What It’s Like to Live in Downtown Jacksonville

Both southern and metropolitan, tall towers mingled with historic and mid-century architecture set the stage for Downtown living in Jacksonville, Florida.

When you live Downtown, diverse dining, engaging entertainment and singular cultural amenities await at your doorstep. And it’s all just steps from the sparkling St. Johns River, miles of riverwalk promenade and boating access.

Downtown is home to 18 culture and entertainment venues, plentiful parks and public art, four sports teams, six major medical facilities and six College/University campuses – so you can live, work, play and thrive near amenities you can’t find anywhere else.

Eight Downtown districts each offer distinct histories, amenities, and senses of place, and it’s easy to walk, bike, or take a scooter, a tuk-tuk or the St. Johns River Taxi between them.

Downtown offers a city vibe not found anywhere else in the region. Its apartments and condos are in high demand, with nearly 1,000 new residential units under construction today. The number of Downtown residents has nearly doubled in the past five years and is set to double again. More residents means more shops, restaurants, amenities and activities.

Take a virtual tour or schedule an in-person tour and fall in love with living Downtown today.        

Live in Downtown Jacksonville

Find Apartments and Condos in Downtown Jacksonville

Whether you’re a single professional looking to live near work, an empty nester wanting to walk everywhere or a family with active children who will enjoy a calendar of year-round events, there is a home for everyone in Downtown Jacksonville.

 Nearly 30 multi-family properties offer apartments, condos and townhomes – studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and more – and just about every type of amenity imaginable.

Want a modern space, a rooftop clubhouse and pool? Downtown’s got that. Want a historic loft with exposed brick walls? Downtown’s got that, too. Want to live right on the river, above your favorite restaurant, next door to public transit, or even in a decked-out shipping container? Yes, again.

Dining & Nightlife 

Downtown’s culinary scene is thriving. You’ll always be able to grab a hearty meal from the many delis and cafes, visit the variety of food trucks and enjoy cuisines from around the world, or watch the sunset while dining al fresco at one of Downtown’s upscale bistros and fine dining restaurants. 

Whether you prefer a Happy Hour or a night on the town, Downtown’s many locally owned and operated breweries, distilleries, sports bars and cocktail lounges offer one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

Dive Into the Cultural Scene 

From arts to science and everything in between, you’ll find a museum to calm the curiosity inside any explorer – child or adult, alike! 

  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville: With more than 1,000 pieces in its permanent collection, MOCA Jacksonville encompasses one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the Southeast.
  • Museum of Science & History (MOSH): Located on Downtown’s beautiful Southbank, the Museum of Science & History brings thousands of years of Northeast Florida’s cultural and ecological history to life.
  • Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: Located in the historic Riverside neighborhood, The Cummer Museum houses over 5,000 works of art spanning 8,000 years including significant European and American paintings and a renowned Meissen porcelain collection. 
  • Eartha M.M. White Museum at the Clara White Mission: The Clara White Museum serves as a memorial to Clara White and her daughter Dr. Eartha White, showcasing the lives and careers of these two pioneer women and their impact on Jacksonville’s community.
  • USS Orleck: The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association secured the USS Orleck DD-886 as the centerpiece exhibit of the Jacksonville Naval Museum, a dedication to the community’s strong Naval ties. 

Are live music, musicals or plays more your vibe? Don’t worry, Jacksonville has the venues to keep you entertained!

  • Ritz Theatre and Museum: The Ritz Theatre and Museum is located in the LaVilla neighborhood of Downtown and is considered “the mecca for African American culture and heritage” in Florida. The variety of theatre and music that once existed in LaVilla earned it the nickname of Harlem of the South. Today, the theatre pays homage to its history as the epicenter of jazz while building a new tradition of musical performances. 
  • Florida Theatre: The Florida Theatre is a 1,900-seat historic theatre located in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida that first opened its doors on April 8, 1927 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The theatre’s most notable performance occurred in 1956 when Elvis Presley performed six shows over two days — to a completely sold out audience. The theatre still draws big name stars to Jacksonville, including Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Air Supply and Neil Degrasse Tyson. 
  • Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts: A cornerstone of the Downtown area, the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts is committed to supporting a wide range of entertainment experiences. Here, you’ll discover local shows, such as the TEDxJacksonville event, and off-Broadway performances including Aladdin, Wicked and Pretty Woman. 
  • VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena:  A multi-purpose arena, Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena hosts top-name performing artists, family shows and sports events. 
  •  Daily’s Place: Downtown Jacksonville’s newest sports and entertainment venue, Daily’s Place sits next to TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The amphitheater draws big name performers, such as Zac Brown Band and Matchbox Twenty.  

A Whole Year of Events to Keep You Going

Downtown offers a variety of family-friendly activities and day spots to keep everyone entertained. 

Here are some annual events you won’t want to miss: 

  • Jax River Jams Presented by VyStar Credit Union: A free, four-week concert series on Downtown Jacksonville’s scenic riverfront that features national headliners with local and regional openers. Occurs every Thursday in April. 
  • Jacksonville Jazz Festival: Local enthusiasts and aficionados from around the world unite at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival to celebrate the music, art and culture of America’s Jazz music! Usually occurs in May. 
  • Fourth of July: Put on your favorite red, white and blue and join your Downtown neighbors for the best July 4th Fireworks show on the First Coast! 
  • Jacksonville Light Boat Parade: The Jacksonville Light Boat Parade has been a holiday tradition for more than 30 years. Vessels of all shapes and sizes adorn their hulls with festive decorations as they float along the north and south banks of the St. Johns River. Usually occurs in November. 
  • TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: More than a football game, the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl provides a week full of parties, activities and attractions for fans of all ages. 
  • New Year’s Eve: No other Florida destination has a bigger New Year’s Eve fireworks show than Jacksonville. Launched from the St. Johns River, the spectacular display lights up the sky — and welcomes the New Year. 

Learn more about additional annual events happening Downtown – and throughout our Bold City – by checking out our partner Visit Jacksonville.

Regular Events to Liven Up Your Month 

While you may wait eagerly for our annual festivals and celebrations, Downtown Jacksonville keeps you busy during the month with recurring monthly (and even weekly) events. 

  • Riverside Arts Market: Focused on local artists, makers and farmers, the Riverside Arts Market serves as a vital economic outlet and community showcase. Pick up the freshest local produce or support local artists and makers every Saturday in Historic Riverside. 
  • First Wednesday Art Walk:  Bring your family, friends and coworkers Downtown to celebrate the community’s creative talent on the first Wednesday of every month. Browse works from local artists, sample food truck fare and listen to live performances at three major hubs: James Weldon Johnson Park, The Jessie and The Breezeway at Vystar Tower
  • Sip & Stroll Presented by PNC: Stroll the stunning Southbank Riverwalk every third Thursday of the month while sipping from a branded Sip & Stroll cup. Enjoy live music, food vendors, bars and a picnic area – all with a picturesque sunset backdrop.

Parks & Recreation

Downtown Jacksonville combines the best of city living with rich outdoor recreation opportunities so you can take advantage of Jacksonville’s temperate year-round weather. 

Jacksonville is home to the nation’s largest park system, and when you live Downtown many of these parks and public spaces are just a short walk or bike ride away. Spot native dolphins while walking along Northbank and Southbank riverwalks, enjoy a picnic at James Weldon Johnson Park – Jacksonville’s oldest park, relax in the shade of Treaty Oak—a 250-year-old Southern Live Oak—at Jessie Ball duPont Park, or get your blood pumping at Corkscrew Park, a free, shaded public gym under the Acosta Bridge.

Many more noteworthy outdoor amenities are under construction or in design today, including: a botanical garden at the St. Johns River Park and Friendship Fountain, a new Musical Heritage Garden at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown’s first skate park under the Fuller Warren Bridge, and a new Shipyards West Park, which will be the future home of the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), the Jacksonville Fire Museum and the USS Orleck Naval Museum.

You can also look forward to the creation of the Emerald Trail, a 30-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails that will connect Downtown to 14 historic neighborhoods, 18 schools, two colleges and nearly 30 parks. Plus, a new shared use bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Fuller Warren Bridge will link Brooklyn and the Southbank/San Marco neighborhoods.

Make Downtown Your Home

No matter what you’re looking for in a neighborhood, Downtown Jacksonville delivers something for everyone: nature, arts, entertainment, delicious restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

We can’t wait to welcome you home to DTJax!