1. Jacksonville Historical Center
100-B Warfside Way, Southbank Riverwalk, Jacksonville, FL 32207 · 904-398-4301
The captivating hands-on exhibits provided by this museum afford children and adults alike numerous opportunities to learn about their city's history. Displays begin with the time of Timucuan Indians and move forward through time, chronicling important events that have taken place in the Jacksonville area.
2. Jacksonville Zoo
8605 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218 · 904-757-4462
An exciting and educational place to visit, this zoo features over 800 birds in the enchanting aviary and over 160 animals representing approximately 20 species of reptiles and mammals. Enjoy the company of great apes, silverback gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and siamangs. If the kids are with you, be sure to head for the petting zoo where a pinewood trail leads you to a variety of friendly animals. Before you leave, ride the Okavango Railroad and visit the gift shops.
3. Metropolitan Park
4110 Gator Bowl Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32202 · 904-630-0837
While hosting the Jacksonville Jazz Festival every year, this riverfront park turns into a hopping venue alive with live jazz. Other music concerts are held throughout the year as well. Guests enjoy the public docking space, playground, picnic areas, landscaped gardens and riverfront walk that this charming plot of nature offers. Located near ALLTEL Stadium.
4. Jacksonville Maritime Museum
1015 Museum Cir, Unit 2, Jacksonville, FL 32207 · 904-398-9011
Situated along the Southbank River Walk, this museum offers excellent displays publicizing the maritime history of Jacksonville and North Florida. In addition to an extensive collection of paintings, photos and artifacts, popular highlights include models of naval ships and an award-winning to-scale replica of the Titanic. The museum, licensed as a non-profit organization, first opened its doors to the public in 1985.
5. Museum of Science and History
1025 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207 · 904-396-7062
Found on Jacksonville’s Riverwalk, this museum provides numerous hands-on exhibits that encourage adults and children to actively learn about many different aspects of science and history. A planetarium featuring over 8,000 stars, a series “Kidspace” exhibits, and a display that illustrates life during the pre-Columbian era are among the informative exhibits offered.
6. Museum of Southern History
4304 Herschel St, Jacksonville, FL 32210 · 904-388-3574
The Antebellum South is commemorated here via memorabilia and artifacts relating to politics, medicine, local history, weapons and fashion, as well as artifacts from the Civil War. Don't miss the phenomenal 3,000-volume research library, which includes genealogical research assistance at no charge.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Fort Caroline National Memorial
12713 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225 · 904-641-7155
Visit this historic structure and find out more about the French Huguenots who built the first Protestant colony in the United States. Spend time in the museum perusing the different artifacts that highlight French and Indian culture. Before taking off, head out to the nature trail that envelops this notable structure. Picnic areas available.
2. Kinsley Plantation
11676 Palmetto Ave, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserv, Jacksonville, FL 32226 · 904-251-3537
Experience life as it was in 1798 on a Sea Island cotton plantation. Thought to be the oldest Florida plantation house still standing, this homestead still has 23 of its original 32 slave cabins. Lovely grounds surround the plantation. A visit here is an enjoyable excursion. Located at the northern tip of Ft George Island at the Ft George inlet east of Jacksonville.
3. Southbank and Northbank Riverwalks
1025 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207
On the banks of the Saint John's River, this 1.2-mile boardwalk is a pleasant landmark near many of Jacksonville's most popular restaurants. The boardwalk itself is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the views of downtown Jacksonville and the river. The Museum of Science and History is located here, along with the Friendship Fountain, one of the world's highest spraying fountains.