If you are considering a move to Jacksonville, you need to think about some essential stuff. It is more affordable when compared to cities with similar sizes. It is the preferred destination of the retirees and families looking for the challenge of the big city but without the high price that comes with it. There are so many things that are happening in this city that some people may find that moving to Jacksonville can be a daunting experience.
- What is the Current Population of Jacksonville?
- What is the Best Neighborhood in Jacksonville?
- What Are the Job Opportunities in Jacksonville?
- How’s the State of Education in Jacksonville?
- How’s the Weather in Jacksonville?
- How do You Get Around in Jacksonville?
- What Are the Best Things to Do in Jacksonville?
- Is it Safe in Jacksonville?
- A Quick Checklist for New Residents of Jacksonville
A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Jacksonville
To help you move to your new locations smoothly, we’ve gathered some of the essential information about the city. We will also walk you through the different neighborhoods in the city, ways to commute, and others to ensure that you are prepared to handle the new life.
What is the Current Population of Jacksonville?
With more than 1, 534, 701 people who live in Jacksonville, it is currently the most populous city in Florida. Nonetheless, since it has the area that extends above 874 square miles, you will never feel like your neighbor is invading your private space. According to the reports, the population in the city will have a 2% increase annually. It is probably the fastest population growth rate in the country. Around 84 individuals are being added to the city’s population daily.
What is the Best Neighborhood in Jacksonville?
There are more than 500 neighborhoods that makeup Jacksonville. The characteristics of these community range from a quiet and charming town that will give you a suburban feel to an energizing urban jungle. Check out some of our recommendations that can potentially become a perfect location of your new home.
- Orange Park- If you are in the Downtown, Jacksonville, it will take you 45 minutes to reach this location. Living here will feel like you are residing miles away from the hustles and bustles of the big city. It has a very serene suburb ambience that comes with affordable housing options and spacious yards. For those who dreamed of an ample space where their child can play, Orange Park is the best location for you. The place also draws in military worker since this is the site of Naval Air Station.
- San Marco- This will give you an insight into life in Italy. The place was developed in the 1920s wherein the neighborhood was modelled after the Piazza San Marco in Venice. It has some of the historic mansion and estates that attracts singles and the young couples, particularly the member of the LGBTQ community. The residents can easily reach retail outlets and restaurants from here.
- Riverside- If you want to live in an awe-inspiring and picturesque community, Riverside will give you all these things. The streets are adorned with oak trees and brownstones that complements the beauty of the Mediterranean houses. While this place is known for their profound history, it has also become a prime destination of nurses and doctors due to its proximity to St. Vincent Medical Center. Living in Riverside makes you close to your workplace and the trendy boutique and restaurants.
- Southside- The Southside is another thriving area of Jacksonville that is a popular destination of families looking for a new home. It has immediate access to i95, and the place is the home of top-performing schools. Residents can have a weekend family bonding at the parks. The crime rate is meagre that gives an assurance that you will not be a victim of violent or petty crime. In this area, you can go for the more affordable housing option or opt for a lavish lifestyle in one of its gated communities.
- Northside- Those who will choose to live in this side of the city will enjoy the benefits of residing in a strategic location. It was used to be a booming industrial area that is now a location of the key attractions in the city such as the Jacksonville International Airport, Huguenot Memorial Park, and the Jacksonville Zoo. Families in here can undoubtedly take advantage of the vast spaces that extend up to an acre.
What Are the Job Opportunities in Jacksonville?
The dynamic economy of the city gives the residents here a range of job opportunities. The unemployment index is at 4%, which is comparable to the national unemployment rate. Since the financial collapse that happened in the year 2010, the different sectors of the industry here are steadily improving. The wage may be lower than the national median but do not let this discourage you since the cost of living will significantly offset the low income.
- Logistic Industry- The signs that you will encounter when you are taking the i95 will remind you that this place is the Logistic Center of the country. With tons of products that are being shipped in this city annually, it will be hard to argue that fact. Jaxport, one of the fastest developing port in the country for import, is moving around a million containers yearly. The auto processors in this port, which include Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, AMPORTS, and Southeast Asia Distributors gives employment opportunities to more than 50,000 workers. It is also contributing around $2.7 billion to the city’s revenue.
- Defence and Military- It is not surprising to see military personnel in Jacksonville. Majority of the working class in this city works at the U.S. Navy. It is the home to several military bases like Blount Island Command, Naval Station Mayport, and Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The Jacksonville International Airport is the base of the Florida Air National Guard, and the Naval Station Mayport is the headquarter of the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Finance and Banking- Jacksonville has maintained its reputation as a prime destination for investment and banking for the last decade. FIS and Fidelity National Financial are leading the different firms operating here. Other financial institutions working here include Vystar Credit Union, Black Knight Financial Services, U.S. Assure, Ameris Bancorp, and TIAA Bank. This industry employs an average of 19,000 professionals.
- Hospitality and Tourism- Food and accommodation is another primary industry in Jacksonville that gives work to 72,600 residents. About 7.4 million are staying in the hotels in Jacksonville yearly that resulted in $1.46 billion in the city’s economy.
How’s the State of Education in Jacksonville?
The education system of Jacksonville is competitive and known for offering the students of different ages access to top-quality education. The public-school system of Duval County manages a lot of educational institution that provides kindergarten and k12 programs. It is an extensive system that is comprised of at least 200 schools with around 9,600 students. Clay, St. Johns, Pasco, and Osceola Public Schools are also overseeing the different schools in the area. Some of the top-performing schools in Jacksonville include Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Stanton College Preparatory School, and Chets Creek Elementary School.
Once you completed your preparatory school, you can enrol on one of the programs offered by the tertiary schools such as the Jacksonville University, Jacksonville University of North Florida, and Florida State College. Apart from that, you can also consider the University of Florida, which is only a couple of minutes away.
How’s the Weather in Jacksonville?
If you are coming from a place with cold weather, it may take some time to get used to the hot climate of Jacksonville. During the summer season, the average temperature can range from 90-degree Fahrenheit. It will not be unusual for the heat to exceed this mark. The arid condition in the city will start in May and may extend up to September. To make the relocation more comfortable, try to avoid moving to Jacksonville in this period. It is also time for the whole family to spend the entire day at the beach.
While the summer season can be uncomfortable, the winter will be more pleasant. The temperature at noon can reach around 60-degree Fahrenheit and may drop to 40-degrees once the night comes. It is uncommon for the temperature to fall below the freezing point. The last time that the city experienced snowfall was 1989. Therefore, it will not be too cold for you to go outdoors and watch the different events.
While the heat of the summer can sometimes extend to the early part of the fall, the temperature will be more pleasant at 70-degree Fahrenheit. Spring season will be wet, the occasional rain showers this season can ruin your plan. It is uncommon for the weather to become violent. Ever since Hurricane Dora that passed the area last 1964, the city hasn’t experienced similar weather disturbance ever since.
How do You Get Around in Jacksonville?
The city is so large that most of the residents here will need a car to get to their destination. Still, there are a couple of public transportation systems that you can access. Nonetheless, the route and the operating time will frequently be limited.
- Driving- Just like any major city in the country, the main street of Jacksonville can get quite busy during the rush hour. When you are driving to work or school, consider taking the secondary roads since it will be less congested and will cut down your commute time.
- JTA Bus- JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority) is the city’s bus network that service around 56 routes all over the city. While the busses provide a convenient and comfortable way to get to your desired destination, there are instances when you will have to wait for a few minutes. You should check the schedule before using their service since the bus will leave at an interval of 30-60 minutes.
- Ride-Sharing App and Taxis- Jacksonville also has a line of taxis operating in the city. Tourists and residents sometimes prefer to book on ride-sharing app, which offers a more efficient way to travel. However, you may want to avoid them during peak hours since they can be costly.
- Jacksonville Skyway- This monorail system will take you from Rosa Park to Centration and Hemming Park. From these stations, the line will split into two; Northbank Line and Southbank Line. You will enjoy your time here; it offers you a fantastic view of the Downtown, and the sight of St Johns River is always picturesque. Since the traffic in the city can ruin your day, the railway system becomes a more reliable mode of transportation.
- Walking or Biking- Cycling and walking is an impractical way to go around the city. The inner city does not have enough bike trails that will make the cyclist vulnerable to the traffic of Jacksonville. There are still areas with high walkability and bike score such as San Marco and Riverside. You will enjoy travelling here using a bike during the winter season. Walking and biking is also an excellent way to familiarize yourself in different neighborhoods.
What Are the Best Things to Do in Jacksonville?
Regardless of how you are planning to spend your vacant time, there are plenty of things that will keep you busy in Jacksonville. It is a lively and vibrant city packed with recreational facilities, cultural venues and a whole lot more. Here are some of the activities that may interest you.
- Take a Trip at the Park- With around 80,000 acres reserved for the parkland, the city is known for having the biggest park network in the country. It is the home for at least 450 parks, which is an excellent way to spend with the entire family and reconnect with mother nature. Some of the parks that you should not miss are Jarboe Park and Hemmings Park. If you are looking for more adventure, visit the state and national park in Jacksonville. You may explore the restored fort at the Fort Caroline National Memorial. For individuals who love hiking, follow the trail in Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. If you prefer water activities, try to learn some fishing skills at George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park.
- Visit Art Spots and Galleries- You will soon learn that art can be found in all corners of the city. You can find some U.S. and European paintings at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. The waterfront garden is a piece of art itself. For those who want contemporary or modern artwork, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville showcases some of the creations that will truly inspire you.
- Relax at the Beach- Locals will flock the beach to escape the unforgiving heat of the summer season. The beaches in Jacksonville are the major tourist attractions here. While it may not be as busy as the beaches in Orlando and Miami, the place can still quickly get crowded. The Mayport, Atlantic, Neptune, and Jacksonville Beach are some of the best beaches in the area. These are open to the public, and most of them are pet-friendly. You can also experience kayaking and surfing in these locations. Once the summer season comes, you may want to look for a quieter beach such as the Boneyard Beach and Black Rock Beach.
- Go on a Shopping Adventure- Jacksonville is an excellent place to satisfy your shopping cravings. The awe-inspiring view of The Landing makes it one of the hottest shopping districts in the city. While the city has experienced a decrease in shopping establishments, you still have a couple of options left that offers high-end and quality goods. After your retail therapy, you might want to grab some drink at the bar or restaurant inside the Landing.
Is it Safe in Jacksonville?
Whenever you are moving to a new city, it would be a ‘crime’ not to consider the safety of the town. You will need to be informed about the incidence of crime in Jacksonville. According to the reports of NeighborhoodScout, Jacksonville has been given with a 9/100 crime score wherein the 100 represents the least amount of crime committed. This number might be alarming to some. Nonetheless, while the area has a high crime rate, it does not necessarily mean that the place is no longer safe. Only 14% of the crime committed is violent. You need to remain alert, but you should not panic.
A Quick Checklist for New Residents of Jacksonville
Finally, you made it here. However, there are still some minor details that you need to complete before you can ultimately say that you are a local Jacksonville resident. Be sure to keep these in mind.
- Recycling and Waste Management Services- Since you will have to deal with a lot of garbage after your move, you might want to prioritize setting up your account at Jacksonville Solid Waste Division. It will ensure that your trash will not accumulate by the time you move in.
- Vehicle Registration- Since it will be a hassle to drive to the city without a car, you will most probably take your car with you. Therefore, you have to get it registered when moving to this city.
- Driver’s License- Concerning your vehicle registration, you will also need to get a driver’s license in Florida. Having this will be crucial both functionally and legally.
- Voter’s Registration- You will need to be of legal age to be a registered voter. You should visit the official page of the Division of Election to know more information about the procedure.
Now that everything is ready, you need to go out and assimilate with the locals. It is an excellent way to establish your connection in the community. Moving to Jacksonville can be a stressful experience, but with the information and resources here, you will be less anxious about dealing with it.