Greatest Destinations 2018 – Jacksonville
There’s more to Jacksonville than just the beach—though that’s a pretty good place to start. Here, we’ve rounded up the greatest places to eat, stay, play and shop on the First Coast.
ONE OCEAN RESORT & SPA – With an award-winning restaurant, full spa, and stylish suites boasting oceanfront views, One Ocean combines luxury with serenity. It’s a stone’s throw from a slew of area restaurants, so there are plenty of options for those looking to explore. Thanks to on-site restaurant Azurea, a chic beachfront lounge, and “Hugh’s Bar” (so-named for the eponymous bartender who whips up a slew of unique cocktails), it might be difficult to leave the resort at all. oneoceanresort.com
HOTEL PALMS – Tucked into a palm tree-laden street just three blocks from the beach, Hotel Palms has been an Atlantic Beach landmark since 1947. In recent years, though, the space has been transformed from a dated motor court inn to a modern, minimal, boutique hotel—complete with monthly events (outdoor yoga, movie nights) and a lounge serving local brews and wine by the glass. Rooms start at $149 per night thehotelpalms.com
13 Gypsies– The menu at the cozy, Spanish-influenced 13 Gypsies is heavy on tapas, making it ideal for those looking to share. Dishes rotate frequently, though diners can always count on a few standbys, like a plate of warm chorizo, sautéed pears and spiced dates, or a plate of handmade flatbread (the perfect vehicle for dunking in a dish of honey garlic hummus). Though not required, reservations are a good idea, as the restaurant only has 20 seats —all of which fill up quickly. 13gypsies.com
(Gilberts Southern Hot Chicken)
Gilbert’s Hot Chicken, Fish & Shrimp – If there’s any food that defines Southern dining, fried chicken might be it. At Gilbert’s Hot Chicken, Fish & Shrimp, that’s the focus, but with a Nashville-style twist. Top Chef season 7 alum Kenny Gilbert smokes and fries chicken thighs—or shrimp or fish depending upon preference—at his new oceanfront eatery, serving them with a sweet bun, house-made dill pickles and datil pepper remoulade. Upstairs, Gilbert’s Southern Kitchen + Bar dishes up fancier fare, such as smoked conch bolognese and collard green curry, though diners can still opt for the hot chicken, fish, or shrimp. gilbertshotchicken.com
CoRK Arts District – This graffiti-covered, 8,000-square-foot warehouse—called “CoRK” due to its location on the corner of Rosselle and King streets) houses dozens of local artist studios and galleries. Events—openings, exhibitions and the like—are held throughout the year, though perhaps the best time to visit is during the fall, when the space hosts its annual Open Studios event. corkartsdistrict.com
Intuition Ale Works – Jacksonville has a burgeoning brewery scene, though Intuition is arguably the best-known. In 2016, the popular brewpub’s operations shifted from the original location, in Riverside, to a 12,00-square-foot warehouse just a hop and a skip from EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Beer is, of course, the draw at Intuition (People’s Pale Ale is the flagship brew), though the rooftop views and the gourmet bar eats—brisket sandwiches, shrimp po’boys, and gourmet hot dogs—are pretty stellar, too. intuitionaleworks.com
(Intuition Ale Works)
Cottage by the Sea – As its name suggests, this beachside boutique specializes in Floridian-chic furniture and home accessories (think oyster-laden lamps and driftwood side tables). Here, shoppers peruse distressed furniture, plus art, textiles, and tabletop accessories from trendy lines like Uttermost and Bramble. The shop also hosts periodic container sales, where shoppers can purchase imported furniture directly from the truck, before it even hits the store floor. cottagebytheseaonline.com
Gloss Goods – As far as apothecaries go, this one is about as chic (and Instagrammable) as it gets. A hot pink neon sign proclaiming “All the Things” beckons shoppers, while limited-run jewelry and personal-care potions (beard oils, non-toxic lipsticks, and the like) keep them coming back. Thanks to locally-made cards and beautiful packaging, this is a great place to shop for gifts—though it’s difficult to leave without something from yourself, as well. glossgoods.com
For even more destinations, subscribe now to get instant access to the digital edition, or pick up the latest copy of South from one of our distribution partners.