As the largest city by landmass in the contiguous United States, Jacksonville has a lot to offer. With many distinct areas, from rural farms to beachfront high-rises, the Jacksonville community is extremely diverse. Downtown is in the center of the city, surrounded by the Westside, Northside, Southside and The Beaches. Each of these five areas are completely unique. With a long list of positive characteristics, let’s explore the benefits of living in each area and find out why they make a great place to call home.
When you’re in Downtown Jacksonville, you’re never more than 20 minutes away from anything. As the home of many businesses, restaurants and events, the downtown area has been a gathering place since the city’s inception. More people are moving into the downtown area every year. The Springfield neighborhood specifically has seen tremendous growth and revitalization over the last few years. The NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars also call downtown home. From football games to marathons and art walks to outdoor concerts, the list of things to do downtown continues to grow.
Located west of downtown, the aptly named “Westside” area is one of the most diverse parts of the city. It consists of historic neighborhoods like Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Murray Hill, and more rural areas like Marietta and Whitehouse. Something many people don’t know is that Jacksonville has one of the largest military populations in the country. Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS) is located on the Westside along the St. John’s River. Speaking of the river, the Westside has miles of river frontage and easy access for boating and fishing. Additionally, this area is generally quiet, suburban and affordable, making it a great place to raise a family.
The Northside of town has many unique characteristics. Residents of this area enjoy the quiet suburban atmosphere even though they’re just a short drive away from downtown. A few miles south of the Georgia state line, the Northside of Jacksonville is home to many popular attractions. These include the zoo, Huguenot Memorial Park and the Catty Shack Ranch. The airport and cruise terminal are just a short drive away making the Northside a travel hub for all Northeast Florida.
Like downtown, many consider the southside to be a gathering area for Jacksonville’s residents. In the past decade, the Southside has emerged as the leading area for shopping and dining in the city. The two largest shopping malls, the St. John’s Town Center and the Avenues Mall, are both located here and nearby numerous movie theaters, restaurants and bars. One major selling point for the Southside is it’s an ideal location. Set between the St. John’s River and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s also a short drive from downtown on I-95. The southside of Jacksonville is a great place to spend some time if you want to get a great mixture of what the city has to offer.
If you ask people why they enjoy living in Jacksonville, you’re guaranteed to hear someone say, “the beach.” Jacksonville has more than 20 miles of coastline stretching from Huguenot Memorial Park all the way down to the St. John’s County border. With communities like Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach, this area is more than just a one-season beach town. Residents here enjoy the warmer weather by surfing, fishing and dining at the many outdoor restaurants. Buying a home in one of Jacksonville’s beach communities is recommended if you’re looking for a place to escape the stress of daily life.
As a buyer in Jacksonville, you can’t go wrong with a home in any of these areas. Downtown, the Westside, Northside, Southside and Beaches neighborhoods all have their own unique characteristics, but all provide a great overall living experience. The only way to know what area is best suited for you is to explore them all and choose the one that will enhance your lifestyle the most.