The area known as Florida’s First Coast allows you to travel through the centuries, glimpsing Florida’s past plus plenty of timeless delights. Visit rural inland towns, partake in the bustling waterfronts of metropolitan Jacksonville, discover the history of St. Augustine, enjoy miles of serene Atlantic beaches and play some of the most acclaimed golf courses in the world. One of the nation’s fastest-growing and most modern cities, Jacksonville is situated along the banks of Florida’s longest river, the St. Johns, and bordered to the east by miles of wide Atlantic beaches. Following the twists and turns of the St. Johns River, visitors to “Florida’s River City by the Sea”
will find amusements ranging from the modern downtown delights of Jacksonville Landing, a festive waterfront marketplace, to museums of art and history. Downtown Jacksonville offers plenty of riverside shopping and dining. Also at the Landing is the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center, where visitors can explore model ships and artifacts depicting the coastal city’s colorful seafaring history. Upriver, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens showcases 5,000 works of art spanning from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century, a rare porcelain collection and historic gardens. The Museum of Science and History has three floors of permanent exhibits including details about energy, the body, local marine life, and early settlers from 12,000 years ago, plus the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium.