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Historic and Cultural Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a diverse city where tall straight pines meet palms and where lush parks and old stately homes dot the city, in the Avondale and Riverside area, and especially around St John's and San Juan Streets just south of downtown. Stroll the quaint shops and cafes of this meandering neighborhood, a favorite of locals. While there, enjoy the serene landscape, exhibits and architecture of the Cummer Museum of Art& Gardens. Not far from cheap hotels Jacksonville offers, stroll the excellent exhibits at the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art (JMOCA) downtown. Then, at night, catch the action in a jazz bar along the river, or one of the fine dining restaurants downtown in The Villa, easily accessible by the light rail. Take in a performance at the historic Ritz Theatre or a star studded act Veterans Memorial Arena. Listen to the Jacksonville Symphony and other musical venues at the Times-Union Center of the Performing Arts. Over Memorial Day weekend, the annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival turns downtown into a celebration of music, food and fireworks.

Head for Riverside, an eclectic area of shops, upscale boutiques, cafes and art galleries along the shores of the St. John River where I10 and I95 meet. On Saturdays, find vendors and street performers around the fountain. The Riverside Art Market features over 150 different artists of all genres. Across the Acosta Bridge, venture into Museum Circle to wander the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Historical Center and Alexander's Best Planetarium on the grounds of Friendship Fountain and park. It is not far from pet-friendly hotels in Jacksonville. Be sure to stop off on Riverplace Street, amidst more stores, bakeries and confectionery shops, and galleries. Venture further east towards Jacksonville Beach and enjoy one of the oldest dinner theaters in the country, Alhambra Theatre. It is an unforgettable experience.

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