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The short list of don’t-miss, can’t-lose events around Northeast Florida
The annual college football classic is held every year, traditionally on Jan. 1, at EverBank Field, 1 EverBank Field Blvd., downtown Jacksonville. Events leading up to the nationally televised game include a 5K, a parade and fireworks. The game is screened live in the courtyard at The Jacksonville Landing. 798-1700. gatorbowl.com
26.2 With Donna Marathon
The only national marathon staged to end breast cancer, the seventh annual 26.2 With Donna is held Feb. 23, 2014; tangential events include a half-marathon and relay. Proceeds benefit breast cancer research and care. 355-PINK. breastcancermarathon.com
Gate River Run
The 37th annual River Run – the largest 15K in the country – is held March 15, 2014 between EverBank Field and Metropolitan Park in downtown Jacksonville. Live bands play along the race route and a post-race celebration is held at the Fairgrounds. 731-1900. gate-riverrun.com
Jax Suns Baseball
The Jacksonville Suns take on teams in the Double-A Southern League from April through the first week in September at Bragan Field, Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, 301 Randolph Blvd., Downtown. Themed nights, giveaways and special concession pricing are featured. 358-2846. jaxsuns.com
Springing the Blues
This free outdoor blues festival features renowned jazz, blues and rock performers and regional up-and-comers, and is held oceanfront at SeaWalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach. The 24th annual blues festival is held the first weekend in April 2014. springingtheblues.com
Opening of the Beaches
The ceremonial opening of the beaches to tourists and visitors (used to be called “Welcome Day”) occurs each April. Activities in and beside the ocean include a parade, a sandcastle-building contest, a 5K run and a surfing competition at the SeaWalk Pavilion, First Street in Jax Beach. 247-6100.
The annual butterfly festival will be held Sat., April 26, 2014 at Tree Hill Nature Center, 7152 Lone Star Road, Arlington. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 seniors and military; $3 ages 4-17; free for kids younger than 2. 724-4646. treehill.org
Food and more than 50 margaritas flavors are offered at Folio Weekly’s Margarita Festival every April. 260-9770 ext. 110. folioweekly.com
This annual event, sponsored by the local Amity Cultural Center, celebrates Turkish food, music and culture each April at the center’s home, 4540 Southside Blvd., Ste. 202, Southside. atccenter.org
Tour de Farms
Slow Food First Coast held its third annual tour of local farms in April, featuring chefs who used local produce to prepare samples to taste. Local cheeses, honey and plants and herbs, were featured along with free tips on growing your own organically. This fall, on Sept. 8, the Tour de Farm Sunday Supper Series is held at Café Nola at the Museum of Contemporary Art. slowfoodfirstcoast.com
Gamble Rogers Folk Festival
Honoring the late 1960s folksinger and storyteller James Gamble Rogers IV, the 19th annual festival is held mid- to late-April at venues throughout the Oldest City’s historic district. Past performers include Loudon Wainwright III, Ralph Stanley and Richard Thompson. gamblerogersfest.org
Fernandina Beach Shrimp Festival
The 51st annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach is held in May, and features a pirate parade, fireworks, a 5K run/walk and lots of shrimp. shrimpfestival.com
Dancin’ in the Street
The annual Dancin’ in the Street festival is held every May at Beaches Town Center, where Atlantic Boulevard meets the ocean. Live music featuring local bands, an art show and food are featured. There’s a kids’ zone, a climbing wall and free health screenings. 246-9133. beachestowncenter.com
World of Nations Celebration
Multiethnic cuisine and international entertainment are featured as part of the annual event, usually held on the first weekend in May at Metropolitan Park, 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd., Jacksonville. 630-3690.
The longest river race in the world – from Palatka to Orange Park – is held every year in May on the St. Johns River. Sailboats only. rudderclub.com
The Players Championship
Top golfers from around the world vie for the title at the annual PGA Tour’s golf tournament at Sawgrass, held May 5-11, 2014, in Ponte Vedra Beach. pgatour.com
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Held annually since 1981, the festival takes place in late May at venues and parks throughout Jacksonville’s urban core. Past performers include Buddy Guy, Harry Connick Jr., Tony Bennett and the Dave Brubeck Quartet. 630-3690. jaxjazzfest.com
Palatka Blue Crab Festival
The annual Blue Crab Festival happens in late May, on Memorial Day weekend, in downtown Palatka, offering tons of delectable crustaceans, along with arts and crafts, cookoffs, a beauty pageant and live music. (386) 325-4406. bluecrabfestival.com
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Every May and June, AICMF presents classical music at venues throughout Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. The festival marks its 12th season in 2014. 261-1779. aicmf.com
Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament
The 33rd annual tournament is the largest one in the nation, held this year July 15-20 at Jim King Park & Boat Ramp along Sisters Creek, 8203 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville. Activities include the junior angler tournament, junior dock tournament, Redneck VIP tournament, Liars’ Tent, boat shows, food, live music (George Aspinall Band, The Splinters), fireworks and awards ceremonies. Proceeds benefit Jacksonville Marine Charities’ programs. 251-3011. kingfishtournament.com
Beer & Music Festival
Folio Weekly’s annual Beer & Music Festival is held every July, featuring more than 200 domestic, imported and microbrewed beers, along with cuisine from local restaurants and live music. 260-9770 ext. 110. folioweekly.com
Eat Up Downtown
Downtown Vision holds its fourth annual Eat Up Downtown Aug. 12-25 around Jacksonville’s core, at numerous restaurants providing a three-course meal for $15, $25 or $35. For details and menus, visit eatupdowntown.com or call 634-0303. Call restaurants directly for reservations.
Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff
The fourth annual Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff is held 3-9 p.m. Aug. 23 and 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Main Beach Park, South Fletcher Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach. National barbecue teams and backyard teams compete for prizes and bragging rights. Live music is performed by former Boston lead singer Fran Cosmo, Rockit Fly, Island Vibe, Face For Radio, Beech Street Blues Band and Jimmy Parrish & the Ocean Waves Band. 277-4369. gstailgatecookoff.com
Celebrity Guitar Raffle/Auction
The Friends of St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s inaugural fundraiser is held 4-10 p.m. Aug. 24, featuring guitars signed by musicians when they performed there, including Brantley Gilbert, Martina McBride, The Fray, Matchbox Twenty, OAR and Boston. Admission is free. Live music by Catfish Jones, Willie Green, Rick Ambrose & the Falling Bones, Dewey Via, Red River Band and Late Nite Transfer. And 15 guitars are auctioned online at biddingforgood.com, including ones signed by Alison Kraus (a fiddle), Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, Moody Blues, Stevie Nicks, Joe Cocker, Johnny Van Zant, Heart, Blondie with Devo, Third Day with Colton Dixon and Josh Wilson, Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang, Train, Hall & Oates, Imagine Dragons and STYX/REO Speedwagon/Ted Nugent. Raffle tickets are $10 each; three for $25. Proceeds benefit a 2014 arts camp to serve disadvantaged children. St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340-C A1A S., 471-1965, staugamphitheatre.com, fosaa.org
PGA Web.com Tour
The fourth Web.com Tournament debuts at TPC Sawgrass Sept. 26-29 on Dye’s Valley Course, PGA Tour Headquarters, Ponte Vedra Beach. The championship, with a $1 million purse, finalizes the 50 players who earn PGA Tour playing privileges for the 2013-’14 season, and their positions under the new qualifying system. The Web.com Tournament is the pathway to the PGA Tour. pgatour.com
Filipino Pride Day
Music, food, fashion, art and culture of the Philippines are celebrated every October at The Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Drive, Downtown. Proceeds benefit Filipino charities. fpdjax.com
The Jaguars’ 2013 preseason starts Aug. 9, with two home games scheduled; regular season runs from Sept. 8-Dec. 29, with eight home games played at EverBank Field, Downtown Jacksonville. 633-6100.
Amelia Island Jazz Festival
The 10th annual festival is held Oct. 6-13, 2013, at various locations around Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach. Scheduled to appear this year are Mindi Abair, Royal Crown Revue and The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band with Bonnie Eisele. 504-4772. ameliaislandjazzfestival.com
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents the 16th annual Greek Festival 4-9 p.m. Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 12 and noon-5 p.m. Oct. 13 at Special Events Field, Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Live Greek music, a family run and traditional Greek foods are featured. Admission is $3. stauggreekfest.com
Celebrate all things autumnal at Folio Weekly’s fourth annual Oktoberfest, held on Oct. 4. The event features live music and food, at St. Augustine Amphitheatre. 260-9770 ext. 110.
The 91st annual matchup of the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs is held 3:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at EverBank Field. Pigskin-related events include live music, pep rallies and tailgate parties galore. 630-3690, 1-800-985-3542.
The sixth annual gathering is held Nov. 8, 9 and 10 at Francis Field and in the historic district in St. Augustine. Re-enactors, weapons demonstrations, parades, land battles, Thieves Market and storytellers are featured. Aaargh! pirategathering.com
The Great Chowder Debate
More than 30 St. Augustine area restaurants ladle it up and duke it out for top honors in the 29th annual competition, held Nov. 3 starting at 12:30 p.m. at The Conch House Marina, 57 Comares Ave., St. Augustine. Tastes are $1. Proceeds benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. 829-8646.
The 32nd annual Lincolnville Festival is held Nov. 4, 5 and 6 at St. Augustine’s Francis Field. Ethnic foods, drinks and live jazz and blues are featured. 501-8299.
Sample more than 40 kinds of martinis at Folio Weekly’s annual event, held in November, featuring live music, food from local restaurants, hookahs and a bartending contest. 260-9770 ext. 110.
Pete’s Bar in Neptune Beach was founded in 1933, which makes it about the oldest joint still going at the Beaches. Every Thanksgiving Day, a reunion/homecoming happens – they rope off the street ends and folks come by the hundreds for beers and traditional Bloody Marys.
AREA ATTRACTIONS & WORTHY DESTINATIONS
1944 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach, 246-4386
4825 Blanding Blvd., Westside, 771-2803
2780 S.R. 16, St. Augustine, 827-9400
These parks offer go-kart, miniature golf, gaming arcades and batting cages. The Beaches location offers a full waterpark and massive game room. adventurelanding.com
111 Busch Drive, Northside, 751-0700, budweisertours.com Complimentary tours are offered at this massive brewery located near Dunn Avenue on Jacksonville’s Northside. Ask for a sample – or two.
Atlantic Pro Divers
314 14th Ave. N., Jax Beach, 270-1747
This local dive shop offers scuba instruction, all the gear you need, and a boat to get out where the diving is best.
The upscale restaurant and shop-lined section of St. Johns Avenue is a destination for diners and wanderers looking for (or living) the good life. Tours, podcasts and information about the historic Riverside/Avondale area are available at riverside-avondale.com.
Beaches Town Center
Located where Atlantic Boulevard meets the Atlantic Ocean, Town Center of both Neptune and Atlantic beaches offers boutiques, restaurants and oceanfront hotels. The annual Dancin’ in the Street Festival is in May, and Pete’s Bar hosts a massive Thanksgiving Day homecoming bash every year. beachestowncenter.com
Black Creek Outfitters
10051 Skinner Lake Drive, Southside, 645-7003, blackcreekoutfitters.com
Black Creek offers stand-up paddleboard mini-lessons every other Tue. all summer, as well as stand-up paddleboard yoga, kayak trips to many of Northeast Florida’s waterways and SUP demos on the ocean. Call for times, dates and fees. Black Creek offers kayak sessions; classes are primarily for beginners, and kayakers must know how to swim.
Black Horse Winery
420 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, 644-8480
With grape juices and other fruits shipped from around the world, Black Horse makes a variety of wines, and offers tastings, tours and live music.
1946 Ray Greene Drive, Jacksonville, 386-1750
All ages can ride; classes start for kids ages 5 and younger. Practices are held every Tue.; races are held every Fri. jacksonvillebmx.com
180 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine, 823-3388
At Davenport Park playground, this St. Augustine landmark offers old-timey carnival fun at $1 a ride. Plus, the St. Johns County Main Library is right next door, in case you crave a quick reading session (or bathroom break). Open daily.
Amelia River Cruises offers these unique tours at 10 a.m. every Mon.-Sat. June 10-Aug. 17. Drag an authentic Otter Trawl shrimp net, view the live catch and learn from marine biologists about the local wildlife and eco-systems. Book a two-hour tour at ameliarivercruises.com or call 261-9972. Amelia River Cruises also offers tours of Cumberland Island and Family Sunset Cruises through November. A Twilight BYOB catamaran cruise for adults only runs through Nov. 23.
This town’s charming historic district is centered along Centre Street, and includes restaurants, boutiques and enough charm to sink a pirate ship. Don’t miss the side streets for well-preserved Victorian architecture. fbfl.us
Long known as Jacksonville’s artsy hang, Five Points features an ever-expanding array of indie shops, bars and restaurants. Sun-Ray Cinemas runs new blockbusters and indie films. Riverside Park, at the north end of Park Street, offers a playground, fountain and plenty of space for medieval sword-fighting.
A $3.1-million renovation has put the 200-foot streams of water shooting into the air once more. The mid-century modern fountain, located on the Southbank Riverwalk near M.O.S.H., has nightly lights and music watershows between 8:30-10 p.m.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, 823-4500
GTMNERR’s environmental education center has a museum-worthy display of animals in its ocean/estuary habitat, live fish and animal displays, and biweekly educational seminars.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
Located at 1445 Millcoe Road, off Monument Road near Regency, the arboretum offers 120 acres of Floridian plant life, educational programs and natural history lessons. Open daily, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. jacksonvillearboretum.org
The Jacksonville Landing
On the St. Johns River along the Northbank Riverwalk, The Landing features restaurants and shops, plus a courtyard that hosts everything from local bands to political rallies. The adjacent Riverwalk runs two miles, from Berkman Plaza condos to I-95 in Riverside.
Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex
3605 Philips Highway, Southside, 399-3223
Public skating, live music and DJs, youth hockey and other icy events are offered at the rink. A full concession stand and skate rentals are available.
Jacksonville Main Library
303 N. Laura St., Jacksonville, 630-2665 The largest public library in the state, this Hemming Plaza landmark features children’s activities, art exhibits, concerts, a film series and a whole lotta books, DVDs and CDs.
Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
370 Zoo Parkway, 757-4463, jacksonvillezoo.org
With more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals, the Zoo also features a botanical garden, a kids’ Play Park with a carousel, tours, a giraffe overlook, a splash park (open May-October) and the popular Stingray Bay – with sharks! And there’s a 4-D ride theater, featuring “Ice Age, Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” open from 9:30 a.m. to a half-hour before closing, daily. The ride can fit up to 18 people per ride, at $3 for Zoo members, $4 for general public; riders must be at least 42” tall. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, till 6 p.m. on summer weekends.
13030 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, 251-0016, kayakamelia.com
Kayak Amelia offers guided kayak events, including firefly paddles, full moon paddles, bike tours and yoga kayak, held throughout the area, with expert instruction and supervision. Rent a canoe or kayak and explore the marshes on your own.
9600 N. Oceanshore Blvd., St. Augustine, 471-1111
Old-school dolphins shows are a thing of the past – this historic Florida attraction now focuses on dolphin encounters, including an opportunity to feed or swim with the creatures. Marineland also offers summer camps. marineland.net
4610 Ocean St., A1A, Mayport Village, 241-9969, stjohnsriverferry.com
For more than 60 years, the Mayport Ferry has connected the village of Mayport to Ft. George Island, northern Duval County and points beyond. The daily service is an eight-minute cruise across the river. The fee is $1 for bicycles/pedestrians, $5 for motorcycles, $6 per car (two-axle).
1620 Riverside Ave., Downtown Jacksonville
This park bordering the St. Johns River was designed by the sons of Frederick Olmstead, the renowned landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park. It features Charles Adrian Pillars’ statue “Winged Victory.”
The Ancient City, founded in 1565, has appealing colonial architecture, historic Flagler College, a 450-year-old coquina fort, horse-drawn carriages and enough tourist distractions to sink a Spanish galleon. City information and links are available at ci.st-augustine.fl.us.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
999 Anastasia Blvd., 824-3337, alligatorfarm.com
This historic wooded zoo features komodo dragons, birds, crocodiles – including 15-foot-3-inch, 1,250-pound Maximo – in addition to huge pits of alligators. The new Crocodile Crossing is an aerial challenge course, with ropes and ziplines over the animal exhibits. Kids’ zone, a fossil exhibit, snack bar and daily ’gator feedings are featured. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m., till 6 p.m. in the summer.
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
1340-C A1A S., 471-1965, staugamphitheatre.com
This outdoor concert venue, set in a maritime oak hammock on Anastasia Island, seats up to 4,500. Events include a seasonal Winter Wonderland and big-name musical acts. Upcoming shows include The Monkees, Slightly Stoopid, Steely Dan and John Fogerty.
San Marco Square
The upscale shopping district at the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and Hendricks Avenue features a central statue of lions, San Marco Theatre, Theatre Jacksonville and many local merchants and restaurants.
World Golf Hall of Fame, IMAX Theater
World Golf Village, 1 World Golf Place, Exit 323 off I-95, St. Augustine, 940-4123, 940-IMAX, worldgolfimax.com
Six hundred years of golf history are featured in interactive displays, memorabilia and artifacts at World Golf Hall of Fame Museum. The village also houses a full-screen IMAX Theater.
Beaches Green Market
Jarboe Park, on the corner of A1A and Florida Boulevard, Neptune Beach, beacheslocalfoodnetwork.org
Open 2-5 p.m. every Sat. Fresh-picked organic produce, grass-fed beef and goat and cow cheeses, as well as crafts and a children’s garden.
Fernandina Farmers Market
Centre Street and Seventh Street North, Fernandina Beach, 491-4872, fernandinafarmersmarket.com
Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Sat. A growers’ market, with farm-direct organic fruits and vegetables, goat and cow cheeses, honey, and natural lamb and goat meat, as well as demonstrations and workshops.
The Jacksonville Landing Market
2 Independent Drive, Downtown, 353-1188, jacksonvillelanding.com
Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Fri. Local produce, flowers, crafts, jewelry and live entertainment are featured.
Jacksonville Farmers Market
1810 W. Beaver St., Westside, 354-2821, jaxfarmersmarket.com
Open daily from pre-dawn to dusk, Florida’s oldest farmers market is also the biggest in town. A good source for hard-to-find Asian and Caribbean produce. Not primarily organic, but great deals can be found.
Old City Farmers Market
St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1304 A1A S., 471-3733, staugustinefm.com
This booming farmers market runs 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Sat. and features freshly picked vegetables and fruits, home-baked breads, flowers, crafts, live music and eats. Admission is free.
Riverside Arts Market
Riverside Avenue under Fuller Warren Bridge/I-95 overpass, 554-6865, riversideartsmarket.com
Located on the Riverwalk, RAM features everything from vegan funnel cakes to naturally flavored shaved ices, plus lots of organic produce, local art, roving entertainers and live music by area artists. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every Sat., March to December.
The Wednesday Market
Pier Parking Lot, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach, 347-8007, thewednesdaymarket.com
Held year ’round 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Wed., this weekly market features dozens of vendors selling organic and conventionally grown produce, crafts and snacks.
ART WALKS & FESTIVALS
Amelia Island Artrageous Art Walk
Thirteen Amelia Island galleries are open late, 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the second Sat. of each month. 277-0717.
Downtown Friday Market
Arts & crafts and local produce are offered every Fri. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Drive. 353-1188.
First Wednesday ArtWalk
Various downtown Jacksonville art galleries are open late with live music, DJs and performances, 5-9 p.m. on the first Wed. each month. 634-0303 ext. 225. jacksonvilleartwalk.com
First Friday Art Walk
Twenty St. Augustine galleries stay open late, rain or shine, 5-9 p.m., for the monthly self-guided tour. 829-0065, 825-4577.
North Beach Arts Market
The market features arts & crafts, produce, community services and kids’ activities 3-7 p.m. every Sat. at North Beach Park, 3721 Coastal Highway A1A, Vilano Beach (where the wooden walkover crosses A1A). 910-8386.
North Beaches Art Walk
Galleries of Atlantic and Neptune Beaches are open, rain or shine, 5-9 p.m. on the third Thur. each month, at various venues from Sailfish Drive in Atlantic Beach to Neptune Beach and Town Center. 249-2222. nbaw.org
Riverside Arts Market
Local and regional artists, farmers and artisans sell wares every Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 21 beneath the Fuller Warren Bridge on Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville. Live music, free parking, children’s activities and food vendors are also featured. 554-6865. riversideartsmarket.com
Uptown Saturday Night
Galleries and merchants along San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine stay open late, 5-9 p.m., on the last Sat. of each month. 824-3152.
Black Heritage Museum
4427 Longmire Ave., Middleburg, 282-4168
Housed in a one-room schoolhouse dating from the late 1800s, the assembled collection offers a glimpse of black culture before the turn of the century. Tours by appointment only.
Camp Blanding Museum & Memorial Park
5629 S.R. 16 W., at Kingsley Lake, Starke, 682-3196 campblanding-museum.org
Designated a World War II Commemorative Community, the museum, housed in refurbished barracks, has exhibits detailing the story of Camp Blanding and the infantry divisions that trained there. Free admission. Open daily noon-4 p.m., closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Clay County Historical & Railroad Museum
915 Walnut St., Green Cove Springs, 284-9644
Located in historic Green Cove Springs, the museum highlights railroad history in Clay County. The collection includes a hand-car house, baggage room and agent’s office.
Beaches Museum & History Center
381 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach, 241-5657, beachesmuseum.org
Home to Beaches Area Historical Society, the center chronicles Northeast Florida history from pre-Columbian times to present day. A 28-ton steam locomotive and the area’s oldest church are onsite. An exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of local newspaper The Beaches Leader is on display through Aug. 24. Open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Black Heritage Trail, Jacksonville
3 Independent Dr., Downtown, 798-9148, jaxcvb.com
The trail includes nine sites in Nassau, Duval and St. Johns counties: American Beach, Catherine Street Fire Station, Kingsley Plantation, Masonic Temple, Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, Edward Waters College, Olustee Battlefield and Edwin Stanton School. Advance notice is required for group tours.
Bryan Museum of Southern History
4304 Herschel St., Jacksonville, 388-3574, museumofsouthernhistory.com
Artifacts relating to history and culture of the Antebellum South are displayed. A 3,000-volume research library offers genealogical research assistance. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Fort Caroline National Memorial
12713 Ft. Caroline Road, Arlington, 641-7155, nps.gov/foca
Settled by French Huguenots in 1564, Fort Caroline is the site of America’s first Protestant colony. Along with exhibits and artifacts of the area’s first inhabitants, the Timucuan Native Americans, is a replica of the original fort. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Jacksonville Fire Museum
1406 Gator Bowl Blvd., Downtown, 630-0618, jacksonvillefiremuseum.com
Housed in an original fire station built in 1902, this museum displays more than 500 items regarding Jacksonville’s firefighting history. Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Jacksonville Historical Center
1015 Museum Circle, Ste. 1, Southbank, 398-4301, jaxhistory.com
This museum features films and exhibits on local history from Native-American culture to the influence and impact of the U.S. Navy on the area.
Jacksonville Historical Society
317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Downtown, 665-0064, jaxhistory.com
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in the 1888 Old St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Jacksonville Historical Society preserves Northeast Florida heritage maintaining archives, operating the Historical Center and promoting the restoration of historic buildings. Meetings are held quarterly.
Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center
The Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Drive, Downtown, 355-1101, jacksonvillemaritimeheritagecenter.org
Newly relocated, the museum features scale-model ships, paintings and photographs that relate to the maritime history of the St. Johns River and the port of Jacksonville, including a 16-foot model of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
101 W. First St., Springfield, 356-2992
Located in historic Springfield, the museum exhibits one of the world’s largest private holdings of original documents relating to history, literature, music and science. The museum also hosts multimedia events and musical concerts. The Boy Scouts Exhibit is on display through Aug. 28. Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.
Off A1A, half-mile north of Mayport Ferry Landing, Ft. George Island, 251-3537, nps.gov/timu/historyculture/kp.htmA national park located within the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Kingsley Plantation is the oldest remaining plantation house in Florida, complete with ruins of slave quarters. Free admission. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Mandarin Museum & Historical Society
11964 Mandarin Road, Jacksonville, 268-0784, mandarinmuseum.net
On the St. Johns River in historic Walter Jones Memorial Park, the museum displays articles regarding Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life in Mandarin. Tours by appointment. Open 1 p.m.-3 p.m. every first and third Sun. each month. Free admission.
Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center
376 Fourth Ave. S., Jax Beach, 241-6923
Rhoda Martin founded the first school for African Americans in Jacksonville Beach in 1924, and this center is located in the 1939 building at that school. Hours are 3:30-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Ft. Caroline Road (half-mile east of Ft. Caroline National Memorial)
Jean Ribault placed this replica of a stone column at the mouth of the St. Johns River in 1562 to commemorate the first landing of Protestants and Huguenots on American soil. Open 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. daily. exploresouthernhistory.com/ribault
Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum
829 N. Davis St., Downtown, 632-5555, ritzjacksonville.com
The Ritz is a cultural arts theater and museum that houses a permanent history exhibit of Jacksonville’s LaVilla African-American community, featuring a traveling exhibit area, a 400-seat theater and Amateur Night performances. “Lift Ev’ry Voice in LaVilla,” an exhibit of African-American history in Jacksonville, is on permanent display. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children, students and seniors. Open Tue.-Sun.
Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP)
2623 Herschel St., Riverside, 389-2449, riverside-avondale.com
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the neighborhoods of Riverside and Avondale offer a rich architectural history from the late 1800s through the 1920s. Information for self-guided tours is available at RAP office.
San Marco Preservation Society
1652 Atlantic Blvd., San Marco, 396-4734, smpsjax.com
Located in a 19th-century church, the society’s interest is in restoration, maintenance and improvement in the San Marco area. Hosted events include the Dog Days of Summer and the Remote Control Boat Regatta.
Springfield Preservation & Revitalization Council
1321 N. Main St., Springfield, 353-7727, sparcouncil.org
The council was founded in 1975 to help preserve the largest historic district in Florida, with 2,800 structures within its boundaries. Meetings are held on the third Thur. each month at the Klutho building.
Timucuan National Preserve
12713 Fort Caroline Road, Arlington, 641-7155,
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is a 46,000-acre ecological and historic preserve that includes Fort Caroline, Cedar Point and Kingsley Plantation. Miles of nature trails, a boat dock and picnic areas are featured, as well as local Florida history exhibits.
Amelia Island Lighthouse
Parks and Recreation Department, 277-7305
Still in use, and now open for tours, the Lighthouse was first lit in 1820 on Cumberland Island, and moved to its present location in 1838, marking the entrance to the St. Marys River. Tours are 10 a.m. on the first and third Wed. of each month. $5 for adults, $3 for kids younger than 12. Meet at the Parks & Recreation building, 2500 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach.
Amelia Island Museum of History
233 S. Third St., Fernandina Beach, 261-7378, ameliamuseum.org
Housed in the old Nassau County jail, the museum offers guided tours highlighting Amelia Island’s Eight Flags history. The interactive “Kid’s Construct! Architecture for Children” is on display through Aug. Museum hours are Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. Sun. Tours include walking and ghost tours of the historic district and a holiday luminary tour.
Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 50-block historical area surrounds the main thoroughfare of Centre Street, an area rich in Victorian architecture with tree-lined streets, boutiques, galleries and restaurants.
Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Ave., Fernandina Beach, 277-7274, floridastateparks.org/fortclinch
This Florida State Park includes a restored Civil War fort, rangers in period dress and a visitor’s center.
St. Johns County
Bridge of Lions
With reconstruction finally finished, this 1920s bridge across the Matanzas Bay is back in service, and draws on the half-hour for boat traffic.
Castillo de San Marcos
1 S. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, 829-6506, nps.gov/casa
A national monument overlooking the bayfront, this coquina fort was completed by the Spanish in 1695 and was used to protect the settlement of St. Augustine.
74 King St., St. Augustine, 829-6481, flagler.edu
This private college was once a hotel built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler in the late 1800s. Guided tours of this example of Spanish Renaissance architecture are available.
Fort Matanzas National Monument
8635 A1A S., St. Augustine, 471-0116, nps.gov/foma
This coquina watchtower was built by the Spanish in the 1740s. Located on Matanzas Inlet, the monument is reachable only by boat. Free tours are offered 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.
Government House Museum
48 King St., St. Augustine, 825-5079
St. Augustine’s history is presented from early settlements through the European era into Flagler’s Golden Age. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
75 King St., St. Augustine, 824-2874, lightnermuseum.org
Located in the historic Alcazar Hotel, an 1888 National Register building, the museum features decorative arts and large collections of everything from china to seashells. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
14 St. Francis St., St. Augustine, 824-2872
One of Northeast Florida’s oldest colonial structures and a National Historic Landmark, the González-Alvarez House offers a record of life in St. Augustine. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with guided tours every half-hour.
St. Augustine Historic District
St. Augustine boasts 144 blocks of historic structures, many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This includes 11 pedestrian-only blocks centered around St. George Street, which are filled with shops, restaurants and historic landmarks.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine, 829-0745, staugustinelighthouse.com
Tours take visitors 219 steps to the top of the lighthouse. An 18th-century British cannon is also on display. The museum is located inside the lightkeeper’s house.
St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
12 S. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, 1-877-467-5863, piratesoul.com
The museum houses one of the largest collections of authentic pirate-related artifacts in the world, including the 17th century treasure chest of Capt. Thomas Tew.
St. Photios National Shrine
41 St. George St., St. Augustine, 829-8205, stphotios.com
Dedicated to the first colony of Greeks who came to this country in 1768, this shrine features an Orthodox Chapel and artifacts, photographs, documents and Byzantine-style frescoes. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-6 p.m. Sun.
Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum
33 St. George St., St. Augustine, 825-6830, historicstaugustine.com/csq/history.html
This living-history museum depicts life as it was in colonial St. Augustine. Self-guided tours are available.
Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch
Focused on the conservation of Amelia Island’s nesting sea turtle population. 583-1913, ameliaislandseaturtlewatch.com
Duval Audubon Society
This nonprofit focuses on habitat conservation for birds and wildlife in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. duvalaudubon.org
First Coast Surfrider Foundation
This nonprofit grassroots organization focuses on protecting the world’s oceans and beaches. Locally, Surfrider sponsors fundraisers including beach clean-ups and surfing contests. surfriderfirstcoast.org
1468 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, 398-5757, greenscapeofjacksonville.com
This tree-planting nonprofit group focuses on improving and preserving Jacksonville’s tree canopy.
North Florida Land Trust
804 Third St., Neptune Beach, 285-7020, northfloridalandtrust.org
The environmental group helps landowners place parcels of land – large or small – into permanent conservation easements.
Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida
2029 N. Third St., Jax Beach, 247-1972, publictrustlaw.org
This advocacy organization uses “all legal means” to protect public lands and waters.
St. Johns Audubon Society
The group promotes protection, preservation and restoration of birds, wildlife and habitats through science-based advocacy.
St. Johns Riverkeeper
2800 University Blvd. N., Arlington, 256-7691, stjohnsriverkeeper.org
This nonprofit organization is a full-time advocate and watchdog for the St. Johns River, its watershed and the public to whom it belongs.
Sierra Club Northeast Florida Group
A national organization dedicated to exploring, enjoying and protecting the planet. The local group organizes outdoor adventures and lobbies local and state government.
POLITICS & ACTIVISM
American Civil Union Liberties of Northeast Florida
Like the national ACLU, the local branch is focuses on free speech, religious liberty and the right to privacy. aclufl.org
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
This nonpartisan organization works to preserve church/state separation to ensure religious freedom for everyone. au.org
Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County
The watchdog group works to fight fraud, waste, corruption, inefficiency and tomfoolery at Jacksonville’s City Hall. jaxtaxpayers.org
Duval County Democratic Party
The local organization promotes the Democratic party with a focus on citizen involvement in advancing candidates. duvaldemocrats.org
First Coast Freethought Society
Agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, humanists, secularists and the non-religious participate in discussions that support scientific inquiry and challenge religious dogma. firstcoastfreethoughtsociety.org
First Coast Tea Party
This tax-conscious, limited-government grassroots group meets for rallies and to discuss national and local trends. firstcoastteaparty.org
JASMYN offers a safe place for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. by appointment only. AIDS awareness, counseling and support groups are offered. The Gay Youth Information Hotline is 389-0089. 923 Peninsular Place, Jacksonville, 389-3857, jasmyn.org
Men Against Destruction – Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder aims to recruit members to “save children, communities, and ourselves from the social ills that presently plague neighborhoods.” maddads.com
Republican Party of Duval County
The local organization promotes the Republican party and Republican principles, including strong national defense and strict immigration policies. duvalgop.com
Arlington Community Garden Project
Tree Hill Nature Center, 7152 Lone Star Road, Arlington, 725-8133, arlingtoncommunitygarden.org
This group was founded by Unitarian Universalist Church to improve the resiliency of the 32211 ZIP code. Plot rental fee of $60 a year includes a raised bed filled with organic soil, classes in organic gardening techniques and potluck dinners.
Beaches Organic Community Garden
Jarboe Park, A1A and Florida Boulevard, Neptune Beach, 270-0273, beacheslocalfoodnetwork.org
For $10 and three hours a month of volunteer time, gardeners are provided with a plot, water, soil, liability insurance and a basic introduction to organic gardening education.
City Sprout/Lincolnville Community Garden
Eddie Vickers Park, 399 Riberia St., St. Augustine, 537-5263, citysprout.org
Community memberships are offered in either an affiliate membership ($10/year) or a garden box membership ($50/year). Meetings are held 4 p.m. every first Sun.; weekly compost socials are held 5:30 p.m. every Wed.
Eastside Community Garden
960 Spearing St., Eastside, 354-4673
This project of Operation New Hope for the community to grow edible flowers, fruit and vegetables, needs donations of funds, time and supplies.
Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens
1502 Jessie St., Northside, 365-4144, fnfcg.org
This source for information on community gardens, classes, seed swaps, and a Northeast Florida Community Gardening Conference, can help those interested find a community garden in their area.
Hodges Boulevard Community Garden
4140 Hodges Blvd., Southside, 223-6922
This garden, located behind Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church, offers workshops and tours.
Springfield Community Garden
1425 Laura St., Springfield, 387-2353
This garden features raised beds, a community orchard, seeds, soil, water and free monthly workshops for a $35 membership fee. Sustainable Springfield organizes an annual gleaning of fruit and nut trees in the neighborhood where the gleaner keeps a share, donates a portion to Sustainable Springfield to raise funds and gives the rest to local homeless shelters. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to sustainablespringfield.net.
COMMUNITY GROUPS & NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS
Brooklyn Neighborhood Association
202 Spruce St., Riverside, 354-9266
Citizens Planning Advisory Committee (CPACs)
These city-sponsored groups are designed to serve as links between residents and local government, and are split into six planning districts – Urban Core, Greater Arlington/Beaches, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest and North. 255-8200. coj.net
Greater Arlington Civic Council Inc.
1924 Holly Oaks Lake Road W., Arlington, 607-5006
Coalition of Kernan Boulevard Communities
3925 Maple View Drive, Southside, 568-7325
Greater Englewood Neighborhood Association
4614 Clinton Ave., Spring Glen
Heckscher Drive Community Club Inc.
9364 Heckscher Drive, Northside
Mayport Village Civic Association
1331 Broad St., Mayport, 655-1526
Murray Hill Preservation Association
North Jacksonville Civic Association
341 Baisden Road, Northside
Olde Mandarin Neighborhood Association
13200 Mandarin Road, Mandarin, 880-1231
Spring Park Neighborhood Association
2905 Spring Park Road, Spring Park, 398-6539
University Park Civic Association
P.O. Box 11114, Jacksonville FL 32239, universityparkjax.com
West Beaches Community Association
3113 Coral Reef Drive, Intracoastal West, 223-4139
ARTS & CULTURE
ALEXANDER BREST MUSEUM AND GALLERY
Phillips Fine Arts Building, Jacksonville University, 2800 University Blvd. N., Arlington, 744-3950
Permanent pre-Columbian and ivory collections, decorative ceramics, Tiffany glassware, Chinese porcelains. The changing educational exhibit showcases the works of faculty, students and national artists. Admission is free. Open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sat.
CRISP-ELLERT ART MUSEUM
48 Sevilla St., St. Augustine, 826-8530
Located on Flagler College’s campus, the gallery features regular exhibits of student portfolio work, local and national contemporary art, live music performances and film screenings.
CUMMER MUSEUM OF ART & GARDENS
829 Riverside Ave., Riverside, 356-6857, cummer.org
The Cummer features more than 5,500 objects in its permanent collection, including ancient artifacts, paintings, and acres of formal gardens. The current exhibit “Future Retro: The Great Age of the American Automobile” runs through Sept. 8. “La Florida” is on display until Oct. 6. Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tue., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun. Admission is free for children 5 and younger; free for all 4-9 p.m. every Tue.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART JACKSONVILLE
333 N. Laura St., Downtown, 366-6911, mocajacksonville.orgLocated on Hemming Plaza, MOCAJax showcases a permanent collection of 20th-century art, traveling exhibits and extensive educational facilities, as well as a museum shop and Café Nola. “Traces” is displayed through Aug. 18. The exhibit “Inside/Out” is on display through Aug. 25. “Chalk It Up” runs through Aug. 30. Family Fun Free Day is held noon-4 p.m. every Sun. Open Tue.-Sun.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY
1025 Museum Circle, Southbank, 396-6674, themosh.org
Located on the Southbank of the St. Johns River, MOSH includes educational exhibits and interactive displays. “Be the Dinosaur” is on display through Sept. 3. Open daily. Admission is free for children 2 and younger.
ST. AUGUSTINE SCULPTURE GARDEN
Lakeside Park, A1A South and 11th Street, St. Augustine, 829-0873, st-augustine-sculpture-garden.org
This park features public works of art by Thomas Glover, Marianne Lerbs and other area artists.
JACKSONVILLE BALLET THEATRE
10131 Atlantic Blvd. (Boleros building), Regency, 727-7515
Dulce Anaya is artistic director of this semi-professional, community-based company and school.
THE FLORIDA BALLET
300 E. State St., Downtown, 353-7518, floridaballet.org
Jacksonville’s first and only professional dance company performs at The Florida Theatre, and features special performances for young audiences.
ST. JOHNS RIVER CITY BAND
841 Prudential Drive, Ste. 150, Jacksonville, 390-1999
For more than 25 years, the “official band of Jacksonville” has performed free local concerts of jazz and other American music, and sponsors the High School All Star Jazz Band.
THE BIG ORANGE CHORUS
The local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society is an internationally ranked men’s chorus group that present concerts throughout the community. Rehearsals are held 7:30 p.m. every Thur. at Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church, 7860 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville.
DON THOMPSON CHORALE
624 Lomax St., Riverside, 358-0196
This community vocal group performs classical works and popular standards.
FIRST COAST CHORUS
P.O. Box 37583, Jacksonville FL 32236, 778-1592
A diverse group of members sings for the community. Rehearsals are held 7 p.m. every Mon. in the fellowship hall at Riverside Baptist Church, 2650 Park St., Jacksonville.
JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS
225 E. Duval St., Downtown, 353-1636, jaxchildrenschorus.org
This young person’s singing group, for kids in grades 6-12, features five choruses and holds auditions for prospective members by appointment only.
JACKSONVILLE COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 3976 Hendricks Ave., San Jose, 388-1192, jacksonvillecommunityband.webs.com
Members of the band include high school and college students and adults, at all skill levels, performing Broadway, pop, marches and spirituals. Practice held 7:30-9 p.m. every Tue.
JACKSONVILLE MASTERWORKS CHORALE
This adult community chorus, directed by Dr. Mark Stallings, performs classical and other choral literature with and without an orchestra.
JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
300 W. Water St., Ste. 200, Downtown, 354-5479, jaxsymphony.org
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s season opens with music by Gershwin and Tchaikovsky, featuring conductor and pianist Teddy Abrams, performing on Oct. 3, 4 and 5. Most JSO performances are held in Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The Youth Orchestra enrolls more than 200 students, from elementary school through early college, at six ensemble levels.
JACKSONVILLE GAY CHORUS
3733 Pine St., Riverside, 356-2347, email@example.com
A nonprofit organization, GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of choruses) mixed-voice chorus has been performing for more than 16 years in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities and is available to promote diversity and education through music.
JACKSONVILLE HARMONY SHOW CHORUS
P.O. Box 24464, Jacksonville FL 32217, 350-1609, jaxharmony.com
A chapter of Sweet Adelines International, this women’s chorus rehearses 7 p.m. every Tue. at San Jose Church of Christ, 6233 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville. The chorus performs four-part a cappella barbershop pieces.
JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHORUS
Jacoby Symphony Hall, T-U Center, 300 W. Water St., Ste. 200, Downtown, 354-5479, jaxsymphony.org
For more than 25 years, JSOC has been performing with the JSO in productions both classical and pop. Membership is made up of volunteers, including professional and amateur musicians.
THE ORANGE PARK CHORALE
410 Blanding Blvd., Ste. 9, Orange Park, orangeparkchorale.com
This 30-member community chorale performs four to 14 concerts annually. Membership by audition. Contact Dr. Carole Clifford for audition information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RITZ CHAMBER PLAYERS
T-U Center, 300 W. Water St., Ste. 200, Downtown, 472-4270, ritzchamberplayers.org
This African-American chamber music ensemble performs several local and national concerts a year.
ART GALLERIES OF ST. AUGUSTINE, AGOSA
131 King St., St. Augustine, 829-0065, 824-2310, artgalleriesofstaugustine.com
A diverse group of more than 20 galleries, AGOSA hosts First Friday Art Walk. Complementary Red Train transportation is available at participating galleries.
BEACHES FINE ARTS SERIES
416 12th Ave. N., Jax Beach, 270-1771, beachesfinearts.org
The organization brings international music and dance to the area in eight free performances annually, held in St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. After each performance, a local artist’s work is exhibited during a reception. Fundraisers include three sprint triathlons.
CULTURAL CENTER AT PONTE VEDRA BEACH
50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, 280-0614, ccpvb.org
The Cultural Center offers workshops, lectures, films, performances, exhibits and theatrical presentations.
CULTURAL COUNCIL OF GREATER JACKSONVILLE
300 W. Water St., Downtown, 358-3600,
The Cultural Council promotes awareness of cultural activities, provides funding and technical assistance to its affiliates, and administers the city’s “Art in Public Places” program.
ISLAND ART ASSOCIATION
18 N. Second St., Fernandina Beach, 261-7020, islandart.org
The Island Art Association sponsors the arts-and-crafts portion of the annual Shrimp Festival, offers scholarships and hosts monthly meetings with demonstrations.
JACKSONVILLE JEWISH CENTER
3662 Crown Point Road, San Jose, 292-1000, jaxjewishcenter.com
The Jacksonville Jewish Center is a conservative synagogue offering youth education and full synagogue activities: religious, educational and social.
JACKSONVILLE WATERCOLOR SOCIETY
A group of 200 artists from the Jacksonville metro area meets monthly for the promotion of transparent watercolor. Open to the public. There are at least two juried shows per year and workshops are available.
JEWISH COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
8505 San Jose Blvd., San Jose, 730-2100, jcajax.org
JCA provides physical, recreational, educational, social and cultural opportunities in one location.
THE MURRAY HILL ART CENTER
4327 Kerle St., Murray Hill, 677-2787, artsjax.org
This community arts center offers workshops and art classes for adults and children.
THE PERFORMERS ACADEMY
3674 Beach Blvd., Southside, 322-7672, theperformersacademy.com
This center offers classes in theatrical performance, including song and dance, Mon.-Fri.
RIVERSIDE FINE ARTS ASSOCIATION
1100 Stockton St., Riverside, 389-6222, riversidefinearts.or