Because of Jacksonville's location and its fairly sunny weather throughout the year, you’ll find that you are spending a lot of your time there enjoying the outdoors. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best parks and recreational green spaces in Jacksonville that you should visit during your trip. Popular ones include seeing the manatees at Sidney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park or walking the rose garden at Landon Park.
1.Fort Family Regional Park at Baymeadows
The Fort Family Regional Park at Baymeadows is a wonderful, family-friend outdoor recreational area that can be found in Jacksonville. It’s a popular place for many people in the neighborhood to come together when the weather is nice so that children and groups of friends and family can get together for a memorable time. Some of the amenities that are available there include picnic tables, picnic shelters, grills, concession stands, playgrounds, soccer fields, baseball fields, tennis courts, hiking trails, and a fishing pier. You can spend your time enjoying a picnic, throw a frisbee around, catch some fish, and explore the grounds on their extensive hiking trails.
Address: 8000 Baymeadows Rd E, Jacksonville, FL 32256, Phone: 904-255-7900
2.A. Philip Randolph Heritage Park
This amazing outdoor destination is named after A. Philip Randolph, a man who grew up in Jacksonville, and in the 1950s and 1960s, became an important figure in the Civil Rights Movement. You’ll find many amenities within the park including playscapes and an amphitheater which hosts several plays and other events throughout the year. Younger kids head straight to the playground as its full of slides and swings that provides hours of enjoyment. Other amenities include viewing benches, picnic tables, drinking fountains, restrooms, lighting for after dark hours, and parking among other things. While there, be sure to stop by and see a life-sized bronze statue of Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Hayes.
Address: 1096 A Philip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32206, Phone: 904-255-8008
Balis Park was established in 1988 by Mrs. Abla Balis in memory of her husband Sheffield Balis. The couple had been longtime residents of San Marco and she believed there was no better way to honor his memory than by creating a public park for all to enjoy. You’ll find Balis Park right in the middle of The Square at San Marco, which is a commercial district located in south Jacksonville. It has been renovated and improved over the years to include gorgeous landscapes, a sound system, and the bronze sculpture, Windy Days.
Address: 1999 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-255-7919
4.Blue Cypress Park
Blue Cypress Park is one of Jacksonville’s most favored parks because there is so much to enjoy that visitors of all ages are sure to have a good time. Some of the features of the public outdoor recreation site include environmentally-sensitive areas which are home to an array of flora and fauna, a nine-hole golf course, and a community center complete with soccer fields, tennis courts, concession stands, and a swimming pool. The boardwalk along the St. John’s River is visited by many and is handicap accessible so that everyone can enjoy themselves. Other aspects include a fishing dock, a non-motorized boat launch, and picnic shelters with grills among other things.
Address: 4012 University Blvd N, Jacksonville, FL 32277, Phone: 904-745-5466
With playgrounds, a tennis court, and picnic shelters complete with grills and tables, Boone Park is a popular place for friends and family to get together. You’ll find the park in Jacksonville’s Avondale area; much of the property was purchased by the city from William Elijah Boone who bought, rebuilt, and leased locomotives. One of the most popular park amenities that you will come across include a tennis clubhouse where several public and private tournaments are held throughout the year. Others include a designated picnic area complete with tables, benches, and grills, rentable shelters for public gatherings, park lighting, playgrounds, and more.
Address: 3700 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205, Phone: 904-630-2489
Brackridge Park opened in 1974 and has grown to be a popular place for children of all ages to come together, play, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Though it once had baseball fields and tennis courts, these were taken down to make room for soccer fields as its popularity spread throughout the city. Much of the park is now managed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Soccer Club, and they invite girls and boys of all ages and skill levels to try their luck at the game. Other amenities include concession stands, a playground, designated picnic area, and parking among other things.
Address: 8650 Newton Road, Jacksonville, FL 32246, Phone: 904-630-2489
7.Castaway Island Preserve
Castaway Island Preserve is a 300+ acre outdoor space that was purchased by the city of Jacksonville alongside the Florida Communities Trust. The preserve is such a fun place for people of all ages to hang out and spend a day outdoors. They have tons of features and amenities which appeal to everyone, from children to the elderly. You can spend your time hiking the parks system of trails and coming across the local flora and fauna; photographers and bird watches especially enjoy this. In addition to the nature trails, there are waterway trails, a designated picnic area with grills and picnic benches, non-motorized boat launch, floating dock launch, informational kiosks, parking area, and more.
Address: 2921 San Pablo Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32225, Phone: 904-630-2489
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Confederate Park, which is still popularly known by its former name, Dignan Park, can be found near Jacksonville’s downtown area. The name change came to be when the United Confederate Veterans chose to have their annual reunion at the park and attractions over 8,000 former Confederate soldiers; you can still see a monument they erected there in honor of the Women of the Southland. The park originally opened in 1907 and was the city’s very first ‘supervised’ playground. People come from far and wide to attend the many events which are held there throughout the year; you can also walk along the Hogans Creek Promenade and see the beautiful Rose Arbor while you’re there.
Address: 956 Hubbard St, Jacksonville, FL 32206, Phone: 904-630-2489
9.Earl Johnson Memorial Park
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Earl Johnson Memorial Park was created in 1990 and was named after Earl M. Johnson who lived from 1928 to 1968. Earl was the first African-American member of the Jacksonville Bar Association and he spend much of his life dedicated to civil rights endeavors throughout Florida. You can spend your time at the park partaking in several activities such as fishing on one of the two fishing lakes which are available there or playing a game of soccer on one of the 8 youth soccer fields. Other amenities that are available include bike racks, concession stands, picnic shelters, drinking fountains, night lighting, and easily accessible parking.
Address: 5308 St Augustine Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32207
10.Ed Austin Regional Park
Formerly the site of the Dunes Golf Course, the Ed Austin Regional Park is a 144-acre outdoor space that was established in 1994. Today, there are so many different aspects of the park that visitors can make use of. One of its most popular features is the Fore Palms Disc Golf Club, which is one of the city’s top disc golf courses. The 18-hole layout includes a carefully-designed course with tree-lined fairways which will challenge plays of varying skill levels. Other aspects include soccer fields, lighted baseball fields, a walking trail, a playground, designated picnic areas, and a community center operated by the Police Athletic League.
Address: 11751 McCormick Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225, Phone: 904-630-2489
Friendship Fountain can be within Friendship Park, which is actually titled St. Johns River Park. The park opened in 1965, and at that point, the fountain was the largest and tallest in the world. The fountain is capable of spraying 17,000 gallons of water to over 120 feet up in the air. At night, it is accentuated by colored lights, making it one of the prettiest sights in the area. You can spend your time at the popular tourist destination not only viewing the fountain but also visiting attractions in the area such as the marina filled with restaurants, the Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, and the Southbank Riverwalk, and much more.
Address: 1015 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-630-2489
Located in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, right across from City Hall, is Hemming Park. It is Jacksonville’s oldest park as it was first established in 1857 as City Park - a public square by the city’s founder, Isaiah D. Hart. The park was then named St. James Park before it was renamed Hemming Park in 1899 as a way of honoring Civil War veteran, Charles C. Hemming. Hemming donated the city’s tallest and oldest Confederate monument which can still be seen there. Because of its centralized location, Hemming Park is an extremely popular tourist destination and no visit to downtown Jacksonville is complete without stopping by there.
Address: 135 W Monroe St, Jacksonville, FL 32202, Phone: 904-515-5098
13.Henry J. Klutho Park
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Formerly known as Springfield Park, Henry J. Klutho Park can be found in north Jacksonville alongside Hogan’s Creek. It is named after a Springfield resident whose architectural influence transformed the city after the Great Fire of 1901. The park was created in the early 1900s and was the site of the city’s very first zoo which opened in 1914. Later on, it was the site of Jacksonville’s first municipal pool as well, which opened in 1922. Over the years the park has been renovated and redesigned many times and now resembles a lovely Venetian-style promenade. Some of the amenities currently available include tennis courts picnic shelters, bike racks, and ample parking.
Address: 204 W 3rd St, Jacksonville, FL 32206, Phone: 904-630-2489
14.Jessie Ball DuPont Park
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Located in the Southbank area, Jessie Ball DuPont Park is home of the Treaty Oak which is a marvelous tree under which, many believe, that settlers and Native Americans met to sign peace treaties. This rumor was based off of a fictitious story that was written by Times Union reporter, Pat Moran, in an effort to preserve the tree and its surroundings. Though there is not much in terms of amenities, you will find it to be a lovely place to have a picnic with friends and family. Facilities such as picnic tables, benches, night lighting, and parking are freely available.
Address: 1207 Prudential Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-630-2489
Landon Park was originally established in 1925 and has since then expanded significantly in terms of size and features. The park is named after the Landon family who moved to the area in 1867; their daughter, Julia Landon, was a teacher at South Jacksonville’s first school and she remained there until her retirement in 1919. When the first high school was constructed, it was named Landon High School in her honor. As you walk the park grounds today, you’ll come across several beautiful aspects such as large magnolia and oak canopies as well as a breathtaking rose garden in the southwest corner.
Address: 1800 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Mandarin Park has been a popular place for family-friendly outdoor recreation since it opened in 1989. You can find the park adjacent to Julington Creek, which provides for the stunning views you can enjoy while you’re there. One of the park’s most popular features is the picnic area which include tables, shelters, grills, drinking fountains, benches, and nearby restrooms. Boaters can regularly be seen at Mandarin Park as they have amenities such as a boat dock, boat ramp, a non-motorized launch, and boat trailer parking. Other aspects include tennis courts, a fishing pier, playgrounds, and several hiking and nature trails.
Address: 14780 Mandarin Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32223, Phone: 904-630-2489
Spanning nearly six acres, Memorial Park was created in 1919 and can be found alongside the St. Johns River. It is the third oldest park in the city and is situated in one of the most historic neighborhoods near Jacksonville’s downtown area. The park, which is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was originally built as a way of honoring the 1,200 Floridians who died during World War I. Today, it is a popular place for residents and visitors to enjoy an evening outdoors, read a book in the shade, go for a jog, or try your luck at fishing.
Address: 1620 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204, Phone: 904-630-2489
18.Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
Much different than what you’ll come across at parks in Jacksonville’s downtown area or by the beach, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park protects one of the largest contiguous coastal uplands that remain in the city. The uplands found at the park do so much for the local environment such as providing an important refuge for resident and migratory birds, ensuring the survival of aquatic animals and plants, and protecting the water quality of the St. Johns and Nassau rivers. You’ll be able to see an array of flora and fauna as you explore the park; visitors have even seen endangered wood storks and the threatened American alligator every once in a while. Other aspects include five miles of multi-use trails for hiking and biking and a canoe/ kayak launch.
Address: 13802 Pumpkin Hill Road, Jacksonville, FL 32226, Phone: 850-245-2157
At .1 acres, Riverfront Park is one of the smallest parks in Jacksonville that we’ve listed. That being said, it is also one of the most beautiful; during the winter, people come from far and wide to see the sun set over the river, and in the summer, you’ll find friends and family gathered together with folding chairs just enjoying a cool breeze. The park’s bulkhead is a favored spot for local fishermen, and sometimes you’ll even be able to see manatees surface and congregate near the shores. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Riverfront Park is a favorite with residents and visitors alike.
Address: 901 Landon Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32207
20.Sidney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park
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Located alongside St. Johns River, the Sidney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park is a favored outdoor space in Jacksonville. The park has seen a huge increase in visitors, especially after recent repairs and improvements were made to provide more recreational facilities for those who visit. For example, the park now has a kayak launch which leads straight into the St. Johns River, making it a perfect space for kayak fishing. Some species of fish which you can catch in the river include trout, redfish, and weakfish. Younger visitors love going to the riverwalk park because there’s a high chance they’ll be able to spot manatees which come up to shore.
Address: 505 Alfred Dupont Pl, Jacksonville, FL 32202, Phone: 904-630-2489
Southbank Riverwalk can be found directly across from Jacksonville Landing, right alongside the St. Johns River. The riverwalk is actually a 1¼ mile concrete boardwalk which is perfect for taking a walk on any time of the day. Because of its paved paths, it’s the preferred location for those who are with strollers or wheelchairs. Spend a couple of hours eating sandwiches on the benches while watching the people walk by; you’ll also be able to see an array of shorebirds, riverboards, and the stunning downtown skyline. Some of the features available there are the local water taxi dock, a non-motorized boat launch, hiking trails, picnic tables, and a number of restaurants.
Address: 1001 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-630-2489
Stinson Park was established around 1907 and can be found in the Lakeside Park neighborhood adjacent to the Ortega River Bridge. The park is named after William M. Stinson, a physician and developer who dedicated the land for the park to Duval County. The park was renovated and redesigned in 2004 to include an array of amenities for visitors to enjoy. Some aspects include a non-motorized boat launch, floating dock launch, a playground, and several scenic overlooks. There are also several designated picnic areas complete with rentable picnic shelters, picnic tables, benches, drinking fountains, and more.
Address: 4050 San Juan Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210
Located along the St. John’s River in southwest Jacksonville, Stockton Park is still recognized by some by its original name, Ortega Park. The park had been around, on and off, for years before it was finally redesigned and reopened in 2005; the park is now a part of Old Ortega, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It’s extremely popular with anglers as there is a non-motorized boat launch where you can fish on the waters, as well as a fishing pier for those who prefer to stay on land. Friends and family also get together in one of the park’s many designated picnic areas which include amenities such as picnic tables, parking, and drinking fountains.
Address: 4021 Ortega Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32210, Phone: 904-630-2489
24.Tree Hill Nature Center
© Tree Hill Nature Center
The Tree Hill Nature Center is one of the most popular outdoor spaces in Jacksonville. It was established as a means of preserving the environmentally-sensitive flora and fauna, to facilitate environmental awareness, to expand environmental education programs, and to protect the property from encroaching development. There are several nature trails and wildlife viewing areas which will let you explore the hilltops, wetland areas, hardwood forests, swamps, and freshwater streams that can be found on the property. The indoor nature center is filled with interactive exhibits, a learning laboratory, meeting rooms/ classrooms, a gift shop, and much more.
Address: 7152 Lone Star Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32211
Located alongside Willowbranch Creek in the Riverside area, Willowbranch Park came to be around 1916 when former city councilman John J. Griffin worked towards establishing the park for the betterment of the community. The grounds really took a turn for the better when Dr. Harold Hume donated 1,700 azalea bushes to beautify the grounds in 1924. Till today, Willowbranch continues to be one of the most picturesque parks in the city. Features that really stand out are the Willowbranch Library, which is located on the park, the live oak tree canopies which provide shade, and the park’s baseball diamond and basketball court.
Address: 2870 Sydney St, Jacksonville, FL 32205, Phone: 904-630-2489
25 Best Jacksonville, Florida Parks
- Fort Family Regional Park at Baymeadows, Photo: ashophoto/stock.adobe.com
- A. Philip Randolph Heritage Park, Photo: Travis/stock.adobe.com
- Balis Park, Photo: Sherry/stock.adobe.com
- Blue Cypress Park, Photo: Kristina/stock.adobe.com
- Boone Park, Photo: jvezzani/stock.adobe.com
- Brackridge Park, Photo: singulyarra/stock.adobe.com
- Castaway Island Preserve, Photo: jbkmu99/stock.adobe.com
- Confederate Park, Photo: Paul Maguire/stock.adobe.com
- Earl Johnson Memorial Park, Photo: Mikkel Bigandt/stock.adobe.com
- Ed Austin Regional Park, Photo: dusit_sri/stock.adobe.com
- Friendship Fountain, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Hemming Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Henry J. Klutho Park, Photo: Denys Kurbatov/stock.adobe.com
- Jessie Ball DuPont Park, Photo: 1981 Rustic Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Landon Park, Photo: Jazmine/stock.adobe.com
- Mandarin Park, Photo: steveottie/stock.adobe.com
- Memorial Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Photo: Norm/stock.adobe.com
- Riverfront Park, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Sidney J. Gefen Riverwalk Park, Photo: Aaron Amat/stock.adobe.com
- Southbank Riverwalk, Photo: susanne2688/stock.adobe.com
- Stinson Park, Photo: Punkbarby/stock.adobe.com
- Stockton Park, Photo: alexkich/stock.adobe.com
- Tree Hill Nature Center, Photo: Tree Hill Nature Center
- Willowbranch Park, Photo: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com