Although I grew up less than a 2 hour drive from Jacksonville, Florida I had never experienced the downtown area. When I was in Jacksonville this week for the first time in 30 years, I was so surprised to see the transformation that has occurred. Nestled on the St. John’s River, the city has sprung to life and become a visual tapestry that includes a 3 mile Riverwalk. I was fortunate enough to have accommodations on the eight floor of a hotel overlooking the St. John’s River and could stand on the balcony and “breathe in” the view.
From the balcony, I could see the football stadium that had just a few days earlier been the scene of the Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs massacre. In the distance I could see an approaching thunder storm. As the lightning flashed, I remembered that Florida has the greatest number of lightning related deaths and moved further back into my room. The fireworks continued and I was able to observe from a safe distance.
The Riverfront is absolutely beautiful. According to one of the locals, the riverfront was patterned after Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the similarity is obvious. Early one morning, I walked across the James River Bridge and watched the sun come up amidst a pillow of clouds. When returning I was gifted with a production of dolphins playing in the river…..popping up and diving down.
Jacksonville is certainly a city to visit. I look forward to a return visit in the near future.
My Jacksonville Florida Visit