Jacksonville, FL, may not rank as one of the “largest” cities in the nation — but, in fact, it is. “THE” largest that is. At over 840 square miles in size, Jacksonville tops the chart in physical size in the continental U.S.
Named for U. S. President and Civil War General Andrew Jackson — who, by the way, never visited Jacksonville — Jax, or J’ville as it is often called, traces its site roots back to 2500 BC. The nation’s oldest pottery remnants (circa 2500 BC) were found on Black Hammock Island.
For a long time Jacksonville was known as Cow Ford (for cattle brought across the St. Johns River). Another nickname, River City, reflects the natural beauty of the St. John’s River and the Atlantic Ocean. The Dames Point Bridge is the world’s largest concrete cable-supported bridge. Boating, fishing, all the water sports draw year-round participants. The city also boasts the nation’s largest urban park system. Which brings up golf facilities! The PGA Tour is headquartered in a Jacksonville suburb, site of The Players Championship. ‘Nough said!
Just five minutes from downtown Jacksonville is Tree Hill Nature Center with 50 acres of varied terrain trails and an international-draw Butterfly Festival. Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens drew the accolade “a community project of a size and scope never before undertaken by a volunteer organization.” Built on an old zircon mine-turned-dump, the 128+ acre, ravine-filled site’s famous tortoise area resulted from the need to move a gopher tortoise colony to make room for a parking lot.
Jacksonville’s Great Fire of 1901, the largest in the southeast history, practically destroyed the town in eight hours. The fiery glow could be seen as far as Savannah and smoke plumes all the way up to Raleigh. A silver lining appeared, however. In the 1910s, re-built Jacksonville attracted over 30 silent film studios. Hollywood eventually lured them away, but that wonderful period is still preserved at the Jacksonville Silent Film Museum, established in the old Norman Studios.
Then the Navy moved in, along with a huge banking community, resulting in amenities expected by those who can afford the very best, explains The Legends of Real Estate, one of Jacksonville’s leading and most respected companies for high-end residential properties. Historic Riverside-Avondale area was named one of the nation’s “10 Greatest Neighborhoods.”
Two Jacksonville high schools, Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies regularly appear in the Top 10 of Newsweek’s list of the country’s top public high schools. Colleges and universities abound.
Among the notables who live (or have lived) here include rock legend Ronnie Van Zant (there’s a park named in his honor), Pat Boone, the Allman Brothers Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Old Sea Turtle Inn and Pete’s¬¬ Bar in John Grisham’s The Brethren are in the Greater Jacksonville area. If you’re a fan, he often stays at One Ocean Resort.
Jacksonville remains a popular draw for movie makers, witness such locally-filmed movies as The Manchurian Candidate, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Brenda Starr, G.I. Jane, The Devil’s Advocate, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, The Year of Getting to Know Us, The Ramen Girl and Like Dandelion Dust, as well as many made-for-TV movies.
As with education, cuisine, shopping and other venues so necessary for upscale residential living, Jacksonville’s high-end community has demanded, and achieved, excellence in all its arts and cultural offerings. Jacksonville’s Springing the Blues is one of the oldest and largest blues festivals. Its Jazz Festival and Film Festival are the nation’s second largest such venues. Elvis’ first indoor concert was in the historic Florida Theater. Local magistrates attended to make sure his shaking didn’t get too racy. Perhaps one of the most picturesque gatherings is the Blessing of the Fleet. J’ville is also home to the U.S.’s oldest skating arena, Kona Skatepark.
Among the many internationally notable cultural offerings is the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens’ Meissen porcelain exhibit —one of the world’s three most comprehensive such collections.
More into sports? The Gator Bowl has been a national football fixture since 1946. The Florida Gators-Georgia Bulldogs game is known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”! The Jacksonville Jaguars give its city the distinction of being the nation’s smallest television market to host an NFL team. The U.S. National 15K Championship Gate River Run is the nation’s largest road race of its distance.
With such a diverse spectrum from which to choose a residence, high-end property brokers Selby Kaiser and Linda McMorrow, founders of The Legends of Real Estate, appreciate that their sophisticated, well-educated clients expect — and need to be provided — a team of dedicated consultants-of-integrity to help make the best decisions. They offer an “insider” view of the Greater Jacksonville area and the very latest in market research and search conveniences.
Selby Kaiser 904-626-8800
Linda McMorrow 904-626-9900