I have to admit, I don’t like Florida. It’s hot, it’s flat, there are pythons! But when a friend gets married there, you go. And you discover it’s not all bad. That’s what happened when we spent one day in Jacksonville “Jax” Beach. Here’s how we spent it!
Stay on the Beach
The number one thing you should do if you are considering spending time in Jacksonville Beach is to get a hotel or AirBnB within short walking distance from the beach. That’s what we did! Really, what’s the point if you have to drive. We got a great studio apartment that was less than a NYC block from the beach.
Getting AirBnB over a hotel was the cheaper option and we prefer to have a place to ourselves. And we had a bunch of friends staying at a nearby hotel, so we got to take advantage of the hotel amenities anyway 🙂
Breakfast – Maple Street
So we didn’t know it before we came, but Jacksonville Beach has GREAT breakfast options! You may be able to eat in your hotel for free, but don’t! Venture out to this great breakfast spot Maple Street Biscuit Company. Their story is really fun. Essentially, a couple guys forced their friends and family to keep trying different foods in their home until they came up with their menu. They sell a vast array of sandwich offerings with biscuits for buns. They also serve a delicious skillet offering with tomatoes and eggs (yes, this is what I got!).
Their biscuit sandwiches aren’t that big, so I would suggest adding grits or some other side to round out your meal. We also got their cinnamon pecan iced biscuits to go and shared them with friends. THEY WERE SO GOOD. I wish this place was open on Sundays because I would have gotten some for the plane ride home.
You don’t come to Jax Beach to not go to the beach. So a majority of your day will probably be spent here! We went and got a tent so we could all sit under it. The sun is hot and fierce! It was only $30, so I strongly suggest it. Then you can run in and out of the ocean and not have to get sun poisoning in the process. Beware, there are jellyfish here! But also lots of surfers and swimmers and fisherman. You can walk down to the famous pier. Take in the sunrise. Or just drink some beers and relax!
The earlier you go, the fewer people there will be of course. You can stake out your spot and stay all day.
There are so many options for lunch when you go to the beach. You could grab food at Publix and make your own so you don’t have to leave the beach. You could go to the closest restaurant and cross your fingers that it’s edible. You could skip lunch altogether! We chose the middle option. Just up the road from the beach on 3rd St and 15th Avenue is a Mexican place called El Potro. The food here was okay. Better yet, it was cheap. They have hearty $5 lunch specials. I would recommend it for that alone.
Sometimes you’ve had enough of the beach. Our AirBnB did not have a pool, but several of our friends were at the Hampton Inn, which has a beautiful pool. The direct sun was becoming a bit much, so the pool was particularly attractive because we could get in the water with shade. Plus, it has pool toys! You can also drink canned beers without fear of someone asking you to stop (always a worry on the beach!). We had a ton of fun hanging out with this ducky:
Time moves so quickly when you’re having this kind of lazy chill fun. It’s a real shame. After a couple hours, we realized it was time to get ready for the reason we were in Jacksonville to begin with: our friend’s wedding. He got married in the backyard of his childhood home situated along the gorgeous Arlington River.
So that was our one day in Jacksonville Beach (and a little Jacksonville). It was a blast. Maybe Florida isn’t all bad.
Like it? Pin it!