Welcome to Jacksonville
A big city with a small-town vibe and Southern charm, Jacksonville is a friendly and welcoming city that embraces change and newcomers. Together, we work alongside teachers, principals and community partners to support students in our public schools.
Living in Jacksonville
Duval County Public Schools is the sixth-largest district in Florida, with a rich cultural history and scenic views, making it an ideal place to spend a year help each student reach their potential.
- Average rental cost for AmeriCorps members living with roommates is $300–$500/month. AmeriCorps members typically live in shared houses or apartments in Arlington, Springfield, Murray Hill and Riverside.
- Jacksonville is extremely spread out. AmeriCorps members with cars are highly encouraged to bring them. Otherwise, many AmeriCorps members carpool with teammates.
- We recommend Apartments.com and Trulia to help find your new home.
- There are plenty of cheap eats and free activities around the city. With beaches, free festivals and outdoor activities Jacksonville is an affordable place to have fun! You can also look into the city’s Food Assistance.
This year, 100 City Year AmeriCorps members will support over 9,400 students in 12 Jacksonville schools.
Helpful links for your City Year in Jacksonville
- Explore the Riverside Arts Market on Saturday mornings or downtown Jacksonville during First Wednesday Art Walk
- Visit St. Augustine and explore its 450 years of history
- Enjoy the sun, sand, and surf at Jax Beaches
- Shop ’til you drop at St. Johns Town Center
Things to do in Florida
Still much to enjoy during COVID-19 pandemic
There are a number of outdoor experiences you can enjoy and can social distance. Head to one of the many natural springs in Central Florida to get fresh air, cool off, and enjoy the lush forest. These can all be done in as day trip or weekend getaway. Check out our 22 miles of beaches! For extra-distant beaching, check out the quieter Atlantic Beach and Hanna Park. Head for a hike in a state park at Little and Big Talbot island. Grab a picnic blanket and some takeout from some a local restaurant in Riverside then sit (six feet apart) with friends at Memorial Park as the sun sets.
Local black-owned businesses
We have a variety of Black-owned businesses here in Jacksonville, Florida. Below is a link that will take you to a list of places to try!
Visiting Jacksonville neighborhoods
Jacksonville is home to three professional sports teams, the Jaguars (NFL), the Jumbo Shrimp (MLIB), and the Armada (NASL), all calling downtown their home. You can walk along the Riverwalk . Downtown is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which holds plenty of events and offers free admission on Wednesday nights. Hemming Park, a mainstay of the downtown scene, holds many events, including the monthly Art Walk, weekly happy hour and food trucks and live music during lunch each day. Across from Hemming Park is the Jacksonville Main Public Library which houses thousands of books, beautiful paintings, exhibits, sculptures and interesting architecture.
Considered by many to be the cultural hub of Jacksonville, Riverside is home to many of the city’s independent bars and restaurants. Whether the eclectic Five Points scene or the beer mecca that is King Street, there is always something going on in Riverside and plenty of local restaurants. The neighborhood is also home to the world-class Cummer Museum (with free admission on Tuesdays!) Be sure to check out the Riverside Arts Market under the Fuller Warren bridge every Saturday. Walk or lounge by the scenic view of the St. John’s River at Memorial Park.
Just north of downtown is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. The Great Fire of 1901 devastated most of Jacksonville, but Springfield was left largely untouched. Each fall, the residents of Springfield open their historic porches to musicians during the aptly titled PorchFest.
About 30 minutes from the center of the city are Jacksonville, Neptune, and Atlantic beaches. These communities blend into one another and their streets are often crowded with pedestrians. Just north of these cities is Mayport, home to a naval station and plenty of seafood restaurants. There are a few breweries in this part of town, and many bars, restaurants and shops centered around the Beaches Town Center. Near the beaches, you’ll also find Adventure Landing – Jax Beach with plenty of fun activities including a water park, arcade, miniature golf and laser tag. For more outdoor fun, grab your skateboard and basketball and head over to South Beach Park. If you’re looking for a bargain, check out the Beach Blvd Flea Market.
Just across the river from downtown is San Marco. This neighborhood contains the nation’s oldest continually operating community theater, Theatre Jacksonville. The San Marco Square pays homage to the Venetian piazza of the same name. There are several storefronts located on the Southbank, including MOSH, Jacksonville’s science and history museum. Historic, Spanish style architecture and a variety of locally owned restaurants make this neighborhood perfect for an evening stroll.
Between the Avenues mall and the St. John’s Town Center, there’s plenty of shopping in the Southside. TopGolf and Autobahn Indoor Speedway are great group is a great group activity with tons to do! Also be sure to check out the Walter Jones Historical Park, a historical property dating back to the late 19th century!
The Northside contains the main entry-points to the city, with the airport, Amtrak station, and Cruise Terminals. There are plenty of activities to do, including the free tour at the Budweiser Brewery, strolling through the zoo, or going on a hike at the Timicuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. The tour of the Kingsley Plantation is a great way to learn about the history of the city. Looking for great bargains, check out Pecan Park Flea and Farmers’ Market.
Adventure Landing – Orange Park has plenty of fun activities including a go-karts, arcade, miniature golf and laser tag. Stroll through beautiful gardens and trails at Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens.