Southern Boating

Jacksonville, Florida

Nestled along the gorgeous St. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville, The Jacksonville Landing is home to year-round entertainment, a wide variety of waterfront dining options and a cozy inside shopping mall all of which are sure to complete an afternoon or evening of fun.

Cruisers willing to make the 21-nautical-mile detour from the ICW on Florida’s northern Atlantic coast will find a beautiful, year-round port at Jacksonville, Florida.

Those who take the delightful side trip and venture up the St. Johns River can enjoy two stops here, one on each side of the river. Jacksonville has been a popular winter resort since the Civil War, and cruisers enjoy the city’s annual average of 300 sunny days at docks on both sides of the river.

A favorite stop for mariners is Jacksonville Landing, which hosts more than 350 events each year, live weekend outdoor entertainment, lots of dining options, and an indoor shopping mall. Dock alongside to be in the heart of the action, but watch for strong currents during mid-tide.

Once you’re tied up, leave the driving to someone else. The water taxi traverses the river with stops at River City Marina, the Landing and the Metropolitan Park Marina. On shore, the Riverside Trolley can get you to Publix grocery store for provisioning in about 10 minutes. Then return to the Landing for an evening of people watching, waterfront dining, drinks, and entertainment. On the south side of the river, try Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Chart House or River City Brewery at River City Marina. An interesting eatery with a southwest flavor is the Mossfire Grill (904-355-4434; named for the moss-stuffed mattress company whose warehouse caught fire and burned down the city 100 years ago. It’s a cab ride from the docks but worth the trip just for its “Ka-pow” spicy seafood tacos or Mossfire crabcakes with chipotle lime mayo.