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  • The Adventurous Alfords

The Holidays in Jacksonville Florida

We are a coastal family, born and raised. Palm trees adorned in Christmas lights and an 80 degree Christmas day is the norm for us every holiday season. We are about 2 hours from another popular coastal city, Jacksonville Florida. Due to our close proximity, Jacksonville has always been a day trip for our family. In this post, subtracting our over night accommodations, this can easily be done as a day trip for most or maybe even a one night stay for others. If you are close to Jacksonville Florida, and are looking for a short getaway this holiday season, then this is where you want to be.

The Omni Jacksonville Florida

Our stay at the Omni came as a last minute rescue to Airbnb plans that fell through. *Disclosure: I am still a huge fan of Airbnb. What happened with our stay was a very rare and unfortunate occurrence that Airbnb made up to us. After a short moment of panic, I contacted the Omni to see if they could accommodate our large group: nine adults and four children and they were fantastic in costumer service. The pool was supposedly heated to 82 degrees but be warned it was still quite cold. However, this did not stop our water obsessed kiddos from taking the polar plunge. It lasted about 15 minutes before they were rushing to the hotel restaurant in towels, where our fantastic wait staff was waiting with "the world's best hot chocolate" to warm them up. We could not ask for better service.


Just a short distance away, was an eatery that would satisfy any foodie's expectations. First Watch, The Daytime Cafe was absolutely amazing with covid precautions, seating us together, and serving us with quick and delightful service. We cleared everything off of our plates and enjoyed every second of the delicious food and fun atmosphere.

Top Golf Jacksonville

Many know of the popular chain, Top Golf but if you're looking for something fun to do that includes great food and drinks, then Jacksonville's Top Golf is a great choice. The boys voted to go here while the girls opted for a shopping trip. I will add that there is an indoor Skydiving facility just across the street, if you're up for a more adventurous experience.

Shopping at St Johns Town Center

So. Much. Shopping. Do you want to knock out all of your Christmas shopping? There is something for everyone at St. John's Town center so this is the place to be during the holidays. Getting hungry? Grab some tacos and a mai tai at Tommy Bahama Marlin Grill while sitting outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and people watching.

The Jacksonville Zoo

You can not visit Jacksonville without visiting the zoo. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of our most favorite places ever! This can easily take up an entire day, especially if you have never been before. They are limiting capacity so tickets sell out often. Right now children get free admission for the month of November 2020 so this is causing the tickets to sell out even faster than normal. So buy your tickets ASAP. Masks ARE required so don't forget them. Once you arrive, Immediately purchase a sticker for your extended pass options. The extended pass will offer access to the train, feeding the stingrays, feeding the giraffes, and more. All of which are NOT included with a base ticket sale. We were able to purchase ours once we got in the gate with our base tickets. We did experience a little bit of rain so remember your umbrella or a rain jacket just in case.

Deck the Chairs at Jacksonville Beach

Make the 25 minute drive from the city to the beach for an incredible display of Christmas lights. Deck the chairs is a free walk-through area on Jacksonville Beach where you can see lifeguard chairs decorated and lights along with other displays, many of which use recycled trash pulled from the ocean. There were several booths set up selling unique items, some which put money back into ocean conservation. With several restaurants nearby, enjoy the fun setting before or after dinner. Remember to take a stroll on the beach and enjoy a relaxing sunset stroll to kick off your night.

Kuhn Flowers Window Display

Before ending your night, remember to drive by the Kuhn Flower shop to observe their incredible holiday window display. The outdoor speakers provide music and story telling even after the shop closes. This is completely free and absolutely beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed this holiday post on Jacksonville Florida. Pack up the family and head to this town for a quick holiday getaway that you are all sure to enjoy. Cheers.

The Adventurous Alfords

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