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Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

Indiana
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Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

My wife, 9 year old son and I will be visiting for four days next week. We'll be staying the Marriott Sawgrass. I'll look through several pages of this forum for suggestions, but since time is so short before we depart, I thought that I would go ahead and post this request as well. Any suggestions that you might have would be appreciated. We're fairly typical in that we like to discover new things, find fun places to eat, check out local shopping, explore places unknown. We'll spend some time on a beach, but will like to get out and about as well (museums, interesting neighborhoods, seek out the local flavor, etc).

Your thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Jacksonville, FL
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1. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

Hi Baxter,

Okay...the high for the four days you're here is supposed to be 78 degrees. One day is supposed to be rainy, 2 days cloudy, and one day sunny (there's your beach day!)

A fun day trip for all of you would be to take a drive (about 50 minutes) to St. Augustine, our Nation's oldest city. There's a lot of sightseeing, a fort, great shops and restaurants.

Your son might enjoy our Museum of Science and History (MOSH).

We also have a super zoo. If you go to the zoo and afterward want some really good seafood, turn right from the zoo onto Hecksher Drive and just keep going to the Sandollar Restaurant. It's about 15 miles down the same road as the zoo is on, but it's sort of a back road and will only take you about 20 minutes. It's right on the water and it's one of our favorites.

Jacksonville Zoological Garden: 904-757-4462

8605 Zoo Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32218, US

Revise | New Directions

Sandollar Restaurant & Marina: 904-251-2449

We also have Adventure Landing which has go-karts, laser tag and a water park. Here's a link: www.adventurelanding.com/jaxbeach/index.html

For shopping, the newest and probably best place would be St. Johns Town Centre. It's an open air shopping area with great shops and restaurants (Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's) and more.

The San Marco area of Jacksonville is one of the oldest areas and has nice shops and restaurants.

We also have have the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art (JMOCA) and here's link: www.mocajacksonville.org/

Another smaller but unique museum is the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. It's worth a look. Their website could use some help, but here's a link: www.rain.org/~karpeles/jax.html

Not knowing where you are in Indiana, I'm not sure if you've heard of the restaurant chain Buca di Beppo. There's one in Indianapolis. We also have one here. Your son would love it if he likes Italian food. It's a chain restaurant but unique.

If you're interested in good old southern fried chicken, THE place to to is Beach Road Chicken on Atlantic Boulevard. It's called Beach Road because it's on the only road that used to go East to the beaches from downtown Jacksonville. They serve up healthy portions (family style) of mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, fries, creamed peas, cole slaw, homemade biscuits and fried chicken. Everything except the chicken will be brought as much as you want. The creamed peas, cole slaw and biscuits come with every dinner, and then each person chooses fries, mashed potatoes or rice. Since there are 3 of you, each choose a different one because they're all still going to come family style and you are encouraged to share. This place has been open since the 1930's and has about 27 coats of paint. Don't expect to go here for atmosphere, but it is a Jacksonville institution.

I'm sure others will have some recommendations, but hopefully I've given you a few things to consider

Welcome to the forum, and I hope you have a great time in Jacksonville. Congrats on your Superbowl win!

Jacksonville...
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2. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

For Historic Districts with local flavor, I would check out Riverside/Avondale & San Marco.

There are some great places for brunch, lunch, and dinner as well as local boutiques and kitschy shops.

For dinner, Bistro Aix, the Brick, bb's, and the Cellar Grille are all local favorites.

For lunch, Dona Maria's, Cafe Carmon, and Biscotti's.

I would definitely make time for San Marco, Riverside & Avondale.

As Vicki mentioned, MOCA Jax, MOSH, and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens are all phenomenal.

The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens is also something your son would love.

Near your hotel, The Aqua Grille and Ocean 60 are local favorites for dinner.

Do a Google search on any of the mentioned places above for more info.

Have a great time!!!

Indiana
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3. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

vickisfloyd & KBOAT,

Thanks to both of you for your input. We'll most certainly take advantage of your suggestions. We're very much looking forward to our visit.

Florida
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4. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

One other suggestion.......Kingsley Plantation is near the zoo and is a great historic place to visit. You can tour the grounds and view the the plantation house, barn and slave cabins . Also if you have not seen the Lion King play, it is town through April 15.

Indiana
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5. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

We're back and had a wonderful visit to the Jacksonville area. Some of the highlights include; a full day in St Augustine (including the fort and the Alligator Farm), MOSH, shopping at St John's Centre and the Premium Outlet on I-95, a little bit of time on the beach, eating at Maggiano's and Clark's Fish Camp, and visting the San Marco and Avondale neighborhoods.

Thanks for the input, it was put to good use and very much appreciated.

Baxter

6. Re: Visiting Jacksonville/Ponte Vedra the week of March 26th

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