At almost 850 sq. mi., Jacksonville is geographically the largest city in the continental US. Because Jacksonville lacks top-draw tourist attractions, it’s often overshadowed by cities to the south. However, Jacksonville’s beautiful beaches, big-city museums, and revitalized downtown make it an undiscovered treat. While Jacksonville rolls up its carpets at 10pm, during the day visitors will find much to enjoy, though it may be difficult to see much of the city in one day.
Three highways intersect in Jacksonville, forming a cross with a C around it. Because Jacksonville is so large, it can take over an hour to get from one end to the other; be sure to set aside 30min. for transportation between most points. I-95 runs north-south, while I-10 starts downtown and heads west. I-295 forms the giant “C” on the western half of the city, and Arlington Expressway becomes Atlantic Boulevard (Route 10) heading to the beach. The Saint Johns River snakes through the city.
One of the nicest things to do in Jacksonville—weather permitting, of course—is to walk. San Marco, across the bridge from downtown, offers restaurants, shops, and people-watching. Five Points, near the Cummer Museum, has an edgier mix of tattoo parlors and coffee shops. The Riverwalk along both banks of the river allows joggers and strollers alike to enjoy the view for almost 5 mi.
Make the most of your time in Jacksonville. We have narrowed down the sights of Jacksonville to our top three favorites. Click the links to explore and book tours or local guides.
In the US, good table manners means quiet eating. Loud chewing, talking with food in your mouth, or slurping are seen as rude, and burping or flatulence is not seen as complementary to the chef. Servers at sitdown restaurants usually expect to be tipped 15-20%.
Dress in the US tends to be more modest than in Europe. Toplessness, particularly in women, should be avoided. Many establishments will require a customer to wear a shirt and shoes. The most acceptable forms of public affection are hugging and holding hands; kissing in public will usually draw some glances. Although most cities are tolerant of homosexuality, gay or lesbian couples should be aware that they may receive unwanted attention for public displays of affection, especially in rural areas. Also, note that many American will say “see you later” without really intending to make future plans.
One of the most offensive gestures in the US is extending your middle finger at someone. Known as “giving someone the finger,” this gesture is considered not only rude, but obscene. On the other hand, a “thumbs up” gesture is a sign of approval and a widely recognized signal for hitchhiking, which Let’s Go does not recommend.