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Overview

A financial center that started as a cattle crossing at the shallows of the St. Johns River in 1822, Jacksonville is a city of neighborhoods. Surrounding the center business core are distinct riverfront and beach communities. But the earliest European steps on these bluffs were from the French, who landed here in 1562 and established a colony at what is now Fort Caroline. The city saw much action during the Civil War, particularly as a launch point of Union raids deeper into the state. The 1920s remade Jacksonville, with grand residential districts springing up under the live oaks, including Avondale, noted for its shopping; Five Points, ...

A financial center that started as a cattle crossing at the shallows of the St. Johns River in 1822, Jacksonville is a city of neighborhoods. Surrounding the center business core are distinct riverfront and beach communities. But the earliest European steps on these bluffs were from the French, who landed here in 1562 and established a colony at what is now Fort Caroline. The city saw much action during the Civil War, particularly as a launch point of Union raids deeper into the state. The 1920s remade Jacksonville, with grand residential districts springing up under the live oaks, including Avondale, noted for its shopping; Five Points, artsy and eclectic; San Marcos, artistic and refined; and the three beach communities of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. Bibliophiles will revel in the many antiquarian and well-stocked independent bookstores, while beachgoers have two worlds to choose from — the wild shores north of the St. Johns River on the Talbot Islands, or seaside in the city south of the river.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

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