Navigation Jump Links
- Jacksonville at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Jacksonville
- Economy and job outlook in Jacksonville
- Real estate, cost of living in Jacksonville
- The top neighborhoods in Jacksonville
- How to get around in Jacksonville
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Jacksonville
- 10 can’t-miss things to do in Jacksonville
Move aside, Orlando! Stand down, Miami! There’s a new city getting attention in Florida. With its booming job market, affordable homes and diverse neighborhoods, Jacksonville—or Jax—is becoming the place to be in the Sunshine State. Found on Florida’s northeast coast, Jacksonville is the state’s largest city by area. Nearly a million people call Jax home, and it’s still growing—in fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S.!
Known for its beautiful beaches, abundance of parks for year-round outdoor fun and a blend of urban living with southern charm, it’s no wonder this city appeals to young professionals, families and retirees alike. Add in all the sunshine and it’s easy to see why so many folks are moving to Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Has Beaches, Sports and Plenty of Art
Roar with the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) at EverBank Stadium or cheer on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (MiLB). If you love a good college rivalry, you can also check out the annual Florida–Georgia game.
Rather be playing? Get your drivers ready. Jacksonville has an abundance of golf courses with even more in the greater area. If you love to golf, you’ll have plenty of sunny days throughout the year to make sure you hit up each one.
Of course, not everyone loves to be out on the green. For those who prefer the beach, Jax has more shoreline than any other city in the U.S.! Jacksonville Beach is considered a gem often overlooked for the better known beaches in central and south Florida. You’ll also want to check out Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra and Little Talbot Island State Park.
Seekers of art and culture will have their pick of things to do and see. Art is everywhere thanks to the Art in Public Spaces Program, and folks love the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and the Florida Theater. The city is also home to plenty of festivals throughout the year. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival hits in May each year, Florida Fin Fest livens up the beach each September and PorchFest pulls folks into the streets each November.
Jax Has One of the Best Job Markets in the U.S.
That’s right! In early 2023, WSJ released its list of best job markets in the country, with Jacksonville coming in third. In fact, Jacksonville’s job market has received a lot of “top” marks lately, coming in runner up on WalletHub’s “Best Large Cities to Start a Business,” number 21 on Forbes’ list of “Best Places For Young Professionals To Live,” and taking the top place on MoneyGeek’s “15 Best Cities for Job Seekers.”
Jax’s major industries include healthcare, finance and insurance, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, education and transportation. The Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport, Bank of America, Citi and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida are among the city’s top employers.
Given how well the market is doing, it’s no surprise that Jacksonville’s unemployment rate has been on a downward trend. It was recorded at just 3 percent in September 2023.
Lower Cost of Living Than Florida’s Other Major Cities
Whether you’re looking at the stage averages or comparing Jacksonville to the U.S. average, almost everything costs less in Jax! That said, the median household income is also lower, recorded at just $58,263 in the most recent census.
Looking to buy your home? It may still be doable! At $300,000, Jacksonville’s median home sale price is more than $100,000 less than the U.S. median. The market is somewhat competitive, although homes are staying listed longer than they were in 2022.
For those who prefer to rent, rent growth has been in decline this year, down 3.7 percent since December 2022. This is a sharper decline than the U.S. average. Median rents for a one-bedroom apartment were $1,141 in December 2023, with rent for a two-bedroom at $1,356.
Your Choice of Beach Living, Urban Living or Suburbia
Jacksonville’s diverse neighborhoods range from hopping nightlife in the center of everything to slow, suburban living and waterfront access. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find a neighborhood that fits the bill. Check out these highly recommended neighborhoods for those moving to Jacksonville:
This diverse neighborhood has a little something for everyone: parks, great restaurants, fun nightlife and more. You’ll also have access to amazing museums and art, including the Riverside Arts Market.
Safe Avondale provides a suburban feel in the big city, making it a popular spot for families. There are plenty of parks and places to stroll along the St. Johns, but you’ll still be just a few minutes from downtown.
Named after the Venetian Piazza San Marco, this historical neighborhood has a fun vibe and plenty of Italian influence. It’s walkable, just minutes from downtown and has a lot going on making it a favorite of young professionals and families.
This little spot in south Jacksonville is known for its gorgeous oak trees covered in Spanish moss. It also features great shopping, history and waterfront access. It’s schools and abundance of parks make it a family favorite.
Nothing beats the convenience of living downtown. With easy access to local businesses, schools and over 100 restaurants, it’s no wonder that young professionals, singles and families all love the center of Jacksonville.
Other neighborhoods to include in your Jacksonville home search:
- Bartram Park
A Car is Your Best Way Around Jacksonville
Although a lot of residents will complain about the traffic, Jacksonville is far from the worst city in Florida when it comes to being stuck on the road. This is good news, as driving is definitely the best way to get around here unless you’re sticking to the pedestrian-friendly downtown area.
If public transportation is more your style, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority provides bus routes throughout the greater Jacksonville area. You can also get between downtown points of interest for free on the JTA Skyway.
Of course, there are parts of the city and its surrounding area that are considered more walkable and bikeable, but they’re better for sightseeing than for getting around.
Education Opportunities in Jacksonville
Jacksonville is home to nationally ranked University of Florida and Jacksonville University, as well as the two-year Florida State College at Jacksonville. Degree-seekers may also want to check out Flagler College in nearby St. Augustine.
Moving to Jacksonville with kids? The Duval County Public Schools district is the 20th largest district in the U.S. and the sixth largest in Florida. Nearly 130,000 K-12 students—80 percent of kids in Jacksonville—are educated by DCPS.
Despite the numbers, private schools may offer a stronger education. If you’d like to look into private education for the young ones, you’ll find nearly 150 schools to choose from.
Jacksonville Enjoys Plenty of Sunshine
Jacksonville is near the top of the Sunshine State and it brings what that name promises: a whole lot of sun with long, toasty summers and short, balmy winters. The city hasn’t seen any significant snowfall in over 30 years, so if you’re looking to escape that white stuff, this is a great place to move! (Of course, your trade off will be preparing for Florida’s famous hurricane season.)
July will be your hottest month living in Jacksonville with average high temperatures of 92 degrees Fahrenheit, while January tends to be the coldest with lows averaging a mild 46 degrees.
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Jacksonville
With the Florida sun, you know you’ll find great outdoor spots when moving to Jacksonville. But you’ll also enjoy art, history, sports and more. Here’s a list of 10 must-dos in the Gateway to Florida:
- Support artisans, craft makers, artists and local farmers at the Riverside Arts Market held each Saturday morning.
- Get up close to some big cats at the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, a rescue facility focused on tigers and other big felines.
- Enjoy 20 miles of biking and hiking trails and other oceanside fun at the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.
- Get all your shopping done at the St. Johns Town Center, home to everything from Target to Tiffany & Co.
- Enjoy Florida’s wildlife at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.
- Explore deep space from the ground at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), home to one of the largest single-lens planetariums in the country.
- See the Jacksonville Jaguars play at EverBank Stadium—or if you’re not one for football, try its pools, cabanas and food spots.
- Take in some art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), featuring over a thousand pieces in its permanent collection.
- Take a self-guided tour of the city’s craft breweries with the Jax Ale Trail Passport.
- Attend an event at the historic Florida Theatre, a high-style movie palace built in the 1920s.