With major development projects on the horizon and more people coming to live and work in Downtown Jacksonville, it has become a great place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to put down roots. There are so many businesses that are unique to DTJax, some that you may have heard of as well as a few hidden gems. “Found in DTJax” is your guide the shops, restaurants and venues that you can find ONLY in Downtown Jacksonville.


October edition: Sweet Pete’s Candy


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Sweet Pete’s Candy opened in Downtown Jacksonville in 2010 in the historic Seminole Club, a building that dates back to 1903. The notable location, which hosted a number of well-known visitors such as Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, sat vacant for ten years until Sweet Pete’s and Lemonis renovated the property. This new confectionary emporium is a vast 23,000 sq. ft., making it one of the largest candy shops in the United States.

Today, Sweet Pete’s manufactures a line of handcrafted quality chocolates and sells over a thousand different types of candies. The new location boasts a fully functioning factory with an interactive gallery, two large retail areas, a full restaurant and bar, rooftop patio and dessert bar. Sweet Pete’s also features an event center that offers space for children’s field trips, catered events and parties. Peter also finds joy in sharing his expertise with others by teaching the art of candy making. The fun-filled educational environment includes Sweet Pete’s Sweet Science Classes, hands-on interactive candy making sessions and birthday parties. Sweet Pete’s is run by a group of naturally fun people who are committed to creating the Sweetest Destination on Earth.

Sweet Pete’s is more than just your average candy shop, they host events, classes and more. Here are a few notable things to check out:

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Ever wanted to know how your favorite candy is made? Embrace your inner Willy Wonka and attend a candy making class

at Sweet Pete’s! Learn how to make chocolate bars, candy canes, taffy, lollipops and more. Classes are a great idea for a date or an affordable family outing. Check out all of the classes and register here.


Birthday Parties

A Sweet Pete’s birthday party is every kid’s dream! Treat your special birthday boy or girl to a magical party in a real life Candy Land. Standard parties include:

  • Candy making Experience: Kids go home with the candy they made!
  • Tour of facility including our Candy Kitchen
  • Ice Cream for each participating child
  • Sweet Pete’s To Go bags for the kids’ candy to go in
  • Lemonade and water for the children
  • Downloadable invitations to send out
  • Other goodies and games can be added on while finalizing party
  • Private, decorated room, including set up and clean up of room
  • All plates, cups and decorations are Sweet Pete’s property.  Any cups or plates that are taken will be charged to guest.

There are also plenty of add-ons and upgrades available for purchase! To see all of the options and pricing details, visit their birthday parties page.


Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 3.18.32 PMThe Candy Apple Café and Cocktails

Candy Apple Cafe’s delicious drink and food menu will make you feel like a kid in the candy shop. Located inside Sweet Pete’s, the Candy Apple Cafe is exactly what you’d expect to find at a restaurant inside a candy shop. Their menu includes treats like Bourbon Pecan Waffles, Mayport Shrimp Crepes, Country Fried chicken and more. You can find drinks like Sweet Pete’s Watermelon Sour and Pop Rockadopolis on their mouth-watering drink menu. Check out the menu and happy hour info here.

With major development projects on the horizon and more people coming to live and work in Downtown Jacksonville, it has become a great place for entrepreneurs and small businesses to put down roots. There are so many businesses that are unique to DTJax, some that you may have heard of as well as a few hidden gems. “Found in DTJax” is your guide the shops, restaurants and venues that you can find ONLY in Downtown Jacksonville.


September Edition: Intuition Ale Works

Exterior 2Intuition Ale Works was founded by owner and brewer Ben Davis in Jacksonville in 2010. Specializing in small-batch handcrafted ales, Intuition’s mission is to create quality, flavorful and creative beers in a wide range of styles. If you’ve ever tried an Intuition beer, you know that this mission is represented well in the taste and quality of their beers. In February 2012, Intuition Ale Works started a massive trend and became the first craft brewery in the state of Florida to can its beers. In September 2016, Intuition completed a large expansion project and now features a rooftop bar, event space and an in-house restaurant – BLKSHP, brought to you by Riverside’s Black Sheep.

A few noteworthy things to check out/try at Intuition:


The beer (duh)

The best way to find out what Intuition is all about is to try all of their most popular beers! These beers are the cornerstone of their business and are distributed all over the southeast. Head to the brewery for $2-3 5oz drafts, perfect for sampling. Check out a current list of everything they have on draft here.

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  • Jon Boat Coast Ale: This is a hot Florida day favorite! It is an English golden ale cool-fermented to enhance its crisp and refreshing lager-like characteristics.
  • I-10 IPA: Looking to step up the hops and alcohol percentage? The West Coast comes to Jax with this extremely hoppy, true India Pale Ale.
  • King Street Stout: Imperial stout brewed with two-row malted barley and a variety of roasted and caramel malts.
  • Easy on the Eyes: All of the hops and added alcohol content with a hint of citrus. Easy-drinking, session IPA with a bright citrus aroma from the Centennial and Citra dry-hopping.



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To-go beers

Yeah you read that right – to-go beers. On weekends you can grab a brew (or a few) and head to a concert at the arena, your tailgate or grab one on your way to the stadium. Just stop by the handy little to-go window and get what you need! The best part? They’re only $3! Add a koozie for just $1 and you’re set.







Rooftop barScreen Shot 2017-09-29 at 3.10.18 PM

There are only a few rooftop bars in Jacksonville so it was super exciting when Intuition decided to add one to the brewery! The rooftop bar is big enough for after-football-game crowds and is equipped with a large three-sided bar and plenty of TVs. Intuition hosts a lot of different events on the rooftop including watch games, yoga sessions and more! Stay up to date on all rooftop happenings, follow them on Facebook.






BLKSHP by Black Sheep

If you’ve ever been to Black Sheep in Riverside, you know why this is exciting. The food is phenomenal and at Intuition, you get a taste of Black Sheep, but on a casual, more affordable level. You can order food and eat it anywhere in the brewery with your favorite beer. Burgers, hot dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese and brisket are just a few of the delicious things they offer. Check out the full menu here.

After dominating the Texans last week in Houston, the Jaguars return to Duval for their week 2 match up against the Tennessee Titans. Do you have your tickets? Downtown Vision has your cheat sheet to celebrate your Sunday Funday with the Jags.

Preparing for the Game


Game day gear:

Wolf & Cub | 205 N. Laura St.

Wolf & Cub has a unique and affordable selection of game day shirts and accessories. You can’t find these gems anywhere else in Jacksonville so you can be sure that you and your tailgate buddies won’t show up in the same outfits. They are open Saturdays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Check out their instagram here.

PicMonkey Collage1


Sports Mania | 2 Independent Dr.

Sports Mania at the Jacksonville Landing is the best spot in #DTJax for officially licensed Jags gear. They carry everything from koozies to hats, jerseys, dri-fits, polos, and more. They have a wide range of sizes and fits including gear for the kids! Visit their Facebook for more photos and information here.

PicMonkey Collage2



Tailgating necessities:

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.30.21 PMDitch the boring brews and show some #DTJax pride. Fill up a growler or grab a 6 pack (or a few) from a local brewery. Go for the game day gauntlet and visit them all.

Bold City Brewery | 109 E. Bay St. | More info
Intuition Ale Works | 929 E. Bay St. | More info




Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.54.16 PMManifest Distilling | 960 E. Forsyth St. | More info

Manifest is is downtown Jacksonville’s only full-scale distillery, located in the heart of the Sports District. It is your go-to for delicious and locally made gin, vodka and bourbon. Most importantly though, they sell Tailgate Cocktail Kits which feature a bottle of liquor and all of the mixers you’ll need to make the fanciest and tastiest drinks at the tailgate.

Happy Landing | 2 Independent Dr. | More info

Need to pick up a few different things? Make a pit stop at Happy Landing and the Jacksonville Landing. Happy Landing is Downtown’s only liquor store offering a variety of wine, beer, liquor, cigarettes and cigars. They’re also well-known for their reasonable prices.


Parking & Transportation

Get to game day your way! Carpool with the gang, catch a ride or arrive by water – whatever floats your boat, #DTJax has you covered.

If you’re driving:

There is no shortage of parking around EverBank Field but if you would like to make sure there is a guaranteed spot close to the stadium, your best bet is to purchase a parking pass ahead of time. This eliminates the uncertainty of parking prices and availability on game day. To purchase a parking pass ahead of time, please contact the Jaguars Ticket Office: (904) 633-2000.

If you are a season ticket holder, parking is already reserved for you in lots A, C, D, E, F, J, K, M, N, P, and R.

Wingin’ it? There are plenty of independent lots around the stadium that pop up on game day that do not require a pre-purchased parking pass. If you plan on parking in one of these lots, make sure you bring cash, almost none of these lots accept any other form of payment. It is a good idea to ask if the lot will be guarded and if it is well-lit (if you’re attending a night game).

Regardless of where you decide to park, here are a few game day tips to keep in mind:

- Don’t forget to display your ticket or pass on your dash or wherever that lot specifies. It’s easy to forget and walk into the stadium with it!

- Do not leave valuables in your car.

- If you are tailgating around your car, please be sure to pick up any trash before you head into the game. We love our beautiful Sports Complex!

Check out the stadium’s parking FAQs and a parking map here

If you want to catch a ride: 

Taxis & ride-sharing:

Can’t decide on a designated driver? Don’t want to deal with parking? Catch a ride in! There are several convenient taxi and car service options that serve the Downtown area. You can find a list of them here.

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JEA’s Gameday XPRESS & tailgate:

If you have a large group of friends that wants to ride together, you’re weary of taxi prices on game day or you just want to ride out with a ton of other Jags fans, catch JEA’s Gameday XPRESS. For just $8 (or $55 for the season) roundtrip, you can ride in an air conditioned bus full of other game-day-goers to the stadium. Gameday XPRESS even holds their own tailgate party which is included in your $8 ticket! Find the schedule and purchase tickets here.


Make it an adventure – arrive by water:

aaEverBank Field is unique, not just for the larger-than-life video boards or the swimming pools, but also because it is one of the few NFL stadiums within walking distance to a river! Arrive to the Jags game in true River City fashion on the St. John’s River Taxi. Tickets are just $10 roundtrip or $20 if you want to make unlimited stops throughout the day. Service begins at 11 a.m. (or 3 hours before kickoff, whichever is earlier) and continues running after the game ends until metro docks are clear. The Game Day River Taxi service stops at:

Game day tickets are cash only and can be purchased at the boat on game day. Coolers and strollers permitted. Find more info here.


There is so much to see, do and explore in #DTJax. We have an entire directory of restaurants, bars, and venues. Plan out your Sunday, find everything you need here.

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 4.17.53 PMThe Elbow | Bay St. to Adams St. and Main St. to Liberty St. | TheElbowJax.com

The Elbow is Downtown Jacksonville’s Entertainment District. Made up of 23 venues, bars and restaurants, there’s plenty to do, see and experience. Whether you want to keep the party going or just grab a bite to eat after the game, The Elbow has something for everyone. Find a helpful map and guide to the area here.



By Ania Cajuste, DVI Intern Visiting #DTJax is always a fun and exciting experience. However, if you’re looking to include your beloved pet in your adventures, it can be a bit of a hassle when you don’t know where you’re allowed to bring them.

Here are a few of the pet friendly places and activities that #DTJax has to offer and will be open on September 6th for the First Wednesday Pet Walk.


Magnificat Café

231 N. Laura St.

Mon – Fri 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This Parisian-style eatery is right in the heart of #DTJax. Founded by Chef Benoit, a native to Paris, France, the Magnificat Café boasts classic lunch items such as soups, salads and sandwiches.  The large outdoor seating space is perfect for pets!

Photo by: DVI

Photo by: DVI


BARK Downtown

45 W. Adams St.

Tues- Fri 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sat – Mon Closed

This fun, unique dog boutique is the perfect stop for your trip in #DTJax! Browse through their extensive collection of novelty treats, toys, designer collars and high-end grooming supplies!

Photo by: Downtown Jacksonville

Photo by: DVI


Burrito Gallery Downtown

21 E. Adams St.

Mon – Fri: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Sat 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Sun 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This Jacksonville staple hosts a spacious front patio to hang out with your furry friend while in The Elbow. Enjoy the tex-mex menu and find out why this is one of the best-rated restaurants in town!

Photo by: Jacksonville.com

Photo by: Jacksonville.com


The Candy Apple Café

400 N. Hogan St.

Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mon 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tues – Thurs 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Fri 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sat 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The large patio space at the forefront of The Candy Apple Café is dog friendly! Stop by and enjoy the specialty craft cocktails, beer and wine selection, as well as the French-inspired menu!

Photo by: Jacksonville.com

Photo by: Jacksonville.com


The Court Urban Food Park

37 Hogan St.

Mon – Fri 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

First Wednesday Art Walk 5 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy lunch outside and enjoy the variety of food trucks! With plenty of shaded areas to sit and enjoy your food, this outdoor food court is great for your pet to hang out.

Photo by: Jacksonville Business Review

Photo by: Jacksonville Business Review


Hemming Park

117 W. Duval St.

Sun – Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Lunch and Live Music Mon – Fri 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This park is the oldest park in the City of Jacksonville! This park is located right in the heart of #DTJax, which makes it the perfect stop for you and your dog to rest while you’re out and about.  With regular programming such as live music, it’s a great place to enjoy a day outside.

 Photo by: WJCT News

Photo by: WJCT News


Bringing your dog out to and about can be a great experience for the both of you to enjoy, if you know where to look! Remember that each and every First Wednesday Art Walk is a pet-friendly event. Just ask a few of the dogs of #DTJax!

Bella, 4 year old Dachsund

Bella, 4 year old Dachshund

Peanut, 6 year old Pug

Peanut, 6 year old Pug

Maddie, 7 year old Cocker Spaniel

Maddie, 7 year old Cocker Spaniel

Donut, 2 year old French Bulldog

Donut, 2 year old French Bulldog

Tug, 9 year old Newfoundland mix

Tug, 9 year old Newfoundland mix

April (left), 4 year old Chow and Buddy (right), 6 year old Chow mix

April (left), 4 year old Chow and Buddy (right), 6 year old Chow mix


For more information, visit iloveartwalk.com.

by: Elizabeth Odom in Featured, Spotlight No Comments  

Jacksonville Public Library was named ’2017 Library of the Year’ by the Florida Library Association, and for good reason. The library itself is stunning with four floors with high ceilings and natural light, all set apart by different themes. One floor has an enormous reading room, covered in murals. Another floor is home to the Lewis Ansbacher Map Collection where you can read and study in a room covered in the maps of the collection (it’s amazing, take a virtual tour here). The other floors offer a variety of things like a Small Business Center, Adult Learning Center, every book you could imagine and so much more. One of the most defining features of our library is something that you can’t find at your average library – Jax Makerspace.

Jax Makerspace is a collaborative and creative space for artists, musicians, hobbyists, techies, writers and creatives alike. The goal is to welcome these creators in and allow them to explore, meet new people, create and to give them resources that they might not be able to find elsewhere. Equipped with things like a 3D printer, gallery space, crafting materials and more, it is a great place for inspiration and creation.

Here are just a few things currently available and on display at the Jax Makerspace.

Gallery Space

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 12.51.27 PMThe Gallery Space is Jax Makerspace’s “claim to fame”. It is something you would expect to find next-door at MOCA. It’s a large, open space with professional lighting and over a dozen creations on display at any time. The gallery has rotating exhibits, opening a new one every few months. The exhibits that have been displayed have been about so much more than just visual art, they are meant to be conversation starters on bigger issues. For example, “KESHA: A Black Female Experience of Identity and Race” was the first collection on display, exploring black femininity, ethnicity, identity, and stereotypes. “Survive To Thrive: Life Beyond Sexual Violence” is currently on display and will be until October 22. The library hosts several events centered around each exhibit, like panel discussions with the artists, workshops and performances. The Gallery Space has its own events calendar, you can check it out here.


3D Printer

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 12.46.49 PMThe library recently added a 3D printer to the Makerspace that is available to “rent out”. You can submit projects to be 3D printed and most of them only cost $1 – $3. Find out how to submit a project to be printed here. Don’t know how to create a 3D printing project? The library has a class for that!




Green Screen 

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.13.29 PMEver wanted to play news anchor, take a selfie “in space” or put yourself in the scene of your favorite movie? That requires a green screen, which most people don’t have regular access to. We’re lucky enough to have a full sized one in the Makerspace! Open to anyone and everyone, all you need is a smart phone. Just follow the directions that they have posted on the wall to create your masterpiece.





Poetry Board 

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 10.19.36 AMJust to the left of the green screen is a large magnetic black board covered in words and letters to be arranged into poems. It’s a great way to teach the kiddos how to rhyme, an entertaining study or reading break, and a simple way to get creative juices flowing!

By Ari Sinudom, DVI Intern

We at Downtown Vision know there are a ton of things to do in #DTJax in any given day, but do others? A local Jacksonvillian may have solved that issue. We sat down with Zachary Schwartz, the Founder and CEO of intoGo, a new app on the market that hopes to change the way people find things to do in Downtown and throughout Jacksonville. So, we’ve partnered with intoGo to incorporate all things Downtown.

What is intoGo?

IntoGo is a mobile app, the first of its kind. Unlike other online directories, intoGo learns each user’s preferences to give suggestions for fun things to do. When users swipe right to like something or left to dislike, the swipes teach intoGo the user’s interests so the app can give specific recommendations. IntoGo is strictly about having fun; and covers events, outdoor recreation, destinations, nightlife, dining, shopping, parks and more in the user’s area.  Its mission is to help people explore, experience and enjoy their community, one place at a time. IntoGo has one primary goal: to become the go-to resource when one is wondering what to do.

Google or Yelp list things to do around town, but can’t make specifically tailored recommendations for the user. IntoGo has the innate ability to capture ratings from each user for every recommendation.


Why Jacksonville?

Jacksonville originally drew Schwartz in when his family moved to town. He built a local directory called thecity.guide, then received first place at the 2015 One Spark in the “technology” category and secured investment. Schwartz then met his tech team, who all lived here and became a perfect fit.

Not only does Jacksonville have wide-ranging demographics, but it’s also a second-tier technology market. Residents are tech-friendly but not necessarily tech-savvy, making Jacksonville a perfect test market for intoGo. IntoGo headquarters are located in Downtown at 6 E Bay St.; an area the staff believes is the leading innovation hub in Jacksonville. IntoGo’s team enjoys the amenities and dining within walking distance of its office and is fond of the local businesses that foster and cater to a Downtown audience.

How does intoGo work?

  1. In the Explore section, businesses, events and places are stacked like a deck of cards. Clicking on a card will reveal pictures and details. Users swipe right if they like it, swipe left if they don’t and swipe up to skip. With each swipe, the app is able to learn the user’s preferences.
  2. Under the Guide Me section, users can see businesses, events and places recommended by intoGo. The more you swipe, the more confident the app is at giving suggestions.
  3. Users can set filters to refine their interests and distance. They can also search within intoGo for a specific interest.
  4. All likes are stored in the account tab for easy referencing and are sorted based on what’s closest to the user’s location.

IntoGo is integrated with Yelp and Facebook, making it easy for users to see more information and ratings for a specific interest. At 12 weeks old and 6,000 downloads, the app is clearly making waves and changing how Jacksonvillians do fun.

What’s intoGo’s future?

Schwartz believes intoGo can become a diversified internet tool, from app to web and mobile to desktop, where people go to make plans, to explore when they land in a new city or to figure out where to take that special someone on a first date. The app has more on its way in the coming updates: merging profiles for group suggestions, targeted in-app advertising and coupons, recipes and social elements. IntoGo wants to help enable users to find cool places where they can create memories, share experiences and enjoy life. The app is truly living by its slogan and is making it easy to “Find Fun Faster.”


by: Hana Ashchi in Featured No Comments  

IMG_3271 It’s summertime in the city and #DTJax has some cool amenities for you to enjoy. With the St. Johns River being one of them, we like to look at it as an American Heritage River in recognition of its ecological, historic, economic, recreational and cultural significance. In doing so, the public may gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the river’s importance to the quality of life for current and future generations. We like to take advantage of using the St. Johns River as much as we can and one way is by riding the St. Johns River Taxi. It is a great way to get to all of your favorite spots and even comes with a great view! New to the River Taxi are the Sunset Cruises running from Thursday to Sunday for just $20 a person and Saturday cruises to the Jacksonville Zoo for just $40 a person! Grab a group of friends or that special someone and take a ride on the river while enjoying the wind, water, live music and maybe even a few dolphins – if you’re lucky! Some of the DVI staff had a chance to check out the Sunset Cruise this past weekend and it could not have been a more perfect day to be on the water. IMG_3253 Pick up/drop off takes places at River City Brewing Company and if you get there early, it is a great way to kick off a date night and grab some dinner or drinks beforehand. Once you hop onto the taxi, you pick a seat with the best view. We recommend anywhere near the front, back or sides of the boat. You get the perfect amount of wind in your hair and some of the best photos of our beautiful #DTJax skyline. Once everyone is loaded on, a lovely musician begins to perform some great tunes while you’re staring off into the shimmering lights bouncing off the river. Another cool perk is that you can bring your own food and drinks to make it a party! What can be better than that? During our Sunset Cruise, we were able to experience a wonderful singer, beautiful weather (finally a break from all the rain!) and a family of dolphins swimming near by. At the end of the cruise, the taxi takes you back to River City Brewing Company where you can continue to enjoy the night by walking the Southbank Riverwalk, the Main Street Bridge or even hang out some of our favorite spots such as The Jacksonville Landing, Hemming Park or The Elbow. If you haven’t taken a ride with the St. Johns River Taxi yet, don’t worry. They are open Tuesday through Sunday. If you’re interested in signing up for a sunset cruise or a zoo cruise, be sure to buy your tickets today! For more information about the St. Johns River Taxi or anything else in #DTJax, visit our website or download our FREE app today! While you’re at it, please take a moment to fill out this quick survey and share your thoughts about the St. Johns River.