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Living a Cultural Center Lifestyle in Jacksonville, Florida

The bright cultural hub of Jacksonville is the most populated city in Florida - the region has more than 1.3 million inhabitants. In terms of land area it is the largest city in the U.S. Jacksonville has a very rich cultural life with numerous theatres, such as the Ritz Theatre, and many performing arts venues. The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts consists of three distinct halls. In addition there are professional sports teams such as the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Most of the people who live here are younger and working, giving the community a youthful flair. Jacksonville has had much to offer in terms of culture, recreation, and things to do. The metropolitan area population is over 1.3 million and growing rapidly.  Jacksonville is a very dynamic business capital for banking and financial services. There are several universities and community colleges in the area, including the University of North Florida (9000 students). 

Where to Retire in Jacksonville and Home Prices

The community is diverse as well both in its people and types of housing - everything from downtown high rises to beach front apartments to active adult communities (see link at top left). The city is huge geographically with many very different neighborhoods. An historic neighborhood that gets a lot of favorable press is the Riverside/Avondale area, where there is a lot of historic preservation. Surrounding towns like Orange Park and Fleming Island are other possible places to live.
The NAR reports in the 4th quarter of 2020 the median sales price of a home in Jacksonville was $290,000, up over 13% from a year earlier. Prices tend to be lower closer to the downtown and higher in the beach communities of Jacksonville Beach or Vilano Beach.

What is Special about Jacksonville

• It’s a big city with lots to do • Professional sports teams (Jacksonville Jaguars) • Great beaches • Rich cultural life • Diversity and vital business life •Many interesting neighborhoods, suburbs, and developments • Jacksonville Landing and Jacksonville Riverwalks are great for dining and shopping • Friendship Park with its large fountain

What is Not Special about Jacksonville

• Downtown traffic • It’s a big city with a high crime rate • There are some depressed and marginal areas of the city • Hurricane season

Climate and Physical Environment

Jacksonville is located in what is referred to as the First Coast region of northeast Florida. The city is situated on the banks of the St. Johns River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles east of downtown. The average July high temperature is 90 and the average January high is 64 (the low is 45).”

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, held every April, is the nation’s second-largest jazz festival. The Spring Music Fest is a free concert sponsored by the city that features some of today's most popular artists. Planetfest features a variety of modern rock artists. The Jacksonville Film Festival is held in May, reflecting Jacksonville’s early history as the “Winter Film Capital of the World”. There is a Museum of Science and History, which includes the Alexander Brest Planetarium. The Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art. Jacksonville has several theaters including the Ritz.

Crime

As in most cities, the crime rate in Jacksonville is significantly higher than the U.S. average.

Medical Facilities

There are at least 8 hospitals in the area

Transportation

Jacksonville International (12 Miles). Amtrak. The Jacksonville Transit Authority provides public transportation including the stadium shuttle. The JTA Skyway is a monorail through the downtown business district. 

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