Jacksonville is provincially called “J-Ville”, “Jax”, “The River City” or even “The Gateway to Florida”. It has a rich historical and traditional heritage. It is now the most populous city in Florida, making the state the 12th most populous city in the US.
Jacksonville is situated near the St. Johns River, Naval Air station, and scenic beaches. The city remains on the list of the 3rd largest seaports in Florida, USA. It is present right next to interstate 10 and 95 in northeast Florida making it an accessible place to make weekend trips.
Jacksonville has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of local population and economy since 2003. The city’s beautiful scenery, low cost of living, various outdoors and cultural experiences, lower traffic, and transportation prices, and a lot of places with relaxed vibes have fascinated visitors so much that they find ways to settle down. This ultimately made Jacksonville a good place to live and retire in.
Is it better to live in Jacksonville or Orlando?
Both Jacksonville and Orlando are two flourishing cities in Florida, the USA with great weather. Both winning cities have a lot to offer, so whichever city you choose will become the right home for you.
- If you want a more diverse city with lots of people, plenty of outdoor attractions, and delicious eateries, Orlando will be the right choice for you. Orelse, if you are looking for a flourishing metropolis, coastal life, and welcoming residents, Jacksonville will top the list.
- Orlando is 10.2% more expensive than Jacksonville.
- Orlando is situated on an island and has few Waterfront spots but Jacksonville has many beaches.
- Jacksonville falls nearer to metro areas like Atlantic Beach and Orange Park but Orlando is located far away from metro cities.
- The weather in Jacksonville and Orlando are very similar. Florida has very muggy hot weather during summers and the winter months are incredibly cold.
What is the quality of life in Jacksonville Florida?
Living in Jacksonville, Florida is like a dream come true! The River City has beautiful scenery, safe neighborhoods, a lot of outdoor recreation experiences, is full of restaurants, and most importantly offers a dense suburban feel to its residents. It has affordable living expenses and it’s super easy to find budget homes as the housing prices are 17% less than the national average.
There are many gorgeous beaches in the area providing a lot of recreation experiences for all age groups. It is the most populous city in Florida, currently having 1,000,000+ residents residing in the area.
So, you are anticipating moving to Jacksonville? Whether you are looking for a better environment, shifting for a job, or simply want a long vacation; you probably must be wondering what you can get from the “River City”. Well, Jacksonville’s reputation is because of its picturesque shorelines, stunning geography, and warm summers which might lead your way, but there’s much more to be explored in this beach-endowed area that meets the eye.
In this article, we are going to list important facts about Jacksonville, the best areas to live in Jacksonville FL, cost of living, education, weather, and more below. Take a look at what makes Jacksonville a brand new city in Florida and a great place to live for everyone.
Jacksonville is one of the largest metro areas in the continental United States and it presents a wide range of traditional and aesthetically distinct neighborhoods surrounding the midtown. The metro area is large enough to offer something for every age and background. Abundant job opportunities, top outdoor recreations, and warm weather the entire year make Jacksonville rank the most livable city in Florida, US.
Jacksonville, unlike many other cities in Florida, has a relatively low cost of living and affordable real estate and rental properties that boosts the savings of the residents. Utilities, entertainment, and grocery expenses are also lower than in any other city in Florida, making the city one of the best places to live in Florida for families. So, moving and living in Jacksonville can be a smart financial decision.
So, if you had made up your mind to move to Jacksonville, Florida, then you have to explore some important facts and information that will make you know Jacksonville better. Here we have brought you the best guide which will help you learn more about the city from stern to stern.
So, let’s dive straight in!
1. Quick Stats About Jacksonville, FL
- Jacksonville is located in the northeastern part of Florida, Duval County. It is situated less than 350 miles from Miami’s coastline, 140 miles south of Orlando, and 1-hr away from Georgia.
- Jacksonville is home to 9,75,177 residents in 2022, making it one of the 12th largest cities in the US.
- The city is 840 square miles in area, making it the largest in the US.
- The median home price and median monthly rent in Jacksonville are $348,852 and $1,200 respectively.
- The annual average salary of an individual in Jacksonville is $50,550 and the unemployment rate is 6.3%.
- The median age in Jacksonville is 36 and 35% of the population belongs to the 50+ age group.
- The weather conditions in Jacksonville remain at an average of 60s and 80s.
- Jacksonville receives an average rainfall of 45-50 inches and sunshine of 270 average days every year.
- Jacksonville is connected by main highway routes which include interstates 10, 95, and 295.
- It has the largest urban park area in the nation including 80,000 acres of parks (2 national parks, 7 state parks, 1 national preserve, 400 community parks, and gardens) and the Timucuan Eco. Preserve that covers 46,000 acres.
2. Ranking of Jacksonville, FL
According to US News and World reports of the 100 best places to live in the USA based on the job market, cost of living, quality of life, the value of living, and more, Jacksonville’s rankings are stated.
- #45 of the best places to live in the USA and #4 of the best places to live in Florida.
- #62 of the best cities for outdoor recreation in the USA.
- #62 of the most diverse cities in the USA.
- #67 of the best cities to retire in the USA.
- #14 in fastest growing places in the US.
- #6 of the most affordable colleges in Florida.
- #7 in the most popular cities for the holidays.
3. Affordable Cost of Living
For a large diverse city like Jacksonville, you will be surprised to know that the cost of living is very low. Firstly, the housing and rental prices are generally on par with the US average. And most importantly other major necessities like utilities, transportation, healthcare, groceries, and other miscellaneous costs also save residents money.
According to bestplaces.net, the cost of living in Jacksonville, Florida is 94 which is 6% less than the national average and 8% lower than Florida’s average. The cost of the Living index of Jacksonville I’m comparison with Florida and the USA is given below. It is based on the US average i.e. 100. An amount less than 100 means Jacksonville is less than Florida and the national average and vice-versa.
|Cost of living||Jacksonville||Florida||USA|
|Median home cost||$231,800||$294,900||$291,700|
4. Education in Jacksonville
Jacksonville has many highly rated educational institutions for students of all age groups. All the local public schools for K-12 are supervised by the Duval County public schools. Jacksonville’s school system has more than 250 schools accommodating more than 10000 students. Jacksonville also has secular and religious schools for children seeking private education.
The top 5 best-graded schools in Jacksonville for kindergarten to grade 12 students are as follows:
- Julington Creek Elementary School
- Fruit Cove Middle School
- Stanton College Preparatory School
- Julia London College Preparatory And Leadership Development School
- Chets Creek Elementary School
After getting a graduation degree students can access tertiary institutes and universities in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville University, University of North Florida, and Florida State College Jacksonville are the top-graded educational universities in Jackson that provide quality higher education to students. These colleges and universities offer multiple specializations for earning a degree ranging from business, information technology, aviation, nursing, coastal biology, health administration, education, and more. So, in the future, whatever program you opt to have a degree in, you will definitely find incredible job opportunities after getting a degree from Jacksonville University.
5. The Amazing Food in Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s food culture is touching sky-high with its modern taste and difference. You will get delighted to know how many coastal cuisines you’ll be tasting once you move there. Even Forbes has listed Jacksonville as one of the top 5 places to have delicious food. Jacksonville gives tough competition to other Florida cities for its thriving cuisines, diverse culinary culture, and globally acclaimed chefs.
Here’s a list of Jacksonville’s top cuisine menus offered by the best restaurants in the city:
- Local food: Jacksonville offers local food at Black Sheep Restaurant, Moxie Kitchen Plus Cocktails, Kitchen On San Marco, and Restaurant Orsay
- Ethnic cuisine: For some ethnic food, check out Green Earth Bistro for some vegan cuisines and middle eastern food, Nile Ethiopian restaurant for the best Ethiopian cuisines, and Mandaloun Mediterranean restaurant for Lebanese cuisines.
- Seafood: To have some seafood, visit Clark’s Fish Camp, North Beach Fish Camp, Whitey’s Fish Camp, and Palm Valley Fish Camp.
- Food Trucks: On your way, you can find more than 100 food trucks in Jackson while Street offering Jax’s favorite food which includes Fusion Food Truck, Salty Dog, The Butt Heart Smokehouse, The Happy Grilled Cheese Food Truck, And Mother Truckin’ Pizza.
- American eateries: Craving burgers and sandwiches, go to the French Pantry to have some fresh loaves of bread, Maple Street biscuit company to get some chicken biscuits, The Mini Bar to have doughnuts and visit Kickbacks, Goozlepipe And Guttyworks, And Poe’s Tavern to eat Jacksonville’s top gastropubs.
6. Weather in Florida
People mostly move from other cities of the US to Florida due to the warm climate that they offer. Furthermore, Florida’s intensely hot, and humid summer can be difficult enough to take.
But the best part about Jacksonville is that the summers are very mild. The winters are less extreme. For those who were wondering, does it snow in Jacksonville Florida, you don’t have to deal with snow. But you can’t avoid the worst side of a hurricane during the fall. The temperature in Jacksonville usually varies from 45°F to 90°F and rarely reduces below 30°F or above 95°F.
|Month||Highs (°C)||Lows(°C)||Rainfall (days)|
7. Prime Real Estate in Jacksonville
Another reason why Jacksonville is everyone’s favorite is because of its affordable home prices and its existence: adjacent to the beachside or suburbs of Jacksonville. Residents in Jacksonville have their own homes because the median home prices are 17% less than the national average. While the median housing cost in Florida is $294,900 and the nation’s is $291,700; the city’s average home price is 231,800. The real-estate market works well, despite having a shortage and high demand for homes as the city’s average housing prices are low.
Like every permanent resident of Jacksonville has their own home, there is no shortage of rental properties, which can be used by those who don’t want to own houses and choose rental homes instead. The rental cost of a studio apartment and a one-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville is about $780 and $940, respectively.
8. Choose the Perfect Location
Living in Jacksonville gives you easy access to interstate 95 and other major cities and destinations. The benefit of living here is that you can easily execute trips and programs to nearby major cities as the city is located 5 hours away from Atlanta and 2 hours away from Orlando. Tampa, Naples, and Miami are also located some hours away from the city. So, why wait? Plan a drive to have a sun-drenched weekend at Miami’s beachside, golfing in Naples, and enjoy the amazing nightlife in Tampa.
9. Best Neighborhood
From developed urban regions to small, quiet rural suburbs, Jax has more than 500 communities, which have been divided into five sections: Downtown, Beaches, Southside, Northside, and Westside. Let’s take a look at some best, well-known neighborhoods to live in Jacksonville, which might become your new home someday.
- San Marco: The Italy of Jacksonville, San Marco, is situated south of Downtown and north of Mandarin. It was built and designed in 1920. It is a diverse neighborhood that attracts artists, creatives, and young professionals which is why the city shows off as a successful arts and shopping region with famous nightclubs and shops. The rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in San Marco averages $1500.
- The Beaches: Living on the beaches means you are open to water life, outdoors, beachside views, amazing nightlife, and more. The only disadvantage is that the housing and rental prices remain on the higher side. The median home price in this area is around $33500.
- Southside: Southside, is a safe place to live in Jacksonville for families and couples. It has a low crime rate, amazing breathtaking views, excellent schools, and parks anywhere in the area. This is the reason why the South side is also known as a Tropical Paradise. Most importantly, the average rental cost and housing prices are less than the beach and not the side which ranges around $1500 and $250,000 respectively, for a one-bedroom apartment.
- Northside: The NorthSide is a very calm and quiet area despite it being close to Jacksonville city. It is close to the airport and provides proximity to several state parks, shopping malls, and natural preserves. The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1500 and the median house cost is $320,000.
- Westside and Orange Park: The Orange Park and Westside neighborhoods have many horse enthusiasts, Navy families, and land aspirants residing in them. The area provides full access to Marinas, Naval Air Stations, and Boat Facilities. The average rental cost and median housing price of one-bedroom apartments in this area average $650 and $100,000 respectively, making the neighborhood one of the most affordable housing areas in the City.
10. Gorgeous Beaches
Jacksonville, Florida attracts those new residents who are beach lovers and want a cool beach breeze every time. For them, the city offers 22 miles of coastline so that they can expose themselves fully to various beachside activities like watching birds, surfing, boating, scuba diving, Kayaking, beach-side walking, fishing, and more.
Some favorite beaches of Jacksonville that are people’s favorite are as follows:
- Neptune Beach
- Atlantic Beach
- Jacksonville Beach
- Ponte Vedra Beach
- Spike Reef
- Amelia Island
- Coppedge Tug Wreck
- Blackmar’s Reef
11. Culture of Jacksonville
Culture and festivals flourish in this city as Jacksonville is home to residents of every religion and tradition. The city is the birthplace of southern rock and is home to a range of musical genres, which includes jazz, rock, and blues. Jacksonville celebrates these cultures and customs through gatherings, museums, festivals, and live music concerts.
Besides various renowned bands and musicians of Jacksonville, the city conducts various music festivals and concerts throughout the whole year. The Jacksonville jazz festival, Jacksonville art walk, riverside arts market, Jacksonville zoo and gardens, and springing the blues attract huge crowds of artists and outdoor lovers across the globe.
12. Job Market in Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville encourages young professionals and experienced employees with its thriving job opportunities. The city is one of the best places to search for a job nationwide. The annual job growth rate of Jacksonville averages 14%. Despite having such flourishing job opportunities, the overall unemployment rate of the state flutters around 4%.
There’s a job for everyone in Jacksonville, irrespective of any field and career. It’s a hub to some fortune 500 and 1000 organizations’ headquarters: Web.com, Fidelity National financial and information systems, Landstar System, Winn-Dixie, etc. NAS Jacksonville recruits more than 20,000 military personnel every year, making it the 3rd largest job recruiting authority in the state.
13. You Will Never Be Bored
Not just music concerts, beaches, and delicious cuisines, Jacksonville offers much beyond these to choose from for all age groups. Buck up your weekends and holidays by visiting these places and trying these new opportunities. Here we have listed a few such activities that you must add to your bucket list and try out there in Jacksonville.
- Top Golf Jacksonville
- Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
- Tiaa Bank Field
- St. Johns Town Center
- Kingsley Plantation
- Friendship Fountain
- Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
- Museum Of Science and History
- Moca Jacksonville, Downtown Art Museum Of University Of North Florida
- Cummer Museum Of Art and Gardens
- Little Talbot Island State Park
- Fort Clinch State Park
- Riverside Arts Markets
- The Ritz Theatre And Museums
- The Jax Ale Trail
14. Crime Rate
Like we say, where there is a crowd, there is a crime. The same goes for Jacksonville. This highly populated diverse community experiences a lot of crime in some common and major neighborhoods. According to neighborhood scout, Jacksonville is ranked #40 in violent crime and #70 in property crime.
If we analyze the numbers, property crimes i.e. 2790 per 100,000 residents are more than violent crimes i.e. 680 per 100,000 residents. If you keep this in mind, remain aware of your surroundings, and take proper safety precautions; everything will work well. As we know, Jax is a huge city, we can also find many safe areas to live with families which are: Southside, Downtown, and Beaches. Northside and Westside are considered to be the worst.
15. Pros & Cons of Jacksonville
The pros and cons of living in Jacksonville, Florida are as follows:
- Jacksonville’s cost of living is 10% less than the US average.
- You can get a big city life with a suburban feel.
- Housing rentals are 25% less than the national average.
- Jacksonville beaches that run along the Atlantic shoreline give a paradise vibe.
- Southside, Orange Park, and Sanmarco are the best and safe places to live in Jacksonville, despite having above-average crime rates.
- Jacksonville has five top high schools in Florida.
- Jacksonville has thriving job opportunities and every year it increases by 15%
- The job market in Jacksonville is still developing.
- The crime rate in Jacksonville remains 15% higher than the national average, making living in Jacksonville Florida miserable.
- Pest control should be done during hot and humid summers, after immediate spotting of pests.
- The public transportation system in Jacksonville is very poor.
- More than 40% of residents in Jacksonville earn less than their average monthly income.
- Due to the poor transportation system, you might need a car every time you travel.
- Jacksonville often receives unexpected rains, sometimes huge hurricanes might also occur.
Is Jacksonville Florida expensive to live in?
Jacksonville, Florida comes in 51 positions on the list of most affordable cities to live in the US. The cost of living in Jacksonville, Florida is 10% less than the US average. An individual had to earn around $40,000 to lead a comfortable lifestyle in Jacksonville.
What’s wrong with Jacksonville, Florida?
Jacksonville, Florida has many downsides over the benefits of living there, which are as follows:
- The weather is very humid and hot.
- Teenage boys get involved in crimes and gang shootings.
- Clumsy traffic spots.
- Homeless, poor people roam the roads and sleep in parks and streets.
- Water leakage issues from septic tanks and water tanks.
- Summer days last for 9 months
- Cockroaches and mosquitoes are found all around.
Wondering now, to Move to Jacksonville? This means you will be living on vacation, every month, every week, and every day. Jacksonville is now booming, the population of the city is growing and so as the recreational facilities, educational system, and job opportunities, and the overall city is also getting better.
Like other neighborhoods of Florida, Jacksonville’s diverse and powerful economy is confidently supporting the new and existing residents to survive and flourish. Once you decide to move to Jacksonville and reside there for a while you will definitely find out your ways to become a Florida resident, to make yourself stay there till your last breath.
So, what are you thinking of? Book your tickets, Pack your bags, and make a move to the J-Ville. Let us know how our guide helped you in finding your way to the city, and share your experiences in the comment section below.