5. Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail
850 North Center Street
If you like bikes, and you like trail riding, then you’re bound to love the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail, located just west of downtown. Completed during the early 1990s, the 15-mile trail is paved, but surrounded by scenic uplands, wetlands, and pine flats. Most of the trail is covered by dense tree canopies, making it not only nice and shady, but also home to many species of hawks, tortoises, rabbits, and snakes. Bikers, walkers, in-line skaters, and horseback riders are welcome. While there, you can also visit the Imeson trailhead and the Camp Milton Historic Preserve. The Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail is located off of Brandy Branch Rd. For information and directions, visit https://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/jacksonville-baldwin-rail-trail.aspx.
6. Jacksonville Farmers Market
1810 West Beaver Street
Many believe that Jacksonville is a community that lacks marketable attractions, the type of unique and enjoyable travel destination that helps a city create a name for itself. Just west of downtown in the Rail Yard District, we already have that type of destination in the Jacksonville Farmers Market. Dating back to 1938 and attracting 25,000 visitors a week, the market is the oldest in the state of Florida and the only one open seven days a week. Here, one can find seafood, flowers and plants, honey, boiled peanuts, syrups, gourmet dressings, produce and more. Located on West Beaver Street near the viaduct, the Jacksonville Farmers Market is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit https://jaxfarmersmarket.com/, or call (904) 354-2821.
7. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
101 West 1st Street
The Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library in Springfield is home to part of the Karpeles holdings, the world’s largest collection of original historical manuscripts. It’s also in a beautiful former Christian Science church building, making it a great landmark for urban Jacksonville. The museum contains manuscripts, transcripts, blueprints, and the like, from fields ranging from literature to religion to science. Some of the museum’s real treasures include original copies of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Webster’s Dictionary. Just a short walk from the heart of downtown in Springfield, the Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m to 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (904) 356-2992 or visit: https://karpeles.weebly.com/
8. Kingsley Plantation
11676 Palmetto Avenue
If you are a history buff, you’ll definitely want to check out Kingsley Plantation. Maintained by the National Park Service as part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Kingsley Plantation is the home of Florida’s oldest surviving plantation house and related to one of the Antebellum South’s most surprising historical civil rights cases. The story of Kingsley Plantation dates back to the Kingdom of Great Britain’s 18th-century occupation of Florida. Under British control, several plantations were established throughout the region, including one on Fort George Island by Richard Hazard in 1765. Here, on one of the southernmost Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands stretching from North Florida to South Carolina which would become the cradle of the country’s Gullah Geechee heritage and culture, the enslaved were used to harvest indigo. In 1814 the property was taken over by Zephaniah Kingsley, Jr. Considered “one of Florida’s most flamboyant slaveholders”, Kingsley purchased and married Anna Madgigine Jai, a Wolof girl from present day Senegal in 1806. He eventually grew to depend on Anna to run the plantation in his absence. With many of its structures still surviving on the isolated sea island, the property was acquired by the National Park Service, becoming a part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in 1991. A tour of the grounds includes exploring the slave quarters, barn, garden, kitchen home and the plantation house. Kingsley Plantation is open year-round, with the exception of major holidays, operating Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (904) 251-3537 or visit: https://www.nps.gov/timu/learn/historyculture/kp_visiting.htm