Get to know…Downtown Jacksonville

Downtown Jacksonville is home to high-rises and swank new lofts. Witness the area's best offering of local sports on the weekend while enjoying Broadway tours during the week. On the first Wednesday of every month, thousands come to your neighborhood for Art Walk to catch the next local artist seeking international fame.

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Downtown Jacksonville, known as Downtown, has seen a push in recent years to bring more businesses back to the area, specifically businesses that cater to the young professional crowd who would rather rent than own. New bars and restaurants line Bay Street and the street nearby and are just a walk away from your apartment.

Within a short walk, you can enjoy the beauty of the Northbank Riverwalk, a boardwalk that winds along the scenic St. Johns River. Take a tour through history with a walk down any city block to find mementos of an era long gone, but never forgotten. Every Saturday, local vendors gather in the shade of the Fuller Warren Bridge for the Riverside Arts Market where you can buy everything from handmade earrings, to dog collars, to pesto, crafted by Jacksonville locals.

Interstates 95 and 10 intersect just around the corner from Downtown Jacksonville, making it easy for those who call a Downtown apartment home to get out of town, or at least to another part of town. In less than 20 minutes, you can drive from your apartment to the Jacksonville International Airport, or be on Jacksonville's Southside.

The city's tallest buildings call Downtown home. Catch a reflection of the Florida sun on the flared-base tower of the Wells Fargo Building, or stand in the shade on a hot afternoon provided by the 42-story Bank of America tower and enjoy an amazing view of the city in the cafe on the 42nd floor! Annually, filmmakers and lovers of the cinema descend upon Downtown for the Film Festival. The annual Jazz Fest brings notable musicians like Patty LaBelle to town. Florida-Georgia weekend brings thousands of local sports fans to Downtown Jacksonville in the fall, while the Gator Bowl brings out-of-state sports fanatics to the River City to help ring in the New Year. Getting out of Downtown is as easy as finding the nearest interstate, which is likely around the corner from your apartment.

Heads Up

There is an increasing level of events and night-life in downtown. You will often be right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city activities, especially during Florida/Georgia weekend, so this area may not be ideal if you're looking for quiet time at home on weekends. During major sporting events like Jaguar games some of the two way roads become one way roads, so be on the look out on game days for a change in the traffic patterns. Main Street, a major thoroughfare to San Marco and the Southside, takes you over a beautiful draw bridge, so if a boat is passing, expect to add between five and ten minutes to your drive while you wait for the bridge to come back down.

Area Attractions

If you're paying rent, why buy when you can borrow?! Downtown is home to the newly restored Jacksonville Public Library's Downtown branch. Several buildings erected in the early 1900s still stand and are noted with historical monument placards. The sports complex, home to the Veterans Memorial Arena (home to the Jacksonville Sharks), the Jacksonville Suns Baseball Grounds, and the Jacksonville Jaguars' EverBank Field, is a hot spot Monday through Friday and is a short walk from your apartment. The complex hosts, in addition to sporting events, major concerts including Carrie Underwood, Michael Buble, and Barry Manilow, and was the scene for a series of American Idol auditions in 2008. The Museum of Contemporary Art is home to amazing pieces from local artists. The historic Florida Theater offers a great venue for traveling artists. The Times Union Center and its many theaters is a great place to catch a Broadway show on tour or to hear your favorite politician address his or her supporters.

For the younger crowd: there is a litany of new bars and restaurants around the corner you're your apartment offering a taste of nightlife. Head to the Ivy or Marks for a night of classy cocktails and dancing. Slower pace? The Burrito Gallery is a mix of gourmet Mexican and art. Check out Chew to add an Asian flare to your night out. Think bartending is your closeted-calling? Put your talents to the test at Lit Downtown and take those talents back to your apartment with your new bar buddies.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.