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Jacksonville, the ‘Sunshine State of Florida’, is famous for world-class cuisine, thriving, nightlife, and the longest coastline. No wonder this city in Florida works its charm on the visitors. What also makes it a popular place is the exciting places near Jacksonville as it is strategically located to other gems of Florida. If you are flying to Florida on your US trip, it is recommended that you add a few more days to your itinerary and explore all these places mentioned below to make it one helluva trip.

Places Near Jacksonville

Here are some of the best places to visit near Jacksonville that can be covered in a day. You can add others to your Florida trip itinerary as these places are just awesome.

1. Amelia Island

Amelia Island

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Just 30 miles away from Jackson, Amelia Island is a beautiful, serene place with shimmering white sand beaches and lush green forests. The bountiful of nature makes it one of the best places near Jacksonville Florida. There is Fernandina Beach on the northeast corner of the island that boasts of picturesque shores, luxury resorts, and sprawling golf clubs. What also makes it a great attraction nearby Jacksonville is that you find festivities and events happening all around the year.

Distance from Jacksonville: 53 km
How to reach: The nearest airport is Jacksonville Airport. You can rent a car and have a non-rush road trip to the island.

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2. Ichetucknee Springs

Ichetucknee Springs

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Ichetucknee Springs is hands down one of the most beautiful attractions near Jacksonville where you can spend your entire day amidst nature. The irresistible beautiful springs are a perfect spot to get away from all the hustle bustle of the city life and just enjoy the calmness and charm of the surroundings. While you are there, revel in the exhilarating experience of cave diving at the Blue Hole Springs, the largest of Ichetucknee.

Distance from Jacksonville: 128 km
How to reach: There is a bus from Jacksonville to Lake City. You will have to cover the further distance to the springs by taxi. There is a tram that will take you inside the Spring Park.

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3. Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park

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If you are looking for places near Jacksonville airport so that you can begin your trip right when you land in Jacksonville, drive yourself to Blue Springs State Park. the 2,600 acres of pristine and unspoiled landscape sure seem tantalizing to the eyes. It is just two-hour drive from Jacksonville and becomes very popular in the summer season when people come to enjoy kayaking and canoeing. The manatees from West India also add charm to the landscape. The best time to visit Blue Spring State Park is from November-March.

Distance from Jacksonville: 186 km
How to reach: It only takes an hour and a half to reach the park from Jacksonville. So, it is better you hire a cire for a day. Also, arrive early because this park gets full early during the season.

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4. Palatka


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Palatka is a simple, historic town lying an hour drive away from Jacksonville. The old town charm with its perfectly preserved homes and antiquated churches make this place a must visit on your Florida trip. Go back in time during your visit to Palatka, preferable to 1800s where the time stands still. You will find a thriving art scene and vibrant culture in Palatka which is best enjoyed through Palatka Mural Tour. For a dose of nature and adventure, you can visit Ravines State Garden Park.

Distance from Jacksonville: 99 km
How to reach: You can take a bus from Jacksonville to Palatka. The train to Palatka from Jacksonville only costs $16.

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5. Gainsville


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What makes Gainsville one of the best places near Jacksonville for a visit is its youthful, vibrant charm which is possible because it is home to the University of Florida. Gainsville is also a great place for nature lovers to visit as it is a hotbed to numerous natural attractions and state parks where you will find an abundance of flora and fauna. Visit the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park for its enormous sinkholes.

Distance from Jacksonville: 114 km
How to reach: The nearest airport to Gainsville is Jacksonville Airport. You can take a bus to Gainsville from Jacksonville which will only take an hour to reach.

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6. Tampa


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Tampa is one of the exciting places near Jacksonville that you should not miss visiting on your Florida Trip. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, it is one of the most traveled cities in the US. The beaches galore provide an excellent opportunity for fishing and gorging on fresh seafood. Do check out the Clearwater Beach and Indian Rock Beach during your visit. If you enjoy coastal views and marine-oriented way of life, then you should definitely check this place out.

Distance: 320 km
How to reach: You can take a direct flight from Jacksonville to Tampa. There are buses and trains also available if you prefer that.

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So, these were a few places near Jacksonville that should make in your itinerary to enjoy your trip to the USA to the fullest. Florida is one of the most popular states in the USA famous for its beaches abd exciting theme parks. So, here are cues to having fun in the Sunshine State. However, stay away from the alligators and crocodiles that are in abundance in Florida. Also, enjoy diving and driving in Miami which is a paradise for divers.

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Category: Places To Visit, USA

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