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Jacksonville, Florida

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photo source,_Jacksonville_FL_Pano_3.jpg
authorshipJonathan Zander (Digon3)

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Jacksonville is the largest city in the state of Florida, USA. Since 1968, when the city and county governments of Jacksonville were consolidated, Jacksonville has the largest land area of any city in the continguous United States. The city of Jacksonville has a population of 807,000 people, within a metropolitan area with a population of 1.3 million.

Jacksonville International Airport ConcourseJacksonville International Airport Concourse
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Jacksonville is located by the banks of the St Johns River. It is 40 km (25 miles) from the border with Georgia, and 547 km (340 miles) north of Miami.

The history of Jacksonville goes back to 1791, with the founding of a settlement called Cowford. In 1822 it was renamed after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of Florida Territory who went on to become the 7th President of the United States (1829-1837), a year after the United States acquired Florida from Spain.

For much of the 19th century, Jacksonville was a center for the supply of hogs and cattle. During the American Civil War, control over the city tossed back and forth between the Confederate and the Union. By the later part of the century, the city had rebuilt itself as the winter retreat for the rich and famous. It was at the forefront of tourism, holding the 1988 Sub-Tropical Exposition which further increased its visibility.

On 1 October 1968 the Jacksonville Consolidation merged the city of Jacksonville and Duval county, creating the biggest city in terms of land area within the contiguous United States.

Unlike most of the cities on the East Coast, Jacksonville has so far been spared a major devastation from hurricanes, taking on only one direct hurricane hit since 1871. In 2008 it was lashed by Tropical Storm Fay, which left parts of Jacksonville without power for four days.

Today Jacksonville has a modern skyline with the tallest skyscraper being the 42-storey Bank of America Tower built in 1990.

Jacksonville skyline from St John's RiverJacksonville skyline from St John's River
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authorshipJonathan Zander

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Travel to Jacksonville

The Jacksonville International Airport is located 14 km (9 miles) to the north of downtown Jacksonville. The budget way to leave the airport is to take the bus operated by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (AIRJTA). The bus stop is located on the lower level near the Ground Transportation booth.

Travel within Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a sprawling city, and it may not be practical for you to take the bus if you intend to explore it sufficiently. The city has a bus and an elevated rail system, but these are quite inadequate.

Places of Interest in Jacksonville

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
    Museum with large collection of innovative artwork.

  2. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
    Art gallery with formal garden by the Jacksonville waterfront.

  3. Jacksonville Landing
    Venue for festivals and other events, with retail outlets, waterfront dining and shops.

  4. Hemming Plaza
    Park in downtown Jacksonville.

  5. Fort Coroline National Memorial
    Replica of the old French fort destroyed by the Spanish.

  6. Castle Otttis
    Privately owned castle modelled to look like an ancient Irish castle.

  7. Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
    Museum with exhibits touching on science and local history.

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