An unforgettable vacation for two in Jacksonville
I have long dreamed of visiting the state of Florida. The advertised Miami somehow frightened, but, at first glance, the inconspicuous Jacksonville was exactly the opposite – it attracted. Especially if there lives a person very close to the heart.
Visit Jacks (as the locals call him) fell in May 2017. I just flew from Kiev to a conference in New York, and after it I decided to drop in for a three-day visit to a close friend. Frankly, May fits perfectly. Firstly, ticket prices are not so high, since the tourist season has not yet begun. For comparison: the flight from Kiev to Jacksonville and back cost me $ 780. If you buy a ticket for July, then the price will be at least $ 900. Secondly, in May there are not many tourists, the beaches are half empty. Thirdly, spring is not so hot. The sun in Florida is already painfully frying. I can hardly stand the heat, so I do not regret that I flew in May. It is also known that in the summer and especially in the fall in Jacks the rainy season begins, it often floods so that it is impossible to get to work. Hurricanes also come from time to time. It is noteworthy that in Jack is not as hot as in Miami, although there are also subtropics and palm trees at every turn.
The first day I arrived, I stopped at my friend’s house. But she could not be away for a long time due to the fact that he lives with relatives, so she spent the remaining two days at the Whindham hotel near the airport. The cost of a double room for three stars cost $ 85 per day, plus 15 percent of the mandatory tourist tax. Since we booked for two days, the hotel went forward and offered a 20 percent discount. The amenities included: free parking, wi fi, breakfast (rolls, yogurts, juices, fruits, even allowed to take a little in the room), TV, refrigerator, coffee machine, ice, hot water and 3 towels. Most of all I liked the possibility of a free shuttle to the airport. I went to the reception, asked to call a bus to the airport, five minutes later a driver appeared who took my things and drove straight to the Delta reception. Also at the reception they gave me a charger, since the sockets in the USA and Ukraine are different, and it turned out to be impossible to buy an adapter for an American outlet at home.
A friend drove me around the city. By the way, there is no way without a car. Public transport is very poorly developed. Virtually no one is without a car. I would advise, first of all, to go to the beach. One “but”: parking costs $ 10 per hour. Americans believe that it is very expensive and try to park at an apartment building. We thought visiting McDonald’s would ease our torment. But as soon as we left the institution of American catering, the guy immediately told us to leave, otherwise he would call a tow truck. So, we still dared to stop at the apartment building and went to the beach. There were few people, albeit Sunday. Ocean water is clean, sand is white-white and sifted. No habitual dirt and algae, no garbage left by vacationers. And despite the fact that Jacks is the most populous city in Florida.
Joe also drove me to the center of Jacksonville. This is the so-called Jacksonville Landing and the promenade of the Jacksonville Riverwalks. Landing is a complex of restaurants, shopping centers. It is very beautiful in the evenings, especially when the orchestra plays. And around are lights and palm trees. We walked along the promenade, surrounded by super-expensive hotels. Noteworthy are gulls (or birds very similar to them), ships and climbing bridges or parts of bridges. People are friendly and, without even knowing you, are sure to say hello. A lot of tourists are sitting on the promenade in a cafe and resting. Not far from the complex, I noticed columns with pictures from the book of Uncle Tom’s Gariett Beecher Stowe. In Jacks, more than 30 percent of African Americans, so the book is very relevant. In addition, the writer for a long time rested and was treated in Jacksonville.
I also recommend visiting the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Science and History. They are located near the complex. On the southern embankment of the city is the Friendship Fountain, which has long been considered the largest in the world. Children will be interested in visiting the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Zoo and the water park.
We were at the flea market. It turns out that for the sake of economy, Americans agree to buy used speech. They paid $ 1 for parking and climbed the forgotten market in God. There really are a lot of people. You can buy a lawn mower, records, clothes, fruits, Chinese consumer goods, household goods. You can have a bite here.
I admit that there was no time for shopping, so I bought souvenirs at the airport. Although it was possible to buy in Landing and in the supermarket. In duty free, prices bite. For example, a cup (in a box) with the image of Florida cost $ 15.99, magnets – from $ 7.99, chocolates – from $ 5.99, books – from $ 15.99. For comparison, in New York, three cups with symbols were sold for $ 9.99, and books could be found for $ 9.99.