Postcard from Jacksonville, Florida

by melanielynette /
melanielynette's picture
Apr 09, 2012 / 0 comments

Imagine a place with pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, calm enough to relax but just the right amount of waves to hang ten in your free time.

Imagine a huge city, in terms of population and of land. With nice weather year round, while still experiencing seasons.

Imagine a bookstore so giant you get walkie talkies when you walk through the door so as not to get lost.


Imagine a life where people are happy.


This was my experience with Jacksonville, Florida. My best friend moved there about four years ago, and while it was sad, it was also a great reason to visit such a beautiful place.  I've journeyed down there several times and never want to leave.  She always has cool new things for me to check out and I leave with tons of awesome stories to tell.


Chamblin's Bookmine is, as mentioned, a HUGE bookstore.  With over 1,000,000 new, used, and rare books in stock, it's impossible to not get lost, in both the store and the stories. 


Jacksonville is Florida's largest city in every way but it still has the serenity of a small town.  My friend moved to Atlantic Beach, one of Jacksonville's beach neighborhoods.  It's about a 5 minute walk to the beach (she lives on Ocean Blvd, the street Yellowcard, JAX natives, wrote their famous song Ocean Avenue about). Take a walk along the beach and you'll find the the Atlantic Beach Town Center, a quaint little place to eat lunch and grab a coffee or some cute souvenirs.  Along the palm tree-lined sidewalks there are colorful sculptures of sea turtles and jaguars, people skating or carrying their surf boards, pink or teal painted buildings, and a dazzling atmosphere. 


Jacksonville, Florida

Back to the beach, wading in the surf, heading south with the sun setting on your left, you'll run into the Jacksonville Pier.  Another fantastic spot to hang out, food, entertainment, shopping, and Yogaberry, everything you'd want.


Hop into your friends' Wrangler (with the top off, of course!) and head for a night on the town.  Maybe making a stop at the Riverwalk, but definitely checking out Jack Rabbit's for one of the many famous Jacksonville bands.


Then do it all over again! Go kayaking in the waterways, take a bike trip down the Florida A1A to St. Augustine, USA's oldest city and famous ghost town, or take a day trip into Orlando or Kissimmee. 


It's sometimes hard accepting change in life, but good things can come of it.  We've maintained our friendship and are closer than we've ever been, even with the thousand miles separating us.



Melanie Blanc is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program