Expat city guide to Jacksonville

17th December 2018
Expat city guide to Jacksonville

Located in the state of Florida, Jacksonville is the most populous city in the south east of the USA. Centred on the banks of the St Johns River in Duval County, FL, Jacksonville has an estimated population of 892,062.

This vibrant city is Florida's third largest seaport, and Jacksonville's military bases account for the large military presence. The economy is also made up of services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics. There is history to see in this city and the metro area is big enough to find something for everyone to enjoy.

As with much of Florida, tourism is important to the Jacksonville area, particularly tourism related to golf.

Leisure and culture

If you are looking for good weather all year round, beaches, water sports and the afore-mentioned golf, then as an expat in Jacksonville you will be in your element.

Golf enthusiasts will be delighted by the fact that there are more than 70 courses throughout greater Jacksonville, from historic Donald Ross-designed Hyde Park to semi-private and resort courses designed by many of modern golf's top architects. It's easy to find a golf game of any shape and price point whether you're driving along I-75 or A1A. The PGA Tour is based in nearby Ponte Vedra, making golf a popular local activity. Jacksonville's place as an NFL City is also etched in stone with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville is an outdoor aficionado's dream, especially compared to other cities its size. The St. John's River is very much the lifeblood of the city, and is often used by residents for fishing, boating, and water skiing. This amazing river also offers the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views from Memorial Park and the chance for expats living in Jacksonville to catch up on their fishing.

There are nature trails to hike and marshes to kayak within the area for nature lovers and the city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, with 262 designated parks and over 80,000 acres. Each of the parks brings their own qualities, from the calm tranquility of the various parks in Riverside to the rich history of Downtown's Hemming Plaza, the city's first park.

Expatriates moving to Jacksonville will find that there is also an air of culture with the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and the city’s Riverside District, home to the Riverside Art Market during the spring.

Expat community

Known as “The River City”, Jacksonville offers many opportunities for expatriates looking to set up their new lives. From financial services, health care and logistics to education and tourism, there are a number of industries and job opportunities open to expats in Jacksonville. The city is also home to a number of naval stations and many expats are relocated here as part of this community.


If you are taking your family then you’ll be pleased to know that this sunny city offers expatriates and their families access to a number of universities and schools. Seven of Jacksonville's high schools appeared in Newsweek’s annual list of the country's top public high schools.

Jacksonville, along with the standard district schools, is home to four International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme high schools. They are Stanton, Paxon, Samuel Wolfson, and Jean Ribault High School.

Jacksonville also has a notable high school devoted to the performing and expressive arts, the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. There a number of Roman Catholic schools, including two high schools. Other private schools in Jacksonville include Arlington Country Day School, the Bolles School, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Providence School, and University Christian School.

Shopping and eating out

Jacksonville has a huge commercial centre and the city’s riverside district contains the Five Points commercial district. This area boasts an eclectic collection of shops, bars and restaurants; the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.

Look no further than one of the many malls, antique stores, flea markets or eclectic shopping districts in Northeast Florida. Dig for vintage and antique treasures in Five Points or visit upscale chic and trendy boutiques in the San Marco and Avondale areas. For the latest fashion trends, the shops at the St. Johns Town Center or The Avenues Mall always will give you plenty of options.

Jacksonville offers shopping districts and options for any taste. Stroll through the San Marco, Avondale areas or at the Beaches to visit trendy, upscale boutiques. Discover vintage treasures in the eclectic Five Points and Southside areas. Grab a mid-day treat as you browse handmade arts and crafts at one of many local farmers’ markets. Or, for the latest in must-have retail, you can find an outdoor shopping mecca at St Johns Town Center or the Avenues Mall.

If you are considering moving to USA, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you. For more details about Cadogan Tate’s specialist international removals services from London, click here.

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