Jacksonville Information

Jacksonville was named for the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, who was also the first military governor of the Florida territory. It has the greatest area and the largest population of any city in Florida and is the largest city in terms of population in the whole of the Southeast. Its large and modern harbor make this city an important port for military and civilian purposes. The economy also relies on a tourism industry that particularly focuses on golf.

Some of the most important features in Jacksonville include the Florida Theatre and Ritz Theatre. The former was built in 1927 in the style of Mediterranean Revival architecture and is now one of only a few still standing. The Ritz Theatre is situated in the northern part of downtown Jacksonville in an area called LaVilla. During the 1930s, this neighborhood was known as the Harlem of the South and the theater was frequented by black musicians from across the country. Among other famous performers, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fiztgerald and Louis Armstrng all played at the theater.

Jacksonville holds a number of annual cultural and sport events including the second largest jazz festival in the country, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and one of the largest and longest established blues festivals, Springing the Blues. Sport events include the Gate River Run, the Gator Bowl for college football, and a 15-kilometer road race that sees the greatest participation for a race of such a distance in the country. The city also hosts a six-day fishing event, The Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, open to novice to professional fishermen.

Jacksonville features a number of museums including the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, the Muesum of Science & History and the Jacksonville Maritime Museum. Other main attractions of the city are the Jacksonville Landing and Jacksonville Riverwalks. The Landing includes a number of dining and shopping options that can be reached by a River Taxi off the Southbank Riverwalk. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens includes the second largest collection of animals in Florida including lions, elephants and jaguars. There is also a great number of reptile houses and free flight aviaries.