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Celebrating a big birthday

Saint Simons...
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Celebrating a big birthday

Hi All, We are going to the Florida Theatre on Nov. 20th to see Straight No Chaser. I haven't gotten a hotel room or made a dinner reservation. The show is at 8pm. I would like to be nearby but don't want to compromise on what is the best. You're only a Medicare invitee once in your life at 65 so I guess I'm trying to celebrate. Any help would be appreciated as we are two couples travelling together.

Tequesta, Florida
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1. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

I don't live there but visit my son there frequently at the University. I believe that theatre is "downtown"....correct me if I'm wrong. If so, not my favorite part of Jacksonville. If you don't mind driving downtown for the show, I'd recommend a stay at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach. Direct ocean front and quaint beach town with a lively scene of restaurants & shops within walking distance. I'm guessing 20-30 minutes to get in to the theatre.

Alternatively, I believe there is an Omni on the river front downtown.....I just have not had a good vibe walking around that area...maybe others will chime in with a different opinion.

Jacksonville, FL
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for Jacksonville
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2. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

Hi there, Susanna,

Happy birthday! For dinner, check out The Wine Cellar, which I would consider to be one of Jacksonville's absolute best restaurants. It's only about 10 minutes from the theatre. In the general vicinity, you have the Hyatt, Omni, and Crowne Plaza. Although there is not a whole lot to do in our 'downtown' area - it's a lot of business/industry.

One Ocean at Atlantic Beach is very nice, as is the Ponte Vedra Inn - very upscale, definitely not cheap. Of course, both are about a 30 minute or so drive to the theatre.

Enjoy your trip!

Vicki

Jacksonville...
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3. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

Congratulations. There are only a couple of options for downtown hotels. The Hyatt is riverfront, and the Omni is just a block off the river. Both are walking distance from the Florida Theatre. The Crowne Plaza is across the river. Still walkable, but allow a little more time. For fine dining I'd suggest my favorites in this order: Matthews, Bistro Aix and BB's. Prices follow that order. All are less than 5 miles from downtown There is a Ruth's Chris in the Crowne Plaza which is nice but not unique. There are other options in the Riverside area, or in Avondale which offer good food, but a bit more travel time. I'd skip eating at the Landing. Welcome to Jax and happy birthday.

Neptune Beach, FL
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4. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

I would vote for the Wine Cellar for dinner. It's a classy place. Bistro Aix would be my second choice.

The Florida Theatre is downtown and is between the Hyatt (on the river) and the Omni (not on the river). You could walk to either one.

Immediately across the river (and on the river) are the Crown Plaza and the Wyndam. If you prefer to spend money more wisely, there is a nearby Hampton Inn (not on the river.)

If it's a nice night you might enjoy walking over the blue Main Street Bridge. The view is great from there both day and night! The Hampton Inn is the farthest of these hotels from the Florida Theatre and it is exactly 1 mile away.

Enjoy your trip!

Spirit

Saint Simons...
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5. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

I want to thank you all for the input. I'd like to stay close to the Florida Theatre for after the show so the Hyatt would work. However, the dinner prior to the 8pm show is going to involve a drive or a cab ride. The Wine Cellar sounds wonderful but what is the best way to make all this happen and get to the Theatre on time? Sorry, I'm not familiar with Jacksonville, yet only 1+ hours away from home. I am excited about spending time in the City and may stay an extra day.

Jacksonville...
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6. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

Come and stay the extra day. You may not care to visit the beach, but the Cummer Gallery is fabulous as is our zoo. The Wine Cellar is not a place I frequently visit, but it does have a long standing reputation for excellence. I'd still pick Bistro Aix, but only because I know it better. On the night of the show I'd move around by taxi instead of trying to navigate the confusing one way streets and searching for parking when time is an issue. Both restaurants do take reservations and the hostess can call up a cab when you are ready to go. 15 minutes for the transfer, unless the bridge goes up. Being from St. Simons, you know how those draw bridges can be. The Florida Theatre is only 3 blocks from the Hyatt, so you can walk "home".

Fernandina Beach FL
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for Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach
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7. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

Susanna,

To Auntie point about the drawbridges, I remember the days of the drawbridge to SSI on the Causeway as well as the drawbridge (guess it was technically an elevator bridge) on US 17. Other restaurant you might consider which is a half-block from the Florida Theatre is Casa Dora Italian Cafe (http://www.casadoraitalian.com). We ate there about a year ago before an event at the FT and we thought it was good food and service. They cater to the theatre crowd, but don't know if they take reservations.

On your trip back to SSI, if the weather is nice consider heading east over to 9A and then up Hecksher to A1A and across Talbot Island State Park (maybe consider a stop on Fort George Island if y'all haven' seen Kingsley Plantation or Ribault Club) up to Amelia Island and dinner in the historic district before heading back to SSI.

Hope you enjoy your visit.

Neptune Beach, FL
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8. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

If you stay in the Hyatt you will probably be parking your car in their parking building, or in the lot across the street. You could drive to dinner, then drive back past the theatre to the hotel. Park on the street if you happen to see a space, or take the car back to the hotel and leave it there and then walk to the theatre.

Saint Simons...
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696 posts
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9. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

Thank you all for your replies. I haven't spent enough time visiting my closest city. I plan to stay an extra day or two and enjoy Jacksonville. Thanks for the pre-theatre advise, still working on that dinner arrangement. I do plan on staying at the Hyatt though. I may call upon you as I get closer to my Nov. 20th date. I love the response to Saint Simons, all the drawbridges and electric bridges are gone but we do love the Sydney Lanier bridge.. Some progress is good.

10. Re: Celebrating a big birthday

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