What’s New in JAX: Fall in the River City
-Join us for football, outdoor activities, culture, craft beers and much more!-
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mild weather, the roar of football fans, cultural celebrations, Oktoberfest, and dozens of outdoor festivities lure visitors to Jacksonville this fall.
Kicking off the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars take the field at the new and improved EverBank Field. The home of the Jags unveiled the world’s largest scoreboards in July 2014, and they’re a sight to be seen. Come cheer on the home team or sport your own team colors at EverBank Field and check out the new stadium, the scoreboards, and even go for a swim in the new stadium pools – all sure to impress.
Another favorite activity for visitors this fall is hitting the fairways. The Jacksonville area is home to 1,220 holes of golf, including the famous island green at TPC Sawgrass. Northeast Florida is the perfect getaway for golfers looking to take advantage of pristine course conditions, affordable rates, great fall deals, and comfortable weather.
Cooler temperatures will also lure visitors outdoors for a little adventure. Choose one of the many tours Kayak Amelia has to offer and enjoy a day or a night out on the water connecting to Jacksonville’s green side at one of its two national parks, seven state parks, or over 400 city parks. The 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, a national park, gets visitors in touch with nature and history. Swim, boat, hike, fish, and enjoy historical sites like the Fort Caroline National Memorial and Kingsley Plantation, Florida’s last remaining Plantation-era house.
Located along the St. Johns River in downtown, The Florida Times-Union Center hosts countless symphony performances, Broadway shows, and other cultural events in the fall. The FSCJ Artist Series will present Broadway classics like Annieand Dirty Dancing, as well as off-Broadway hits, plays, musicals, and concerts. The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, a cultural institution in the city and one of the top Symphonies in Florida, will also charm visitors with its performances and new brand new music director. Other concert venues hosting national touring acts include the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, and the Florida Theatre.
Start your holiday shopping early at the St. Johns Town Center. In October 2014, the mega, upscale shopping complex opens its newest addition, anchored by Nordstrom. The new phase will also feature a Natural Life, Free People, and local boutique Model Citizen, among other shops and restaurants.
Oktoberfest will be celebrated throughout Jacksonville with special events in Downtown, the Beaches, Riverside, and even at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
And, what would October or an NFL season be without beer? The Jacksonville craft beer scene is leading the way in Florida. Visit the “Jax Ale Trail” and sample some of the best craft beers in the state. Engine 15 Brewing Co., Intuition Ale Works, Aardwolf Brewing Co., and Pinglehead Brewing Co. all won medals at the Best Florida Beer Championship in 2014. Veterans United Craft Brewery opened in August 2014 by two local vets and produces American and European style ales.
Fall is packed with festivals and special events in Jacksonville. Discover the following special engagements during your fall escape to Northeast Florida:
Jacksonville Jaguars 20th Season
Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Oct. 5
Vs. Miami Dolphins, Oct. 26
Vs. Dallas Cowboys, Nov. 9
Vs. New York Giants, Nov. 30
The Jacksonville Jaguars celebrate two decades in the NFL in the new and improved EverBank Field. Special hotel & ticket packages are available at the city’s top hotels. For more information got to www.visitjacksonville.com/deals.
Haunt Nights at Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach
Opening Oct. 3
Weekends in October, Adventure Landing at Jacksonville Beach is transformed into a fear-zone with three haunted houses and an all-new Zombie Attack Laser Tag attraction. Don’t miss the fun or the screams.
River City Pride Celebration
Celebrate individuality and show your pride, loud and proud! The largest LGBT Parade in North Florida winds through the historic Avondale and Riverside neighborhoods and ends with a block party on Lomax St. The following day, there is an evening pride festival under the Fuller Warren Bridge – the location of the weekly Riverside Arts Market. For more information, visit www.rivercitypride.com.
JAXtoberfest at the Jacksonville Shipyards
A two-day festival held in downtown, featuring music, food, and games the whole family can enjoy! Games include beer barrel race, brat eating competition, beer pong, apple pie eating contest and much more. The Kinderfest zone includes pumpkin decorating, face painting, bounce houses and pumpkin bowling. And, of course, there will be pints of German brew flowing, including a few from local craft breweries. For more information, visit http://jaxtoberfest.com/
Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood
Oct. 10-12; Oct. 16-18.
The country music legend is back and bringing his whole new show to the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in our ‘River City by the Sea.’ For the first time in 17 years, Garth Brooks has scheduled six concert dates in Jacksonville with tickets on sale now.
Spooktacular at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Oct. 18-20; Oct. 25-31
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is illuminated with hundreds of Jack-O-Lanterns and children’s smiling faces. Event features several “Lands of Enchantment” with candy stations, entertainment, animal exhibits and a few scare zones.
NAS Jax Air Show
Witness thrills like never before from a variety of military and civilian demonstrations. The new Spitfire Jet Semi will be racing down the runway at speeds more than 300 mph. NAS Jax is the birthplace of The Blue Angels and their flight demonstration team will perform for the event’s grand finale. An assortment of vendors and a free kids’ zone round out the event. For more information, visit www.airshow.jacksonville.com.
Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic
Oct. 29 – Nov. 1
Georgia vs. Florida is a weekend-long celebration that kicks-off with the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Georgia/Florida Block Party, Florida Georgia Line – a popular country music duo – in concert at The Shipyards, and Cousin Catfish Pigskin Jamboree. Block party is family-friendly and gives fans of all ages an opportunity to kick-off this great football rivalry with face painting, live music, BBQ contest and much more. Saturday the Touchdown Showdown, outside EverBank Field, keeps the celebration going before and after kick-off. There are free experiences and activities all day with the game shown on jumbo screens. Inside the stadium, fans cheer for their team.
Veterans Day Parade
Downtown Jacksonville hosts the largest Veterans Day Parade in the state of Florida, featuring more than 4,000 participants including grand marshals, senior military officials, active-duty and retired military units, veterans groups, local high school marching bands, military organizations, decorative floats, giant balloons, JROTC units and many more. Feel the pride of Jacksonville’s military heritage!
Holiday Spectacular at the St. Johns Town Center
Start the holiday season with the Holiday Spectacular, featuring family-friendly activities, like stilt walkers, costumed characters, balloonists, holiday-themed photo opportunities and more. A concert begins in the evening, followed by the welcoming of Santa who will light the dazzling 32-foot tree and kick off the fireworks finale.
Pandora Unforgettable Holiday Events on Ice
Get in the Holidays spirit at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena with some of the world’s top ice skaters, including the most decorated dance team in U.S. figure skating history, and two musical legends, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, and Paul Rodgers from Bad Company.
San Marco Art Festival
Juried, community art fair, held annually in the historic and culturally-rich San Marco neighborhood. Visitors can browse and purchase original handmade works including: glass, photography, painting, mixed media, fiber, jewelry and much more.
Riverside Wine Festival at 5 Points
Sample more than 300 wines in the streets of Five Points in the historic Riverside neighborhood. The charitable fall festival features food vendors, live entertainment and shopping. For more information, visit http://riversidewinefest.com.
Lannadoo, Jacksonville Celtic Festival
Enjoy live music, lively dancing by Irish and Scottish dancers, rugged Highland games and Celtic cuisine. Festival also features a Kid Zone, craft booths, Celtic memorabilia and genealogists to research family trees. For more information, visit http://lannadoo.com.
For more information on all there is to see and do in Jacksonville and the Beaches, log on to www.visitjacksonville.com.
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About Visit Jacksonville
Visit Jacksonville is the marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville stimulates economic impact, quality of life and recognition for the Northeast Florida region. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to www.VisitJacksonville.com or contact 800-733-2668.
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