The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens#6 in Best Things To Do in Jacksonville
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 made a mission out of art education and community enhancement. In addition to housing impressive exhibits, The Cummer offers seminars and lecture series while working with Duval County Schools on additional programs for kids. But back to the art: This museum houses more than 5,000 works from various artists, including Camille Pissarro and Norman Rockwell. And while you're here, make some time for a stroll through the gardens, which feature fountains, reflecting pools and a canopy created by towering old oak trees.
Visitors are blown away not only by the art housed here, but also by how beautiful the facility is. "The Cummer is the best place to visit in Jacksonville for viewing art […], for outstanding gardens and statuary, and for exquisite views over the St. Johns River to downtown Jacksonville," said one TripAdvisor user. If you can, visit at different times throughout the year to see the gardens decked out with different lighting and flora for transitioning seasons.
The Cummer Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. On Tuesdays, the facility opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with free entry between 4 p.m. and closing; Wednesday through Saturday, The Cummer welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sundays, the museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students; children ages 5 and younger can enter for free. To learn more, visit The Cummer Museum's official 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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