For our guests that would like to explore Jacksonville while in town for the wedding, we have put together a short list of a few points-of-interests. We have grouped the items below according to their general location. We assume most people will be staying either in the Downtown Area or the Southside Area.
The Five-Points Area is home to a number of interesting historic attractions, several popular bars, vintage clothing stores, boutiques, thrift shops, as well as a historic theater which has been operating on-and-off since the 1920s.
Orsay is a French restaurant with some of the best food in Jacksonville. While a bit pricey, we’ve found the cuisine to be well worth it. For brunch, we recommend the shrimp and grits, Orange French toast and Mimosas.
Black Sheep is a new casual restaurant that recently opened near the Five Points area. It has gained popularity from its roof-top seating, fresh ingredients, and specialty cocktails.
Kickbacks is a popular gastropub that claims to specialize in offering high quality food, old school favorites (Spaghettio’s) and an impressive beer selection (somewhere close to 100 different beers on tap).
Bold City Brewery
A personal favorite, Bold City Brewery is a popular craft brewery known not only for its excellent beer, but its tap house, which is equipped with a number of games for patrons to play while sampling beer. A few of the options include, bean bag toss (cornhole), life-sized jenga, numerous board games, and a big screen TV during football season. Be sure to ask for a “sampler” and try the bbq if you’re a first time visitor. You can also take home some of your favorite beer in a growler.
We could fill several pages with various restaurants and other venues in the Riverside or Downtown areas. Aside from the venues listed above, some other favorites are listed below:
- Wine Cellar (seafood, steaks, wine) Fried lobster is their signature dish. The groom-to-be swears by it.
- Blue Fish (seafood) Try their oysters, they are fantastic.
- Pele’s Wood Fire Grill (modern Italian-American) Their pizza is amazing.
- b.b.’s (fusion) A Jacksonville staple.
- Bistro AIX (fusion and pastries) The bride to be recommends their mussels and they have the biggest cookies in Jax.
The French Pantry
It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but the French Pantry is a well-known local French restaurant and bakery. Open Monday through Friday from 11am to 2pm, the line starts forming close to an hour beforehand. Arrive too late and you won’t make it in! It’s worth visiting just for the deserts. We recommend the crème brulee and the chocolate cheesecake.
St. Johns Town Center (outdoor mall)
The St. Johns Town Center is a large outdoor mall in the Southside area of Jacksonville. The mall offers a number of popular stores for shopping, including a Tiffany’s, Louis Vuitton, Anthropologie, Clark’s, an Apple Store, various department stores as well as several popular restaurants and bars including Cheesecake Factory, Cantina Laredo, P.F. Chang’s and Mitchell’s Fish Market.
The Jacksonville Landing, home of the world’s Largest Cocktail Party (Go Gators!) is located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Inside are several restaurants, including a food court, Japanese sushi bar, Hooters, and several bars, most of which overlook the St. Johns River. It’s an interesting place to check off your list if you’re in the downtown Jacksonville area.
The Florida Theater is a historic theater in walking distance from the Landing. The theater has hosted a broad array of events, ranging from high school plays, ballets to Daniel Tosh’s stand-up comedy. On March 27, 2014, the Florida Theater is hosting an event called “Get The Led Out,” a performance by a professional musicians dedicated to promoting and recreating Led Zeppelin’s music.
Dos Gatos is the self-proclaimed “only genuine cocktail lounge” in Jacksonville. With its eclectic atmosphere and trendy tattooed bartenders who happily craft unique cocktails with fresh ingredients and mortar and pestle, this is a can’t miss.
Indochine has been one of Jacksonville’s most popular restaurants since its opening several years ago. This Thai and Sushi restaurant located in downtown Jacksonville and within walking distance of the Florida Theater and Dos Gatos is a favorite. If you’re a fan of “heat” ask for Thai Hot–it’s not on the menu and not for the faint of heart.
Jacksonville Beach / Ponte Vedra Beach
The Beach (of course)
Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, or Neptune Beach. Take your pick. They’re all beautiful and worth visiting.
Caps on the Water
Head down A1A South towards St. Augustine, and you’ll find Caps on the Water tucked back near the Intercoastal Waterway. Caps offers fresh coastal cuisine using fresh local seafood paired with traditional Southern and Mediterranean flavors. Eat out on Caps large outdoor deck, sunset oyster bar, or relaxed indoor dining room and take advantage of their full bar with great views of the Intracoastal Waterway.