The Best Parks in Downtown Jacksonville

Author: Savanne Giroire, Marketing and Events Intern

Sunny and 70°- How better to celebrate beautiful weather than a day in your favorite Downtown Jacksonville park? Our city is proud to be home to the largest urban park system in the country, covering more than 80,000 acres, including 400 city parks, 7 state parks, 2 national parks, and multiple gardens and arboretum. Here’s a list of our favorite parks found in the heart of Downtown.

St. Johns River Park

Source: by DJJJp on Trip Advisor

St. Johns River Park, also known as Friendship Fountain Park, is located at St. John’s River on the Southbank. When the park opened in 1965, the Friendship Fountain was considered the largest fountain in the world. Today, the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) resides directly next to this park. Friendship Fountain Park offers stunning views of Downtown Jacksonville, with access to the South Bank Riverwalk. With its large public spaces, picnic tables and adjacency to the Riverwalk, the St. Johns River Park is the perfect location for a fun family day.

James Weldon Johnson Park

Source: James Weldon Johnson Park

James Weldon Park is Downtown’s oldest, most historic park and is the center for a variety of community events, fundraisers and celebrations. The park is equipped with a kids zone, two performance stages and several public art projects. The park’s programming includes live music and food trucks each week, children’s activities, weekend festivals and markets. Adjacent to City Hall, the main branch of the Jacksonville Public Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA Jacksonville), it’s the perfect place to start a day in Downtown.

Riverfront Plaza 

Source: Rendering by Perkins&Will

Riverfront Plaza, formerly known as the location of the Jacksonville Landing, is an open green space on the bank of the St. Johns River in the heart of Downtown. Connecting the local community to the St. Johns River, we look forward to the public outdoor art piece pitched by Perkins&Will coming to the site hopefully this year. The wide open field makes this park the perfect place to play fetch with your favorite pup or throw a football with friends!

Jessie Ball DuPont Park | Treaty Oak

Source: @hiddenjacksonville on Instagram

Also known as the Treaty Oak Park, Jessie Ball DuPont Park is located in Jacksonville’s Southbank area. The Treaty Oak, the locally celebrated southern live oak tree, is estimated to be 250 years old and is believed to be the single oldest living thing in Jacksonville. With Treaty Oak’s winding branches spanning hundreds of feet, a picnic under this shade feels otherworldly! The city has been collecting seedlings from the tree’s acorns and dispersing them throughout the city since 1986. You are able to spot hundreds of trees born from Treaty Oaks’s legacy all around the city today.

Groundwork Jacksonville | Emerald Trail 

Source: Groundwork Jacksonville

Groundwork Jacksonville is Jacksonville’s non-profit partner established to clean and develop Hogans Creek and McCoy’s Creek, turning polluted land into parks, playgrounds, paths and other public spaces. Groundwork Jax aims to build an “emerald necklace” of walkways, parks, streams and green spaces surrounding Downtown’s centre. The trail has the power to catalyze Jacksonville’s social and economic development from supporting healthy living and public safety by promoting economic growth and the revitalization of neighboring areas. Developments for the Emerald Trail  is expected to be finished by 2029 and we are looking forward to the adventures ahead!

Make sure to take advantage of our soon-to-be spring weather and visit these gorgeous parks. Share your pictures with us as you explore #DTJax!