are among the historic buildings in the area. Several are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area became a transportation hub with rail service developed by Henry Flagler and was also a cigar making center that included Greek and Syrian immigrants.
Allendale is a neighborhood where heavy industry still flourishes with residential homes in close proximity. A time before zoning regulations were implemented to increase the distance between these land uses. The Westside neighborhood dates back to the early 20th century when Jacksonville underwent a rebuilding boom after the tragic destruction of the Great Fire of 1901. Before the construction of New Kings Road, it was a gateway to the Jacksonville area for those arriving from northwest.
It’s proximity to Grand Crossing was a significant reason for the establishment of the early 20th century suburb along Old Kings Road. Grand Crossing was so named in 1899 when two railroads crossed the Waycross-Jacksonville line of the Savannah, Florida & Western (Plant System) at almost the same location. One was the Atlantic, Valdosta & Western and the other the Jacksonville & Southwestern Railroad. This dense network of rail lines and adjacent yards created an environment that attracted heavy industry in an area where Jacksonville’s streetcar network was not readily available. The platting and development of Allendale allowed workers to live in modest homes within short distance of their places of employment. Edgewood Park lies at the center of the neighborhood. A unique setting in Jacksonville, the wide linear park sits in the median of 12th Street and extends the length of the entire community.\
Located in the heart of Florida’s Jacksonville city lies a unique and captivating part of the metropolis; Commonwealth Jacksonville. This district is one of the oldest parts of town, with some buildings dating back as far as 1870. It has since developed into a bustling residential area boasting houses dating from many different eras, and a wide range of amenities for locals to enjoy.
Not only is this part of town full of character and personality, but it also offers some great locations for visitors to explore. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained here. From its picturesque tree-lined streets to the numerous parks that dot its landscape, there’s never a dull moment in this special enclave.
In terms of shopping and dining, you won’t be disappointed by what Commonwealth has to offer either. You’ll find both high-end stores and small local businesses selling all sorts of goods. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from serving up delicious dishes ranging from classic American fare to modern gastronomy.
One thing that makes this part of town so special is the community spirit that binds everyone together here. Every Sunday morning sees locals gathering in Klutho Park for an outdoor market filled with fresh produce, handcrafted items and more, whilst during summer months there are often family fun nights hosted by local residents too – something fun for adults and children alike!
Brooklyn is a neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, considered part of the downtown area. Originally a residential suburb, commercial uses became prominent during the 20th century, particularly along the St. Johns River and Riverside Avenue, and the area became included in Jacksonville’s central business district. In the 21st century, it has become the site of mixed-use developments.
Brooklyn is located along the St. Johns River, south of Lavilla and the Downtown Core, and immediately north of Riverside. It is roughly bounded by McCoy’s Creek and the CSX Railroad lines to the north, the river to the east, and Interstate 95 to the south and west. Brooklyn has come to be considered part of Jacksonville’s greater downtown.
The area was first settled in 1801, when Phillip Dell started a large 800-acre plantation there known as Dell’s Bluff. Dell’s Bluff changed hands several times before the American Civil War. After the war it was acquired by Miles Price, who sold the southern half of the property to be developed as the suburb of Riverside. The northern section he retained and developed himself as Brooklyn.
Riverside and Avondale
Riverside and Avondale are two of the most historic and beautiful neighborhoods of Jacksonville, Florida. Located just west of downtown and nearby the St. Johns River, the two neighborhoods are united by their historic charm, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture.
Riverside was founded in 1868 and is the oldest suburb of Jacksonville. The neighborhood is home to some of the city’s oldest and most ornate homes, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area is known for its tree-lined streets, quaint Victorian homes, and charming, walkable streets.
The neighborhood’s culture is vibrant and diverse, with a variety of restaurants and shops that cater to the eclectic tastes of the many residents. Riverside is also home to a number of popular festivals, including the Riverside Arts Market, the Five Points Jazz Festival, and the Riverside Avondale Night Market.
Avondale is a close neighbor of Riverside and was established in 1926. The neighborhood is known for its grand, historic homes, many of which are designed in the Mediterranean Revival style. The Avondale Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places and consists of two hundred structures, all built between 1926 and 1959.
Avondale is also home to some of Jacksonville’s best restaurants, bars, and shops. Once a primarily residential area, the neighborhood has seen a revival in recent years and is now home to a number of trendy restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. The neighborhood is also home to the Five Points Jazz Festival, the Five Points Art Walk, and the Five Points Wine & Food Festival.
Riverside and Avondale are two of Jacksonville’s most beloved neighborhoods, and for good reason. The area is steeped in history, with beautiful homes, a vibrant culture, and plenty of great restaurants, shops, and galleries. Whether you’re looking for a tour of history or an evening of culture and entertainment, Riverside and Avondale have something for everyone.
Springfield is a historic neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, United States, located to the north of downtown. Established in 1869, it experienced its greatest growth from the early 1880s through the 1920s. The Springfield Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and contains some of the city’s best examples of 19th and early 20th century architecture.
The boundaries of Springfield are well defined. Hogan’s Creek lies along its south edge, and railroad lines are found on the north and east. Boulevard defines the western limit of the district where a later commercial strip abuts the earlier residential area. Contemporary with the overall residential area are two commercial strips along Main and Eighth Streets which join at the heart of the district. The district contains 119 city blocks in an area of approximately 500 acres (2 km2), or slightly less than one square mile. Hogan’s Creek separates the residences of Springfield from the downtown business district. North of the creek few buildings rise above two stories and parks and tree lined streets are common.
The blocks of the historic district are laid out in a regular grid, with named streets running north and south and numbered streets east and west. Most of the blocks have alleys, usually arranged in an “H” pattern, although other configurations are found. A few streets retain their original brick pavers and granite curbstones, but the majority are now covered with asphalt and have concrete curbs. Sidewalks feature both the earlier hexagonal pavers and modern poured concrete sections. Trees lend considerable distinction to the neighborhood. Oaks predominate. Scattered throughout the neighborhood are such decorative elements as hitching posts, cast iron fences, rusticated concrete block walls, and carriage stepping stones, testimony to the area’s turn-of-the-century origins. There is, however, no great concentration of such elements.
San Marco is a neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, south of Downtown across the St. Johns River. The neighborhood was formerly the independent city of South Jacksonville until it was annexed by Jacksonville in 1932. The neighborhood is primarily residential, with an integrated commercial sector known as San Marco Square.
The South Jacksonville community emerged after the American Civil War and incorporated in 1907. It saw its greatest growth after the Acosta Bridge was completed in 1921, connecting the neighborhood to Downtown Jacksonville. This period included the construction of the original San Marco development, which eventually gave its name to the area as a whole. Since the 1990s, the neighborhood has seen several historic preservation and redevelopment projects. It is home to fourteen city parks, several schools and other amenities.
“San Marco” originally designated only one development within South Jacksonville, but the name is now used for much of the former city’s territory, south and east of the St. Johns River across from downtown Jacksonville. The place name “South Jacksonville” or Southside has similarly evolved, and now signifies a much larger area of southeastern Duval County. The neighborhood’s borders are not official and have changed over time. The boundaries used by the San Marco Preservation Society are Interstate 95 to the north, Philips Highway to the east, Greenridge Road to the south, and the St. Johns River to the west. The area along the riverbank north of I-95, known as the Southbank, was historically part of the community but was designated part of the downtown Jacksonville business district in the 1980s. Notable neighborhoods within San Marco include Colonial Manor and South Riverside. The St. Nicholas neighborhood is immediately to the east of San Marco.
Ortega is a neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, US. It is located south of downtown Jacksonville on a peninsula off the western bank of the St. Johns River. It is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, and is the location of many historic homes and buildings.
The peninsula containing Ortega is bounded by the St. Johns and Ortega Rivers, and is bisected by Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. Route 17); the area to the east of Roosevelt is known as Old Ortega, while the area to the west is known as Ortega Forest. On July 14, 2004, a section of Ortega to the east of 17 and north of Verona Boulevard was designated as the Old Ortega Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places.
Ortega got its start in 1763, shortly after Spain ceded Florida to England. By 1780, Colonel Daniel McGirtt moved into the Jones Plantation and served with rebel troops in Georgia against the British. After some skirmishes, he later changed sides and joined the British, plundering the rebel troops and stealing Georgian cattle. Soon he formed a band of outlaws and terrorized the British, as well. The British governor, eventually had him court martialed and jailed at Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, but he escaped. There are a road and a park in the neighborhood still named after him to this day.
In 1902, J. Pierpont Morgan helped a local Florida senator finance what is modern day Ortega. By 1908, the Ortega Company had completed a wooden bridge across the Ortega River, connecting to Avondale. A clubhouse was built and was designed by famed architect Henry Bacon of Lincoln Memorial. Bacon also built a house in the neighborhood, of which neither the original clubhouse nor his house remain. The final construction boom occurred during the 1920s and Ortega has remained a neighborhood filled with wealthy businessmen and old families.