Jacksonville is an underrated vacation spot. It offers appealing downtown riverside areas, handsome residential neighborhoods, a thriving arts scene, and, for football fans, the NFL's Jaguars and the NCAA Gator Bowl.Although the city has become the largest in area of the continental United States (841 square miles), its Old South flavor remains, especially in the Riverside/Avondale historic district. Here moss-draped oak trees frame prairie-style bungalows and Tudor Revival mansions, and palm trees, Spanish bayonet, and azaleas populate the landscape.
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Things You Can't Miss
Peruse the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens’ world-class paintings and porcelains. Stroll around pools, fountains and sculptures under a canopy of live oaks.
Johnny Stockshooter / Alamy
Drive by barrier islands on your way to this 200-year-old site. Explore the owner’s and slave quarters; an audio tour immerses you in plantation life.
Peter Titmuss / Alamy
Tour the Civil War-era fort — kids love the cannons. Drive under live oaks hung with Spanish moss. Fish or camp; look for sharks’ teeth on the beach.
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