Exploring Jacksonville, Florida was so much fun! We didnâ€™t have a set itinerary and just played everything by ear. I made a preliminary list of places Iâ€™d like to visit and planned to make it a priority if we happened to be around any places on my list. Downtown was on my list because I always see the skyline from the highway and itâ€™s beautifully lit up at night. Iâ€™m usually driving through Jacksonville headed towards Orlando. Iâ€™m glad we could stop and experience Jacksonville for a few days.
Food is always on the agenda so we set out to find lunch and relied on Google, Swarm & Yelp to tell us what was in the area and check out the reviews. We settled on Thai Food and went to Indochine. Bonus that we visited during happy hour and drinks were (2) for one! The artwork outside the restaurant and interior dÃ©cor had me in awe. I absolutely loved it, and have a thing for dragons and buddhas. There was a mural of a beautiful buddha and dragons upon walking into the restaurant.
We were promptly seated and given lunch menus along with the cocktail menu. I browsed over the menu and settled on Drunken Noodles with Chicken. Feeling a little adventurous I chose the hottest spice (6F) for my entrÃ©e. I love spicy food and am a Caribbean girl but, wasnâ€™t prepared for this type of heat. It was delicious but, my taste buds were on FIRE, sinuses cleared up immediately and my eyes started to water. My brother started sweating and turned red. It was hilarious but, we survived!
We had an awesome server who kept the mojitos coming and stated, we should be okay within an hour or so. I completely ignored on the menu where it said anything over 4F will be HOT! Lesson Learned! Now, that I knowâ€¦ Iâ€™d totally do it again. Once we finished lunch, we headed to Sweet Peteâ€™s for some SUGAR! Itâ€™s like walking into Willy Wonkaâ€™s Chocolate Factory. There are sweets EVERYWHERE! I have a thing for chocolate, gummies & old fashioned candy.
In addition to all the candy you have Farrelliâ€™s Ice Cream Parlour on the second floor where you can sit down, relax and enjoy a unicorn sundae. There are different candy classes available at Sweet Peteâ€™s and a factory tour offered at just $5 which includes a candy bar. Free Tours were given during Memorial Day weekend for military families. I stacked up on the Lotta Colada Gummies that taste just like a Pina Colada. Itâ€™s the perfect combination of pineapple and coconut. I have a new drink garnish! Did I mention they ship!
I canâ€™t forget to mention the Candy Apple CafÃ© & Cocktails open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Itâ€™s a great location to host an event. Sweet Peteâ€™s is Floridaâ€™s largest candy factory with the convenience of candy retail, dessert bar, candy classes and birthday parties. I canâ€™t wait to go back! We parked downtown on Church St. and everything was within walking distance. There was lots of street art but, we didnâ€™t experience the official art walk. Thatâ€™s on my list of things to do my next visit.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival was taking place so we got to see the setup of a couple of stages, list of participating venues and artists. We had no idea it was happening until we stumbled upon it. Itâ€™s a FREE event to attend with available VIP packages. Lots of food vendors, drinks, shopping, entertainment and of course live jazz. After walking around I wanted to get a good picture of the city skyline, so I stopped and asked a courtesy officer where the perfect place would be. He said the Friendship Fountain!
Friendship Fountain is a huge fountain located in St. Johns River Park at the westend of downtown Jacksonvilleâ€™s Southbank Riverwalk attraction. You get a full view of the city skyline from the fountain. I was so happy to be up close and not just driving by on the interstate. We got a few pictures and walked around. We could hear all the live music happening across the river for the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. It turned out to be a great day. Next Upâ€¦ Letâ€™s hit a beach! I love to be by the water.
The beach is my happy place and if Iâ€™m by ANY coast, Iâ€™m heading to the water! Jacksonville has quite a few beaches to choose from. We chose a scenic beach a few minutes outside of Jacksonville lined with gorgeous beach houses. Micklerâ€™s Landing Beach in Ponte Vedra, Florida. We had no issues finding a parking space and there was free parking. We found a nice spot on the beach to setup and we enjoyed the sounds of the ocean, collecting sea shells and of course the water.
Jacksonville, Florida is such a great city with tons of art, food, entertainment and historic sites to see. Iâ€™m creating another list for when I return. We had the Jacksonville Zoo on our list but, the weather deterred us from completing that task. Thereâ€™s something to do for all ages and I love that so everyone can enjoy themselves. I am pleased with how everything turned out because we were spontaneous and didnâ€™t plan much of anything. It feels good to be adventurous sometimes, coming from a bonafide planner! #OnlyInJax