Tuesday, March 15, 2022

[JACKSONVILLE] The Biggest City in the Lower 48


I myself was surprised to find out that Jacksonville held such distinction. It was only lately that I even knew the city existed because, seriously, when you hear about Florida it’s always Miami or Orlando. After double checking the info, it appears that Jacksonville is indeed the largest city by land area in continental United States. If you include all states, the city falls to number five right below four cities all located in Alaska. Weird flex, but okay. For a city with such distinction, it’s surprising to see how quiet and sleepy everything seems to be.


Perhaps that also explains the lack of skyscrapers and the multitude of almost empty blocks. To be honest, the only fascinating thing I admire about Jacksonville is its cute skyline with only half a dozen of high-rise buildings or so. Taking center stage is the Wells Fargo building owing to its unconventional form. Next to it is the predominantly blue glass façade of Bank of America tower as well as the Vystar building which looks like the two’s little brother when they are viewed as a group.


Since this is perhaps the most iconic representation of the city, that’s where I focused my short stroll during my free day. Buy yourself a Star Card for the public transportation system. The three-day pass I purchased was worth it. Most of the tourist attractions can be reached by bus anyway. Jacksonville also has a monorail, but it doesn’t seem to be that useful for tourist attractions. Downtown Jacksonville is just right next to the river. You can begin there and then cross the bridge heading south afterwards.


Anyway, why am I here in the first place? Transit. Jacksonville is the next logical stop after Savannah if you are heading south. Whether you take the Amtrak or an intercity bus, Jacksonville is only about two hours away from Georgia’s first city. Since I am not expecting to do much here anyway, I just designated it as an R&R stop, which turned out to be a good decision because the constant rain wouldn’t allow me to stay out for long to go sightseeing anyway.


Jacksonville has its own share of Atlantic coastal beaches. Neptune Beach. Jacksonville Beach. Ponta Vedra. All you have to do is board a bus heading east towards the coast. The reason why I no longer bothered to go, inclement weather aside, is because I believe I’ve already been to Florida’s more impressive beaches. Key West, hello. Besides, I want to remember Florida’s cities for different reasons. Jacksonville, I will remember as that chill city where residing wouldn’t be much of an issue. And of course, I will also remember it for that cute skyline viewed from Southbank Riverwalk.


Other than that, I’m afraid you do not have many options left as far as sightseeing is concerned. If you have to come here, just consider it as an intermediate stop en route to Orlando down south or to Georgia up north. Otherwise, feel free to skip.

[JACKSONVILLE] The Biggest City in the Lower 48

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