Our Favorite Ways to Spend the Holidays Around Jacksonville, FL

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Jacksonville. This corner of Florida expresses its one-of-a-kind character in its unique heritage of the Outdoors, multiple historic periods, and a distinctly ‘Jax’ identity that manifests in the music of today. Indeed, with all that has imbued generations of Jacksonville residents with special energy and inspiration, this is also true for the sights visitors and locals alike can find here during the holiday season. Read on for some of our favorite ways to spend the holiday season here around Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Light Boat Parade

Combining the North Florida heritage with the outdoors and the holiday spirit, the Jacksonville Light Boat parade is an always memorable event that happens once a year on the St. Johns River, inspiring the Jacksonville community for over thirty years. This is a great option for groups, families, couples, and solo travelers alike to take photos and catch a true one-of-a-kind spectacle while in the Jacksonville area. Show up before the boat parade and enjoy the 904 pop-ups, a local event where small businesses, restaurants, chefs, artisans, and creatives populate over 200 booths, a great chance to enjoy the gentle North Florida winter weather while shopping and dining to your heart’s content. Bring the whole group out to the St. Johns River for this event and a day out on the town!

Dazzling Lights

One of the Jacksonville area’s most immersive and enchanting holiday season events, come out to Dazzling Lights and enjoy this forest of lights, tunes, and holiday-themed food and drink! This is a solid option for travelers of all ages and interests, a great photo opportunity, and a chance to see the gorgeous Jacksonville Arboretum at one of its most beautiful times of the year. The climate around Duval county provides for a lush backdrop to the holidays, meaning colors from greens to reds and oranges can be found well into the winter here. Take the party to Dazzling Lights and enjoy the verdant landscape and illuminated sculptures in a night of wonder and holiday joy.

New Year’s with Jacksonville

Whether partying in downtown Jacksonville or out on the beach, Jacksonville is a great place to spend New Year’s Eve, with numerous dining and nightlife options well past midnight. Kickoff the New Year with countless live music venues and performances, enjoying some of the city’s best restaurants and vendors as they go all out for this occasion, and of course, the massive firework show launched from the St. Johns River as we cross into a New Year. The wealth of options particularly around the downtown and riverside areas is our recommended location, with activities and entertainment all day and all night long. The water taxi and gastropubs are our highlights for Jacksonville’s downtown life, including famous local faces such as The Garage, Lola’s, Park Place, and Carmine’s. Take the party to Jacksonville’s beaches and downtown and enjoy New Year’s.

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