The Best Places to Live in Jacksonville, FL in 2024

Living in Florida is unlike anywhere else in the US. Thanks to the state’s balmy weather, gorgeous white-sand beaches, and abundant wildlife, you can feel like you're in a whole other country sometimes. While cities like Miami and Tampa get most of tourists’ attention, Jacksonville is one of the best places to live in the Sunshine State. 


Jacksonville sits near the Florida/Georgia border, and it's best known for being one of the largest cities by size in the United States, having a river that runs south to north, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Although Jacksonville has a healthy population (over 950,000), it feels very natural and open, due to its 405 city parks and massive ecological preserve within its borders.  


But, before packing up and moving south, you should know the best places to live in Jacksonville, FL. Let’s dive in!


What's it Like to Live in Jacksonville, FL? 

Spanning over 840 square miles, the city’s size can feel overwhelming at first. However, Jacksonville has some unique features that make it a fantastic place to live, even compared to other spots in Florida. 


For example, the cost of living in Jacksonville is seven percent lower than the national average. Home prices and rents are cheaper than other cities in the state, like Miami, where the cost of living is 19% higher than the state average. 


Jacksonville gets an annual average of 270 days of sunshine, and the beach is always just a few minutes away. If you love exploring nature, there are tons of parks and hiking trails. However, if you're not used to humidity or insects, it may take a little while to acclimate (don’t forget your bug spray!). Since much of the city is covered in natural areas, there are relatively few highways and main streets. So, traffic can get pretty heavy during rush hour. 


Overall, living in Jacksonville is fantastic if you love nature and sunshine and want to explore new restaurants and nightlife. 


The Best Places to Live in Jacksonville, FL 

One of Jacksonville’s unique selling points is that it offers a wide variety of neighborhoods. You can live close to the beach, the river, the bustling downtown area, or close to the nature preserve. No matter your preference, you're sure to find it here. Here's our breakdown of the best places to live in Jacksonville by neighborhood. 


 1. Avondale

Avondale is one of the more notable neighborhoods in Jacksonville, as evidenced by the grand houses and its close proximity to the riverfront. Many working professionals live here, and it's not uncommon to see home renovations happening throughout the neighborhood. 


This area has multiple parks, but the largest is Boone Park, which almost cuts through the center of town. If you're looking for a bite to eat, there are some incredible restaurants and shops nearby. Avondale is also bordered by Highway 17, so it's easy to get to other parts of Jacksonville and beyond. 


Overall, Avondale is almost entirely residential, although, there are pockets of shops and other amenities. But if you want a taste of Jacksonville's attractions or nightlife, you'll have to venture further out. 


2. Arlington

If you're looking for a more old-fashioned, classic-style neighborhood, Arlington might be the best option. This area has roots dating back to the 16th century, so there's an aura of history and tradition within its streets. This neighborhood is in mid-Jacksonville, close to the St. Johns River, but relatively far from the ocean compared to some other popular neighborhoods. 


Unlike Avondale, Arlington is a mix of residential and commercial, so it's easy to find restaurants, retail outlets, and other amenities. The southern border of this neighborhood is Highway 115, which takes you directly to the beach. 


3. Jacksonville Heights 

Jacksonville Heights is a relatively small neighborhood, and it's almost all residential. The streets are quiet, and many of the houses here are on the older side, giving the area more charm and personality. Because Jacksonville Heights is on the west side of town, it's set apart from downtown Jacksonville’s hustle and bustle. However, if you want to visit attractions or upscale restaurants, they're just a short drive away. 


There is a shopping center on the northeastern corner of the neighborhood where you can find all the essentials. Overall, living in Jacksonville Heights is a great way to be close to the big city without feeling overwhelmed by it. 


Check out our homes for sale in this desirable neighborhood!


4. Northside

If you're big on nature and want easy access to parks and trails, you should look into homes in Northside. This area encompasses Cary State Forest, Pecan Park, and Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. Jacksonville International Airport is also nearby if you want to get out of town. 


Thanks to its abundant green spaces, Northside feels a bit like "Old Florida". However, there are plenty of modern amenities and jobs nearby. There's a massive business park where companies like Amazon and Anheuser Busch have warehouses and distribution centers. 


5. Riverside 

Riverside is the next neighborhood over from Avondale, and it has more of a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural spaces. Not only are there some great restaurants within the area, but it’s also home to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. There are tons of riverfront businesses and parks, so you can enjoy the scenery from (practically) your backyard. 


For example, Memorial Park allows you to walk directly up to the water. Overall, Riverside has a taste of everything that makes Jacksonville so special. 


6. San Marco 

Across the river from Riverside is San Marco. A large portion of this neighborhood is modeled after a section of Venice, so you get Old World vibes whenever you're out and about. This area is hip and trendy, so it's a perfect place to hang out and grab a drink and bite to eat. While river access is relatively limited, there are tons of amenities and attractions to keep you busy. 


7. The Beaches

The Beaches featured in this neighborhood are Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach. Living so close to the ocean has plenty of perks, from easy access to the sand and surf to cooler weather during the hot and humid summer. 


Atlantic and Neptune Beach are mostly residential, with a strip of shopping and dining spots between them. Jacksonville Beach is the largest section of this area, boasting a little bit of everything. On the eastern side is the ocean, and on the western side is the Intracoastal Waterway. So, if you love exploring inlets and creeks, you'll want to check out the various parks and nature trails in the area. 


Overall, if you're looking for the best places to live in Jacksonville, The Beaches are hard to beat. Not only do you have the Atlantic Ocean at your doorstep, but you can also feel like you're part of a larger community. Beach life connects everyone via their shared love of the surf, and it's that connection that makes this neighborhood feel so unique. 


Jacksonville Has Options for City, Suburban, and Rural Living 

As you can see, living in Jacksonville can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Because the city is so large, there's always something to do or explore. One day, you could be dining at a rooftop restaurant, watching the sunset. The next day, you can spend hours on the beach, soaking up the rays and catching a few waves. 


No matter what kind of life you're looking for, you're sure to find it here. Now that you know the best places to live in Jacksonville, you can compare neighborhoods and find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle. Remember, the cost of living is relatively low here, so you get all the perks of living in Florida without the high prices of major cities like Miami or Tampa. 


Ready to move to Jacksonville? Start your search with us today and discover our new build homes in the Jacksonville metropolis. 

The statements contained herein discuss general factors and do not constitute professional, investment and/or financial advice.


This is not an offering of property to residents in any jurisdiction that may have restrictions on interstate offerings of real estate, unless the property has been so registered, qualified or exemptions are available. It is the intent of Century to sell its residential homes pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.).