Greatest Destinations 2020 – Jacksonville

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Plan Your Escape: Award-winning restaurants, lively beaches, tucked-away shops and welcoming accommodations add to Jacksonville’s cache every year. Not to be discounted in favor of Charleston’s charm, Jacksonville holds its own as a prime weekend escape – all the more reason to head south when your feet start to get a little restless.

 

 

(Corner Taco)

CORNER TACO First, it was a taco stand. Then, it was a taco truck. Now, with a rabid following, Corner Taco is a much-applauded brick-and-mortar taco shop. Sampling one of Chef Chris Dickerson’s award-winning “mexiclectic” creations is a bucket-list experience. 904-240-0412 | 818 Post St, Jacksonville | cornertaco.com

 

(Le Macaron)

LE MACARON The French excel at simple things that are nearly impossible to perfect — case in point, the macaron. Le Macaron French Pastries comes as close to perfection as one can hope to get this side of the Atlantic. lemacaron-us.com/jacksonville

 

 

(Bistro AIX)

BISTRO AIX Jacksonville’s Best Destinations have a distinctively François bent this year, with Bistro AIX rounding out the category. They’ve been bringing that je ne sais quoi to Jacksonville’s dining scene for more than 21 years. 904-398-1949 | 1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville  | bistrox.com

 

(The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island)

THE RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND If you visit The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for the signature Heaven in a Hammock massage alone, it would be a visit well-spent. If you stay for the night, it might just be the trip of a lifetime. 904-277-1100 | 750 Amelia Island Pkwy, Fernandina Beach | ritzcarlton.com

 

 

(Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park)

ALOFT JACKSONVILLE TAPESTRY PARK This modern, stylish hotel in the heart of Jacksonville’s Tapestry Park provides a centrally-located spot for a Jacksonville vacation with easy access to Jacksonville Beach and downtown Jacksonville alike (complete with a Tesla charging station). 904-998-4448 | 4812 W Deer Lake Dr, Jacksonville  | marriott.com

 

 

(Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront)

HYATT REGENCY JACKSONVILLE RIVERFRONT Located in downtown Jacksonville, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront offers stunning views of Jacksonville’s Main Street Bridge and an easy walk to most downtown amenities. 904-588-1234 | 225 E Coastline Dr, Jacksonville | hyatt.com

 

 

(Kayaking on Lofton Creek)

KAYAKING ON LOFTON CREEK Paddle through cypress swamps and lush aquatic ecosystems on Lofton Creek. Tours from Amelia Adventures provide gear perfect for beginner kayakers and guidance to make anyone an amateur botanist. 904-500-8687 | Melton Nelson Boat Ramp, Fernandina Beach | ameliaadventures.com

 

 

(Atlatic Beach)

ATLANTIC BEACH Peaceful, scenic, and perfect for a stroll and a seashell search, Atlantic Beach is the most northern of Jacksonville’s stretch of beaches. Close to shops and restaurants, beach-goers can still find solitude here.

 

(Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens)

JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS Take a walking safari at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The zoo features more than 2,000 species of animals and 1,000 different plants. The botanical gardens are planted among the animal exhibits, creating an integrated, immersive natural experience. 904-757-4463 | 370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville | jacksonvillezoo.org

 

 

(Avonlea Antiques)

AVONLEA ANTIQUES A day spent ’tiquing in North Florida is a day well-spent, especially at this antiques mega-mall. Avonlea Antiques boasts 40,000 square feet of treasures waiting to be discovered — the largest in North Florida. 904-636-8785 | 8101 Philips Hwy, Jacksonville | avonleamall.com

 

 

(Sweet Pete’s)

SWEET PETE’S Be a kid in a candy store, and definitely bring the kids with you to Sweet Pete’s. Go behind the scenes in Sweet Pete’s factory or take a candy-making class. Willy Wonka would be proud. 904-376-7161 | 400 N Hogan St, Jacksonville | sweetpetescandy.com 

 

(Bonne Nuit)

BONNE NUIT Located in the historic Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville, Bonne Nuit offers a luxurious selection of fine lingerie, exquisite linens, and sumptuous skincare products. Owner, Karen Johnston, has been curating its shelves for 20 years. 904-389-2403 | 3579 St Johns Ave, Jacksonville | bonnenuitavondale.com

 

See South’s Greatest Destinations for SavannahCharleston, The Lowcountry, Golden Isles and more coming soon.

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