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.
21 comments | Click here to reply
You forgot harpoon Louie’s! It’s one of our favoritesKatrina
I love all of your recommendations! Have you tried Orsay or The French Pantry? They’re both pretty amazing spots! Someone else mentioned Drift in Atlantic Beach. Their shop is really adorable!Jenn Sullivan
Wow love those brightly lighted colors they really make the whole image stand out. You have me thinking now girl about going there for a visit to see what things are aboutJessica Leeson
Beautiful sites , food,photos… every is amazingthe pink pineapple
The pink pineapple
You can’t talk about shopping in Five Points without mentioning Edge City! It’s a staple in the neighborhood and has been a great source for cutting edge style for 40 + years! Also, the local breweries – I’m partial to Bold City Brewery.
Downtown is on the upswing as well. Wolf & Cub is a great boutique with a mix of vintage, indie designers and local art, The Volstead is great for cocktails, and Chamblin’s uptown cannot be beat for your literary needs.
And this article made me a bit homesick for my old Riverside hood 🙁Jennifer
When we visited Jacksonville we went to the best Italian Restaurant, Enza’s. When we travel we always ask the hotel front desk for restaurant recommendations. As usual, they gave us the names of the chain restaurants. Then I said “where do you eat?” They recommended Enzas We loved it so much we went back several times during our vacation. Great food, atmosphere and waitstaff a killer combination. I added the URL from their webpage.Kimisue
Ultimate post. Awesome places and i like your outfit. It looks amazing dear!hemp cord
This post is simply darling. What a wonderful round up of cool and unique places to go!
Thanks Madison. My shirt is by Community Service (it’s a small label that’s all handmade – bought it locally in Atlanta) and the jumpsuit is 1. State. Here’s a link to the same jumpsuit, in a different print: http://rstyle.me/n/cppy6mmvmwBrittni
love your outfit! What are the sources for your shirt and pants?Madison Rademacher
Thanks for the suggestion, Lisa. I don’t know that place – will have to check it out next time I’m in town.Brittni
Personally, I love to spend time at Aardwolf Brewing Company. One of the best breweries in Jax! San Marco Sour is always great if you like sours!Lisa @ NatureImmerse
YES Paige. That is a must-try!Brittni
Definitely hitting up the donuts if we’re even in Jacksonville!
Definitely Michelle. It’s pretty low key, but there’s some good stuff! And I never even mentioned this….but there are a lot of beaches in the Jacksonville area too (probably 5 or more) if you want to escape the city stuff for a while. Driftwood beach is probably my fave in Jacksonville.Brittni
That sounds like a really cool place, I have to visit someday!Michelle
Well I’m not surprised that we hit up the same spots while we’re there. 🙂 Jacksonville really has grown so much since I moved away. It’s crazy how many things have popped up in the last year or two.Brittni
Well, black sheep is our go-to dinner spot, and jonathan and you might have gotten your hair cut at the same time at some point – he used to go to Hawthorne too!! This is lovely, and it gives us more places to see next time we go home to see fam 🙂Amelia Lawrence
Hi Kay. Yeah, I think Sarasota is about a 4 hr car ride from Jacksonville, but it’s a super short plane ride if you ever make your way over there. 🙂Brittni
Great post! I live in Sarasota and even though Jacksonville is pretty far from where I live, it’s good to know where to go just in case I ever visit 🙂 Thanks for the tips!
xoxoKay | Style Unsettled