If you are planning to visit Jacksonville (or are a local itching to get out!), there is no shortage of things to do in Jax after the work week ends. Here is a list of the top 5 fun things to do in Jacksonville this weekend:
- Taste Some Local Brews
- Head Out To The Beach
- Visit The Riverside Arts Market
- Catch Some Live Music
- Eat Your Way Through Town
Taste Some Local Brews
Jacksonville’s craft brewery scene is rivaling some of the best locations across the USA. Our Jax breweries are winning State and National craft brewery awards which are bringing visitors from across the country. So, to become an expert in your own backyard, get out and visit the wide variety of breweries we have right here in Jacksonville, Florida. Each brewery venue is just as unique as their brew. Have some non-beer drinkers? Many breweries have wine, ciders, or even beer slushies. Yep, such a thing exists and they are yummy - no wonder a brewery visit is one of our favorite things to do in Jax!
Still uncertain about hanging out inside? Well, you are in luck. You can take a unique brewery tour called the Jax Urban Core Brewery Tour. You get to ride in an open-air vehicle called a tuk tuk (pop over to our What Is A Tuk Tuk post for more info!). Our vehicles have been brought to Jax by our Chief Tuk’n Officer and 30+ year Jacksonville resident, Steph Dale. This 5-star rated brewery tour allows you to have a local tour guide taking you to 5 different stops. You will walk into the brewery, but you will purchase your drinks to go. Then you hop back on the tuk tuks and drink to your next stop. You get to learn a little about the areas you will be traveling through at the same time OR just sit back and listen to the music of your choice.
Head Out To The Beach – Catch A Sunset If You Can!
When people visit Jacksonville, they assume we just have the one Jacksonville Beach. In fact, Jax is surrounded by multiple beaches! Some of which are much more intimate than the hustle and bustle of the traditional Jacksonville Beach scene. Now don’t get us wrong, Jacksonville Beach can be a blast to hang out with groups of people or if you are staying at one of the hotels in that area.
If you are looking for a less crowded spot or want to walk your dog throughout the day on the beach, then go where the locals love - Atlantic Beach. It is easily found on the North side of the crossroads of Atlantic Boulevard and Ocean Boulevard. And we promise, you don’t have to go on the beach at the big hotel right there. Drive on down and find some streets with parking. (Bonus tip: If you park away from the “town center” area, parking is free!) You may need to walk a little bit to the beach from your parking spot but it won’t be too bad. Just don’t park on people’s property OR close to stop signs – nothing gets us Atlantic Beach residents more riled up than those items. Okay – dumping your trash somewhere other than a trash bin is really what gets us upset. But we digress.
Atlantic Beach is a really laid back area that allows you to have plenty of space and really enjoy our waters. Yet the beach still has lifeguards on duty most of the year. Check out the local city website for more info.
Neptune Beach is another fun spot in between Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach. One of the oldest bars in Duval County, Florida is right there in Neptune Beach. Pete’s Bar has been a family-owned & operated bar since 1933. If you are around during Thanksgiving, then you must come out for the street party at Pete’s.
The other fun stop right on the beach, which is very rare for Jacksonville, is the Lemon Bar near Pete’s Bar (on Lemon Street, of course!). The beach right in front of the Lemon Bar is a great spot to just get a feel for our beaches too. Be patient while scoping out a parking spot - parking can be a nightmare near this area.
Visit the Riverside Arts Market
The Riverside Arts Market is an amazing open-air market with local farmers, bee distributors, artists and so much more. Produced by Riverside Avondale Preservation, Inc., the Riverside Arts Market (RAM as the locals call it) is under the Fuller Warren Bridge in the historic Riverside area right outside of Downtown. This market is open each Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine. It is a very family-friendly market that traditionally attracts 4,000+ visitors each Saturday. There is also a waterfront amphitheater to host live music and more.
RAM is one of several Florida markets that participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP recipients have an opportunity to purchase local produce from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and double their dollars through our partnership with Feeding Florida incentive programs.
We’re a little biased, but RAM might top our list of fun things to do in Jacksonville this weekend!
Catch some live music!
If you visit Jacksonville or live here full time, you’ll know we have so many great spots with outdoor seating. And on the weekends, it is a great time to visit some with music. One of our personal favorite bands is the Chris Thomas Band. If you are planning a wedding or a bigger event, this group is one that will get everyone up and dancing. Great people who do a lot in our community as well.
But, there is something for everyone. There is a great public Facebook group you can check out to keep up to date on the bands around town.
Eat your way through town.
Yes, we have the chain restaurants but you’ll never see us writing about those since we are all about the local businesses. One of the best things to do in Jacksonville this weekend is try everything! Our Chief Tuk’n Officer put together the list below. It could take you multiple weekends to make your way through the various restaurants, but trust us, Steph is the authority on all fun things to do in Jacksonville.
I live in Atlantic Beach but my office is in the heart of downtown. If my husband didn’t love to get in the ocean each day or at least walk on the beach, I would be a downtown dweller OR in Riverside or Avondale.
- BBQ is a thing here and everyone has an opinion. So, the good news is you could go on a tangent trying a variety of BBQ spots. Here are some of our suggestions:
- Bearded Pig: We typically go to the one Downtown but they are expanding to the beaches soon. This expansion will help us get our craving fix for this delicious place or pick some up for a picnic date night on the beach.
- Mojo BBQ: I love the team down in Avondale and you can smell the smokin’ of the meats on a perfect day. Makes your mouth water doesn’t it?
- Seafood places, as you can imagine, are usually on most lists since we are right next to the water. Here are a couple of local places to try:
- Blue Fish Restaurant & Oyster Bar: This Avondale restaurant has a wide variety of freshest seafood available along with items for land lovers too. It has outdoor seating, private rooms, and a fountain area for a lovely day/night restaurant.
- North Beach Fish Camp: On the border between Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach is a great spot. You’ll want to plan on being patient and/or make a reservation since it is not the largest location. But, well worth the wait.
- Steaks are another hot topic when you talk to the locals. Again, many have their favorite spots, so we will share a couple of ours. Both of our highlights also have amazing rooftop bars you can visit before or after your meal. They are also perfect for a romantic night OR fun for a group of friends.
- Black Sheep Restaurant: Located in the heart of the 5-Points district in Riverside, they believe in fresh, local ingredients to create handcrafted food and cocktails.
- Cowford Chophouse: Found in the heart of downtown overlooking the historic Main Street Bridge, this intimate restaurant books up quickly so reservations are generally needed at least one week in advance.
- Two Jacksonville classic restaurants we love. These sister companies have it all: amazing cocktails, entrées, and some of the best desserts in town. Oh My Gosh!
- bb’s: This one is consistently voted one of the best in town. It is located in between downtown and San Marco. They have taken eating to a whole new level with their rooftop garden to utilize throughout their menu.
- Biscottis: An Avondale staple. The menus between the two restaurants are both unique but the quality of their food is simply amazing.
To be able to experience some of the top restaurants, Go Tuk’n has an exclusive Progressive Dinner Tour. This private 4-hour tour allows you to experience 4 different stops to build your menu as you go. You can book this tour for a romantic dinner experience for 2 or for groups of friends to enjoy together in their private tuk tuk. Each tuk tuk holds 6 people and there are multiple vehicles. This particular curated tour must be booked at least 72 hours in advance or more.
For other ideas of things to do, check out the Jacksonville Travel Guide from KAYAK!