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.

3. Jacksonville Beach

Neighborhood: Downtown Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach was originally established during the 1880s. During this era it was named Pablo Beach, in honor of the San Pablo River. For most of the 20th century, Jacksonville Beach was referred by many as "Little Coney Island" due to its number of oceanfront amusement parks. At one time, it even boosted a 93-feet high wooden coaster, with cars reaching up to 50 miles per hour. Today, the amusement parks are gone but Jacksonville Beach still remains a nightlife, entertainment and recreational powerhouse for the region.  

2. Fernandina Beach's Centre Street

Neighborhood: Fernandina Beach Historic District

Fernandina Beach was established in 1811, and moved to its current location in 1853. By 1857, a tourism boom and a thriving community made Fernandina a major port in Florida.  The now historic district of Fernandina includes 55 blocks, with Centre Street and its working waterfront right at the middle of it.
Centre Street is home to a number of quaint shops, galleries, restaurants, churches, and historic homes. Centre Street is also home to oldest, continually-operating drinking establishment in Florida, known as the Palace Saloon. Centre Street also houses The Florida house Inn, which is said to be Florida’s oldest surviving hotel.

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