Jacksonville, Florida is located in one of the most beautiful locations in all of Florida. Sought after by tourists for its convenience, beautiful beaches and the stunning St. John’s River which winds through town, the city is an attractive vacation destination for those looking for a laid-back Florida beach experience.
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Staying at a bed and breakfast in Jacksonville Florida gives you the chance to experience the best that Javksonville has to offer while you base yourself in a luxurious, one of a kind guest room. There are bed and breakfasts in the urban center of Jacksonville which are perfect for those who wish to see the museums and attractions in town. You’ll also find beachside bed and breakfasts in Jacksonville Florida, especially in the historic village of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.
Jacksonville is Florida's most populous city and is the largest city in the continental United States by land area. There’s more than 20 miles of white sand on Jacksonville’s beaches stretching from the offshore settlement of Amelia Island in the north to Orange Park and the outskirts of St. Augustine in the south. Jacksonville Beach is the most popular beach and offers surfing, swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing. You’ll also find numerous state and national parks, cultural and historical attractions and plenty of dining and nightlife opportunities.
We’ve uncovered and unpacked everything you need to know to book a bed and breakfast in Jacksonville for your next vacation.
Jacksonville is located on the Atlantic coast, with a thriving beach scene and beautiful riverside along the St. Johns River. There are numerous parks, waterways and ecological preserves in the Jacksonville area which give visitors many opportunities to escape city life and get out into nature.
Just north of the city, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve contains Big Talbot and Little Talbot Island State Parks where you can experience unspoilt nature in abundance. In fact, the area around Jacksonville is home to 10 state and national parks. So, there’s plenty of opportunities for getting out in nature and experiencing the beauty of the Jacksonville area during your visit. Even within the city itself it’s easy to get outside as Jacksonville has the country’s largest urban park system. There are numerous walking, running and biking trails located right in town.
The beaches are a true highlight. They span more than 20 miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline and are typically quieter than the beaches further south in Florida. Off the coast, you’ll find Amelia Island, one of the Sea Islands chain of barrier islands. The island is a popular vacation destination for the well-heeled and it’s sandy beaches and dunes are worth visiting whether or not you decide to book your bed and breakfast on the island.
Jacksonville isn’t only a beach city, although there’s plenty of those to enjoy. If you are hoping to host an event in Jacksonville, Azaleana Manor is a fabulous choice. The massive home sits on a bluff in Orange Park overlooking the scenic St. Johns River. It’s a popular wedding venue but it can also be booked for other private events and offers full use of the 10,000 square foot mansion and grounds for you and your invitees.
Just a short drive away in Green Cove Springs you’ll find the Military Museum of North Florida and the North Florida Railway Museum which each make a nice half-day trip. Meanwhile, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is the region’s largest art museum, showcasing approximately 5,000 artworks from across all eras in a gorgeous riverfront location surrounded by gardens.
If you’d like to escape the busyness of Jacksonville Beach, why not consider Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. It’s a bit quieter than the main beaches near town and offers gorgeous white sand and beautiful clear water. The Amelia Island Williams House is a sprawling 1856 mansion that has been converted into a bed and breakfast. It’s a great place to stay if you are hoping to be close to attractions on Amelia Island such as Fort Clinch State Park.
Jacksonville is a vibrant city with many exciting activities available to both active and more laid-back travelers. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the best zoos in the region. Visitors can see more than 2000 animals in their natural habitat including many rare an exotic species. The zoo boasts the only walking safari in Northeast Florida where you can discover the resident wildlife through a variety of interactive and educational experiences.
The Kingsley Plantation is the site of a former slave plantation that has been preserved, along with Fort Caroline as part of the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the area during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Just a short drive away from downtown Jacksonville, up the A1A highway, you’ll find the two Talbot Island State Parks which are also a part of the Timucuan Preserve. Little Talbot Island State Park has a four-mile hiking trail, a white-sand beach with parking and other facilities, campgrounds and other amenities.
Big Talbot Island State Park is a bit further north. Here, visitors should make sure to visit Boneyard Beach - a famous beach where you can climb the “bones” of live oak trees that have been bleached by the sun and worn onto the shore over many years of erosion. It’s a great place to take some very interesting photos. Blackrock Beach, noted for its beautiful and ancient black rock formations is also worth checking out while you are visiting the state park.
The Jacksonville area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, a large indigenous group that lived in southern Georgia and northern Florida. The French built one of the earliest European settlements in the United States, Fort Caroline, in Jacksonville in 1564. The area changed hands several times between French, Spanish and British colonists, leaving behind a variety of cultural influences. The United States eventually acquired the colony of Florida from Spain in 1821, and a platted town was established at Jacksonville. The town was named after Andrew Jackson, the governor of the Florida territory who eventually became the country’s seventh president.
Jacksonville typically sees mild winters and quite hot summers. The best time to visit if you want to have nice weather is during the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November when the temperatures are neither too hot or too cold and the prices are lower than the busy summer months. The months of June, July and August see the most visitors due to warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine and summer school holidays. During winter, temperatures often reach into the 40s which keeps most visitors away. Due to its location, Jacksonville doesn’t typically see direct impacts from hurricanes, but hurricane-related storms are possible from June to November.
As Jacksonville is located on the coast, there is an abundance of fresh seafood available. Try the southern favorite, Shrimp and Grits, or stop by the Shrimp Shack for some Bam Bam Shrimp. They are finger-licking good. The Florida restaurant scene has been deeply influenced by immigrants who have settled all along the coast. Therefore, you’ll find a range of delectable international cuisines available. Really, the city is at a crossroads of cuisines, with southern, asian, cuban, and Mediterranean cuisines all readily available. Street food hawkers can be found around town and represent some of the city’s best quick eats. On the other hand, if you are celebrating something during your vacation, upscale restaurants are also available for special occasions.
Staying at a bed and breakfast in Jacksonville will give you the opportunity to truly experience the area as a local and see a side of the city that many tourists will never see. Friendly innkeepers will welcome you to your guest room and will be there for you from check-in to check-out. Many homes are located within walking distance of the riverfront, the beach or attractions in downtown Jacksonville. You could also choose to stay in a country inn-style accommodation on Amelia Island and escape the hustle and bustle of the city life during your beach getaway.
For travelers who wish to arrive by air, Jacksonville International Airport is the primary port of arrival. The airport offers scheduled service through several airlines including American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United, with easy connections to nearly every part of the United States. Taxis are available at the airport as are limousine rentals, rental cars, intercity buses and the local JTA city buses. Northeast Florida Regional Airport, just outside of St. Augustine, is about 30 miles south of Jacksonville. This airport offers regular service to Trenton, New Jersey through Frontier Airlines but no regular auto service is available to Jacksonville. Jacksonville is also served by Amtrack, Greyhound and Megabus and has a cruise terminal.
Choosing to stay at a bed and breakfast in Jacksonville does not mean that you have to forego the amenities and creature comforts that you would expect from a chain hotel or luxury holiday home. Instead, you’ll find everything you need to relax and unwind in style. Most of the bed and breakfasts in Jacksonville will have an outdoor pool where you can cool off after a warm day exploring. Free WiFi is considered standard today in accommodations of all types, and Jacksonville Bed and Breakfasts are no different. Free parking is common and is usually off-street. A full breakfast will be a highlight of your stay at a BnB in Jacksonville. Typically made in-house and sourced from local ingredients, the breakfast spread is the perfect start to your day.
Back around the turn of the century in Jacksonville, Riverside Avenue was known for its impressive mansion homes. The 50 homes which lined this road came to be known as “The Row.” Today, several of them have been converted into bed and breakfasts. Riverdale Inn is one of these and features 11 lovely private guestrooms. Casa Paradiso, is also located in the city center, within easy walking distance of the Florida Theatre and other downtown attractions.
Along the coast, on Amelia Island, the National Historic District of Fernandina Beach offers guests an opportunity to stay in a historic bed and breakfast while they experience carefree island life. Blue Heron Inn is an elegant 19th century home with a private pool, just steps away from the the historic village and near the beach. The Addison on Amelia Island is a boutique inn offering comfort and elegance across three antebellum-style buildings in the village of Fernandina Beach. The Hoyt House Bed and Breakfast is perfect for a romantic vacation in Jacksonville as the property is adults-only and features a private pool and hot tub as well as an on-site English Pub. The Florida House Inn on Amelia Island is Florida’s oldest continuously operated hotel, offering comfort and luxury in the heart of the historic district. If a beachfront vacation is what you are after, then the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is a fantastic choice. This upscale 1890s Nantucket-style hotel sits right on the beach and features elegant rooms and a 2-bedroom cottage.