Museum of Science & History#12 in Best Things To Do in Jacksonville
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 note that the museum itself is a bit small, many say that it was a big hit with members of the whole family. Displays include information on everything from the ocean to the history of Jacksonville to the human body, and interactive exhibits help keep younger visitors engaged. And if your little ones need to get rid of some pent up energy, you can take them to the museum's KidSpace, a spacious playground designed with kids ages 5 and younger in mind.
If you can, travelers recommend catching a show in the planetarium. According to one TripAdvisor user, "The JEA Science Theater has been renovated since we were there last and they have done a really nice job. The show was great — there was lots of kid participation."
The museum is open every day of the week. From Monday through Thursday, visitors are welcome from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Friday, the museum stays open until 8 p.m.; on Saturday, the museum closes at 6 p.m.; and on Sunday, you can visit from noon to 5 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children. To learn more, visit the Museum of Science & History'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, you can learn about pirate lore at the Amelia Island Museum of History, look for alligators and wild horses while on a waterway cruise, hike through Fort George Island Cultural State Park or simply lounge on the sand. Recent guests particularly recommend laying your towel along the shores of Fernandina Beach, a small community that stretches along the northern part of the barrier island. "The beaches are second to none. The water is clean and warm. Downtown is charming and filled with good shops and restaurants," said one TripAdvisor user.
Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach are a bit of a hike from downtown Jacksonville, and traffic can be treacherous. If you'd like to make the most out of a visit to these beachside communities, consider setting up camp there — the island is home to some of the area's more opulent accommodations, including The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. You'll also find numerous vacation rentals and condos that can accommodate larger groups. Just be sure to make your reservations well in advance if you're planning to visit in the summer.
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