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Neighborhood locations

Atlanta
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Neighborhood locations

Hi. Can someone tell me roughly the street locations (boundaries) for these neighborhoods: Avondale, Riverside, Five Points, LaVilla, Springfield, San Marco and Northbank(?).

Thanks.

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1. Re: Neighborhood locations

The following was written by a Jacksonville native. I wish I could take credit for it, but I cannot.

Jacksonville defines itself by its historic past and its location where the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean meet.

A key crossroads for more than 200 years, Jacksonville lured Northeasterners in search of winter sunshine. The city has gone to great lengths and expense to retain and restore its oldest homes and earliest settlements.

Trees line the avenues, lawns roll down to the river, and porch-rocking folks sit "of an evening" waving to passers. Such tranquil settings are part of the charm of this city billed as the largest metropolitan area in the nation, covering more than 840 scenic square miles.

Living at Riverside

In the late 1800s, prominent businessmen built homes in the Riverside suburb along the west bank of the wide St. Johns. Stately oaks that grew there then still exist.

As time passed, Riverside spread into a "new" development called Avondale, every bit as posh as Riverside. Now both are listed in the National Register of Historic Districts, not a designation that comes easily to a state that, by residential reckonings, is still quite young. The Riverside/Avondale Preservation Society offers a detailed walking tour brochure of important sites. Shopping is a lure here, and several annual events allow for a greater appreciation of the area, including a September Riverside Arts and Music Festival, a Christmas Luminaria celebration, and a Spring Home Tour.

Just south of Riverside, the community of Ortega occupies a peninsula between the Ortega and St. Johns Rivers and is lined with homes that have won it a ranking among the 50 wealthiest neighborhoods in the nation.

Bridging the gap

Jacksonville's bridges, five of them, cross the St. Johns River, connecting the city to its beaches.

The Acosta Bridge, built in 1921, began the development of the river's south bank. Once called the Villa Alexandria estate, the land south of the St. Johns is today called San Marco in salute to its central San Marco Square, where Mediterranean architecture dominates. Here, too, an active group, the San Marco Preservation Society, is devoted to conservation of the area's historic architecture. A map available from the organization leads you to primary points of interest, which include River Road Thrill Bridge, Colonial Manor Duck Pond and a variety of pretty parks. Along San Jose Boulevard, south of San Marco Square, are showy waterside estates, golf and yacht clubs.

On the first Friday in December, you can explore San Marco while attending the annual Holiday Magic in the Square celebration. In the spring private gardens are open to tours, and in the fall, the public can tour historic homes.

Historic outskirts

On the east side of the river, south of the downtown area, a little rural community called Mandarin once lured author Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the famed Southern novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, who settled here to raise a son. It also appealed to wildlife painter, Lee Adams. While Mandarin is no longer strictly rural, it's still a serene town with massive live oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

History lives on in the antique Mandarin Post Office and General Store built in 1911. A public pier offers a close-up view of the river.

On the west side of the river, Orange Park unites rural settings with subdivisions, shopping malls and a naval air base, while on the east side of the river, Baymeadows and environs is a complex of office parks inhabited by many national businesses.

Water, water everywhere is Jacksonville's lure and love. Coursing through the center of the city is the impressive St. Johns River. Along the eastern edge of the city, the Intracoastal Waterway stretches from South Florida, continuing far beyond the state's northern borders.

The key meeting of river and ocean was a deciding factor to the small colonies that formed here and prospered. Among the most important settlers were the French Huguenots, who established a tiny Fort Caroline on the banks of the St. Johns River in 1564. Today, that site and its reconstructed fort are part of a community known as Arlington, where you will also find the intriguing 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, honoring the Timucuan Indians, believed to be the first dwellers along these shores. Today's Arlington offers many dining and entertainment spots, waterfront homes, boating access, and public and private golf courses.

Across the Intracoastal Waterway and along miles of sand are Jacksonville's beaches. Trimming a barrier island, the sands roll past four communities topped on the northern end by Mayport at the mouth of the St. Johns River. Rustic Mayport is the place for fresh seafood right off the shrimp boats seen bobbing at anchor just feet from many restaurants. A popular spot is Strickland's, a casual waterside dining retreat known for simply prepared, fresh-from-the-sea fish and shellfish. Mayport is also home to the state's last remaining full-time ferry, which boards cars and passengers for the short trip across the water to Jacksonville.

South of Mayport, the sandy villages of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are lined with simple seaside homes that seal lovers will covet. Atlantic Boulevard and First Street are the hub of shopping, dining and entertainment. An annual Dancing in the Street Festival is a high spot of summer calendars.

From May to early September, Jacksonville Beach is packed with sun seekers, many motoring from Southern states to enjoy the beaches, festivals, surfing, parasailing, swimming, fishing and boating. More occurs just south of Jacksonville at Ponte Vedra Beach, where many settle in to take advantage of the area's top golf courses.

A half-hour's drive south brings you to historic St. Augustine, renown for its historic sites and beaches lined with hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities.

That's Jacksonville and its beaches which, allied with St. Augustine, remain since Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de Leon discovered it, a place for explorers.

Above article by Marilyn Springer.

The following website also gives a listing of articles about most of our neighborhoods. I hope this helps a bit.

jacksonvillestory.com/…20NEIGHBORHOODS

Just copy and paste into your browser window. That may seem incredibly elementary, but there are some people who don't know, and I am a believer that more, rather than less, information is better under certain circumstances.

Are you looking for something specific? Perhaps if you could narrow your questions we could give you better neighborhood-specific answers.

Always glad to help. Thanks for visiting the Jacksonville forum.

Vicki

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2. Re: Neighborhood locations

Hi VickysFloyd,

Thanks for the excellent links. My wife and I are trying to figure out where to retire. So we are checking out places we have visited; doing the research now so we can enjoy the next locations. Again, thanks.

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3. Re: Neighborhood locations

Hi,

I would definitely mark Springfield and LaVilla off of your list. Springfield is one of Jacksonville's oldest areas and although the homes are beautiful with much character, many of them have fallen into disrepair. There is much interest in buying these homes and renovating them because of their character and charm, but unless you could get one already done, you'd have a lot of work to do.

LaVilla is mostly 'downtown' and we're just now starting to have people move into the downtown area again. For years and years people had moved to the suburbs and downtown was business only. So this area would be mostly young working professionals.

Avondale and San Marco are both wonderful. Older homes, again with a lot of character, but they tend to be a bit pricey, so it depends on your budget.

Depending on your budget and considering your circumstances of retiring, Avondale would be my first choice. You'll find a lot of settled people in Avondale, many have lived in their homes for years. Neighbors actually know each other!

If you need a trustworthy realtor, I can give you a name. He's a friend, and I like his style because he's not pushy or obnoxious. He's not an 'aggressive' type, but rather calm and will do only what you're comfortable with. He doesn't call his clients 20 times a day and push them to buy.

And just for the record...Jacksonville hasn't been hit with a major hurricane in over 100 years. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but since we're sort of 'inset' on the peninsula, I think it insulates us somewhat.

You'll also find Jacksonville to be probably much slower-paced than Atlanta...and we don't have Six Flags!!!!! (I'm an amusement park Junkie...)

Please let me know if I can answer any further questions for you.

Vicki

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4. Re: Neighborhood locations

Do not discount the potential for Jacksonville to have hurricanes. (We also have tornadoes.)

Hurricanes Jeanne and Francis had downgraded to tropical storm force by the time they hit Jacksonville two summers ago. They left a lot of roofs to be repaired and some trees blew over onto houses causing major damage.

Hurricane Dora hit Jacksonville in 1964 causing major damage.

I don't know the history prior to 1964.

Weather patterns have been changing in the last couple years and we are now more likely to have hurricanes.

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5. Re: Neighborhood locations

Come on Spirit, don't burst my bubble!!! I just said we hadn't had a major hit in over 100 years. You are correct though, even though we haven't gone through a Katrina or an Andrew, we do get some damage and the possibility is certainly there. Now go take a happy pill and think about happy thoughts!

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6. Re: Neighborhood locations

I would rather be realistic.

Hurricane Dora took out five oceanfront houses in a row next to me in Neptune Beach. And ground they were sitting on was washed away. The houses were never seen again.

Check the records. Hurricane Dora was very destructive and caused a lot of expense to a lot of people.

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7. Re: Neighborhood locations

Even without a direct hit, hurricanes cause plenty of damage and problems in Jax.

Last year we had trees down and power off too many times to count..and the year before..We watched the live oak tree across the street gently topple over from one neighbors house into the roof of the other neighbor..

We lived in the San Jose/Mandarin area..lovely homes, beautiful roads with the big mossy live oaks reaching over the road, the river behind some of the houses, very nice..but you will want to have something that you like to do, golf, tennis, an activity that will keep you busy while living through extremely humid and hot summers.

I would have lived in the St Johns neighborhood, between the River and Biscottis :)

San Marco is nice..

I would skip Five Points as well as Springfield..

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8. Re: Neighborhood locations

I know....I'm not trying to say that hurricanes don't cause damage in Jacksonville. I'm merely saying that we haven't been flattened like Miami, New Orleans, Charleston, etc. We've had some damage ourselves. We were blessed because it was only a hassle, not life threatening. In Jacksonville, damages occur, loss of life due to hurricanes usually does not. And that's typically what people are afraid of when they consider moving to Florida. I don't know; perhaps I'm off base because I love Jax! I appreciate everyone else weighing in with differing opinions. That's what makes Tripadvisor so great. I guess that since I've never really been personally threatened, I have a sense of security. Maybe we call that naivete? Now go enjoy your beach, Spirit. No hurricanes on the horizon today! You doing well with your upcoming Paris plans? I'm on the Paris forum daily, it seems. We're doing Paris, Rome, Florence, and Sorrento, and somehow I've been designated the official travel planner for me and my husband and my sister and hers. Alas, if only I was getting paid for it!

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9. Re: Neighborhood locations

We were one of those families who asked first thing, what about hurricanes, before we decided to move down to Jax. The answer was that they never hit Jax, due to the way the coastline is shaped, etc.

Our bad luck was we moved down in the winter of 2003 and went through 2 summers there, both full of hurricanes.

Last summer we got out early enough not to have to deal with it.

Everywhere one goes there is something to worry about, hurricanes, tornadoes ( had a few of those scares too in Jax) and snow and floods, so I guess when making this choice, one has to pick what would frighten them most..

We would have still moved to Jax if we had been told, Yes, there is a chance Jax will get hit with one or more hurricanes a year and there is no guarantee that it will not flatten the town..at least, one is not so taken off guard when the storms come.

I have been to Paris almost every year for years now- and I still plan and get totally crazed with details every year..add in Italy and I know you must be having a fabulous crazy time with the plans..there are worse ways to get crazy :O)

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10. Re: Neighborhood locations

Hi Scarlett,

No one should have ever told you that Jacksonville is never affected with hurricanes. That's simply not true. We are. Just not as bad as other cities, as you know since you've been here a few years now. We have never evacuated and have never been told to. If told to evacuate, we would. We do have a generator that we were very glad we had in 2004! We literally bought the last one in the city, but I won't bore you with all of the details of how I know that. We were just blessed!

Isn't Paris wonderful? You're right, it's crazy planning but it's exhilarating, too. We always go in May. If you'll email me, I'll send you my Paris notes. You might find something in them that you can use. It's about 20 pages of info that we've learned over the years. My email address is vickisfloyd@hotmail.com. Spirit will be in Paris just days before we will. She gets back and we leave just a few days later. So between the two of you, the Jacksonville forum will be in excellent hands! When is your next trip to the City of Lights?

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