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Your destination - Jacksonville

More than 100 years ago, Jacksonville was nicknamed "The Winter City in the Summer Land." This mecca of white sand beach resorts stretches along the Atlantic seaboard for more than 50 miles. Located on both banks of the Saint Johns River which empties into the ocean, it is a large, widely dispersed city and one of the largest in the nation because of its consolidation in 1968 with Duval County. Jacksonville is world renown for its wide variety of recreation opportunities, including fishing, boating, ocean swimming, camping, greyhound racing, and many splendid golf course. It is in fact the home of the men's professional golf tour. Among its popular recreation sites are Big Talbot Island, Huguenot Memorial park, and the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier.

In addition to its reputation as Florida's leading financial and insurance center, Jacksonville is the state's most industrial city. It is a major deep water port of entry and site of the Mayport Naval Station and Jacksonville Naval Air Station. Government, medicine, and education, as well as tourism, impact on the area's economy. The city's estimated population is more than 665,000. The Jacksonville region is served by an excellent interstate highway system, Amtrak, and one of the nationís fastest growing international airports.

Cultural points of interest include Cummer Gallery of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Museum, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve administered by the National Park Service, Historical Center, Maritime Museum, the Black Historic Trail, Zoological Gardens, the Museum of Science and History, the Symphony Orchestra, the fall Jazz Festival held at the Riverfront Metropolitan Park, Kingsley Plantation, and the 52-mile Buccaneer Trail. Take a ferry ride to Mayport, one of the oldest fishing villages in the United States. Stroll the scenic Riverwalk along the south bank of Saint Johns River. Shop and dine at the city landing. Go sightseeing on the Annabelle Lee Paddleboat. Other attractions include exciting nightlife, gambling aboard La Cruise, Broadway productions, international dance, and the Jaguars NFL professional football team.

Native Americans occupied this region long before the Europeans arrived in 1562, led by French explorer Jean Kibault. The first white settlement was established in 1564 by French Huguenots who built Fort Caroline on the bluff above Saint Johns River, marked today by the Fort Caroline National Memorial Park. Spanish seized the area in 1565, and the British gained control from Spain under the treaty ending the French and Indian War in 1763. The U.S. established a community in 1822 on the Jacksonville site and named it after the area's new governor, Andrew Jackson. It was incorporated as a city in 1859. By the 1880s with the arrival of the railroad Jacksonville emerged as a popular destination for winter tourists. About 100 years later, this city became an important part of the Sun Belt development across many of the nation's southern states, and this had a positive impact on the area's commercial and cultural life.


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