We’re so excited to partner with Hidden Jacksonville to bring you 10 hidden spots in Jacksonville. It’s nearly impossible to limit it to just 10 hidden locations and this list is in no particular order. But these are the top-rated spots by Hidden Jacksonville based off of their followers’ likes.
Historically named Yacht Basin Park due to its proximity to Jacksonville’s oldest social organization, the Florida Yacht Club’s former residence here until 1928. There is a plaque dedicating the park in memory of a mother and community volunteer, Patricia Austin. That’s where the name “Mom’s Park” came from.
Why we love it: We love this park because of the old balustrade along the basin that leads out to the St. Johns River. The majestic oak tree that seems to reach out toward that basin, and the beautiful, enchanting gazebo with wonderful mosaic work that is sure to bring a smile to any face.
Address: 2941 St. Johns Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32205
Pre-Civil War Wine Cellar
Built in 1858 by Doctor Thomas Perley, this is an extremely rare antebellum architectural example still in existence in Jacksonville today. After Perley sold his home that he named “Perley Place”, he was appointed Medical Inspector General of the Union Army under President Abraham Lincoln.
Why we love it: This rare place displays a past life of the south that is reminiscent of historical southern port cities like Savannah or Charleston. It’s also well hidden in the side of a small cliff in Marabanong – and we love all things “hidden” here! Plus, who doesn’t love wine! Just imagine having this as your wine cellar!
Address: Empire Point (It’s a private residence, so we won’t list the address – it is however facing a public street).
Bird Island Park
One of our favorite, kid friendly hidden spots in Jacksonville. Designed by Bobby Weed, the park offers a great look into the ecosystems of northeast Florida. There’s a boardwalk encircling the pond that has the “Bird Island” at the center along with a play area for children.
Why we love it: The turtle maze, which perhaps is hidden to many who visit until you see a photo from above. There are also many sculptures and art. Some of it is hidden throughout the park that makes for a great family day scavenger hunt!
Address: 101 Library Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Bulls Bay Preserve
A waterfall in Florida? Let alone right near us in Jacksonville! Yes, it’s true! At the little known Bulls Bay Preserve on Jacksonville’s Westside, a small branch of the Cedar River provides a waterfall. Yep, the same Cedar River that links up with the Ortega River and eventually the St. Johns!
Why we love it: Well – it’s a waterfall – in our own backyard! Additionally, the preserve offers several different trails that provide views into what the wild and more untouched side of northeast Florida looked like once upon a time!
Address: 8017 Old Plank Road, Jacksonville, FL 32220
Sugar Hill Mosaics
The mosaics are hidden well by the I-95 overpass and face away from the road toward the S-Line Trail side of Groundwork Jacksonville’s the Emerald Trail.
Why we love it: The mosaics were commissioned by Groundwork Jacksonville and done by well known local mosaic artists Kate & Kenny Rouh with the help of teen art students from local schools! The mosaics are a beautiful reflection of the Jacksonville community with the public’s input inspiring the designs on each of the 6 themed panels.
Address: Under I-95 overpass near 2429, N Davis St, Jacksonville, FL 32209
The park, really an island with 2nd Avenue acting as part land bridge and part actual bridge has several elements making it a popular destination, like a boat ramp, picnic tables, fishing pier, and playground.
What we love it: The hidden aspect! The fact that the playground is on an island, which most take very little notice of, is not lost on us! The entire park provides great water views of boats and wildlife in the area.
Address: 2293 2nd Ave North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
San Marco Train Station
Tucked away along the railway line and between buildings, the San Marco Train Station is home to a couple popular restaurants and an ice-cream parlor. Many pass it by on their way to the more popular San Marco Square at Balis Park without realizing what they miss here!
What we love it: So many reasons! The hanging colorful umbrellas, the art works along the rail tracks, and the various sculptures throughout make it a great location to hang out for lunch or after dinner dessert.
Address: 1440 Hendricks Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Jacksonville Library Map Room
On the top floor of the city main library, The Map Room is the heart of the library’s special collections section.
What we love it: The beautifully designed room is encircled by many historic maps of our area. Several of them are hundreds of years old and hand made. Some of these maps are literally pieces of artwork that are hidden to a multitude of library patrons because they simply don’t venture to this location.
Address: 303 N Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Top Hidden Spot North of Jacksonville
Fort Clinch State Park
Although the Castillo in St. Augustine may be more well known, Fort Clinch and it’s park is equally impressive. The park’s website puts it perfect: “nature and history mingle at majestic Fort Clinch.”
What we love it: So many reasons! The wildlife with deer, tortoises, birds, to sea turtles on the beach. The beautiful tree canopies shading the roads and nature trails. Top it off with the well preserved Pre-Civil War fort that offers many great views and history lessons. This park is a can’t miss!
Address: 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Top Hidden Spot South of Jacksonville
Ravine Gardens State Park
The park sits at two naturally formed ravines that were created by spring water that flows to the St. Johns. Over thousands of years these flowing creeks have cut deep ravines.
What we love it: This park is like no other in Florida thanks to the ravines and gardens. There are multiple bridges and wonderful trails through the rich natural forest landscape. There are just so many wonderful elements to this park that make it a must see!
Address: 1600 Twigg Street, Palatka, FL 32177
Hidden Jacksonville brings to light some of the hidden and also not hidden great things in Jacksonville and the First Coast. Their hope is connecting people to the area and putting some smiles on faces. You can visit their Facebook or Instagram to see even more hidden spots in Jacksonville.