City of Jacksonville

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Ah… My hometown… I was born and raised in this city and at the beaches up through my early adult years. There is not a better city on the planet! I would love to give this review not 5…but 50 stars!!!

Jacksonville, Florida is the best city in America to live, work and raise a family! You will discover for yourself, the many charms that make Jacksonville a travel destination of the first-order.

Like the Florida sunshine that warms their gorgeous beaches, Jacksonville’s future has always been bright. It’s a city in motion, both culturally and economically. Truly… Jacksonville, being known as the First Coast, has been America’s best-kept secret.

Take advantage of all this area has to offer. Jacksonville has established a tradition of recognizing and preserving its rich natural and cultural heritage, creating the nation’s largest urban park system. Jacksonville boasts of having more than 350 city parks and over 48,000 acres comprising of unspoiled natural wetlands, preserves and historical sites.

The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is a top-notch entertainment and sports complex, hosting artists like Elton John, KISS, Aerosmith, and sports events such as the Jacksonville Barracudas hockey team. And the baseball fans can watch the Jacksonville Suns play at the award-winning Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, with a seating capacity of 10,000 people.  

Jacksonville boasts of a world-class symphony orchestra, active theater and dance groups, along with their marvelous art museums for the culturally minded.  

Jacksonville has a cruise ship that offers passengers an opportunity to enjoy many amenities offered by Jacksonville, before departing to exotic locations.

Jacksonville is also home of the Jacksonville Jaguars football team. Go Jags!!! I actually had the privilege of spending Christmas one year, with a few of the original team members. We (meaning me, my dad, step-mom, brothers and sisters and their families) had them over for Christmas dinner at my sister’s home and we had an awesome time! For a gift…they gave us opening season tickets right on the sideline!!! That was exciting to say the least!

It’s also home of the world-famous TPC Golf Championships, played at the Sawgrass Stadium Course. Golf Digest considers Sawgrass Country Club, in Ponte Vedra Beach, one of the top 25 best resort courses. TPC at Sawgrass is also the home of “THE PLAYERS Championship” in which hosts an elite international field of past champions; including but not limited to…Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Fred Couples, David Duval, and Greg Norman. Sawgrass is located just a couple of minutes south of Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Jacksonville has also been chosen for various movie and TV productions by some well know producers; who have partially or totally completed their films in our great city. Some of these films included: “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954), “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” (1988), “Brenda Starr” (1989), “G.I. Jane” (1997), “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997), “Ride” (1998), “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” (1998), “Forces of Nature” (1999), “Tigerland” (2000), “Sunshine State” (2002), “Basic” (2003), “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004), “Lonely Hearts” (2006), “Monster House” (2006), “Moving McAllister” (2007), “The Year of Getting to Know Us” (2008).

My very own flesh and blood has a strong history in this city, spanning across many generations; where my great-grandfather was mayor of Pablo Beach, which is now called Jacksonville Beach. There is even a cemetery named after him, called the Warren Smith Cemetery. My great-grandparents also owned the first icehouse, before refrigerators were birthed and built their own beach house, with their own hands, using beach plywood shingles. My dad is a well-known artist in the community, where his artwork has been displayed throughout various parts of the country and has co-authored/illustrated numerous historical books; such as lighthouses, pirates, and warships. All displaying his original artwork. He is also registered with the historical coastguard lighthouse society, being recognized for his work in various military branches. So you can see why this place means so much to me. My family has strong roots and ties here.  

From it’s beautiful beaches and well-managed green space, to their vibrant downtown area and entertaining Riverwalks, spanning north and south of the beautiful St. Johns River, Jacksonville has all kinds of incredible natural assets, top notch retail and entertainment venues, a revitalized downtown, with rich and varied cultural landscapes, topped off by some of the most friendliest people and warm hospitality that you will ever experience.

I hope you get a chance to partake of all that this city has to offer. It will be a great experience for you and your entire family.

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