Experience the Time of Your Life in Northeast Florida
Words By Carmen Macri and Ambar Ramirez
As the world continues to navigate through uncertain times, many people are opting for staycations over traditional travel. Fortunately, Northeast Florida has plenty of opportunities for a perfect staycation with its pristine beaches, state parks, museums and nightlife. It’s the ultimate staycation that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed without ever having to leave the state.
Come explore the Flip Side of Florida
In search of a staycation filled with lazy beach days or kayaking adventures through marshes? Maybe you’re craving a hike through Boneyard Beach and a visit to that new brewery you’ve been wanting to try? Look no further than Jacksonville where all of these activities and more await you.
“Rediscover how amazing Jacksonville is,” said Katie Mitura, chief marketing officer for Visit Jacksonville. “A staycation saves the travel costs and time to get to another destination. It’s the perfect opportunity to see another side of our city from the one you may interact with daily.”
The best part? Many of the excursions are budget-friendly with little to no cost involved. Mitura shared that Jacksonville is one of the most affordable destinations in Florida.
“The best time of the year to visit Jacksonville is in October and November,” Mitura shared. “Rates are more affordable, and the weather is still perfect for outside activities. November is also Kids Free November, where for every paying adult, up to five kids get in free to our top attractions.”
We don’t know about you, but that sounds like an offer you simply can’t refuse. #gojags
The Isle of 8 Flags, Amelia Island
Looking to get away from the bustling life of the big city? Head on up to Amelia Island for a weekend of outdoor adventures.
“On Amelia Island, do as much or as little as you like,” Amy Boek, chief marketing officer of Visit Amelia Island expressed. “Pristine waterways, gorgeous beaches, and stunning scenic beauty make it a nature lover’s paradise, perfect for adventure or relaxation. But it’s also home to a rich collection of cultural, historic, natural, athletic, artistic and culinary treasures with endless ways to enjoy them.”
You can set sail with fishing, cruising, and sightseeing charters and rentals, or take to the skies with hang gliding, tandem skydiving and private helicopter tours. For a unique experience, try horseback riding on the beach or along a scenic coastal state park. There’s also a variety of trails, attractions, tours, parks, beaches, spas, shops, sports and other activities to explore throughout the island.
“Amelia Island has a stellar collection of award-winning resorts, inns, hotels, vacation rentals and campgrounds for every taste and type of traveler,” Boek said. “Stay downtown, right on the beach, in the thick of it all, or well out of reach.”
Home to a growing community of 90 independently-owned restaurants and charming seaport character, this island is the perfect destination for a memorable staycation.
The Not-So-Ancient City, St Augustine
If you’re looking for a relaxing and historic getaway, St. Augustine, Florida is the perfect destination for a staycation. Known as the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine is a charming city filled with cobblestone streets, historic landmarks and beautiful architecture. Spend your days exploring the city’s iconic attractions, such as Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Lightner Museum, or simply relax on the stunning beaches nearby. With a wide array of delicious restaurants, lively bars and unique shops, St. Augustine offers everything you need for an unforgettable staycation.
“Although I am not a St. Augustine native, I have lived and worked in the Oldest City for 20 years,” Kara Pound, owner of Old City Public Relations, shared. “I always point people to the abundant nature that surrounds us. Take a kayak tour with Earth Kinship and explore our peaceful waterways, explore Anastasia State Park and hike the Ancient Dunes Trail, go fishing at Genung’s Fish Camp, and head to one of our white, sandy beaches to relax and unwind.”
St. Augustine boasts an amazing array of local shops and vendors scattered throughout its streets. If you’re seeking a place to stay other than your own home, consider booking a room at one of the area’s many historic bed and breakfasts. Pound even recommended some of her dining picks: “I always recommend my favorite restaurants such as The Floridian for Southern comfort food with a twist, the Elkhouse Eatery for unique dishes that you cannot get anywhere else in town, Beachcomber for being one of the only beachfront restaurants in the area, and Sunset Grille for their consistency and amazing service.”
There is something for everyone in this not-so-ancient city in Florida.