So before we get started, what an experience Jacksonville was. All being down to just being in the right place, at the right time.
The Jacksonville stop was always designed to be big downtime spot. A time to relax, spend very little money and just generally recover from some pretty crazy times in Wilmington and Charleston. How wrong I was that this might happen. So what have I got to say about Jacksonville.
The city itself is meant to be one of the largest in the US (by population) which is kinda crazy considering you have cities like New York, etc. So how was my visit? Well, the downtown itself for me was kind of disappointing. Several run down and very vacant areas with a backdrop of quite a cool riverside multi-unit of shops and bars. What riverside wouldn’t be complete without its very own resident Hooters, which unsurprisingly was full of just guys when I passed by at around 2pm.
Downtown aside, what made Jacksonville pretty special for me was a couple of things. The Historical district of Springfield (not the one from the Simpsons!) was packed full of some pretty awesome houses. Not to mention the one I was staying in, this place was great. Outside grilling, hammocks and 2 great little dogs to keep you company. Even when the hosts weren’t around, you could really tell they had everything set up to welcome complete strangers into their home.
I think what really topped it off for me during my stay was the opportunity to attend the NFL pre-draft party at The Jaguar’s stadium. Not knowing a huge amount about Football, I was immediately intrigued by just how far your typical American takes the support of their team. The first thing you notice immediately is everything is just one big party. Especially for The Jags, the game is kind of just whats going in the background. Dancers, swimming pools, bars, food, DJ’s. Everything you could ask for with a party in the sun right? Needless to say, I’m no a Jags fan and whats more; they are technically the London home team right now. So I can even watch them play once a year back on home soil.
So would Jacksonville be a place I’d like to move to in the future? Probably not, just based on the fact that there isn’t really much to their downtown. I’m sure there is plenty to do if you properly explore (I’d heard the beach is awesome, but alas, I didn’t get a chance to explore), but there just wasn’t enough that other cities had going for them.
The quest continues. I’ll leave you with some snaps.