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Best Neighborhoods in Jacksonville Florida


landscape of jacksonville florida

If you’re considering moving to Jacksonville you might already have some idea of what makes it so great. With a good economy, thriving culinary scene, and miles of white-sand beaches, it’s like heaven on earth. 

The next thing you need to know is where to find the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville, FL. Fortunately, the city has neighborhoods of every type and variety.

Whether you’re looking for a beachside condo, a comfortable single-family home, or an urban apartment close to shops, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, you will find what you’re looking for in Jacksonville.

Selling your home and moving to a new city or state is a huge endeavor. You can rest assured that choosing Jacksonville as your next home is an easy choice once you see how much the area has to offer.

The best neighborhoods in Jacksonville are varied and charming in their own unique ways. One of the largest cities in terms of land area, you can rest assured there are plenty of excellent neighborhoods to choose from.

There is a great selection of historic urban neighborhoods ideal for the young professional as well as quiet suburbs for those looking for a more family-friendly atmosphere.

Want to live close to the beach? That dream isn’t difficult to realize in Jacksonville either. The city has a lot to offer for anyone considering moving there.

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Avondale

Avondale is an ideal neighborhood if you’re looking for an exciting, urban lifestyle. In this neighborhood, you’ll find everything from bohemian families to upscale hipsters.

Avondale is full of hip and trendy bars and restaurants. The area is brimming with vintage flair and charming local merchants. Check out the local craft breweries and don’t forget to visit the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Known for its gorgeous riverfront lined with million-dollar colonial mansions and opulent apartment buildings, Avondale is also experiencing a housing revitalization boom.

You’ll see many parts of the neighborhood populated by residents committed to home and community renovation projects dedicated to making the area as vibrant, beautiful, and safe as can be.

The average apartment in Avondale costs around $900 a month. Buying a home will cost on average a little bit over $300,000.

Riverside

The Riverside neighborhood is a great place for young professionals to live.  It’s just a brief commute to downtown Jacksonville and is also home to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

When you see this neighborhood, it won’t surprise you to learn that Riverside Avenue has a reputation as being one of the loveliest streets in the country.

Set alongside the St. John’s River, the shady streets lined with towering oak trees, midcentury bungalows, and brownstones will have you falling in love with this dreamy neighborhood immediately.

Riverside is also home to a bevy of trendy restaurants and clubs. Its eclectic shops and funky vibes give Riverside a youthful feeling that’s ideal for anyone in search of an area that balances historical architecture with fun.

San Marco

San Marco is a small, quiet riverfront neighborhood known for its trendy bars, bistros, and boutiques. It is the casual atmosphere that draws residents to this historic neighborhood a matter of minutes from downtown.

In San Marco, you’ll enjoy sunset views of the historic riverfront mansions against the backdrop of the city. If you enjoy Italian and Mediterranean-inspired architecture you’ll love San Marco.

The neighborhood is home to the Italian business district and is associated with the city of Venice, Italy. Head to San Marco Square, the neighborhood’s prime destination complete with fountain, art galleries, and cocktail bars.

San Marco bears the reputation of being one of the safest neighborhoods in Jacksonville. It has all the best parts of a suburban residential neighborhood just outside the city.

The Beaches

When it comes to the beach communities of Jacksonville, there are lots of options to consider. The main beach communities we’ll be covering include Mayport, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach.

Are you a person who enjoys the smell of the ocean, feeling the salty sea spray, and catching a daily glimpse of dolphins swimming by? Then you might find your sweet spot living in one of Jacksonville’s beach communities.

The beach communities aren’t just for retirees. You’ll find many families who have second homes on the beaches.

Living on the Atlantic coast is a high priority for many Jacksonville residents. There are many different types of people who enjoy the proximity to the beach and life outdoors.

Who doesn’t want to live among the sand and surf and ride their beach cruiser around town? Sounds pretty idyllic.

In addition to the beach life, you’ll also enjoy the access this area provides to miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing lakes, and a campground set right on the oceanfront.

You’ll find an excellent selection of eclectic restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors in Atlantic, Neptune, and Jacksonville beaches. Shopping and supporting local artisans is a way of life in the beaches.

Residents love the green market and the beaches art walk. Most beaches residents avoid driving over the Intracoastal Waterway (locally known as the ditch) unless they need to.

The beaches are essentially a self-sustaining community, so chances are you won’t need to travel to the city unless you want to. Everything you need is already minutes away from home.

The beach communities boast great schools, friendly residents, vibrant nightlife, and access to plenty of outdoor activities. Year-round fishing, surfing, and swimming are a huge draw for this community.

The cost to rent or buy a home in the beach communities is more expensive than in other neighborhoods. The median rent is around $1500 and the median price to purchase a home is around $450,000

Mandarin 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly area to settle down in, the southside neighborhood of Mandarin (named for the oranges) is a great option. The area boasts both picturesque settings and excellent schools.

Picture streets lined with towering oak trees decorated with Spanish moss. Nearby the Julington Creek burbles by; an absolute paradise if you’re into boating.

The area also offers access to excellent parks, stunning river views, local shopping, and an easy commute to downtown Jacksonville and the beaches.

Median home prices are around $350,000 and rentals are quite difficult to find. Whether you’re a young family or looking to retire, you’ll see why Mandarin is one of the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

Julington Creek

Another excellent family-friendly neighborhood near Mandarin is Julington Creek. Also in southside, Julington Creek sits about 20 minutes from downtown and is beloved for its sparse suburban atmosphere.

Julington Creek boasts excellent schools, miles of biking trails, plenty of golf courses, and great opportunities for shopping.

Median house prices come in just below $300,000 and most residents own their homes. Rentals cost on average around $1500. Keep in mind that lots are small, traffic can get congested, and diversity is minimal in this area.

Bartram Park

Another of Jacksonville’s up-and-coming neighborhoods is Bartram Park. Located just off of Interstate 95 minutes from downtown and the beaches, this neighborhood is home to families, great schools, and a nature preserve.

Bartram Park also boasts an abundance of bike trails, gorgeous streets, wide sidewalks, and a multitude of housing options.

A single-family home will cost you around $250,000, while a townhouse or condo might cost anywhere between $110,000 and $260,000. Apartments range from $1000 to $1700 a month.

Northside

If what you’re looking for in a neighborhood is a lot of space and access to nature, then Northside could be the place for you. Northside offers spectacular views and the classic feel of old Florida.

Northside offers some of the most outdoor-oriented lifestyle opportunities in the city. More rural than other neighborhoods, Northside was formerly an industrial area. Now it’s taking Jacksonville by storm.

Real estate in Northside has exploded recently, adding more residential subdivisions and riverfront homes ideal for families. Many people own their homes, but nearly as many rent. The median home costs around $200,000.

Northside offers the opportunity to reside in a relaxing rural community, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s completely cut off from culture and activity.

The area is home to the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, the Jacksonville Zoo, and Huguenot Park. There are many opportunities for watching wildlife, kayaking, boating, and bird watching.

Orange Park

A little further off the beaten path, Orange Park offers a relaxed, rural lifestyle complete with access to shopping and other important conveniences. This neighborhood is located less than an hour outside of downtown.

A great place to live for people from all walks of life, Orange Park is also a popular destination for families in the military. It is near the Naval Air Station where many service members and civilians are employed.

You can find any kind of home you desire in Orange Park. The median rent for an apartment is around $1000. The areas known as Woodlands and Admiral’s Walk offer homes around $230,000.

For the swankier homes, check out the east side of Orange Park. Here you’ll find the riverfront mansions and Tudor homes set along the St. Johns River.

Top Five Reasons to Move to Jacksonville, Florida

Still on the fence about whether moving to Jacksonville is the right choice for you? Consider the following top reasons why this city is one of the best places to call home.

1. Beaches

It might be predictable, but when it comes to the best reasons to move to Jacksonville the 22 miles of beaches are at the top of our list. You can also get your water fix at the city’s abundance of waterways, beaches, and piers.

You can enjoy romantic sunsets, idyllic surfing conditions, and adventurous diving endeavors in one of Jackson’s three beach areas, Neptune, Atlantic, and Jacksonville Beaches. Or just soak up the sun and the sand.

In addition, Jacksonville has the most expansive urban park system in the United States. It offers 337 park locations spanning more than 80,000 acres. These include municipal parks, state parks, gardens, and arboretums.

There is no shortage of access to scenic outdoor environments and activities when you live in Jacksonville. In fact, you can hitch a ride on the Beaches Trolley and explore for just a dollar.

2. Art & Music

Music and art are everywhere in Jacksonville. In addition to being the birthplace of southern rock, it is home to strong traditions of jazz and blues music. Festivals, shows, and concerts take place regularly in this city.

One of the biggest festivals Jacksonville hosts is the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. It’s one of the largest in the entire country, taking over 15 blocks of downtown.

The Jazz Festival is held every year on Memorial Day weekend and features live jazz, local food, a lively street atmosphere. Best of all, admission is free!

Don’t miss the Jacksonville Art Walk in downtown Jacksonville which takes place on the first Wednesday of each month. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy local art galleries, pop-ups, and marketplaces as well as food and music.

The Riverside Arts Market is another great way to enjoy the local arts, food, and music scene. All three of them converge every weekend from March to November.

Enjoy browsing the stands of local food vendors and artists while you listen to live music. There’s a new activity for children every week as well.

3. Food

Jacksonville is bursting with unique flavors and a thriving culinary scene. The city boasts incredible seafood, exceptional farm-to-table, and internationally renowned chefs. If you’re a foodie, Jacksonville will not disappoint.

Jacksonville is home to over 20 locally-owned, farm-to-table restaurants. These include Restaurant Orsay, Black Sheep Restaurant, and Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails.

Vegan menus and gluten-free options abound in Jacksonville as well. For the pescetarians and seafood lovers, you cannot beat the quality of the ocean fare in Jacksonville.

For the classic downhome experience check out Clark’s Fish Camp or Whitey’s Fish Camp. For a fancier local seafood experience, try North Beach Fish Camp or Bistro AIX.

You’ll also want to take advantage of the culturally diverse culinary options in Jacksonville. From the exquisite Lebanese cuisine at Mandaloun to fresh Ethiopian at the Nile, there are plenty of flavors to explore in Jacksonville.

4. Employment

The overall unemployment rate in Florida is quite low at 3.5 percent and Jacksonville currently ranks second in the state for job growth.

The city is home to many Fortune 500 company headquarters. It’s a great place to find excellent employment, especially for those in finance, logistics, and hospitality.

In addition, the cost of living in Jacksonville is much lower than the national average. For that reason, real estate is in high demand.

5. Proximity

The final greatest thing about moving to Jacksonville, Florida is that it is conveniently located in close proximity to many other major cities.

Tucked up in the northeastern part of the state, it’s within driving distance to Atlanta, Miami, Naples, and Orlando.

Conclusion

Jacksonville offers an abundance of employment opportunities, excellent schools, and a thriving arts and music scene. The best neighborhoods in Jacksonville, FL provide access a wide variety of lifestyles.

Whether you want to live by the beach, on a tree-lined street by the river, or in a rural community near a nature preserve, Jacksonville has a place for you.

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