If you’re moving to Jacksonville, FL, it won’t take you long to discover that music and art are everywhere. It’s the birthplace of Southern rock and home to a strong tradition of jazz and blues.
From music festivals to classical shows, your entertainment options are endless on this side of the Sunshine State.
My wife and I moved to Jacksonville in May. Like it here but the furniture stores are sadly lacking and the Indian restaurants are not that great. We haven't seen much in the way of seafood restaurants, and in fact when we ask we never seem to get the "you have to go to xxx, it is the best". Went to the Reef and the seafood was over cooked and average at best. Many places are not even on the water.
Jacksonville's economy, not that strong to begin with, has struggled to recover from the Great Recession in 2008. Unemployment remains high, fluctuating around the 10 percent mark, and pay is dismally low in some key industries, comparatively speaking. Jacksonville is only home to three Fortune 500 companies: Winn-Dixie, CSX, and Fidelity National Finance.
Jacksonville, for the most part, is politically and socially conservative. Some residents consider this a positive aspect of living in Jacksonville, while others consider it a con. All in all, it depends on your social and political outlook.
Jacksonville has two of the highest rated public high schools in the country. Both Stanton and Paxon routinely end up on the top 10 or top 20 list in the country. Both schools are public magnet schools that are available for any student to apply for acceptance. The school system has seen a benefit in offering Magnet schools for those who choose to push the education of their children (and who doesn't right?). You'll find "A" rated schools throughout town, but remember these schools can decline or advance in their ratings depending how they test annually. If education is important to you (and it's a great way to insure a better resale value), you should look for locations that offer "A" rated schools from elementary through middle school and on to high school.
Luxury real estate in Jacksonville starts in the $500's. We have exclusive golf based communities throughout Jacksonville with prices ranging from the $500's to well into the millions. You'll find luxury properties in the urban areas like San Marco, Avondale, and Riverside. Beach communities have been going through major renovations with many tear downs and rebuilds to luxury near beach homes throughout Atlantic and Neptune Beach. Ponte Vedra holds some of the highest values in the entire Jacksonville area.
Jacksonville is HUGE and the growth of outlying suburbs and towns make it even More huge.
Live in a rental at first so you can decide where you really want to live after you've lived here a while.
A lot of places close at 10; people in the know can direct you to what's open late at night.
There are certain parts of town that have a LOT of traffic. Live strategically so you don't sit in your car any more than you have to.
Get a realtor to help you find a rental.
Jacksonville is the biggest small town in the world, so there will be friendly people to welcome you. And some people who you nod to in passing for the next 10 years. LOL
Jacksonville is big overall compared to other cities. It is easy to get around though. Find what side of town you like best and check out your commute times. Too many different areas to discuss in this area. Beaches, river, golf course communities, large homes, condo’s, San Marco area for younger crowd etc…
You have to own a car.
I moved from Ohio so Jacksonville is amazing comparatively. My first year kinda sucked in the Southside apartment complexes, but I moved to San Marco and I'm looking at buying a house around here soon.
Well... Jacksonville is barely anything like Orlando, and definitely nothing like Denver. For transplants to the Southern US, there can be a culture shock. If you plan to make a few visits here before you move, that will give you an idea of whether or not it'll be a good fit. (Living by the ocean totally has its perks.)
I've been living in Jacksonville for a little over 16 years now, and I gotta say, the city has really grown on me. It's also grown in general. I know this sounds like a total sales pitch, but I really think this city is up and coming. If you look into the past of the city, you can see why it struggled for so long to attract culture, etc. but that is really starting to turn around.
We have places like Murray Hill that is really gaining traction fast and will be a major cultural hub in maybe 1-2 years. There's also Springfield... When I moved to Jacksonville no one would have ever said, "Yeah, you should definitely look for a place in Springfield" as it was generally a kinda seedy area. Whereas that's now a major recommendation for this type of post here.
As far as "nerdy" things go, that's a little vague, but we have some really great offerings there. There's the GLHF game bar downtown (video game LANs), Java Game Haus (tabletop gaming/coffee bar), Keg and Coin (arcade bar), and some comic shops that were recently acquired by Coliseum of Comics as well as plenty of other comic shops. And these are just some.
Jacksonville is definitely not a place for you if you want quick, easily accessible culture, but if you're willing to look around, and find some of the many gems we have... Then you will probably enjoy it. I've seen it grow over time, and it seems to really be accelerating lately.