Best Time to Visit Jacksonville: Along Florida’s northeastern shore is the area called the “First Coast,” a scenic region known for its beautiful beaches, pristine wilderness, and relaxed atmosphere. The most famous city on the First Coast, Jacksonville is located in the north of the region, in Duval County. The largest city in the contiguous 48, Jacksonville takes up almost all of Duval County, and is usually subdivided into six regions–Downtown, Arlington, Southside, Westside, Northside, and The Beaches.
Much of the tourist activity in Jacksonville is concentrated in The Beaches, which consists of several communities located on a barrier island that has 22 miles of beaches–the most of any city in the state. Jacksonville’s beaches are famous for their refreshing blue waters, expansive shores, and great weather. The beaches are a popular place for swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, surfing, jogging, and relaxing in the sun.
Aside from the beaches, Jacksonville has plenty of other attractions, including the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Little Talbot Island and Big Talbot Island, TIAA Bank Field, St. Johns Town Center, Beaches Town Center, Riverside and Avondale, Huguenot Memorial Park, and more.
There is no denying that Jacksonville has plenty to do. But when is the best time to visit Jacksonville to take advantage of all the city has to offer? Here is what you should consider when planning your trip.
Best Time to Visit Jacksonville Beaches
The best time to visit Jacksonville is from April to May, and again from September to November, if your main goal on your visit is to enjoy the beaches. April and May is a great time to visit because the weather is great, but the summer crowds have not yet arrived and the spring break crowds that flock to the beaches in March have dissipated. Temperatures in April and May hang around the high 70s to low 80s, making it the perfect time to hangout on the beach.
Similarly, in September, October, and November, the weather is still warm and the crowds have largely left, making it a great time to head to the beach. The water during these months is even warmer than it is in the spring, because the ocean was heated by the sun all summer, and much of that heat lasts through autumn.
Best Time to Visit Jacksonville to Explore the City
If spending time on the beach is not your primary reason for visiting Jacksonville, and you plan to spend most of your time exploring the city instead, then spring and summer are good times to visit. Jacksonville can get hot in the summer, but as a north Florida city on the coast, it generally does not experience the same blazing heat you might get further inland or further south. Average temperatures in June, July, and August hover around the low 80s. This makes the months of March through September great for exploring the city, although August and September are the rainiest months of the year, so plan accordingly.
If you plan on visiting Jacksonville’s parks, waterways, museums, zoo, or historical sites and neighborhoods, be sure to wear sunblock, bring water, and enjoy! The city has plenty to see, and spring and summer is the perfect time to experience everything it has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Jacksonville for Golf
Jacksonville is a golfer’s paradise, with 22 golf courses in the city, and an additional 18 courses within 20 miles of the city’s limits. If you are planning to spend a lot of time on Jacksonville’s golf courses during your vacation, there is no better time to visit than the fall. Fall is when Jacksonville’s average temperatures drop to around the mid 60s. The cooler temperatures are ideal for spending a day out on the course.
Some of Jacksonville’s most famous golf courses include:
TPC Sawgrass – A course designed by Pete Dye in 1980, famous as the site of 18-year old Tiger Woods’ U.S. Amateur win in 1994. The most well known of Jacksonville’s golf courses.
Eagle Harbor Golf Club – Just south of downtown Jacksonville, the Eagle Harbor Golf Club is an award-winning golf course set in pine forest. The club is one of Jacksonville’s best.
Bent Creek Golf Course – Jacksonville’s premier public golf course, the 18 hole, par 71 Bent Creek Golf Course is a must-play for any golfer in the Jacksonville area.
Best Time to Visit Jacksonville on a Budget
The best time to visit Jacksonville on a budget is from mid September through mid October. This is when the summer rush has slowed down, kids are back in schools, and families are back to their usual routines. During this time, flights, hotels, parking, and food in Jacksonville is generally at its cheapest, while the weather is still nice enough to enjoy the city and the beach. Similarly, the ocean water is still warm from the summer sun, making September and October the perfect time to swim or participate in watersports. For the traveler on a budget, there is no better time to visit Jacksonville than mid September through mid October.
The best time to visit Jacksonville depends on what you plan on doing on your vacation. If you want to spend time on the beach, April and May, and September through November are the best time to visit. If you want to explore the city, you should go during the summer, when the weather is nice, and most of the tourist activity is concentrated on the beaches rather than in town. For golfers visiting Jacksonville, the best time to make your trip is in the fall, when temperatures have cooled off, but have not gotten cold enough to interfere with your game. And for travelers on a budget, the best time to visit is between mid September and mid October.