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Jacksonville is a great place to explore in the summer. It is the largest city of the Sunshine State and is known for its beaches and other natural attractions. Here is a list of off-beat places in Jacksonville that are worth exploring if you want to feel the Florida heat.
Amelia Island is a paradise for both history and nature lovers. This island has a 13-mile coastline that has been a vacation sanctuary for Black residents from the 1930s to the 1950s and is now recorded in the National Register of Historic Places. On your visit to the island, you can also know more about pirate folklore at the Amelia Island Museum of History. Amelia Island is a natural beauty with abundant wildlife and pristine waters. You can look for alligators and wild horses while on a waterway cruise, hike in the Fort George Island Cultural State Park, or just chill on the sand.
Tree Hill Nature Center
Nothing is better than being one with nature. Tree Hills is a wildlife preserve in the middle of highly urbanized Jacksonville. It has seven trails that will provide you with an amazing time outdoors. You can also visit the nature center, meet the animals, participate in the hands-on turtle exhibit, or even amuse yourself with goats crossing over a footbridge specially designed for them to travel from one park to another. Visiting the Tree Hill Nature center is worthwhile because it supports environmental conservation and protection through hands-on educational training.
Surge Adventure Park
You can have fun in the outdoors with Surge Adventure Park’s outdoor activities. The park is known for its variety of fun activities and obstacles. Features of the park range from its premiere wall trampolines, foam pits, flying trapeze, battle beams, dodgeball areas, rock climbing walls, and basketball dunking lanes. If you want to practice becoming an American Ninja Warrior, visit this park with your friends and family and have a truly exciting experience.
Jacksonville “Hands-On” Children’s Museum
If you are looking for a place where your kids can learn and at the same time have fun, this children’s museum can encourage your children to discover through observation, inquiry, creative construction, role-playing, problem-solving, and free play. The museum encourages children to expand their social skills while enjoying a playful interaction with other children and adults. Allowing your children to learn by doing and discovering things around the museum on their own will truly be a fruitful experience.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For those that are looking for a worthwhile zoological and botanical experience, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is the place to go. You can have fun in its petting zoo, splash zone, playground, and butterfly garden. There are also exhibits that you can enjoy such as the African Forest. There are also new animals residing in the area. The Bonobo’s, Colobus guereza, Western Lowland Gorilla, Lemurs, Mandrills, and Siamangs all have new enclosures so that visitors can view and appreciate them in their new environment.
Those with a sweet tooth would surely have mouths dropping with this destination. If you are curious how your favorite sweets are processed, Sweet Pete’s can show you how it’s done. You are given the chance to make your own chocolate bar, letting you pick the ingredients you like and then writing it down so that you will be able to see the actual process of how that candy bar is made in one of their kitchens. You will have a guide to help you through the steps.
Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
If you have no plans this coming Wednesday night, Catty Shack Ranch offers an evening tour where you can view rescued exotic cats like lions, tigers, and pumas. You will have the opportunity to learn everything about the animals’ habits, habitats and diets. After the tour, the Wednesday night feeding starts where you can hand out up to 600 pounds of meat. This attraction is worth supporting because it is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving animal life.
Feel the heat in the charming Atlantic Beach 16 miles east of Jacksonville. It is not only beautiful because of its long stretch of soft sand but it is also a place where you can play golf in its wide golf courses and stroll in its beautiful parks. Many visitors recommend having a short stroll in the area around spring and fall because of the excellent weather. Aside from the refreshing nature’s walk, the best thing about this experience is you can always visit any time and the entry is free!
There are many activities that you can do in Jacksonville. It is not only limited to soaking in the sun and the sand, fishing, boating, scuba diving, and viewing animals and gardens. Jacksonville is a world-class tourist destination and is a place where you can experience great family fun.
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