Jacksonville is the most populated city in the state of Florida. We stayed at Jacksonville Beach for a couple of nights on our way back from our annual fall trip to Asheville.
The Cummer Museum of Art is centrally located (west of downtown), and we stopped for a visit because we like art museums. There’s a small admission fee, but parking is free. I didn’t really see anything I liked that much inside the museum, but I loved the gardens behind the museum! I’ve included many of the photos in the slideshow below. It’s immaculately landscaped, with a reflecting pond, giant oak tree, and formal, shaped hedges bordering paved walkways. The property fronts the St. Johns River, so it’s a very romantic, beautiful setting, and workers were setting up for a wedding the day we visited. You can even see the I-95 Bridge over the water from here, and it must be pretty when lit up at night.
The Riverside Arts Market is within walking distance of the Cummer Museum of Art, and occurs every Saturday throughout most of the year. It’s located under the Fuller-Warren Bridge, where I-95 flows into I-10. While I’ve been to other open markets, what made this one different was the fact that it was under a huge, concrete overpass. That meant it was SHADY! There was art for sale at very reasonable prices (I bought a colorful fused glass pendant for $15), performing artists, a band on stage, and of course, food and fresh produce for sale. I loved the Riverside Arts Market!
We enjoyed a meal at Hawkers Asian Street Fare, which was Asian food served in the popular tapas style—small, appetizer-sized plates of food that you share. Everything we had was tasty, but you can easily run up quite a bill, because there’s not much food on each plate, and they even charge for white rice! It was crowded and there was a fairly long wait, but the décor was so unique, with inverted woks used as light fixtures. I thought the curry meatballs were excellent (spring for a side of white rice to soak up the yummy sauce). Unfortunately, the only photo we took was this one of green papaya salad. We were hungry and ate everything else before we had a chance to take other photos! [contentblock id=64 img=gcb.png]
We walked Jacksonville Beach the next morning before we left. Being Sunday morning, there were others taking a morning walk. An odd thing I noticed was that others were wearing shoes on the beach. Yes, shoes. Ignorantly, I had ventured out for a beach walk barefoot, as I usually do. But the sand here is very hard-packed, and my feet hurt by the time we came in. It’s a large beach, there were surfers out in wetsuits, flocks of birds, and you could see a pier off in the distance. It was a pleasant way to end another vacation before heading home.