Best Places to Live

Jacksonville, FL

Population: 925,142
iStock/Sean Pavone

With one of the youngest populations in Florida, life in Jacksonville is a nonstop adventure. Jacksonville is located right on the Atlantic Ocean, and offers both low-key lounge locations and fast-paced nightlife.

You’ll find lots of local art, great food and most importantly, 22 miles of beaches. This seaport city rated high for amenities, which is no surprise considering how many outdoor spaces, fantastic restaurants and community gathering spaces Jacksonville offers.

Local Obsession: The Jacksonville Jaguars. Seriously. Fandom runs so deep that Jason Mendoza, a central character on The Good Place, risked going to the bad place because he had to play against them in a video game.  

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: The Florida version of “four seasons”

Top Industries and Employers: Jacksonville is home to two Navy bases, which are major employers in the city. Healthcare systems like Mayo Clinic and Baptist health also employ lots of locals, as well as financial services and the city government.

Local Dream Job: Animal conservationist at White Oak Conservation Center

Quintessential Meal: Chicken biscuits, because nothing is better. 

Favorite Weekend Activity: Getting out on the water, whether you’re hanging out at the beach or kayaking on the St. Johns River.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Moxie

Best Brewery/Local Beer: Aardwolf Brewery Company

Beloved Bookstore: Chamblin Bookmine

Hidden Gem: Little Talbot Island State Park, where you’ll find one of the most pristine stretches of beach in town.

- Claire Hannum

Read More:

Moving to Florida? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

5 Free Things to do in Jacksonville

8 Reasons to Move to Florida

“It's crazy that in a city of this size, it still feels like a small town. There are dozens of little neighborhoods with their own personalities and charms, so there's always something new to explore. My advice? Either get a boat or make friends with someone who has a boat. We have the massive St. Johns River running right through town, miles upon miles of beaches and many lakes and creeks. Weekends are best spent on the water!”

- Angie Orth, travel blogger and PR consultant

Jacksonville, FL Ranking Data