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Evening in Atlantic Beach picture in Jacksonville
Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

Details

  • Beaches, Neighborhood/Area Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.5
Overall
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Food Scene
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Jacksonville isn't located right on the beach, but it won't take you long to get to the coast. Head 16 miles due east along Route 10 and you'll find yourself in the charming town of Atlantic Beach. Once the first year-round Native American settlement in North America, Atlantic Beach now features vacation rentals, laid-back eateries, golf courses and, of course, a long stretch of soft sand. However, travelers warn that the summer months bring heavy crowds to the shoreline. Travelers say that spring and fall offer excellent weather and plenty of space to sprawl. Plus, there's plenty to do here even when the temperatures aren't conducive to a beach visit. "Of course, it is much nicer during the good weather months, but even in winter […], most of the area attractions are open," one TripAdvisor user attested.

You can visit Atlantic Beach at any time, day or night, and access to the sands is free. However, other attractions around town may operate on different schedules. To learn more about what there is to see and do in Atlantic Beach, visit the Florida Tourism Board's website.

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#1 Amelia Island About 30 miles northeast of downtown Jacksonville, the relaxed community of Amelia Island draws families in droves with its 13 miles of beaches, historic attractions and relaxed atmosphere. While here ... Read more » Brit Reints / Flickr

#2 Atlantic Beach Jacksonville isn't located right on the beach, but it won't take you long to get to the coast. Head 16 miles due east along Route 10 and you ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

#3 Ponte Vedra Beach The southernmost of the Jacksonville Beaches, Ponte Vedra Beach draws leisure travelers in search of sprawling sands and, of course, golf. This fairly small community on the Atlantic coast (about ... Read more » photogolfer / Shutterstock

#4 Riverside Arts Market Every Saturday in downtown Jacksonville (about a block from The Cummer Museum), hundreds of craftspeople and vendors gather at the Riverside Arts Market. Adorning the different booths, you'll notice ... Read more » Dr. Wayne Wood / Visit Jacksonville

#5 Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary Lions and tigers and … well, there are no bears, but you'll certainly find lions and tigers at the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as leopards, cougars and ... Read more » Jearu / Shutterstock

#6 The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens makes an excellent addition to the historic Brooklyn neighborhood, sitting just southwest of downtown Jacksonville. Established in 1958, this beautiful art museum has ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

#7 Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Sitting on the edge of the Trout River, about 7 miles north of downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must if you're visiting the city with ... Read more » Kara Jade Quan-Montgomery / Shutterstock

#8 Little Talbot Island State Park If you've come to northwest Florida to take advantage of the warm weather and Atlantic coast, consider a visit to Little Talbot Island State Park. Catching the ocean waves ... Read more » Sabart / Flickr

#9 Kingsley Plantation Set in Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve — one of the last bits of unspoiled wetlands along the Atlantic Coast — Kingsley Plantation is the former home of Zephaniah Kingsley. His story ... Read more » Rob Bixby / Flickr

#10 Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park If you've come to Florida for the beach, a 17-mile drive east of downtown Jacksonville will get you to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, home to 1½ miles of clean ... Read more » Courtesy Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

#11 Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville Art aficionados won't want to miss the chance to visit MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, in downtown Jacksonville. This facility showcases nearly 1,000 individual works from artists ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

#12 Museum of Science & History Located across the St. Johns River from downtown Jacksonville, the Museum of Science & History is worth a visit if you've got kiddos in tow. Although some recent visitors ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

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Amelia Island is a popular day trip for many Jacksonville visitors primarily due to its abundance of wildlife, beautiful golf courses and expansive beaches. Brit Reints / Flickr

Atlantic Beach's shores draw sun-seekers during the day, but at night, visitors stick around to explore the town's restaurants and bars. Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

photogolfer / Shutterstock

Every Saturday, the Riverside Arts Market draws hundreds of visitors who are looking for local crafts and tasty street food. Dr. Wayne Wood / Visit Jacksonville

The Catty Shack Ranch specializes in rescuing big cats, like tigers, lions and leopards. Visitors are invited to spot the animals up close on a safari tour. Jearu / Shutterstock

The impressive Cummer Museum of Art houses works by a wide range of artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, Auguste Rodin and Gilbert Stuart. Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

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Sabart / Flickr

A tour of Kingsley Plantation offers insight into 18th- and 19th-century plantation life in Florida. Rob Bixby / Flickr

This park east of downtown Jacksonville features 1.5 miles of beautiful shoreline. It also boasts some of the best surfing conditions in northeast Florida. Courtesy Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

This beautiful museum in downtown Jacksonville houses nearly 1,000 works of art and offers a variety of learning opportunities, including lectures and screenings. Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

The Museum of Science & History features hands-on exhibits covering everything from Jacksonville's history to outer space. Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

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