living in jacksonville
 
 
 
 

Jacksonville Area Information

Area Information

Jacksonville Arts and Culture
The arts are alive and doing well in Jacksonville. From fine arts, performing arts and other activities, the seven-county region is a model of diversity. If you're an actor, musician, photographer, writer, painter or all around arts and culture enthusiast, Jacksonville has a place for you.

Jacksonville has

Its own Ballet Company,
A Symphony orchestra
5 Theatre companies
5 museums
6 Theatre venues
12 entertainment venues (arenas-concert halls)
A few really stand out:

Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art http://www.jmoma.org/
The Jacksonville Museum of Science & History http://www.themosh.org/
The Florida Theatre http://www.floridatheatre.com/
The Jacksonville Symphony orchestra http://www.jaxsymphony.org/index.asp
For upcoming Jacksonville events and concerts go to http://www.jaxevents.com/
In addition there are
65 plus Art galleries
50 plus Antique shops throughout the area.
So, if you’re a creative type and are considering a lifestyle change, Jacksonville could be just the ticket.
For more information and specifics about art venues, museums etc, see this Web site
http://www.downtownjacksonville.org/content/?page_id=14
A palm tree just could be in your future.
Downtown Jacksonville
With over 17 art galleries, museums, theatres and performing arts venues, it’s no wonder over 10 million people a year visit our city’s urban core.

Arts & Culture
Jacksonville's arts and entertainment scene combines the best of world-class events with the local cultural community. This vibrancy can be found throughout the city. Boasting an eclectic array of nightlife and dining, Jacksonville's unique entertainment and cultural options create a real sense of character.

World-renowned actors take the stage regularly at the area's many theatre venues and often team up with the philharmonic orchestra for masterful performanecs. Opera, ballet and Broadway musicals complete an impressive lineup of performing arts happenings in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville offers an exciting mix of fine restaurants, cafes and eateries combined with the latest exhibit at a museum or corner gallery in one of the city's monthly art crawls.

Have fun and enjoy Jacksonville's unique entertainment scene!

MUSIC

Jacksonville has its own professional symphony, a variety of museums, ballet and opera companies, dozens of theatres prepared to amaze with old favorites or ground-breaking new drama, dance companies, vocal ensembles and orchestras producing events year-round.

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: Founded in 1949, this is one of Florida's most longstanding orchestras and one of the few with a dedicated rehearsal and concert hall. For more information and a calendar of events, visit their website by clicking here.

There are many music organizations in Jacksonville. To view the complete list, please click here for Downtown Vision, Inc.

DINING

The local scene sizzles with a variety of culinary options, including innovative contemporary seafood, classic southern favorites, global cuisine and many multi-cultural restaurants that can take your taste buds on a whirlwind tour.

With a great taste for food, Jacksonville is home to wineries, breweries and numerous great places to unwind and have a relaxing drink, whether it be with a view of the St. Johns River at the Jacksonville Landing or at many of the local restaurants unique to the city.

To access the list of downtown restaurants, please click here for Downtown Vision, Inc.

PERFORMING CENTERS

Theater in the area ranges from Broadway shows to thriving community ensembles. Performing since 1978, the Florida Ballet is one of Jacksonville's senior dance companies that stages several major productions each year, from classical to contemporary.

Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts: With its beautiful location along the St. Johns River, the Times-Union Center is a wonderful site to watch performances. Under the leadership of Fabio Mechetti, the symphony performs everything from classical masterpieces to pop music to bluegrass. More information can be found by clicking here to access their website.

The Ritz Theater & LaVilla Museum: Featuring an eye-catching mix of African and African-American cultural exhibits, the museum offers historical exhibits of LaVilla and the northeast while the Ritz Theatre provides a unique setting for many entertainment peformances. More information can be found by clicking here.

Florida Theatre: From ballet and opera to contemporary pop, rock, jazz, country and blues, the Florida Theatre offers over 200 cultural and entertainment events annually for every taste and age. More information can be found by clicking here.

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena: This is a great addition to Jacksonville's entertainment industry and is one of the top arenas of its kind. Opened in 2004, the arena has a seating capacity of 15,000 and is designed to have top-of-the-line acoustics for concerts as well as serving as a multi-functional entertainment venue. More information can be found by clicking here.

Metropolitan Park: Just minutes from Interstate 95 and easily accessible from any part of Jacksonville, Metropolitan Park is home of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Starry Night Series, as well as many other concert events. It is the downtown venue of choice for an evening outdoors. Guests enjoy the public docking space, playground, picnic areas, landscaped gardens and riverfront walk that this park offers. More information can be found by clicking here.

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND GARDENS

Art museums, galleries galore and beautiful gardens replete with sculputures are abundant throughout Jacksonville.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: The largest in Northeast Florida, the Cummer Museum has a permanent collection of more than 4,000 objects and is noted for its Old Master and American paintings, as well as Meissen porcelain. More information on the Cummer Museum can be found by clicking here.

The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art: Opened in May 2003 with a new building of 14,000 square feet of gallery space, the JMOMA is one of Jacksonville's most important cultural institutions and provides unique and wonderful exhibits throughout the year. More information on JMOMA can be found by clicking here.

The Museum of Science & History: This museum strives to increase the knowledge and understanding of the natural environment and history of Jacksonville as well as Northeast Florida. Focusing on awareness and appreciation of science and history through quality programs, MOSH offers exhibits and events that stimulate and inspire learning in all visitors. More information on MOSH can be found by clicking here.

Jacksonville Historical Center: This center hosts a permanent exhibit that features documents, pictures and artifacts from Jacksonville's history. Located at the base of the Main Street Bridge, the Historical Center also provides an unbeatable view of the St. John's River.


 

Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.

Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition areas, that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 240
San Francisco at 217
Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.
One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements
For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate 1s 94.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.0 and divide by Portland’s index-120, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $39,166 which would be required to make in Orlando to have the same quality of life.
See comparable Florida statewide
* Re cost of living--in some areas Real Estate has went up dramatically however costs that factor in such as food, transportation, rents etc have not increased at the same rate-so in some areas, even though housing is expensive, the overall rating may still be low

2007 stats per Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/

Boca Raton-154.74
Bradenton-114
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-108.0
Ft Lauderdale-132.0
Fort Walton-Destin-120
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-132.46
Key Largo-146.0
Key West-168.0
Marathon fl-162.06
Miami metro-138.0
Melbourne-92.72
Naples Fl-250.59
Orlando metro-94.0
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-125.01
Panama City-86.35
Pensacola metro-82.0
Sarasota-108.75
Tampa 94.60
St Pete-Clearwater-91.58
Vero-Beach Indian River-122.87
West Palm Beach metro-112.05
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -164.50
* Long Beach, CA -135.71
* Palo Alto, CA -234.42
* Boston, MA -127.60
* Malibu, CA -492.80
* San Francisco, -187.23
* Greenwich, CT 215
* Chicago, IL -126.45
* Dallas Tx -92,94
* Atlanta Ga -112.21
For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/
or Accra's site at http://www.coli.org

Jacksonville has one of the lowest tax loads in the country. According to a national survey conducted by the District of Columbia's Department of Finance and Revenue, the estimated state and local taxes paid by a family of four is 5%, the fourth lowest tax load of all the cities surveyed.

The cost of living index places Jacksonville at 94.0.as of the 4th quarter 2006

Consider that it is a major metropolitan area with all the needed services. In that context it comes in extremely favorably, in fact Jacksonville is the most affordable major city in Florida, according to a report released by the American Chambers of Commerce Research Association

For more information about cost of living stats go to http://www.coli.org
Housing. Minimum two bedroom single family homes in Duval County.
From June 2004 through June 2005, the median sold price is $211,000.
The median price for properties sold from June 1/2005 through July 26/2005 is $237,000.
Utilities. For Utility charges water and sewer go to http://www.jacksonvilleil.com/utilities.htm

For electric and gas go to http://jacksonville.citysearch.com/yellowpages/directory/
Jacksonville_FL/160/540/page1.html

In conclusion, Although Jacksonville is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the US, the cost of living rates are really good in comparison to other same size areas.

Health

Jacksonville is strong when it comes to Healthcare and enjoys one of the world famous Mayo Clibnics.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/
In addition to this it also is home to the University of Florida, Health Science Center
http://www.hscj.ufl.edu/
See also the Jacksonville Naval Hospital at http://www.navalhospitaljax.com/links.asp

Healthcare Facilities:

Hospitals, 10
Assisted living, 62
Adult Day care, 11
Health Care clinics, 50
Skilled Nursing facility, 30
For more information (other facilities and their address) see http://facilitylocator.floridahealthstat.com/
http://www.dchd.net/aboutus.htm

Jacksonville is serious about their Health. See the message below from the Duval County health department Web site

Duval County Health Department : a message from the Director
There is nothing more important to all of us than our health and the health of our children and families. Your Health Department is part of the team of professionals that is committed to make you and the community the healthiest we can be. We are here, because we care about you and your family, with the services, resources and support you need to grow and remain well throughout your life.
Need a doctor or dentist for your children, immunizations, prenatal care, family planning, special health care for your teenager-our physicians and dentists are available in locations throughout the City to meet your needs. Thinking about traveling? We have an entire travel medicine program to provide you the vaccines and information to keep you healthy when traveling abroad. How about a bike helmet, car seat or gun lock, or need help with stopping smoking, or perhaps a mammogram-we're available to you when you need us and where you are.

These are just a few of the many services we provide to you, your family and the community. We are always available-for everyone who needs our services. If you have a question, any question about your health needs-call us. If we can't help you, we'll find someone who can.

We need your help to make Jacksonville the healthiest community it can be. Together we can.

Sincerely, Jeff Goldhagen, M.D. Director, Duval County Health Department
Our Mission – To continually improve the health and environment of people and the community.

Our Vision – We envision to be the Standard for Excelence in Public Health and attain levels of health in this community, previously thought unattainable.

In conclusion, Jacksonville has health facilities on par with any in the country. Foe more specific information, follow the links above.

Schools

Northeast Florida has some of the best schools in the country.
Two were ranked second and third best high schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine in 2003.

Four area schools made the list of "America's Best High Schools" and Duval County was the only school
district to have two schools ranked in the Top Ten.

There are more than 200,500 students, 11,600 teachers, 8,600 support staff and 291 schools in
the six counties that make up Northeast Florida. All have earned accreditation from the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools. More information on each of the counties' public schools can be
obtained by phone or from their Web sites. For a comparison of schools and school districts on a variety
of criteria, view Florida School Indicators Reports at the Florida Department of Education's Web site.
http://www.fldoe.org/

Jacksonville school specifics:

105 Elementary Schools
27 Middle Schools
20 High Schools
16 Private Schools
3 Exceptional Student Centers
5 Alternative Schools
5 Charter Schools. For more specifics on what a Charter schools is and enrollment details etc go to http://www.educationcentral.org/schools/schchart.asp
Higher Education-Colleges and trade Schools
24 in all, teaching everything from Law, Health care to Business.
Two year facilities

Florida Community College
St. Johns River Community College
Lake City Community College
Santa Fe Community College
Four-year facilities

Bethune-Cookman
the University of North Florida
Jacksonville University
Webster University
Jones College
Edward Waters College
University of St. Augustine
In the Entire Northeastern section of the state, there are 90 educational facilities offering over
700 programs.

Weather

Jacksonville's climate offers year-round sports and recreational opportunities. Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine. As compared to Miami, Northeastern Florida does have seasons of sorts.
The hottest month is July, with an average high of 92° F and an average low of 70° F. In January the average high temperature is 66° F and the average low is 41° F, though it is usually colder in December with an average high of 61° F and low of 38° .

Normal annual precipitation is 51.3 inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.

See below for annual weather averages
Jacksonville Temperature Annual

Avg. Temperature 68.0
Avg. Max Temperatre 78.9
Avg. Min Temperature 57.1
Days with Max Temp of 90 F or Higher 82.0
Days with Min Temp Below Freezing 15.0
Jacksonville Precipitation Annual

Precipitation (inches) 51.3
Days with Precipitation 0.01 inch or More 116
Monthly Snowfall (inches) 0.0
Other Jacksonville Weather Indicators Annual

Average Wind Speed 7.9
Clear Days 94.0
Partly Cloudy Days 127
Cloudy Days 144
Percent of Possible Sunshine 63.0
Avg. Relative Humidity 74.
To see stats by the month, go to http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/florida/jacksonville/

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/thematic-maps/usa-temprature-january.html
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you’d think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Hurricanes.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
As a resident having lived in the Keys and now in central Florida I’ve been through them.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you’re still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
Having lived in California, I prefer the threat of a hurricane however as opposed to an earthquake. At least you have a warning.

For current information about hurricanes go to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
For 2005 climate info by areas go to http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/climate_center/LCD/2005LCD.html
For current weather forecasts by cities go to http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/fl/fl.html
*Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?

 

 

 

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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.