As the weather heats up, JAX comes alive and carries the sounds of summer. Given our climate, we get to enjoy 220 days of sunshine and summertime is no exception. Our beaches, streets, trails and more offer one of the most vibrant times of the year and if you haven’t experienced it yet, here are a few of our favorites ways to experience summer in JAX:
Go to the Beach
As if this wasn’t the most obvious first choice, going to the beach should be at the top of anyone’s list when it’s summer. JAX has miles of beaches that are ready and open year-round for your enjoyment. The cool ocean breeze, surround-sound of waves crashing and the warmth of the sun on your skin all combine to create the perfect summer day. For added fun, bring your dog to our beaches or go horseback riding along the shorelines of Fernandina Beach & Amelia Island.
Photo by VISIT FLORIDA
JAX residents have the luxury to take full advantage of the various waterways that run through our veins. From surfing the waves of the Atlantic Ocean between tides for that perfect break or kayaking along creeks and rivers with master naturalists from Ripple Effect Ecotours in Palm Coast, the activities are truly endless. End the perfect day when you escape to beauty and serenity on the St. Johns River to enjoy a sunset cruise from St. Johns River Taxi & Tours. Our sunsets are awe-inspiring!
Cruise the Coast
Here in JAX, we’re lucky to have some serious scenic views. Whether you choose to walk, bike, skate or drive, prepare to be dazzled. Our very own Florida Scenic Highway, aka A1A, stretches down the east coast, making it the perfect route to roll your windows down, blast your favorite music and enjoy the coastal views.
#SundayFunday as a Local
JAX locals love their Sunday Funday, where we are experts at the art of brunching. Our favorite brunch spots include Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House, Metro Diner, The Beachcomber and Oceanside Beach Bar and Grill, where bottomless mimosas are recommended (but beer is acceptable). For some extra fun, visit JAX Beach Brunch Haus, where owner and classically trained vocalist Dan Altman, aka “The Opera Guy,” is known to serenade customers and play the piano.
Hunt for Sharks’ Teeth
A favorite pastime for locals (and visitors) is the hunting for sharks’ teeth. Depending on the day, you’ll find several teeth within reach or search hard for the elusive ones. An insider tip to finding the best teeth – grab a cup a coffee and head out early to beat other beachcombers. There will be a much better chance of finding more prominent teeth.
Photo from @nikki_doering
Explore Trails, Gardens and More
When you go beyond the sand and surf, you’ll find that JAX has the most extensive park system in the country with our 400 national, state and city parks (Jacksonville as a city has the largest urban park system in itself!). Hit the trails and surround yourself with nature at Palatka’s Ravine Gardens State Park or ride along the Palatka to St. Augustine Trail on your bike.
Take a Dive
Summer is the perfect time to explore uncharted waters. Dive below the surface of JAX, where you’ll be surprised to see our extensive reef system that sits offshore and inshore along our coast. During the summer, our waters are warm and calm, making it easier to explore the corals, sponges, marine life and even shipwrecks that’ll make for a unique diving experience. A recent dive off the coast of St. Augustine to explore the 100-year-old Cotapaxi Shipwreck shows the type of underwater scenery you might find.
Yoga on the Beach
Realign to find your center in JAX. Practicing yogis love the ability to be able to practice their sun salutations under the actual sun! Take to the sand with Yoga Mix, a yogi favorite who has retained the “Best in JAX” title multiple times.
Photo by Ryan Ketterman