For those enjoying life in Jacksonville, please respond... (St. Augustine, Orange Park: renting, HOA fees)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Some of the negatives I've seen written about a plethora of rednecks and prolific Confederate flags and a purported distain of northerners have always made me scratch my head and say "huh?" I've not encountered any of it anywhere I've gone in the Jacksonville area. In fact, I've experienced the opposite -- unbelievable, unique, fantastic Southern hospitality. It's quite obvious that I'm not from here by my accent (it's a blend of midwest and Bostonian); yet, every shopkeeper or person on the street whom I've met has been genuinely friendly and incredibly accommodating.
Jacksonville isn't NYC nor LA nor Miami, but believe me there is plenty to do. We like theater and the arts, and I've had to create a spreadsheet of all the venues and their shows and events just to figure out how we can see/attend as many of them as possible. Plus there's the zoo, the museums, the gardens, the beaches, the antique shops, the Landing, the farmers' market, the restaurants, the shopping meccas, .... endless list.
My love of Jacksonville isn't because I'm from Backwater USA and don't know any better. In fact, I've lived near and have spent tons of time in both Boston and NYC and I love them both for what they are. I'm very happy to leave their traffic behind however. Here in Orange Park I've learned to adjust. I don't go anywhere near the corner of Blanding and Kingsley when OP High School is getting out. And my daughter leaves a little bit early for her 6 pm class at FCCJ on Beach Blvd in order to deal with the 9A/JTButler snarls. No big deal. My husband is ecstatic with his commute. He goes from Fleming Island to the northwest corner of Duval County, and it's such a short drive of 30 minutes that he no longer has to have a large cup of coffee and audiobook to make the commute survivable like he did in New Jersey.
To end this novelette on a subject other than traffic, I have to return to Southern hospitality. I'm still not used to it all, especially when it comes from high school kids. From the girls at McDonalds on Beach Blvd to the bag boys at Publix on Fleming Island, it's really service with a smile. Just today, as I was unloading my shopping cart at Publix, a teenage worker came over to help me and asked the typical question, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I mumbled something about "no, I couldn't find the Steak'ums", and the next thing I knew she was running off to get them for me. Meanwhile the bagboy was quickly and efficiently bagging my groceries by sorting the crushables and cans and creating the perfect bags by weight and content. When all was done he pushed the cart out to my car and loaded the groceries into the trunk with a jovial "have a great day ma'am!" I thought I had timewarped into the 1950s.
Hello! I have already read enough negative posts about Jacksonville, so I'm just seeking some positive info about the place. I am just really wanting to read some encouraging things about what people LIKE about living there. We're probably moving there by early next year for a job transfer and leaving Southern CA because of the high cost of living, to be closer to family, etc. We have already visited JAX and know that we like the Southside and surrounding areas. For those of you living south of the city (we already know not to even consider the north or west sides...high crime rate there, etc.), what do you enjoy most about the place you call home? Thanks so much!
I'm originally from Memphis, and while I do get homesick every once in a while, I really like living in this area.
My own experiences:
1. By and large, the people are nice.
2. The beach. It ain't the Bahamas or Hawaii, but it's still the beach. And life could suck much worse than being at the beach, right?
3. I like having an NFL team here. For me, it's a sense of pride.
4. It's a football town, both college and pro. I LOVE football, so that's a plus for me.
5. The schools. In Clay county, where I live, the schools are great. In Duval, some are great and some are not, but you can always figure out which areas to avoid.
6. Compared to other places in this state, living in the Jax area isn't very expensive.
7. Restaurants, bars, and clubs. I find that there's a good selection of all of them, if that's your cup of tea.
8. The weather. If you don't like the weather, just wait a little while!
9. It's a pro-military town. Being a Marine brat, I like that.
10. Basically, if there's anything you're looking for, then chances are decent that you'll find it here.
Again, those are my experiences. Others will vary, of course. But those are reasons why I like it here.
What I love about Jax...Nice weather with a break from the heat in the winter, easy access to other areas of the Southeast, Relatively low cost of living esp when compared to other cities with alot of room for growth, but most of all Jacksonville is a large city however has been able to maintain that small town feel. This is especially true of the small areas of the city. All of the sections of town have everything you need and therefore it elimiates having to drive all over the place. For example, I'm going to be moving to the Space Coast. Everytime you leave the house, you have to drive to go somewhere > 30 mins. I'm spoiled. Everything I need is close by. But most of all the people...we have alot of people from all over and alot of natives. We are friendly people who will help our neighbors in need. We have awesome restruants and again compared with other places, we have a lower crime rate. We have talked in this forum about the crim but this is due mainly to the fact that we have been spoiled for a long time. Growing Pains...We have traffic problems but nothing like other places. We are lucky...we complain about spending 30 mins in traffic. I know alot of people drive 45-60 mins to get to work. oh...did I mention the beach, St Augustine, Savannah, Amilia Island? And...FOOTBALL!! Noles ( go Noles), Gators, and Jags?? What's not to love about Jax?
I agree with just about everything mentioned! My wife and I moved here a little over 4 years ago from Rochester NY (close to Buffalo) and we love it here. We specifically picked Jacksonville out of other Florida cities due to the lower cost of living at the time, greater change of seasons than South Florida, less prone to hurricanes, beach, friendly people, etc. And all that has met our expectations and then some. We live on the Southside not too far from St Johns Town Center and it's a great location half way between the beaches and downtown and close to restaurants and entertainment. We plan to move shortly to NW St Johns County.
Jacksonville just did not have that touristy and transient feel when we visited a few times prior to moving here. Jax beach does not charge for parking, has plenty of available parking close by and is never overcrowded where we like to go. That was quite refreshing compared to many beach cities we've visited in other areas of the state. The water isn't as clear/blue as places like Ft Lauderdale, but we consistently see dolphins in the distance and it is just a great place to relax.
We are in our mid 30s with no kids currently and have never run out of things to do. We mostly like to go to the beach, love the Jax zoo and go quite often, drive to various parks and explore (LOTS of them to choose from) and for weekend getaways it's only 2.5 hours door to door to Disney/Universal, etc. We had always vacationed to various places in Florda, so we figured why not just move there and get it over with! Very happy we did and could not picture moving anywhere else.
Some of the negatives I've seen written about a plethora of rednecks and prolific Confederate flags and a purported distain of northerners have always made me scratch my head and say "huh?" I've not encountered any of it anywhere I've gone in the Jacksonville area.
I don't know how long you've been here Mawipafl, but if you haven't experienced it yet, you will. You're not far from it at all - deeper Clay county is very much what you describe above.
It's not always so obvious, but if you spend time out in areas like Keystone Heights, you'll see it. I am out that way often enough - not by choice, mind you, but I have in-laws out there. I'm careful to keep my beliefs to myself when I'm out that way, but others willingly share theirs with me. The locals I meet are a lot of "church-going" folks and I'm shocked at some of the things they say/believe. And yes, it's not uncommon at all for the teens and even adults to walk around with Confederate flags on their trucks and t-shirts.
To each his own, but for me, coming from NYC, these beliefs clash with mine strongly. The Southside is a world away and that's fine with me !
We live on the Southside not too far from St Johns Town Center and it's a great location half way between the beaches and downtown and close to restaurants and entertainment.
I live in the same area, and I agree - it's amazing to think you can live so close to the beach, not have to give up being close to downtown or shopping or entertainment, and to be able to have all of that for a reasonable price too (there's a real mix of housing costs in the area) . You just can't have all of that in most cities .
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.