Jacksonville was never meant to be a stop on our journey, but after some recommendations, we decided to try it out. Since it was only 40 miles from St Augustine, we decided to spend a few days visiting. We found an Airbnb in Riverside, which is a very historic part of Jacksonville. Our house was over 100 years old and full of character (including a bear claw tub!) I felt very much at home here, as it didn’t have that “Florida” feel.
We arrived on a Friday and ventured out to King Street to try out the Blind Rabbit and Kickbacks. Blind Rabbit had excellent food on their regular menu (the Peach Habanero Wings were amazing!) as well as their specials menu. They also had a very extensive whiskey list. On Sunday we went to Blind Rabbit again for branch, which had bottomless mimosas YES! We went to kickbacks for a beer, and were very impressed with the selection of beer and the décor inside. There were 1,000,001 pennies all over the wall in really cool patterns, as well as a wide array of other eclectic collections. The beer menu was full of things I had never heard of and eager to try!
Over the weekend, we went to the Riverside Arts Market on Riverside Ave, which was a combo of fresh produce and people selling paintings, handcrafted woodwork, coffee, pottery and much more. We also went to the Jacksonville Farmers Market which was amazing but also overwhelming. Be ready to load up and take several trips to the car! THIS is where you want to go to get some cheap produce, eggs, and fish, while haggling up a deal! We filled up several bags worth of fruits and veggies, eggs, and bread for about $30. JR’s Fresh Seafood is at the market is incredible! The prices and selection on fish was very impressive. We decided to try Trigger fish which was surprisingly very delicious, despite how ugly the fish was! Haha! The owner, asked if we liked oysters because it was “oyster o clock”. He opened up the fridge, shucked open an oyster and let us slurp it down! Mmm!
After brunch at the Blind Rabbit, we caught the Giants game (boo!) at Sneakers on Jacksonville Beach, which was just ok. A pitcher of beer was a bit over priced in my opinion, but it is conveniently right off the beach. Afterwards, we visited some of my childhood friends who lived on the lake that I grew up on. It was so nice seeing Dan, his girlfriend, brother and parents. We only planned on staying for the game, but they were nice enough to insist we stay for dinner. We had a lot of laughs, reminisced of the good ol’ days, and played with their dog and pet snake!
Some other unique things we did here, was visit Avondale shops, which is on St John’s ave, and filled with tons of boutiques, restaurants, and antique shops. One thing I learned is that people in Jacksonville go ALL OUT on their Christmas displays! We visited Christmas on Crystal which was really nice, but a bit on the religious side. We didn’t get to see Christmas Lights in Blackhawk Bluff because we had some rainy weather, but we heard it was amazing! If you want to see some nice homes, or maybe a glimpse of a bald eagle, head over to Ortega Peninsula! Riverwalk was a great spot to take a walk, and see the nighttime sights of Jacksonville including the landing, the Friendship Fountain, and the water taxi.