Moving to Jacksonville, FL, offers residents coastal charm and urban living all rolled into one. The city’s warm climate and beautiful beaches create a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, making it an attractive destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With a rich history and diverse cultural scene, Jacksonville is known for its museums, art galleries, and lively music festivals. The city’s extensive park system, including the stunning Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, provides ample recreational activities and exploration opportunities. So whether you’re searching for apartments in Jacksonville, homes for sale, or want to learn more about what Jacksonville is known for, this Redfin article will be your guide.
1. Low cost of living
The overall cost of living in Jacksonville is 6% below the national average , making it a great city for residents seeking affordability without compromising on amenities. The city’s housing market offers a diverse array of reasonably priced options, with the median sale price of $302,250 which is below the national median of $425,674. Rent can also be found at a lower cost, with an average two-bedroom Jacksonville apartment going for $1,504. Renting in Jacksonville is more budget-friendly than popular metros like Miami, where the average two-bedroom is $3,618.
2. Beach communities
With miles of sandy shores, quaint beach towns, and a range of water-based activities, Jacksonville is full of vibrant, yet relaxed beach communities.
“The Jacksonville beach communities are amazingly generous and collaborative,” shares Lori Richards, a local from BEAM, a community-based organization serving low-income residents living or working in Jacksonville’s beach communities. “The sense of being a hometown that cares for our own is so evident and makes this a wonderful place to live.”
3. Beautiful outdoors
You’ll find an abundance of natural attractions in Jacksonville. There are many things to explore, from the stunning beaches, lush parks, and scenic views.
“In Jacksonville’s 850 square miles, outdoor enthusiasts, artists, and nature lovers can discover inspiring preserves, water bodies, and pristine beaches,” says Shehzad Niazi, a local photographer of Photo Adroit. “From hiking and kayaking trails to historical landmarks across 80,000 acres of National, state, and urban parks, there’s something for everyone. Access to historic St. Augustine and other beautiful southern beaches adds to the allure. Despite years of visiting, I’ve only scratched the surface.”
4. Intracoastal Waterway
Jacksonville is celebrated for its intracoastal waterway, a picturesque route that winds through the city, offering stunning views and recreational opportunities.
Local resident Julia Dugger from Jax Beach Treehouse, a short-term rental property, shares, “Jacksonville is Florida’s secret jewel. While the beaches are big, beautiful, and uncrowded, the Intracoastal Waterway is where the locals play. Boating, waterskiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or bird watching are fun things to do. Revel in spectacular sunsets and peaceful views. Visitors often decide to move to the area for plenty of reasons.”
5. Fast-growing city
Jacksonville is experiencing rapid growth, with its population, economy, and infrastructure expanding significantly.
“The best part about this city is the economic growth,” says Jesse Lane, a local and owner of J. Lane Construction. “We are doing a ton of multifamily and commercial construction in this city and across the whole state, but Jacksonville is unique and explodes with opportunity and lots of potential.”
5. Native Park
Jacksonville has one of the largest park systems in the US. One particular park of note is Native Park, which was formed in 1923 to increase public awareness of plants indigenous to northeast Florida. The park, which is maintained by the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, currently has over 160 Florida native plant species organized in zones with maps and plant locations posted in a kiosk. Native Park is located in the historic Avondale neighborhood.
7. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is a natural gem that preserves the region’s unique ecosystem and rich history. This expansive preserve allows visitors to explore unspoiled marshlands, historic sites, and abundant wildlife.
Explore55Plus, a company assisting search inquiries for retirement homes, shares, “There is so much to love about Jacksonville, but the stunning natural wonders just a stone’s throw away set this city apart. One of our favorite spots is the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve – one of the last unspoiled wetland ecosystems in the region. Visitors can explore its ancient forests, hike along scenic trails, and discover centuries-old historical sites like the Fort Caroline National Memorial.”
8. Vibrant sports culture
Jacksonville boasts a vibrant sports culture that captivates locals and visitors alike. Home to the NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the city rallies around its football pride, creating an electrifying atmosphere during game days. Additionally, Jacksonville’s passion for sports extends beyond football, as the city hosts various sports events, including golf tournaments, college athletics, and soccer matches. With state-of-the-art stadiums, sports bars, and a dedicated fan base, Jacksonville provides a lively and dynamic environment that celebrates athleticism, camaraderie, and the spirit of competition.
9. St. Johns River
Jacksonville is widely recognized for its iconic St. Johns River that flows through the city, shaping its identity and providing recreational and economic opportunities. As one of the few rivers in the United States that flows northward, the St. Johns River offers stunning scenic beauty, making it a favorite spot for boat cruises, fishing, and water-based activities. The river’s significance in Jacksonville’s history and commerce cannot be understated, as it is a crucial waterway for transportation, trade, and tourism.