2021 Guide for Living in Jacksonville, FL

arial view from living in jacksonville fl

Living in Jacksonville, Florida is not always exactly what people expect it would be before moving here. It’s the largest city in land area in the lower 48 States of which the majority of is land with roughly 14% being water. If you’re considering relocating to North Florida, you probably want to know what to expect when you get to this beautiful city. As your local Jacksonville Realtor, we’ll guide you through our city.

Jacksonville FL Weather

The Jacksonville climate can be tricky because it can change minute to minute. At one point it can be sunny and then all of a sudden you get a burst of a downpour for 15 minutes, then back to sunny. It can be a bit weird for people who aren’t used to such rapid changes.

The hottest summer months in Jacksonville will average a high of above 90 degrees, these months are normally July and August. However, if you think that it’s hot all year long here you might be surprised to find out that it can get relatively cold in the winter here. The average low is in the 40 degrees for December thru March but doesn’t worry about any snow. The last time it snowed in Jacksonville was 1989. The humidity can be a real killer though so be prepared for it to feel a lot hotter than it is during the summer months.

Jacksonville FL Cost of Living

Living in Jacksonville a great low-cost city and the current 2021 cost of living index has it at 93.5, which lower than the average for the entire country. There are cheaper cities you could move to but none of them have the amenities and beaches that Jacksonville has.

The lowest cost of living index for Jacksonville is housing which is rated at a 78, so it’s far below the national average. That’s why people flock to Jacksonville because of the bang for the buck that you can get compared to other high-cost cities. The higher housing cost areas in Jacksonville include Mandarin, the Beaches, and the intercoastal homes.

Things to do in Jacksonville FL

Jacksonville has some of the best parks in the country. Not only do we have parks all around the city, remember how we talked earlier about how large in landmass Jacksonville is, but the parks are high quality and clean. Also, they aren’t just playground or sports parks, the amount of nature parks and trails in Jacksonville is truly amazing. A great example is Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park next to Jacksonville Naval Air Station. This beautiful park has an easy to hike 2.3-mile loop nature trail that allows dogs to accompany their owner as long as they remain on a leash. 

One of our favorite parks is Riverside Park which has a duck pond, playground, basketball court, and a dog park. It’s located in the Riverside neighborhood of the Urban Core.

In the Southside neighborhood, Fort Family Park is a true family park. The park has two large soccer fields, an L shaped fishing pond, picnic areas, and a great kids playground.

If you’re looking at the beaches then South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground is a must. Even if you don’t live in Jacksonville Beach, this is a must for families with young children. It has the typical park things like a soccer field, basketball court, and tennis courts but it also has 3 beach volleyball courts and a skate park. However, the real kicker is the pirate-themed kids playground.

Family Fun in JAX

If you’re moving to Jacksonville with your family, you must want to know what activities you can do with them to keep them going. Well, you’re in luck because we have the JAX Zoo, MOSH, Urban Air in addition to the great beaches and activities in St Augustine.

The JAX Zoo is a great option as they offer memberships at reasonable prices and then you can go as much as you want. They have some beautiful animals including lions, jaguars, rhinos, zebras to name a few. You can even feed giraffes and pet stingrays.

The MOSH is another great day activity for young children. They have a ton of core exhibits that are always there and also rotating exhibits so there is always something new. Just a few months ago they had a NASA space exhibit that my daughter couldn’t get enough of. You can check out their upcoming exhibits here. You can also get a membership to MOSH and then go an unlimited amount of times throughout the year.

Jacksonville FL beach view

Jacksonville FL Nightlife

Nightlife in Jacksonville is split into three locations: Riverside, St Johns Town Center, and JAX Beach. 

Riverside is the go-to for many military personnel stationed close at NAS Jacksonville as well as college students. It has several bars along King Street including The Garage and The Bearded Buffalo that are within walking or biking distance if you live in Riverside or Avondale. 

St Johns Town Center has become a true destination nightlife location. In addition to the amazing amount of restaurants, Topgolf opened in 2016 and has become one of the hottest nightlife spots. The facility has a rooftop terrace with firepits, full-service restaurants, pool tables, and shuffleboard along with their gold facilities.

Jax Beach is known as a party spot when the sun goes down. At the Jacksonville Pier, there are 8 bars within walking distance including Brix Taphouse, Hoptinger, and The Ritz. However, on the weekends these get extremely busy, and having to wait outside is pretty standard.

Jacksonville FL Sports Teams

While the Jacksonville Jaguars are the big-name team in the city, we have several professional sports teams. 

Professional sports found in Jacksonville include:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars – NFL
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp – Minor League Baseball
  • Jacksonville Icemen – Minor League Hockey
  • Jacksonville Sharks – Arena Football
  • Jacksonville Armada FC USL 2 – Minor League Soccer
  • Florida Elite USL 2 – Minor League Soccer
  • Florida Elite WPSL – Women’s Minor League Soccer
  • Jacksonville Giants – American Basketball Association

The city also hosts several one-off events including The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, The annual Florida-Georgia Football Game, and the NCAA Gator Bowl.

Jacksonville Traffic

Car commuting is the norm in Jacksonville unless you live in the Beach or Riverside area. Riding a bike is a great option if you live and work in these areas. Walking or bike riding for the nightlife is also a great option in those neighborhoods that you won’t get with the rest of Jacksonville.

If you’re coming from a state that has a ton of traffic like California, you like hearing that the traffic you’ll experience here is a fraction of that. Unless there is a crash, congestion on the freeway is extremely rare. Jacksonville’s freeway system is constantly being upgraded with new improvements and toll road additions. It’s also set up nice that you almost always have multiple freeway options to any destination with the 295 being a loop highway and the 95 cutting right through the center of the city.

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