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Iconic bridges, renowned beaches, and recorded history stretching back into the 1500's - are you thinking New York, NY, an exotic Caribbean Island or even Mexico? Try again! This is Jacksonville, Florida. Forget about the "City built by the Mouse" down south, Jax (as its called by its residents) has plenty to keep you occupied. Fort Caroline gives you a glimpse into the embattled past of the area, when the French and Spanish fought for ownership of the region. The Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve contains artifacts of European settlement alongside preserved coastline and waterways that grant you a glimpse into the wild past of the state. See the controversial history by visiting plantations and taking a walk on the African American Heritage Trail. The white sand beaches are nearly unparalleled and far less crowded than those found in St. Augustine, Daytona, and Palmbay.
How about creature comforts? Try a "Camel Rider" - a pita wrap stuffed with deli meats - and eat like a true local. Check out the local arts scene at one of the many theaters in town, including the historic landmark, the Florida Theatre. Walk across the Main St. Bridge for stunning views of the skyscrapers downtown, and go at night to see their lights reflected in the waters of the St. John's River. Take a day at the Natural as I Wanna Be spa and let all your worldly concerns melt away. With beautiful weather throughout the year, palm trees, and endless sunshine, Jacksonville is your city. Close enough to home, and far enough away all at the same time.