Jacksonville is a popular place in summer. The city offers a number of well-known tourist attractions, like its 1,000-foot fishing pier, its museums, and its miles of beaches.
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path this summer without leaving the city, take a look at these unusual Jacksonville summer destinations:
Big Talbot Island is home to B.E.A.K.S., the Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary. The organization’s mission is to foster injured wild birds, nursing them back to health and giving members of the public the chance to see these rare and beautiful creatures up close. B.E.A.K.S. is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. Kids and adults who love wildlife or want to know more about volunteering for a great cause can enjoy the educational programs and sights while spending a day on the island.
The northernmost of Florida’s islands, Amelia Island is only a 45-minute drive north of Jacksonville. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, a historic pirate town and the birthplace of the state’s shrimp industry. Bed and breakfast spots, interesting shops, and historical sites line the town’s quiet roadways. A well-preserved Civil War fort, Fort Clinch, sits at the northern end of the island, surrounded by nature trails and beaches that offer the chance to explore and to “get away from it all” for a day or weekend. The Kelly Seahorse Ranch in Amelia Island State Park, at the southern end of the island, offers the chance to ride horseback along the beach – a perfect activity for a romantic getaway.
Connor’s A-Maize-ing Acres
Farm fun in Jacksonville? Head northwest out of the city and you’ll find Connor’s A-Maize-ing Acres, a family farm that offers visitors the chance to explore the country without getting too far from the city. Activities include the chance to meet and feed the farm’s animals, play horse shoes, jump in piles of hay and play in the corn. A cornfield maze in October and November offers fall fun as well.