Contact: Patty Jimenez at (904) 421-9169 or





Discover What’s New in Jacksonville this summer



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From the River to the beach, Summer time is the best time in Jacksonville! Swim, surf, kayak, take a boat ride or simply sit under the sun, summer really does bring a relaxing and fun time to the River city. This is Where Florida Begins, come check it out!


Family Fun under the Sun:


Little Talbot Island Activities

$5 is all it takes to give your family a day in the sun they will not soon forget. Drive your car to the beach, take a dip in the calm waters of the State Park and then enjoy a picnic by the shore. What else could you ask for? Oh wait! They have fun and FREE adventures underway every Saturday this July. From nature hikes to critter expeditions to shark teeth lessons, connect with nature and have a blast at Little Talbot Island.

For more information got to


Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Forget 3-D, the Jacksonville Zoo has gone 4-D! The new Happy Feet Mumble’s Wild Ride is quickly becoming a favorite of visitors. The ride is a fun all-senses experience for the whole family. Zoo members pay $3.00 to ride, $4.00 for the general public. Guests must be at least 42” tall to ride. Checkout what the buzz is all about at


Adventure Landing Family Fun Nights

Picture this, unlimited laser tag, unlimited miniature golf and a large pepperoni pizza. Sounds good? Well that is the plan Adventure Landing’s Shipwreck Island Waterpark in Jacksonville Beach is offering your family this summer. Every Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 families can enjoy the special deal for 4 for just $24.99. Buy your tickets at


Jacksonville “Top to Bottom” Tour

Take a walk down memory lane with the Jacksonville “Top to Bottom” tour. Go to the top of downtown Jacksonville and the bottom of the city as you tour historic buildings and see forgotten tunnels in the River City. This July the tour route has been upgraded to help visitors beat the summer heat, it is 80% indoors and gives you new panoramic views of the city and takes you inside The Carling building, once  Jacksonville’s most luxurious hotel. The tour is available every Tuesday for just $15. Check other services at


Dave & Buster’s Jacksonville

Every Wednesday this summer you can cool off and take the family to Dave & Buster’s for half off games. Enjoy favorites like the gigantic connect 4, PacMan Royal and Air Hockey. Check their hours of operation at


Out on the Water:


Crazy Fish

Navigate the Intracoastal on an airboat, or better yet do it in style on a dolphin limousine, these are some of the tours Crazy Fish has to offer this summer. You can also go on a kayak guided tour or just rent one and venture out on your own. After the tour enjoy delicious fresh seafood at their Key West themed waterfront restaurant. Book at tour and discover all the beauty Jacksonville has to offer, visit them online at


Jax Water Tours

See the Intracoastal Waterway in a whole new way. Jax Water Tours just joined Visit Jacksonville; they provide Eco-tours every morning and Sunset-tours every night of the week, they even gave a BYOB Fun Tour. You’ll see dolphins, manatees and even check out beautiful waterfront homes. They depart from the Beach Marina in Jacksonville Beach at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. each tour is 2 hours long. A trip you can’t miss! Book one at



Jacksonville is your passport to the Caribbean. More than 1 million passengers have taken advantage of JAXPORT’s cruise terminal. Take a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas aboard Carnival Fascination. Have an extra day of? Then take a 5 day cruise to Key West and the Bahamas. Jacksonville set a new record with nearly 200,000 passengers sailing on local cruises last year. Let’s do it again!

For schedules and cruise dates go to Visit, JAXPORT is Florida’s Vacation Port!


SkyCoast Adventures- Amelia Island’s Helicopter Tour

Enjoy beautiful views of Amelia Island, Cumberland Island and historic downtown Fernandina Beach from up above with a helicopter tour. This new service offers two rides one for 15 minutes, the other for 20 minutes. Each tour takes a different route and lets you enjoy all the beauty the Atlantic Coast has to offer. Tours are available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To book one visit them online at


Dining and Nightlife


Beer School at the Anheuser-Bush Brewery

If you are not a beer lover this class will turn you into one. This new feature at the brewery is a fun, interactive class that will guide you thru the ins and outs of becoming a beer connoisseur. After 45 minutes you will know how beer is made, how to properly store it, the best way to pour it and more importantly the best way to taste it. You have to be 21 or older to attend class, it is $10 per person.

After class take the Beer Master Tour of the Brewery. The 2-hour long Tour is $25. For dates and availability check out


Alhambra Theatre & Dining

Come for the food and stay for the show. Enjoy a night of musical theatre at one of the nation’s oldest dinner theaters. Currently showing at the Alhambra, “The Wizard of Oz”, the show runs until July 22. After that, the off-Broadway hit “Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes” opens on July 25 through August 19.

To take a look at the shows and also preview the dinner menu go to


Thursday Nights at Bistro AIX in the ONYX Lounge

Every Thursday night this summer, starting at 5:00 you can enjoy happy hour drink specials at the ONYX Room in San Marco.

For specials check out

For Bistro AIX menu visit:


Olio Market

Featuring a new summer menu for the season, Olio is one of 5 finalists for the Travel Channel’s “Adam Richmans Best Sandwich in America”. The contender is their Duck Grilled Cheese.

Olio is across from the now ‘old courthouse’ in downtown Jacksonville. The restaurant is now offering a new FREE lunch bus shuttle to and from the new courthouse from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.

On July 26th, Olio will host Dine with us Downtown in partnership with Downtown Vision, Inc.

For Olio’s Menu visit:


For Golf Lovers

There’s ‘History in the Making’ at the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum this summer. The ongoing program now features memorabilia from Tiger Wood’s 73rd career victory. Visitors will be able to see the gloves and ball Woods used for his final round at the 2012 Memorial Tournament, where he tied Jack Nicklaus for second on the PGA TOUR’s all-time win list.

Can’t get enough golf? The World Golf Hall of Fame has a deal for you. Now you can play as many holes as you want in one day for just $99 at the Slammer & Squire and $109 at the King & Bear course. Offer expires September 13, 2012.

Lodging Renovations

Candlewood Suites on Belfort Road is getting a new look. Starting on June 2012 and through late August 2012, the hotel will undergo a 4-Phase, $1.8 million renovation. All guest suites will be upgraded as part of the renovation process; they will feature new carpets, new modern cabinetry and stoves in the kitchen and new tubs and floor in the bathrooms.

In case of a storm…

JaxReady Mobile App

The city of Jacksonville is keeping up with the times and the changing technology. After already dealing with the direct impact of Beryl and Debby, and ahead of what is expected to be a very active Hurricane season, the city unveiled a new FREE app called JaxReady, it gives instant updates on potentially dangerous weather conditions, evacuation routes, road closures and shelter information for Duval residents. A website called also features the information and it is frequently updated for those residents without smart phones but access to the internet.


Special Events


Greater Jacksonville Fishing Tournament and Festival, July 16th-21st

In its 32nd year, the tournament is 5 days of exciting fishing for anglers of all ages. Thousands of fishermen will descend on the Jim King Park and Boat ramp at Sister Creeks to try and reel in the biggest catch. The tournament ends each night with live music, food and a boatique.


Winter in July at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, July 21st

Temperatures across the River City may be rising but inside the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens snow will be falling! There will be games, sledding and even a ski resort family giveaway.


Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp, July 26th-August 5th

A new season is coming for Jacksonville’s Big Cats and fans can be a part of it by seeing their favorite players and rookies in action during the team’s training camp. Practices are open to the public FREE of charge.


Bowling for Rhinos, July 27th

Hit a strike for Rhinos! The American Association of Zookeepers is holding a bowl-a-thon at the Batt Family Fun Center to raise funds to help endangered rhinos and their sanctuaries. According to the World Wildlife Fund only a few rhinos survive outside reserves and sanctuaries, so they need your help.


Experience Jax Week, August 1st– August 9th

A week to celebrate tourism in Jacksonville by encouraging local residents to go out and enjoy all the fun, cultural and exciting places and activities the city has to offer.

Tourism has a $1.6 Billion economic impact on the River City each year, employing 11% of the local workforce. It is important the Jacksonville community understands the real social and financial impact of tourism and what can be done to improve it.

During the week, there will be special admission prices and special events for locals to take advantage of.


Tour de Pain, August 10th & August 11th

Run 3 races in 24-hours. Kick things off Friday with a 4-Mile Beach run down Jacksonville Beach then Saturday morning begin the day with a 5K at Baymeadows Road and keep the running shoes on for a Mile Sizzler in Downtown Jacksonville that evening.


Annual Painting of the Paw Prints, August 11th

Show your Jags pride at this family friendly event. Join the Downtown Council of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as they re-paint the Jaguars paw prints down the center lane of Bay Street from the Main Street Bridge all the way to EverBank Field. Bring the whole family out for this FREE event.


Eat Up Downtown, August 13th– August 26th

The urban core of Jacksonville is packed with exciting and locally owned restaurants that range from casual dining to a gourmet experience. Every August the restaurants present a special menu for the ‘Eat Up Downtown’ promotion, this year there are 3 price points $15, $25 & $35 menus. Diners can pick their price and enjoy a three-course meal and a have a new culinary experience in downtown Jacksonville.


Pet Walk, September 5th

This event is part of Art Walk, organized by Downtown Vision Inc.; it is a family friendly evening in the heart of downtown Jacksonville filled with art, music and food vendors. For the month of September the theme is Pets, so bring your 4-legged babies to Downtown Jacksonville for a ‘pet-rrific’ time. This event is FREE and promotes pet health and pet adoptions.


5K Boselli Mud Run & Kids Mud Run, September 15th

This fun and challenging event benefits the Boselli foundation and Jacksonville’s underprivileged children.


Jaguars vs. Texas: First Home Game of the Regular Season, September 16th

The Jacksonville Jaguars play the first home game of the 2012-2013 season at EverBank Field.


Jax Senior Games, October 1st– October 7th

Over 50 and fabulous! This event organized by the city of Jacksonville promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for the senior population. From a 5K, to cycling, to softball to even line dancing, it is a week of challenging games for the over 50 population.


45th U.S. Surfing Championship, October 1st– October 9th

Surf’s up in Jacksonville Beach! Organizers are expecting the largest crowd ever for the contest this year, it will be 9 days of nothing but surfing. Registration is now open.


Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open, October 15th– October 21st

In 2011, the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open raised $1.8 Million for local charities, this year they want to donate even more. Some of golf’s emerging stars will be in town for the 4-rounds of golf at TPC Sawgrass, don’t miss it! Admission is FREE for children.


Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular, October 20th & 21st

The world famous Blue Angels are back in town for 2 days of exciting stunts in the skies over Jacksonville Beach. Along with the Blue Angels, some of the world’s best military and civilian flight teams will also take to the skies to entertain the big crowds, and the fun is not only in the sky, down on the ground there will be live music, food vendors, aircrafts on display and a chance to meet and greet the pilots. This FREE event is organized by the City of Jacksonville, The City of Jacksonville Beach and Naval Station Mayport.


Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic, October 27th

The game is the highlight but the party kicks off on October 24th with the opening of RV city in downtown Jacksonville, then get ready for 3 days of tailgating in this historic rivalry. After the game visit the Jacksonville Landing for a night of more fun.


For more events visit our calendar of events.


For more information on the many resources Jacksonville has to offer come check us out at

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Maralyn D. Hill


Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

President, International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing

Follow me: @maralynhill