Through the first two week’s of mock drafts, we’ve attacked two broad topics that have generated a lot of speculation about overdrafting, late pick steals and snubs. Moving things a little closer to home this week by selecting the best things to do in Jacksonville. As always, this is a far from scientific, privy to bias and should upset plenty. Bring it on.
1. Jaguars gameday at The Bank
By far the best and most Duval thing to do in Duval is enjoy a Sunday tailgating and watching the Jaguars win (I know, I know, it has not happened much lately). Still, if you’re Duval through and through, attending Jaguar games is a must.
–Jordan de Lugo
2. Relaxing at Atlantic Beach
Sunscreen will be necessary for Atlantic Beach.
3. Concerts/Movies at Florida Theater
The historic movie theatre/concert venue celebrated its 90th birthday over the weekend and is one of the oldest theaters in Florida. The theater has seen several renovations over the years (including updated acoustics), but this old-school movie palace, built in the style of Mediterranean Revival, hasn’t lost any of its considerable charm. It has maintained the lit-up marquee from the 1920s and possesses a majestic interior, which offers striking décor, two balconies and an intimate atmosphere with terrific views. I’ve seen everything ranging from “The Nutcracker” to Jim Gaffigan to TV on the Radio in the building and also enjoy the annual Summer Classic Movies series; a great way to beat the heat and catch an old favorite on the big screen.
4. Attending a ballgame at the Baseball Grounds
It is hard to beat a night at the ballpark with family and friends. I mean, read my last post if you don’t believe me. Plus, who doesn’t love Thirsty Thursdays?
Jacksonville’s latest addition in located in the St. John’s Town Center. The entertainment venue allows you to rent a golf bay and play many different types of point scoring golf games. If you’ve never played golf before, this is a good way of practicing and also having fun. Inside Topgolf, there is a restaurant, bar, and other games that you could enjoy while waiting for a bay, if you so choose.
6. Intuition Ale Works rooftop bar
The newest watering hole downtown is the most convenient for the frequenter of the sports complex such as myself. Now with a full summer of Jumbo Shrimp games leading in to a full fall of Jaguars games, plus events at the Arena, Metro Park and the Fairgrounds, all having a go-to spot to knock back a local cold one before or after, it has me that much more excited for any potential Shipyards development.
7. Concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheater
Live music is awesome. Being outside in the summer is awesome. With those two facts established, how can you beat a concert outside at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre? For those of us who live in Duval County, making the trip down to the nation’s oldest city for a late lunch followed by a great show sounds like an A+ day. There’s some competition opening up downtown, but that won’t change the experience down in St. Augustine.
8. Food Truck Rally
How can you not appreciate a good food truck on a Saturday afternoon before making plans for the evening?
9. Lemon Bar
Lemon Bar features two of Jacksonville’s favorite pastimes: enjoying the First Coast’s beautiful beaches and sipping on your beverage of choice.
–Jordan de Lugo
10. Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens
Inside and out, Cummer is one of the gems of the First Coast.
11. Black Sheep Restaurant rooftop bar
This is a cool spot to take your snobby family and friends visiting from out of town (“Oh, this reminds me of Greenville!”) or to finally reluctantly accept that “Sunday Funday” invite from the annoying couple next door. The restaurant’s popularity presents a good chance some of your more interesting friends will swoop in and save you from the couple’s inescapably incessant ramblings on the Paleo diet. The rooftop is on the building’s fifth floor and features neat views of the St. Johns, the downtown skyline, and bustling 5 Points’ streets. There’s a full food menu with appetizers and entrees and a drink menu brimming with handcrafted cocktails. There’s also plenty of seating and heaters to appease whining Floridians when the temperature drops below 72 degrees.
12. Riverside Arts Market
I honestly haven’t gone enough. There are all kinds of local arts, entertainment, and foods on display. It’s actually where I discovered Topsy Toffee.
13. The Players
Behind The Masters, which just concluded, The Players Championship is an event many sports fans know about when it comes to golf. It’s located at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, and draws thousands of Jacksonville residents to see the world’s best golfers. This is also a great place to meet up with old friends, drink a beer, and enjoy the wonderful weather.
14. Art Walk
The first Wednesday evening of every month is highlighted by this downtown festival, that promotes all sorts of arts and, perhaps most importantly, the walkability potential that exists in the urban core. Check the art, a live act at Art Walk After Dark, or just enjoy a drink or food in the heart of our fair city.
15. Burrito Gallery Brooklyn rooftop bar
If you’ve read through the draft to this point, you’ll know that rooftop bars are a pretty popular trend… and why not? When you’re in Florida and the weather is beautiful 95% of the time, you gotta take advantage. And while most rooftop bars are top-notch, I’ll take the one that is combined with Taco Tuesday. BG’s new(ish) Brooklyn location is centrally located, making it an ideal meeting place when your crew is spread throughout our massive city.
16. King Street District
If you know me at all, I’m a Riverside kid at heart. Find me most weekends bouncing between The Garage, Rogue, Dahlia’s Pour House, The Loft and Kickbacks Gastropub.
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party sees the Gators and Bulldogs face off once a year and more often than not, the winner goes home with the SEC East crown. While the game is always of great importance, this day at its core is all about the tailgating.
–Jordan de Lugo
18. Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
Better bring your bug spray. If I had to do it over, I would have found a way to get lost in Chamblin Bookmine off Roosevelt.
19. Dinner and a movie in Five Points
I already professed my love to Black Sheep, but that’s just one of several worthy restaurants in Five Points. I also enjoy Hawkers, Timoti’s, Sake House, and Derby (don’t forget Wendy’s). For those in a rush, Sun-Ray Cinema also has a pretty solid food and drink menu; I especially enjoy their popcorn toppings bar. Formerly the Five Points Theatre, Sun-Ray is an old-school theatre with two auditoriums and shows everything from blockbusters to art-house movies. Additionally, it’s a great place to meet fellow film buffs and catch a screening of a cult classic. I had a blast watching Breaking Bad’s series finale there, as well as a raucous holiday showing of Die Hard.
20. Nights of Lights
A beautiful spectacle that happens once a year in downtown St. Augustine. Walking down St. George Street and by Flagler College, you get to take in a kind of beauty like none other.
21. Jax Beach Bars
The beach is a lively place on the weekends during the day, but it is just as lively on Friday and Saturday evenings. The beach bars only accept people that are 21 or older, and here you will find a great mixture of people. From college juniors/seniors, to recent college graduates, to young adults, the bars can be very entertaining. There are many bars in close proximity so you can move from one bar to another. The best options include The Ritz, Hoptinger, The Shim Sham Room, The Tavern on 1st, Lynch’s, and more.
22. Jacksonville Symphony
It is a treat to have a full-time symphony in a city of our size, and with frequent shows that cover a broad music spectrum, from The Beatles to Beethoven and everything in between, there is a show for everyone to enjoy.
23. Beach workout
While the beach is great for Sunday Funday, it’s also the perfect place to put in some work in the Florida sun. Whether you’re going for a morning run, throwing some weight in a rucksack and putting in some miles with a squad or going full savage with a sandbag burpee mile, there’s something powerful about getting after it by the water’s edge.
24. Dos Gatos karaoke night
I love karaoke. Add that to one of the cooler spots downtown and a great DJ in NickFRESH, and you’ll find yourself having a great night.
25. Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular
Shows off Jacksonville’s strong military presence in “spectacular” fashion. The best pilots in the world flying some of the fastest jets in the world is always a win.
–Jordan de Lugo
26. Fore Palms Disc Golf Course at Ed Austin Park
A real strong pick if the weather continues the way it has been the last few days.
27. Running double bridges
Jacksonville boasts one of the most close-knit and active distance running communities in the Southeastern U.S., which is showcased each year at the Gate River Run. For all of the city’s runner-friendly assets, it’s devoid of rolling hills, so beginning a run at Mosh and completing a series of loops on the Acosta and Main Street bridges serves as a nice substitute for the uphill terrain. The moderate incline and views of the Jax skyline and St. Johns River make it a worthy spot to log some miles and there’s always the chance of a local serenading you with the undeniably original, “RUN, FORREST RUN.”
Jacksonville has a million courses it seems. No room for repetition. There are some exclusive ones, though. Anyone got the inside connection for me to play San Jose Country Club?
29. River City Rumble
Jacksonville’s biggest rivalry. Jacksonville University vs. University of North Florida. Although UNF does not have a football team, they make up for tailgating season with basketball. And from what I’ve seen, UNF and JU students go crazy when it comes to this game. If you have a chance to go see these teams play in basketball, go do it. You won’t regret it.
30. Splash Waterpark
It takes living in Nocatee or getting invited by a resident, but the respectively-sized community water park features multiple pools, two slides, a lazy river and a zipline, plus food and drink options (yes, alcohol included!). A relaxing way to spend a summer Sunday.
31. Autobahn Indoor Speedway
Remember riding Go Karts as a kid? Now crank that up to 11. Autobahn’s karts are legit, ramping up to speeds that can be a challenge to handle in the tight quarters of their indoor courses. A major caveat here is that I’ve only ever gone to Autobahn as part of a big group that had reserved a block of time – and that’s the way to go. When you know everyone racing with you and get a few cracks at it in a short period of time, it sets up for some fantastic smack talk before, during and after each race.
Dreamette is the best ice cream spot in the city and I dare you not to drop by on a hot summer afternoon, grab a cone with your favorite flavor and say, “yeah, this was a poor choice.” Cause you won’t.
Another draft in the books, and now you know exactly where to find your favorite Rogue writers now on any given day. Where do you like to spend your downtime in Jax? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @rivercityrogue.