Greatest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida (By a Metropolis Native)

Because of its wonderful location, there are tons of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville, only a brief drive from downtown. Jacksonville is positioned subsequent to attractive islands and seashores, nature preserves, and historic websites. I by no means get sick of exploring this space – there are such a lot of enjoyable day journeys from Jacksonville available.

After visiting the realm for 5 years and residing south of Jacksonville for over a yr, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing dozens of day journeys. The very best half? I do know there are nonetheless so many locations to go to close to Jacksonville that I haven’t found but!

Greatest Day Journeys From Jacksonville Florida

From seashores and kayaking to historic websites and museums, simply hop within the automotive, and also you’ll be a brief drive away from many unbelievable day journeys from Jacksonville. It’s exhausting to decide on the “greatest” excursions close to the Daring Metropolis as a result of there are such a lot of incredible ones. I’ve narrowed down this record to my favourite day journey locations; there’s one thing for everybody;

1. Saint Augustine

Only a 45-minute drive from downtown Jax is the attractive metropolis of Saint Augustine. What makes this such a big day journey from Jacksonville is that St. Augustine is the oldest metropolis within the nation – based in 1565. So, count on a ton of wealthy historical past, an previous fort/monument, museums, parks, eating places, and extra.

I reside midway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, so I’m fortunate sufficient to go to the “Historic Metropolis” very often. To me, it’s by far probably the greatest locations to go to close to Jacksonville, FL. Irrespective of when you’re a frequent customer or a first-time vacationer, it’s a metropolis that’s all the time price testing. Simply by turning a special nook, you’ll discover one thing new.

St. Augustine can be dwelling to a lot of nice outlets, breweries, parks, and low outlets. Personally, nonetheless, I discover merely strolling across the historic downtown space enjoyable to do by itself. The structure and cobblestone streets are simply unbelievable.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 40 miles/64 kilometers from downtown Jacksonville
Location: Downtown St. Augustine
Getting There: If you wish to head right down to St. Augustine from Jacksonville, your greatest wager is to lease a automotive. It’s also possible to take the bus if a automotive isn’t an choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: St. Augustine: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour with Museum Entry
Should-Do Actions: Taking a trolley tour is an absolute should in St. Augustine. Stroll by means of the grounds of Castillo San Marcos. If you happen to occur to be visiting in the course of the holidays, I extremely advocate the Nights of Lights Pirate Ship Tour.
The place to Eat: Llama is one in every of my favourite eating places on the earth – and I’ve been to 25 nations! It’s Peruvian and the meals is to die for. The Conch Home is a enjoyable restaurant and bar proper on the water. And River and Fort has an superior rooftop bar with an unbelievable view.

2. Amelia Island

A large stone on the side sea and an extensive bridge in the middle of the water. at sunset

Amelia Island is positioned 45 minutes northeast of downtown Jacksonville and is one other incredible choice for a day journey from Jax. The family-friendly island has a pristine seashore, an lovely downtown space/principal avenue, and nice eating places and bars. To not point out an virtually limitless record of outside/nature-centric actions as nicely.

Amelia Island can grow to be crowded in the course of the summer time months, so I desire visiting in the course of the shoulder seasons months of April and Might or September and October. It’s nonetheless heat sufficient to sunbathe on the seashore, however the crowds have subsided.

I like going to Amelia Island to get some contemporary seafood, a craft beer, and enjoyable within the solar for a few hours. It’s actually exhausting to not love this space.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 45 minutes – 33 miles/53 kilometers
Location: Amelia Island
Getting There: Touring to Amelia Island is best by automotive. Sadly, there isn’t any public transportation to the island, until you are taking an Uber.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek
Should-Do Actions: Taking a stroll down the charming principal avenue in Fernandina Seashore is a blast. There’s tons of procuring, a brewery, and many eateries to check out. Renting an electrical bike to cruise alongside the seashore is a superb outing as nicely.
The place to Eat: Every time I go to Amelia Island, going to Amelia Island Brewing Co. is an absolute should. Their beer is nice, and the shrimp chowder and gouda brief rib sandwich dishes are tremendous scrumptious. One other nice choice for a enjoyable atmosphere is the Salty Pelican Bar & Grill.

3. Little Talbot Island State Park

The sea water was divided by a wavy beach and a large number of large stones.

The Talbot Islands supply an awesome day journey from Jacksonville – and Little Talbot Island is my favourite. Right here, you’ll discover 5 miles of attractive seashores, bike trails, and wildlife-watching alternatives. I like mountain climbing the traditional dunes, searching for seashells, and taking a swim.

Many individuals don’t consider tenting in Florida, however this state park is a extremely enjoyable and delightful choice if you wish to sleep beneath the celebrities. What’s nice about Little Talbot Island is that it’s solely half-hour exterior of Jacksonville.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: half-hour – 26 miles/42 kilometers
Location: Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Getting There: When visiting Jacksonville, it’s greatest to have entry to a automotive; driving is the best approach to get to Little Talbot Island State Park. It’s also possible to take the automotive ferry.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Talbot Island Kayak Tour
Should-Do Actions: Basking within the glory and fantastic thing about nature is what it’s all about at Little Talbot Island State Park. Take a kayak tour, go mountain climbing, or escape the binoculars to do some fowl watching.

4. Cumberland Island

A small pier with a parked small boat, a solar light, and a beach view.

Georgia’s largest barrier island is Cumberland Island, and it’s positioned an hour away from Jacksonville. It’s identified for having one of the crucial spectacular pure habitats on the earth with beautiful, undeveloped seashores.

The island is dwelling to the biggest nesting of loggerhead sea turtles, and there are additionally feral horses, armadillos, wild hogs, and plenty of species of birds. It’s actually a wild and delightful place to go to for a day journey.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: Hour and a half – 38 miles/61 kilometers
Location: Cumberland Island
Getting There: You’ll must drive and take a ferry from St. Mary’s, Georgia.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Cumberland Island Strolling Tour
Should-Do Actions: It’s all about nature and historical past on Cumberland Island. Go mountain climbing, swimming, or fishing. Go to the First African Baptist Church, tour the well-known Plum Orchard Mansion, and discover the Dungeness Ruins.
The place to Eat: There’s just one restaurant on the complete island on the famend Greyfield Inn, run by the Carnegie household. They solely supply one seating per night time at 7 p.m., so it’s in all probability not the most suitable choice for a day journey. You may need to pack a picnic and a few snacks.

5. Jekyll Island

A beach with some tree branches at sunset

A bit of over an hour from Jacksonville is Jekyll Island, Georgia. You’ll must pay a toll to get on the island, however it’s a small payment and so price it. This lovely island options quiet, attractive seashores, nice eating places, golf programs, museums, and extra.

Every time I am going to Jekyll Island, going to Driftwood Seashore is a necessity. I all the time make time to go to Tortuga Jacks for a waterside drink and a chunk, and I like to recommend you do the identical! You’ll be able to simply spend the complete day exploring this enjoyable hidden gem.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and quarter-hour – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Jekyll Island
Getting There: Touring by automotive is the best choice. It’s also possible to take a bus from the Jacksonville airport.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Jekyll Island Dolphin Excursions
Should-Do Actions: Go to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Middle, play mini golf, or go to the Summer season Waves Water Park. There’s a lot to do!
The place to Eat: As talked about earlier, Tortuga Jacks is one in every of my favourite locations for a chunk. Another nice choices are Harry’s Lounge, Salty’s Oceanside Bar & Grill, and The Anchor.

6. Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park

A stairwell and a little balcony with views of a lake surrounded by green trees.

Florida is dwelling to among the most lovely geological options. The Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park is simply exterior of Gainesville and makes for a brilliant cool day journey from Jacksonville.

The principle attraction of the park is the 120-foot-deep sinkhole. Take a small hike to the staircase that leads you near the underside of the sinkhole with lush vegetation and cooler temperatures. It’s a pleasant respite in the course of the summer time warmth!

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 20 minutes – 74 miles/119 kilometers
Location: Satan’s Millhopper Geological State Park, Millhopper Street, Gainesville, FL
Getting There: Driving to the state park is the best and most suitable choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Day by day ranger-led excursions
Should-Do Actions: The principle level of the go to is to admire the fantastic thing about the limestone sinkhole. Mountaineering down and up these stairs is certain to get your coronary heart pumping!
The place to Eat: Gainesville is only a brief drive away with a lot of eating choices. I often all the time cease at The Social at Midtown, Satchel’s Pizza, or El Indio Mexican Restaurant.

7. Osceola Nationwide Forest

There are forests, lush grass, and a blue sky.

Lower than an hour from Jacksonville is the Osceola Nationwide Forest. This lovely gem is the proper place to go if you’re searching for a peaceable day in nature. It’s additionally an awesome day journey in Jacksonville for {couples}.

There are miles of trails for mountain climbing, seashores for swimming, and ponds for fishing. There’s additionally an space for goal taking pictures and trails for OHV using. Though positioned simply 45 minutes from town, you’ll really feel such as you’re hours away.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 48 minutes – 49 miles/79 kilometers
Location: Osceola Nationwide Forest, 24874 US-90, Sanderson, FL 32087
Getting There: Touring by automotive is the best choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: There aren’t any excursions out there, however try to time your go to with the annual Civil Battle reenactment.
Should-Do Actions: With over 200 acres of nature, you may spend hours wandering the paths, swimming on the seashore, or simply protecting a be careful for wildlife.
The place to Eat: Lake Metropolis is the closest city to the park. This tiny however lovely city has some yummy choices for meals, like Jessica’s Bistro, Marion Avenue Bistro, and Cedar River Seafood of Lake Metropolis.

8. Gainesville

An Aerial view of green mountains, lakes, and building structures.

Gainesville is a brilliant enjoyable choice for a day journey from Jacksonville. The College of Florida school city is full of life, and hip, and gives tons of how to spend your day. There are attractive parks, scrumptious eating places, and enjoyable actions on this inland Florida city.

The right day in Gainesville, for my part, seems like going to the Florida Museum of Pure Historical past or the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens earlier than heading to Swamp Head Brewery for an IPA. Though, there’s something to supply everybody – regardless of the age.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 22 minutes – 72 miles/115 kilometers
Location: Gainesville, Florida
Getting There: A automotive is probably the most handy and quick approach to get to Gainesville. It’s also possible to take the bus from Jacksonville.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Pure Historical past
Should-Do Actions: Begin your day with a stroll in nature at Sweetwater Wetlands Park then head to the Harn Museum of Artwork. Take a stroll on the College of Florida campus earlier than discovering someplace to eat downtown.
The place to Eat: Gainesville has a ton of eating places to select from however a few of my private favorites embody Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Alpin Bistro, and Underground Kitchen.

9. Saint Simons Island

An old fishing pier on St. Simons Island beyond rock seawell.

Saint Simons Island, Georgia is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to close to Jacksonville. It’s been named one in every of Journey + Leisure’s World’s Greatest Islands within the Continental U.S., and U.S. Information’ 16 Prime Romantic Getaways in Georgia, in addition to 15 Most Romantic Small Cities in the US.

The small island is the proper day journey to hang around on the seashore, stroll the oceanside principal avenue, and eat some scrumptious seafood. I used to be just lately in Saint Simons Island with my sister, and we couldn’t recover from how charming it was.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 13 minutes – 75 miles/120 kilometers
Location: Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Getting There: Driving by automotive is the very best journey choice.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll round Pier Village and stroll the grounds of Fort Frederica. Then, spend a couple of hours on the proper sandy seashores.
The place to Eat: This small island has plenty of nice eating choices! Once I just lately visited, I liked Porch, Barrier Island Brewing, and Mallery Avenue Cafe. I’d advocate any of those spots.

10. Daytona Seashore

A structure and an amusement park, people enjoying themselves on the beach, and a cloudy sky.

It’s just a little little bit of a drive from Jacksonville, however when you’re up for it, head south for a day to Daytona Seashore. This world-famous seashore city is bustling in the course of the peak summer time months and the celebrated Bike Week.

Residence to the Daytona Worldwide Speedway and the famend Daytona 500, this metropolis welcomes tons of of 1000’s of vacationers annually; not just for the race – but in addition for its vibrant seashore scene.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 28 minutes – 95 miles/153 kilometers
Location: Daytona Seashore
Getting There: Driving your self is the quickest choice, nonetheless, you could possibly additionally take a bus.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Daytona Seashore: Guided Kayaking or Standup Paddling Tour
Should-Do Actions: The Daytona Worldwide Speedway is a sight to behold, the seashore’s boardwalk has a Ferris wheel and different rides and video games, and it’s also possible to drive your automotive on the seashore, which is a extremely cool expertise.
The place to Eat: Ocean Deck Daytona Seashore has an superior, relaxed vibe with unbelievable meals. Crabby’s Oceanside and Fratelli’s Pizzeria are additionally incredible.

11. Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka

The long wooden staircase on the trail in Ravine Gardens State Park with green plants and trees.

Palatka is a quiet and charming inland, riverside city with plenty of character. The Ravine Gardens State Park is a day journey from Jacksonville that’s significantly underrated. I went right here a few month in the past and was blown away by how lovely it was.

Take a hike by means of the park and its lush vegetation, cross two suspension bridges, and marvel on the waterfalls. It’s a peaceable escape from the hustle and bustle of town.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Location: Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St, Palatka, FL 32177
Getting There: Driving by automotive is the very best and best choice.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Guided excursions are provided by the park.
Should-Do Actions: Stroll the 1.8-mile paved highway by means of the breathtaking ravines with lovely views. Try to time your go to in the course of the peak flowering season for azaleas – January by means of March.
The place to Eat: The downtown Palatka space has some nice eating choices. My favourite eateries are The Magnolia Cafe, Corky Bell’s Seafood at Gator Touchdown, and Velchoff’s Nook.

12. Ginnie Springs

Beautiful view of the turquoise crystal clear waters of the lagoon of Ginnie Springs, Florida. USA

If you happen to’re searching for a novel spot to chill off in the course of the sizzling summer time months, Ginnie Springs is such a enjoyable day journey choice. It’s just a little little bit of a distance from Jacksonville, however belief me once I inform you that it’s completely price it.

Kayak, paddleboard, or float the crystal clear waters of the Sante Fe River. It’s also possible to lease a snorkel and a masks to discover the waters crammed with giant bass, catfish, and turtles. It’s surely, among the most lovely water I’ve ever seen.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 37 minutes – 85 miles/133 kilometers
Location: Ginnie Springs, 5000 NE sixtieth Ave., Excessive Springs, Florida 32643
Getting There: Touring by automotive is the most suitable choice.
Should-Do Actions: It’s as much as you ways you’d prefer to spend your day at Ginnie Springs – it is determined by what actions you love to do! You’ll be able to relax on an inside tube, take pleasure in a extra energetic day on a paddleboard, or play a recreation of volleyball.
The place to Eat: You’ll need to drive into north Gainesville for a meal after a day of swimming. Head to Northwest Grille, Nation Foodly, or Las Margaritas.

13. Juniper Springs Recreation Space

Crystal-clear waters of Juniper Spring are reflected against a lush forest canopy of ferns and oaks.

One of many oldest and hottest recreation areas on the East Coast, the Juniper Springs Recreation Space seems like one thing out of a postcard. It’s an oasis beneath a dense cover of palms and oaks.

The crystalline pool of contemporary spring water is a magical place to swim, and you’ll take a brief stroll on the Juniper Run Nature Path. There are many picnic areas as nicely.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 50 minutes – 111 miles/178 kilometers
Location: Juniper Springs Recreation Space, 26701 FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488
Getting There: Attending to the springs is best and quickest by automotive
Should-Do Actions: Merely soaking within the excellent, clear waters is sufficient to make the day journey price it. There’s a shallow finish to loosen up and funky down in, and a deeper finish for leaping.
The place to Eat: Sadly, there are not any eating choices close to the park. It’s greatest to pack your individual snacks and a picnic.

14. Savannah

A wide green field with scattered trees

Considered one of my favourite issues about residing in Jacksonville is its shut proximity to the wonderful metropolis of Savannah, Georgia. If you happen to rise up early and hit the highway, you may spend all day in Savannah and be again dwelling earlier than it will get too late.

Savannah is understood for its historical past, French structure, large oak timber with hanging Spanish moss, and thriving arts and tradition scene. There’s one thing about this metropolis that oozes the epitome of Southern allure. Plus, they’ve some incredible eating places and breweries.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 2 hours and a couple of minutes – 139 miles/224 kilometers
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Getting There: You may get to Savannah both by automotive, practice, or bus.
Greatest Tour from Jacksonville Florida: Savannah Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Should-Do Actions: There’s SO a lot to do in Savanna; stroll by means of Forsyth Park, spend a few hours on Tybee Island, stroll by means of the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, and admire the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
The place to Eat: Savannah is overflowing with scrumptious meals. My favourite eating places are The Olde Pink Home, Alligator Soul Restaurant, and The Strange Pub.

15. Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens

A connecting bridge flanked by a garden and a lake.

One other day journey from Jacksonville, that’s just a little additional afield, however completely price it, is to Cedar Lakes Woods and Backyard. With over 50 backyard shows to admire, these botanical gardens have koi ponds, waterfalls, and beautiful views.

The paths take round an hour and a half to finish and every step is surrounded by pure magnificence. It’s one other peaceable and tranquil journey to get you out of town’s bustle.

Distance from Jacksonville Florida: 1 hour and 52 minutes – 96 miles/154 kilometers
Location: Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens, 4990 NE one hundred and eightieth Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Getting There: Touring by automotive will likely be your greatest and best selection.
Should-Do Actions: The paths will information you thru backyard shows like Bamboo Island, Ginger Gardens, and others.
The place to Eat: Southern Gainesville will likely be your choice for yummy meals. I’d advocate Blue Gill High quality Meals, Crimson Rice Kitchen, or Yummy Home.

Greatest Day Journey Excursions from Jacksonville Florida

If you wish to take the guesswork out of planning a day journey from Jacksonville, you may all the time take an organized tour. Listed below are some highly-rated, enjoyable tour choices to select from:

1. CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seashore: Have a blast on Amelia Island by taking a CraigCat Boat Tour out of Fernandina Seashore. The two.5-hour tour may have you on the water on a CraigCat Boat, which is basically a go-cart on water. Spot wildlife akin to dolphins, manatees, and turtles. Click on right here for extra particulars.

2. Large Talbot Island Self-Guided Tour with Good Helmets: Discover Large Talbot Island at your individual tempo on this 2-3 hour tour. You’ll cruise on electrical bikes with sensible helmets that assist you to talk with different riders. Click on right here for extra particulars.

3. Jacksonville: Florida Wildlife Guided Airboat Journey: Get an adrenaline rush by taking a guided airboat tour. The 1.5-hour tour leaves from northeast Jacksonville and also you’ll skim throughout the water with 500 horsepower – maintain onto your hats! Click on right here for extra particulars.

4. Personal Guided Boat Tour as much as 6 passengers in Fernandina Seashore: Discover Amelia Island by water by yourself personal boat. The boat will likely be pushed by a USCG-certified captain and can take you round Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, and Fort Clinch State Park. Click on right here for extra particulars.

5. Downtown Fernandina Historic Strolling Tour: Downtown Fernandina is filled with wealthy tradition. Study 300 years of Fernandina historical past on this 1.5-hour guided strolling tour. Pirates, historic properties, and native figures are coated subjects. Click on right here for extra particulars.

Day Journeys Round Jacksonville Florida: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to probably the most generally requested questions on the very best day journeys from Jacksonville, FL:

What’s the hottest day journey from Jacksonville Florida?

The preferred day journey from Jacksonville is the CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Seashore.

What number of days do you want in Jacksonville Florida?

I like to recommend spending no less than 3 days in Jacksonville, or ideally per week.

What are the very best day journeys from Jacksonville Florida by practice?

The very best day journey from Jacksonville, Florida by practice is to move as much as Savannah, Georgia, to discover the realm. Tickets begin from simply $30.

What’s the most lovely place close to Jacksonville Florida?

Probably the most lovely place close to Jacksonville, Florida, for my part, is St. Augustine. Different lovely areas embody Amelia Island, St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island.

Can you are taking a day journey from Jacksonville, Florida to Orlando?

Sure! You’ll be able to take a day journey to Orlando because it’s lower than 2 hours away.

Which in style place could be very near Jacksonville Florida?

The favored vacation spot of Saint Augustine is simply 45 minutes from Jacksonville, Florida.

In Conclusion

Jacksonville’s geographical location makes it an awesome place to have some glorious day journey excursions. That’s one of many largest causes I like residing right here a lot. Inside a brief drive, you may be someplace completely completely different.

Whether or not you’re searching for a day on an island or a dip in some pure springs, Jacksonville has a day journey outing for each curiosity.

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