9 Real Town Centers Worth Visiting In The First Coast

February 9, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Here are nine authentic neighborhood town centers outside of downtown that prove there's more to Jacksonville and the First Coast than the typical suburban shopping mall.

7. San Marco Square

Neighborhood: San Marco

San Marco Square was an idea of Telfair Stockton & Company, who developed the neighborhood of San Marco in the 1920s. Stockton laid plans for a triangular-shaped shopping district to be placed in the middle of this upcoming neighborhood. This became known as San Marco Square.

San Marco Square was widely popular at the beginning. The neighborhood surrounding the Square was booming in real-estate sales, shops and churches were popping up, and streetcar lines made the destination easily accessible.

Today, San Marco Square is a popular retail and dining destination for locals and tourists alike. It includes restaurants and bars, parks, several statues, lush landscaping, and an impressive recently completed central park.

6. Five Points

Neighborhood: Riverside

Five Points is located in Riverside, around the intersections of Park, Lomax, and Margaret Streets. It began as a commercial district in the early 20th century, catering to the rapidly growing residential areas in the surrounding area.

One of the first major buildings to be constructed was the Park Arcade Building in 1928 which was Jacksonville’s first indoor/outdoor miniature golf course. Another major building was the Riverside Theatre, which was built a year earlier. This theatre was the first motion picture, movie theatre in Florida.

Sandwiched between two popular parks, Five Points has become a well-known shopping and dining destination in Jacksonville. Five Points has an array of shops, coffee shops, antique stores, restaurants and bars.

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