10 Things to Know Before Moving to Jacksonville

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Jacksonville

Are you going to be moving to Jacksonville and wondering what you should know before you arrive in the Bold City? We’ve got you covered with the 10 things you’ll want to know about your future home that will help you adjust.


Our Traffic Is a Little Crazy

There are some major road projects going on across Jacksonville, but don’t let that deter you from getting out and exploring everything from the beaches to Riverside. Google Maps will quickly become your best friend, the one thing you make sure to check before you head out to work or anywhere else come rush hour. You’ll quickly learn where traffic slows down each day, how to keep up with those ever-changing road patterns on I-95 and you’ll be good to roam the streets in no time.

Fishing, Surfing and Every Other Water Activity are a Big Deal Here

No waves in Northeast Florida you say? Our surfers would beg to differ, and will gladly show you how to catch a wave off Jacksonville Beach (and may even show you some of our great hidden surf spots if you’re really nice). Locals like water sports of all kinds thanks to easy access to the St. Johns River (boating and fishing haven), the Intracoastal Waterway (great fishing spots) and the Atlantic Ocean (plenty of paddle boarding, kite surfing, regular surfing, fishing and more).

Locals Love the Low Cost of Living

Even with a serious local demand for rental units thanks to the thousands of college students and young professionals moving into the area each year (not to mention those who just prefer renting), the average rent prices near the beaches and Town Center continue to rise, yet remain much lower than national averages.

Same with resale homes and new construction; an increase in the overall average prices, but still well below national averages. What does that mean for you? Lower purchase prices means lower monthly mortgage payments, and a better chance at getting a great deal on a home that will continue to see positive gains when it comes to rising local values.

(Check out the Word on the Street section for an in-depth look at average prices and what’s happening in the local market)

Our Historic Areas are Recognized as Some of the Best in the Nation

The Riverside and Avondale neighborhood has been recognized as one of the top 10 neighborhoods in the country by the American Planning Association (APA), with strong preservation efforts, a focus on walkability and services for residents like the Riverside Avondale Night Trolley. Another nationally recognized historic neighborhood is Springfield, located just north of downtown Jacksonville. Springfield was named one of Southern Living’s Best Comeback Neighborhoods thanks to locals lovingly restoring many of the 100-year-old homes found there and building up a series of community events and fundraisers.

Fortune 500 Companies Really Like Us

Jacksonville means business when it comes to attracting top companies to bring more jobs to the area. No other city in Florida has more Fortune 500 companies within its limits: there are financial behemoths including Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America; health care in the form of Florida Blue and the Mayo Clinic, and even well-known brands like Bacardi, Anheuser-Busch and Swisher International boasting major presences in town. General Electric recently announced that it would be opening a plant here to help serve its oil and gas division, bringing hundreds more jobs to the area.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and PGA Tour are also both based in Jacksonville.

We Really Like Craft Beer (and Food Trucks)

Locals love supporting local craft beer – and we have plenty of it! Bold City Brewery and Intuition Ale Works’ cans can be found in supermarkets and stores across the First Coast, or you can stop in spots like Green Room Brewing, Engine 15 Brewing, Zeta Brewing, Veterans United Craft Brewing or any one of the other local brew spots popping up for a one-of-a-kind taste of the Bold City.

You can also jump in on the local food truck movement by following the trucks on social media to see where they’ll be posted up for weekday lunches and weekend events. Locals love tracking down favorites like the Happy Grilled Cheese truck, Son of a Butcher truck and Chew Chew Food Truck. In the last few years, the number of local food trucks has catapulted from just a handful roaming the streets to now more than 20 all with different tastes and styles.

Golf is Big Here

There are hundreds of golf courses on the First Coast stretching from historic St. Augustine to Amelia Island, and Northeast Florida likes to claim the spot of top golfing destination in the state thanks to nationally recognized courses such as Long Point at Amelia Island Plantation and the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.

There’s a Festival Almost Every Weekend

From the annual Jazz Festival downtown to the Atlantic Seafood and Music festival to the world’s crowdfunding festival One Spark, there’s a festival for every taste and interest here on the First Coast. Check the Weekend Playlist each Thursday to see what’s happening, or visit Visit Jacksonville’s site for a handy year-round list.

People Are Getting Excited About Downtown Jax

Where once it was difficult to find reason to go downtown outside of work hours, a resurgence in downtown culture and calls to action to bring more events and destinations to the area are causing locals to do a double-take.

New residential projects are coming to the Brooklyn Station area immediately to the west of downtown, more restaurants and bars are filling up once vacant storefronts and longtime projects including the First Wednesday Art Walk and Community First Saturdays are being joined by new events like Lunch in Hemming Plaza and the monthly Jaxsons Night Market.

We Love a Good Show, and Jax Has Plenty

Jax locals love going to the latest shows – whether its national music acts like Garth Brooks or Paul McCartney, a touring Broadway hit or a local art show. The venues don’t hurt either thanks to spots like the outdoor Sea Walk Pavilion located in Jacksonville Beach, the Florida-Times Union Center in the heart of downtown on the edge of the St. Johns River and the CoRK Arts District in Riverside.

Already a local here in Jacksonville? Share what you think newcomers should know about Jacksonville before moving here in the comment section below.

Moving to Jacksonville and looking for someone to help you in your home search? Whether you’re renting or buying, I’d be happy to help. Reach out and set up a time to talk over on the contact page.