Jacksonville Suns. The AA minor-league affiliate of the Miami Marlins plays at the $34 million Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Suns were Southern League champions in 2009 and 2010. 301 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Downtown, Jacksonville, FL, 32202. 904/358–2846. www.jaxsuns.com.
Jacksonville became Major League Baseball's first spring training location when the city hosted the Washington Statesmen in 1888. Many of baseball's greatest African-American players wowed fans at Jacksonville's J. P. Small Park, including Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, and James "Cool Papa" Bell.
A truly historic moment—Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier—could have happened here in 1942, but he wasn't allowed to take the field with his teammates on the minor league Royals team. Rather than let him play, the stadium was padlocked.
Spring training has since moved south, but the baseball tradition here continued. Some of the sport's best players—Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson, and Alex Rodriguez—did stints on Jacksonville's farm-league teams.
River Cruises. Relaxing lunch and dinner-dancing cruises and private sightseeing charters are offered aboard this operation's Annabelle Lee and Lady St. Johns paddleboats; schedules and prices vary. 1501 Riverplace Blvd., Southbank, Jacksonville, FL, 32207. 904/306–2200. www.jaxrivercruises.com.
EverBank Field. The home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars also kicks off each year with a New Year's Day bowl game, the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, which usually features NCAA teams from the SEC and Big Ten conferences. Billed as the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," the Florida versus Georgia Football Classic, or the "Florida/Georgia game," as it's better known, celebrates one of college football's most heated rivalries—between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs—every fall. 1 EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL, 32202. 904/633–6100. www.jaxevents.com.
Northeast Florida's most famous golf courses aren't technically within Jacksonville, but rather just south of the city in Ponte Vedra Beach. There are, however, many excellent public courses in Jacksonville and in the neighboring towns of Orange Park and Green Cove Springs, in Clay County.
Champions Club at Julington Creek. The course here is well maintained and reasonably priced; greens fees start at $29. 1111 Durbin Creek Blvd., Mandarin, Jacksonville, FL, 32259. 904/287–4653. www.championsclubgolf.com.
Cimarrone Golf Club. The 6,891-yard course has a water or marsh feature on every hole. Greens fees range from $30 to $40 (discounts available online). 2800 Cimarrone Blvd., Jacksonville, FL, 32259. 904/287–2000. www.cimarronegolf.com.
Eagle Harbor Golf Club. The 18-hole, par-72 course is designed by Clyde Johnston and has a driving range, club rentals, and discount packages. Greens fees range from $35 to $59. 2217 Eagle Harbor Pkwy., Orange Park, FL, 32003. 904/269–9300. www.hamptongolfclubs.com/eagle-harbor.
Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club. The "player-friendly" course has beautiful scenery and wildlife. Greens fees are $20–$44. 3670 Clubhouse Dr., Green Cove Springs, FL, 32043. 904/269–9276. www.magnoliapointgolfclub.com.
Panther Creek Golf Club, is northeast Florida's premier public course; greens fee $36/$56.
Windsor Parke Golf Club. The course's 18 holes (par 72) are on tree-lined fairways and amid natural marshlands. Greens fees range from $29 to $56. 13823 Sutton Park Dr., Intracoastal West, Jacksonville, FL, 32224. 904/223–4653. www.windsorparke.com.
Boone Park Tennis. Boone Park is a public tennis facility with hard and clay courts as well as picnic and restroom facilities. Fees are $2.50 for 1.5 hours. 3700 Park St., Riverside, Jacksonville, FL, 32205. 904/384–8687. www.coj.net.
Southside Tennis Complex. This complex has hard and clay courts, picnic areas, and restrooms. 1539 Hendricks Ave., Southside, Jacksonville, FL, 32207. 904/399–1761. www.coj.net.