Jacksonville is not only the most populated but also one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the state of Florida. Every year thousands of people visit Jacksonville and plan to stay for multiple days since it is a prime location for some of the best tourist attractions in and around Florida.
Not only is Jacksonville known for its food, nightlife, and the largest urban park system, there is also a lot of things to explore and experience here. If you are planning to stay in the city for a while, you will surely be interested in the best day trips from Jacksonville, FL.
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM JACKSONVILLE, FL
From beautiful beaches to national parks to natural springs there is a lot of things to see and do. Most of these places are easier to reach with a few hours of drive. Below is the list of some of the best day trips from Jacksonville.
Ginnie Springs is one of the best places to cool off during summer heat. Some of the most popular activities here are open water diving and cave diving.
One can also explore the extensive underwater caves here. The center here is PADI certified. You can bring your own floats or rent one from the center which will cost you around $5.60 per day. You can also rent canoes and kayaks if you prefer that.
The crystal clear water maintains almost the same temperature throughout the year so matter the season you can take a dive here.
Address: 7300 Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643, United States
Timings: Open 24 hours
BLUE SPRINGS STATE PARK
Spanning and massive 2600 acres of beautiful and untouched landscape, this is one of the most beautiful stretches along St. John’s River.
It takes under two hours to reach Blue Springs State Park from Jacksonville. This place to home to West Indian manatees and you can see them during manatee season which will further add to the attraction.
The summer months are filled with visitors from both locals and visitors who love to swim, kayak, and explore this beautiful place. There is also a guided ecological tour throughout the area.
Address: 2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763, United States
Timings: Open 24 hours
Amelia Island can be reached through boat or road as it is located just a few miles from Florida’s northeast coast. It is connected by two mainland bridges.
Amelia Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches that span 13 miles of sparkling waters and an island that is home to many wildlife species. There are also more than 90 restaurants here where visitors can enjoy some of the best seafood that is caught fresh.
Another highlight of this place is the maritime forest which has some of the rarest ecosystems. You can see a lot of environmentalists and conservationists sending their time here studying and exploring.
Address: Florida 32034, USA
Timings: Open 24 hours
This is one of the oldest cities in America where you will find influences of Greek, Spanish, English, and Native Americans in its architecture. The place has such a European feel that you will forget that you are in America for a while.
One of the prominent landmarks that reminds you of the city’s native and colonial past is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which is a masonry fort of the earliest Spanish empire.
You can also drink from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and feel young again (at least in your imagination).
St. Augustine is only 50 mins drive from Jacksonville that will keep you occupied throughout the day with its slew of attractions.
Castillo de San Marcos
Address: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084, United States
Timings: 8.45 am-5.15 pm
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
Address: 11 Magnolia Ave, St Augustine, FL 32084, United States
Timings: 9 am-6 pm
Tour Of St. Augustine, FL
Address: 4 Granada St, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States
One of the most popular and beloved natural attractions of Jacksonville, the Ichetucknee Springs is just a few hours away from the city.
This gorgeous place is liked by both kids and adults alike which is why it is visited by countless people every year to enjoy the sparkling crystal clear water.
Some of the activities to do here are swimming and tubing down the water. One can find a lot of stores selling affordable tubes here. There is also Blue Hole Spring which is the largest spring of Ichetucknee where you can do cave diving.
Address: Florida 32071, United States
Timings: 8 am-7 pm
ANASTASIA STATE PARK
Located in St. Augustine one of the oldest cities in America, Anastasia State Park spans 1600 acres of area featuring some beautiful white-sand beaches.
You can explore the nature trails, swim, surf, boat, kayak, and do much more here. There is also a campground with a shower among other amenities. One thing you need to remember is that dogs pets are not allowed on beaches or any public space.
Address: 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080, United States
Timings: 10:30 am-5 pm
Winter Park is located two hours away from Jacksonville where you will find this gorgeous place featuring beautiful outdoor spaces.
Whether you are vacationing or shopping nearby you can visit this place which is optimized for you to enjoy. Even during non-seasonal events, this is still a beautiful place to visit.
Visit Central Park, Mead Botanical Gardens, Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park Historical Museum, and more.
There is also Rose Garden where frequent wedding events are held. One can also enjoy some delicious food or dine in sidewalk cafes before ending the day.
Address: Winter Park, FL
Timings: Open 24 hours
If you want to escape from the busy city life, then plan your visit to the sun-kissed place of Ocala. The highlight of this place is the Ocala National Forest which boasts of miles of untouched natural reserve.
This place is filled with clear waters, weeping willows, and more. There is also Juniper Run and Silver Gen Springs which are popular among visitors for swimming and tubing. Visitors can also indulge themselves in other activities including horseback riding.
Address: Ocala, FL
Ocala National Forest
Address: FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488, United States
Silver Glen Springs
Address: 5271 FL-19, Salt Springs, FL 32134, United States
CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE
On the way towards Georgia from Jacksonville, you will find another beautiful place called Cumberland Island which is the most significant barrier island in Georgia.
The wind and wildfires here continually change the ecosystem. Visitors need to check-in to a ferry to visit this place. And if you are planning on camping overnight you need to get the necessary permits. You can also visit the Mainland Museum if you have some free time to pass.
Address: Plum Orchard Dr, St Marys, GA 31558, United States
BIG TALBOT ISLAND
Big Talbot Island is located 20 miles from Jacksonville and is home to one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems of Florida. You can access the park here from 8 am to sunset 365 days of the year.
This unique sea island is home to hundreds of bird species. Visitors can have a picnic at The Bluffs which is a picturesque water edge, rent a kayak, and explore the water or go fishing.
There is also a 2.9-mile paved road for cycling, skaters or just walk around. Some of the activities you can do here are hiking, bird watching, geo-seeking, shelling, and more. You can also visit Boneyard Beach where you see salt-washed tree skeletons around the shore.
Address: Jacksonville, FL
Address: Jacksonville, FL 32226, United States
These are some of the best day trips from Jacksonville, FL. If you have any place suggestions or experiences of your day trips, share them with us in the comments below.