Travel guide time! I teamed up with Uber, a ride request app available in over 500 cities around the world, to bring you a travel guide for a city I lived in for many years before moving to Atlanta (and before moving to Seattle too actually): Jacksonville, Florida!
Now before you start thinking that Jacksonville doesn’t have much to offer that would interest you, let me make my case. I may be a little partial to this city because it was the place I went to college, met Jeff, rescued Luna, bought our first house, etc, etc.
BUT it’s also turning into a pretty cool place to live (and visit), especially these days – with loads of restaurants, coffee shops, event spaces, and shops popping up all over town. Especially in the Riverside / Avondale and San Marco, which is where I focused all of my travel guide-ing for this one. Click through for the full guide, including my must-visit spots I hit up every time I’m in town!
Nearly everyone I’ve met here in Atlanta knows someone in Jacksonville. So it made sense to put together a list of my fave spots in the city, in case you’re planning a trip there in the not-so-distant future. It’s only an hour plane flight from ATL.
Getting around the city is really easy too. We’re typically without a car in town, so we’ll pop open the Uber app and request a ride, with uberX, and then walk around 5 Points for food and drinks (and a little shopping). Then head over to the Avondale shops and San Marco.
Sometimes, Jeff will get bored (I don’t blame him – there are a lot of places I like to go when we’re in Jacksonville) and I’ll request an Uber to all of the shops I want to hit up on my own and meet up with him later. And in that case, I always use the the sharing ETA and trip status function if we’re traveling without each other. It’s probably one of my fave Uber features – makes me feel safe when I’m traveling alone. Do you use it with your friends or family too?
Then, we’ll meet back up and go to one of our favorite restaurants (usually Black Sheep or The Brick) and head back to wherever we’re staying. These are the must-visit spots that I try to go to whenever we’re in Jacksonville…
Cool Places to Eat and Drink in Jacksonville
Good Dough: I can’t write a ‘places to eat’ section without mentioning a donut shop. And this one is…well…good! Cool atmosphere and delicious (handmade from scratch) donuts. Try the Molly Ringwood with sprinkles and the brown butter donut. They have a fried chicken doughwich too, if you’re feeling crazy.
Black Sheep: This restaurant is SUPER close to one of the places we used to live and it’s right around the 5 Points area of Riverside. It has a cool vibe, good food, and a rooftop terrace! I love their cocktails (try the classic dusty boot), cheddar grits, and faux-reos.
Bread and Board: This soup, salad, and sandwich spot just opened in 5 Points.
Birdie’s: A locally owned neighborhood bar, right in 5 Points. There’s a lot of stuff all in this same area.
Biscotti’s: I always get the chicken salad wrap with sweet potato fries. And I really love the pesto rolls that come with salads and wraps here too. I think they’re most known for their giants cakes though…they have a ton of dessert options.
The Brick: This restaurant is across the street from Biscotti’s (in the Shops of Avondale area). I like to sit outside and order drinks and a warm turkey sandwich (my fave and Jeff loves it too) or some brie and bread. Not the coolest decor, admittedly, but it was one of our regular spots when we lived in town.
Mellow Mushroom: This pizza place is also in Avondale (across the street on the other side from The Brick) and it’s fun too. The drunken fun guys (little pieces of fried dough) are yummy and the pizza is good too.
Maple Street Biscuit: Get the biscuits and gravy and sweet potato fries with maple mustard dressing. SO good.
Hoptinger: This spot is casual (beer, sausages, cocktails, etc) and there’s a rooftop, which is awesome on a sunny day.
Nourish Juice Bar: For all of you juice lovers out there.
Community Loaves: Breakfast and lunch – revolving around sourdough bread (my favorite food group).
Cool Coffee Shops in Jacksonville
Bold Bean: If you need to get some work done, Bold Bean is a good spot for coffee and a little computer work.
Vagabond Coffee: Love this spot for coffee and small baked goods. They have a Mondrian-esque mural outback too with extra seating and string lights.
Brew Five Points: Brew has coffee, baked goods, AND beer. So if you’re into that combo, this spot is for you.
Bold City Pops: Farm fresh popsicles, being sold from a (cute) vintage camper. Visit their Instagram to find out where the camper will be next.
Places to Shop in Jacksonville
Gloss Goods: This shop is pretty new (opened a year ago) and very cute. They carry limited run jewelry, apothecary items, small housewares, paper goods, and accessories.
Wolfgang: This shop has been a 5 Points staple for many years. Cool affordable independent clothing and accessories (crazy sunnies, simple bags and wallets, etc) for women and men. They have an online store too.
Southern Crossing: If you like antiques and/or treasure hunting, this is the place. It’s HUGE and covered wall to wall in pretty much everything you can think of. It’s also right next door to a little cafe called Cool Moose, which is a good place to stop for coffee and a snack.
St Johns Town Center: And then if you want to hit up a mall by chance, this is the big one (and the newest). There’s a Madewell, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Apple Store, etc, etc. SO many shops here. It’s on the Southside, so you’d need to take a car. It’s about a 15 minute Uber ride from Riverside – depending on traffic.
More Things to Do in Jacksonville
Six Hundred King: I’m not huge on taking photos in front of murals BUT there are some good ones around town. And the plant mural on the side of Six Hundred King (which is an event space) is a good one. There are a couple of other interesting murals too… the GROW mural is in Murray Hill, on the side of Tradewinds (which is near Vagabond and Community Loaves).
Hawthorn Salon: If you need a hair cut OR good beauty products (mostly hair), this is the place. This is where I always got my hair done when I lived in Jax. Everyone’s super friendly and hip.
Cummer Museum: The gardens here are kind of special, if you have time to check it out. The museum’s gardens are right on the river.
Photography Sarah Eddy
Have you ever been to Jacksonville? Did I get everything on the list of must-visits?
This post is in partnership with Uber. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.