By: Brooke Lasky, Intern

The New Year brings the promise of a new beginning and new opportunities. I think we are all guilty of making resolutions that are a bit too optimistic and end up not following through; recycling our list for the following year. However, 2019 will be different!

One resolution you can make and keep this year is to explore Downtown more!

To help keep your resolution, we’ve put together a list of unique spots and activities that you can only find in Downtown.

Here’s to a new year and new experiences in #DTJax!

ARTS & CULTURE 

The 5 & Dime, A Theater Company | 112 Adams St.

Not many people know about The 5 & Dime. 

Nestled into the Urban Core, The 5 & Dime’s commitment to their community is reflected in their mission: telling stories that engage, inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences, nurturing a rich artistic culture in Downtown Jacksonville. Check out their 2019 lineup of shows that will entertain the entire family! Details.

First Wednesday Art Walk | Downtown Jacksonville  

Want something to do every first Wednesday of the month? Well you’re in luck!

The First Wednesday Art Walk is a monthly event produced by Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI) that brings people to the cultural and historical center of the city and showcase Jacksonville’s deep and energetic pool of creative talent.

Open to visual and performing artists, Art Walk is on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 – 9 p.m., rain or shine.

More than 35 Art Walk venues stretch across Downtown Jacksonville’s core and include Hemming Park, galleries, museums, cultural and educational venues, restaurants and bars, Downtown businesses and more! Details.

Friday Musicale | 645 Oak St.

The Friday Musicale is the oldest musical organization in Florida having been founded in 1890! 

Friday Musicale hosts outstanding concerts free of charge to the citizens of Jacksonville, provides educational outreach opportunities to local students, supports the next generation of musicians and music educators through college scholarship awards. When no events are scheduled, the auditorium is available for concerts, recitals, meetings, wedding receptions, parties and other private events on a rental basis.

For more information on upcoming events, visit their website.

Ritz Theatre and Museum | 29 N. Davis St.  

The Ritz Theatre is a historically African-American oriented theatre in the LaVilla neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. The theater, which seats 426, is used for a variety of music, dance and theatrical productions, as well as movies.

The mission of the Ritz Theatre and Museum is to “research, record, and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present in an educational or entertaining format the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.”

Make sure to take a tour or catch a show at this iconic spot in #DTJax! Details.

 

Street Art in #DTJax  

If you are looking to have a free activity that involves being active and exploring Jacksonville’s mass collection of art, then start touring Jacksonville’s downtown wall murals!

All of these unique murals are within walking distance of each other, making it accessible for everyone. Most of these murals were created by ArtRepublic and range from all different styles of art, making it perfect for anyone to enjoy.

Need some exercise and want to appreciate art at the same time? Here lies your answer! Details.

CULINARY FARE

Arepa Please | 474 Riverside Ave.

Located in #DTJax’s Brooklyn area, Arepa Please is more than a restaurant; it’s a place that combines different cultures with a South American touch. Every dish is a result of hard work, passion, and the desire to deliver the best of South American flavors through signature dishes like the Arepa. 

Don’t like Arepas? No problem! You can also enjoy some of the best coffee in town powered by Bold Bean Coffee Roaster! Details.

 

 

Gili’s Kitchen| 126 W. Adams St. # 102

There has never been a kosher butcher in #DTJax, until now. Gili’s Kitchen offers fresh premium cuts of meat and fresh foods, makes homemade breads, including; challah, babbka, and sweet desserts. Want it catered? Whether big or small Gili’s Kitchen caters to all!

You can now order online by visiting their website.

MLG at Sweet Pete’s | 400 N. Hogan St.

Make your Sweet Pete’s experience even better by visiting their new in-house restaurant MLG. MLG is located directly inside of Sweet Pete’s making it a perfect stop before you shop!

You can share small plates, sample fresh salads and creative sandwiches, savor local produce, seafood and meats; you name it!

Enjoy cocktails and bites during your next visit to MLG! Details.

 

Tossgreen | 76 S. Laura St. #101

Located on the corner of E. Independent Dr. and S Laura St; Tossgreen is a fast-casual restaurant with an environmental friendly emphasis and healthy, natural foods.

If there is one aspect to our lives that never ceases to delight us, that’s the pleasure of eating. At Tossgreen, they make sure that pleasure never dulls down. Their fresh and scrumptious food ensures you eat good and live good especially, in this New Year! Details.

Vale Food Company | 90 Riverside Ave. #603

 

“Healthy Living: Automated.”

Want something Healthy, Fast, and Delicious? Vale Food Co. is just that! This casual restaurant offers build your own bowls from Açaí Bowls to Avocado Toast & Poke Bowls from their Super Food Station.

They have amazing amenities from selecting a meal plan (Maintain, or Weight Loss) or having these healthy foods hand delivered to you everyday (Sunday – Thursday). Start experiencing the lifestyle difference today! Details.

 

FITNESS

Cycling Routes

Experience the city on a bike! One of the most popular activities in Downtown Jacksonville is biking along the St. Johns River. The Northbank and Southbank Riverwalks are the perfect cycling routes to enjoy both an urban scenery and the cool breeze from the river.

The Northbank is a wonderful two-mile ride between the Jacksonville Landing and the Riverside Arts Market. You will even ride through the Love Locks Bridge-which not only connects the Urban Core with Riverside, but is also a known spot for couples to symbolize their unbreakable love.

North Florida Bicycling Club also organizes routes that go all around Jacksonville, such as the Tour de Jax, which goes all through the heart of Downtown for those looking for a longer ride!

Kayaking

For the water sports enthusiasts, urban kayaking is a great alternative to exploring the city. It is a unique way to experience both the urban scenery and one of Jacksonville’s natural beauties. The Jacksonville Kayak Company offers guided tours in Downtown Jacksonville, taking off from the River City Brewing Company Marina.

Imagine this: seeing new angles of the city as you paddle under three of Jacksonville’s eight bridges, being swept away by the natural pulse of the River City. Though this recreational activity is not for beginners, if you are up for an adventure do not hesitate to book a tour with Jacksonville Kayak Company

 

 

 

St. Johns River Taxi

Even some of the locals do not know about this popular downtown transportation! Park your car and cruise along the river. The St. Johns River Taxi has six pick up-drop off docks in Downtown Jacksonville-including the Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain, Riverside Arts Market, and the Metropolitan Marian. So whether you are staying at the Doubletree on the Southbank or heading to the Jaguars game at the TIAA Bank Field, it is the ideal transportation to get around the urban core.

Aside from providing a transit alternative, the St. Johns River Taxi also offers River Jam Sunset Cruises and Partners with the Museum of Science and History for River Quest Boat Tours every Saturday. Check out their website for more information!  

Yoga  

Looking to de-stress? In the past couple of years, yoga has played a major role in stress management. Stress and anxiety is alive even in Jacksonville where “It’s Easier Here”; which is why free yoga sessions are offered throughout the week.

Unity Plaza in Brooklyn, dubbed as Jacksonville’s “central park”, along with the Winston Family YMCA that offers Tuesday and Thursday yoga sessions yearlong. With the built in waterfront and tiered seating, the Unity Plaza is the ideal central spot for sunset yoga.

Now for the early birds looking for a healthy morning start, go further into Riverside and find yourself in Corkscrew Park. However, little known fact, before the hustle and bustle of the market traffic hits; Hot Spot Yoga’s Namie Rohack leads morning yoga from 9:00-10:00am every Saturday.  

NIGHT LIFE

Breezy Jazz Club | 119 W. Adams St.

Breezy Jazz Club is the premiere jazz club in #DTJax that features the best live jazz music, wine, and dining experience! The smooth sounds of jazz enhance the relaxing atmosphere at Breezy Jazz Club. The richness of the music flows softly inside and out onto the waiting sidewalk, making it a best place to be on a day off.

Make sure to check out a show at this classic club! Details.

De Real Ting Café | 128 W. Adams St.

Open for lunch during the week and dinner on Friday/Saturday nights, this cafe is as much a club as it is a restaurant; with live bands and DJ’s in residence several nights a week.

This Caribbean Café serves all sorts of exciting meals such as jerk or curried chicken, conch fritters and curried goat and oxtail. Not busy on the weekend? Now you know where to go! Details.

 

 

 

The Justice Pub | 315 E. Bay St.

“Justice For All Public House.”

Check out this new law-themed bar and lounge in the heart of Downtown! The Justice Pub has events that range from stand-up comedy, live band performances and more! You can stay up to date with what’s happening with the Justice Pub here.

THE MANHATTAN | 345 E. Bay St.

Want to visit a truly unique sports bar Downtown? The Manhattan Sports Bar & Lounge is an upscale locale that features a speakeasy-like atmosphere. At this classy bar and lounge, they feature modern photography and other elements that give a distinct, New York feel, including the outdoor patio and beer garden.

Put on your most dapper attire and enjoy a night out in #DTJax with delicious food, upscale craft cocktails, and the best in sports entertainment. Details.

 

 

 

The Volstead | 115 W. Adams St.

The Volstead has been designed to embody an authentic 1920s speakeasy bar that serves premium bourbons, scotches and whiskeys in this 1920s-themed setting. Their talented bartenders create tantalizing hand crafted cocktails that will leave you wanting more.

They also hosts events like Swing Dance Sundays and Saved by the 90’s Karaoke! Details.

This New Year is filled with endless possibilities. These are just a few ways to see the variety that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer when it comes to arts, dining, fitness and nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a spontaneous date night or a way to explore a healthy lifestyle, this list will help you see the newest additions to #DTJax.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out our Events Calendar for everything going on in #DTJax as well as our Directory to learn more about all the restaurants, shops and nightlife spots to enjoy. And of course, if you’re coming downtown and don’t know where to park (over 43,000 parking spots), don’t worry! Check out parkdtjax.com for helpful information (‘cause we’ve got your back!).

Are you interested in art? Do you also enjoy staying active and being outside? Do you have limited time and want an activity that will take an hour or less? Touring Downtown Jacksonville’s collection of wall murals is the perfect activity if one or all of those things mentioned above grabs your attention.

All within walking distance of each other, Downtown Jacksonville has nine unique wall murals designed by artists from all over the world, curated by ArtRepublic. Ranging from abstract to contemporary to surreal, touring the downtown murals is a great activity for those who enjoy photography, art appreciation or want to put an interesting spin on getting exercise. Enjoy the guide below to make the most of your tour of some of #DTJax’s most diverse street art.

Stop 1: James Reka┃245 Water St.

The first mural, and one of the most impressive in size, is an abstract piece by Australian artist James Reka. Located across the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts, it is nearly impossible to miss this piece of art due to its size and striking color scheme. While you are in the area, take in the scenic views of the St. John’s River at the Jacksonville Landing.

 

 

Stop 2: Waone Interesni Kazki┃315 W. Forsyth St.

Located on the side of Akel’s Delicatessen, the second mural on the tour is from Ukrainian artist Waone Interesni Kazki.

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 3: Dourone & David Petroni┃111 N. Julia St.

Directly across from Waone Interesni Kazki’s mural is another too-big-to-miss mural. Spanish artist Dourone’s piece adds a bright splash of color to a large parking garage on Julia St. If you choose to take this tour during the morning or early afternoon, you can stop by the The Brick Coffee House to get a cup of coffee to take on the rest of your walk.

 

 

Stop 4: Borondo┃404 N. Julia St.

A short walk up Julia St. from the Dourone piece, you will find Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo’s work located across from the Ed Austin Building.

 

 

 

 

Stop 5: Phlegm┃140 Monroe St.

On your walk from Borondo’s mural down Duval St., take some time to stop by Sweet Pete’s Candy shop to satisfy your sweet tooth and find almost every type of dessert imaginable. Once you make your way to Hemming Park, you will find UK artist Phlegm’s mural. You can view this expansive illustration while enjoying live music, food trucks, and other entertainment located in Hemming Park, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

 

Stop 6: René Romero Schuler┃231 N. Laura St.

A short walk up W. Monroe St. will lead you to artist Shaun Thurston’s brightly colored mural. While admiring this piece, you can stop in Chamblin’s Uptown, a bookstore specializing in used and rare books. This is a must see for any book worm!

 

 

 

 

Stop 7: Ricky Lee Gordon┃41 E. Duval St.

From Chamblin’s you can make your way up to Duval St. where you
will find South African artist,
Ricky Lee Gordon’s, mural. If you’re looking for a light and healthy meal, from this mural you can walk to Super Food and Brew. They have a wide selection of salads and sandwiches, as well as a variety of beer to choose from.

 

 

Stop 8: Adele Renault┃100 E. Adams St.

A three minute walk from the Gordon mural will bring you to Adele Renault’s lengthy mural. This piece covers the entire side of a building with an optical illusion like design. Located by this piece, you can find Burrito Gallery, a #DTJax staple! They offer a wide variety of tasty and unique burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and salads.

 

 

 

Stop 9: Mohamed L’Ghacham┃112 E. Forsyth St.

The final stop, only two minutes from stop eight, you will find yourself looking up at a large portrait designed by Spanish artist Mohamed L’Ghacham. Stopping here, you will find yourself in the heart of the Elbow, Downtown Jacksonville’s Entertainment District, which includes hot spots like 1904 Music Hall, Cowford Chophouse, Bold City Brewery, The Florida Theatre and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The easily accessible and walkable mural tour is just one of the unique ways to see a variety of what Downtown Jacksonville has to offer when it comes to art, dining, and entertainment. Whether you’re looking for a creative date night or a way to refresh your exercise routine, following this guide will allow you to see many of Downtown’s artistic highlights.

For a complete listing of restaurants, shops and nightlife to enjoy during your tour, visit our directory and explore all that #DTJax has to offer!

About ArtRepublic
ArtRepublic is a global movement of highly-curated, immersive experiences to empower artists with resources to help them create their most boundary pushing work. For more information, visit their website.