The ongoing revival of downtown Jacksonville has led to a new appreciation for the area after years of neglect.
But some residents still haven’t warmed up to the idea of hanging out downtown. Many don’t even know why anyone would do so. After all, it’s often portrayed as an empty wasteland – and who wants to hang out in an empty wasteland?
In reality, though, downtown Jax isn’t that bad. It’s actually pretty nice, and it’s getting increasingly nicer as development projects wrap up and new tenants arrive.
Obviously downtown is far from perfect. There’s a lot of work left to be done, and it’s still fighting reputation issues and lots of ground-floor vacancies. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out – and more importantly, it means the area needs as much of the community’s support as it can get.
So if you’re still in need of some persuasion, here are a few great qualities of the city’s downtown area that just don’t get enough love.
Jacksonville is blessed with the natural beauty of the St. Johns River, which runs right through downtown Jax.
As a result, the downtown area features a miles-long, river-adjacent walking and biking pathway. The Riverwalk runs from Riverside Arts Market to the riverfront Hyatt Regency along the Northbank, with plans to expand the path on both ends in the future. On the Southbank, it runs from River City Brewing Company to the Duval County Public Schools building – and eventually it’ll continue into the planned The District community.
The Southbank Riverwalk provides some of the city’s best views, showing off its skyline as well as the Main Street Bridge. The Northbank, meanwhile, is a popular running path that ends at the city’s biggest weekly public arts market.