Living in Jacksonville
Welcome to beautiful Jacksonville. Almost a million people call this city home—here
are just a few reasons why.
Located in the northeastern part of the state on the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville’s
weather is sunny and pleasant. We enjoy an average of 320 days of sunshine each
year, yet have the coolest summers in the state. Known as the River City, Jacksonville
is a major port city with numerous waterways, two Navy bases, several nature preserves,
marshes, lakes, wetlands and miles of beaches. Flowing through Jacksonville is the
310-mile St. Johns River, which plays a major role in our work and play.
Jacksonville is the youngest-aged city in the state, making this the place for up-and-coming
professionals as well as young families. With no state income tax and the cost of
housing 15 percent lower than the national average, Jacksonville is an appealing
place for many people. The total cost of living for the area is 9.3 percent below
the national average and 4.7 percent below Florida’s average. We also pay less for
healthcare, goods and services, housing and transportation compared to many other
cities in the state.
Duval County’s public schools serve more than 129,000 children living in the 840
square miles that make up the county. The system includes 106 elementary schools,
25 middle schools, 17 high schools, eight special schools and seven charter schools.
A big draw for children and parents alike are the wide range of specialized educational
programs available to elementary, middle and high school students through the Duval
County Magnet Programs. While receiving instruction in traditional subject areas,
students have an opportunity to explore and develop their interests and talents
in such areas as math, science, the arts, language immersion, culinary arts, aviation,
law/legal professions, technology and public service. Approximately 20,000 students
participate in 30 different program areas offered at 71 schools.
In 2003, Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies,
both magnet schools, earned two of the top spots in Newsweek magazine’s 100 Best
High Schools in America list. Stanton, which was ranked first in the nation in the
magazine’s 2000 survey, moved to the number two spot. Paxon improved its standing
to number 3, from a previous slot at number 7.
High school seniors looking for local colleges or professionals wanting to enhance
their careers know that Jacksonville has many choices for higher education that
- Florida State College at Jacksonville, which has five main campuses and five centers
in Duval County and neighboring Nassau County, offering certificate programs and
associate’s and bachelor's degrees for more than 200 courses of study, including
nursing, respiratory care and other health professions.
- University of North Florida, part of Florida's state university system, offering
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in arts and sciences, and a doctorate degree in
education. UNF boasts a competitive nursing program, as well as physical therapy
and public health departments.
- Jacksonville University, a private university that offers undergraduate and graduate
programs ranging from business to nursing.
- Edward Waters College, Jacksonville’s oldest private university, founded in 1866
by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. EWC offers degrees in biology, business
administration, computer information sciences, health education and promotion, social
work and more.
Recreation & Relaxation
From canoeing in Hanna Park, to playing on the beach, to exploring Spanish settlements,
there’s no shortage of fun on Florida’s First Coast. There are more than 30 state
parks in northeast Florida that offer trails for biking and hiking, lakes and rivers
for boating and fishing, and beautiful old oak trees for climbing and relaxing.
The city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States,
with more than 337 locations on more than 8,000 acres.
This city has something for just about every athlete. Runner’s World magazine ranks
Jacksonville as the fifth best running city in the country and the annual Gate River
Run is rated one of the top road races in the United States. Close to Jacksonville
is the headquarters of the PGA Tour, The Players Championship golf tournament, World
Golf Village and the Association of Tennis Professionals. Our city is the site for
the largest kingfish tournament in the country, attracting more than 6,000 anglers
competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Baseball fans
faithfully gather each season to watch the Class AA Jacksonville Suns play in their
beautiful stadium, which opened in April 2003. And basketball fans follow the minor
league Jacksonville Giants
We’re proud to be the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the most successful expansion
franchise in the history of the National Football League. Since entering the league
in 1995, the Jaguars have been to the playoffs four times and played in the American
Football Conference championship game twice. Though a relatively new NFL city, Jacksonville
was chosen to host Super Bowl XXXIX in Alltel Stadium on Feb. 6, 2005. One of the
many things that makes this Super Bowl city unique is the variety of accommodations
available to football fans—oceanfront hotels, historic bed and breakfasts, downtown
high rises and even cruise ships.
Visitors will also discover that our city offers a lot for art lovers. Jacksonville
has a museum for just about everyone, from history buffs, to modern art lovers,
to stargazers. There’s the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens; Jacksonville Fire Museum;
Jacksonville Maritime Museum; Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum; Museum of Science
and History; and the Ritz Theatre & Lavilla Museum, to name a few. Just about
any night of the week you can catch a great performance from several local dance
groups and theater companies.
If it’s great music you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it. From homegrown bands
to big name artists, we have it all. Jacksonville has made quite a name for itself
in the jazz world. For four days each spring, internationally known jazz artists
wow crowds at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, a free multi-genre event that takes
place at various venues around town.