There are over 500 neighborhoods in Jacksonville, which can make choosing an area to call home seem like a daunting task. To simplify your options, Jacksonville is divided into seven sections, each has a different character. Choose from these larger sections—Northwest, Northside, Arlington, Southeast, Southwest, Downtown and Jacksonville Beaches—and then focus on individual neighborhoods. Be aware that Jacksonville neighborhood and section boundaries can be a little fuzzy. Neighborhoods that used to be cities in their own right have more specific boundaries than smaller areas.
Moving to Jacksonville Beaches
If you are moving to Florida why not move to the beach? The beach communities of Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach are not technically part of Jacksonville. They have their own governments, as does Baldwin (not a beach community), but they are still part of Greater Jacksonville, as are the areas of Ponte Vedra Beach and Mayport. Parts of these areas still have an old Florida feel left in them despite new development.
Moving to Downtown Jacksonville
The downtown area of Jacksonville is the business section of town, but there is still residential living in the area. There are apartments and lofts to accommodate most budgets, as they can be found for less than $900 a month for over 800 square feet of living space. Downtown is the smallest of Jacksonville’s seven large sections.
Moving to Brooklyn
The Brooklyn neighborhood in Jacksonville was originally a residential suburb of the city. It is southwest of the downtown area. For most of its history the area didn’t have much in the way of commercial activity but it now has a number of business high rises. Homes in the area are a tad pricier than Jacksonville as a whole. The median price in the area is still just over $200,000.
Moving to Springfield
Just north of the downtown area is Springfield, known for its historic homes. The neighborhood was first developed in the late 1860s. It became part of Jacksonville in 1887 and was a wealthy district. The area eventually fell into decline, but in the mid 1970s preservation became the watchword in the neighborhood. Since then the area has rebounded. There is still crime is some parts of the neighborhood, but the area was named the number one rebound neighborhood in the USA in 2009 by Southern Living Magazine. Prairie-style and Queen Anne-style homes abound in the area.
Moving to Ortega
Ortega is located on the river sound of Riverside. It is bordered by the St. Johns, Cedar and Ortega Rivers. The area is, like many Jacksonville neighborhoods, historic. Residential buildings, mansions and expansive parks mark the area. The area called “Old Ortega” has shops and restaurants; otherwise, this is a residential neighborhood—and a pricey one. The Naval Air Station is located nearby, and be sure to visit Ortega Hills and Ortega Farms.
Moving to Eastside
Eastside is a neighborhood to the east of Downtown and Springfield. This area is near (or part of) downtown and is where the Jaguars play—you may consider that a pro or con depending on your tastes. Sporting events, festivals and fairs aplenty take place in the area.
Moving to Mandarin
Mandarin is another area of Jacksonville that was once its own city. It became part of Jacksonville in 1968 and was the summer home of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Mandarin, as the name suggests, was once an orange grove on the southernmost part of present day Jacksonville. Recent listings show three-bedroom homes selling for just above $200,000 in the area and many four-bedrooms for $30-40,000 and higher.
Moving to Riverside/Avondale
Riverside and Avondale are two areas that many refer to in the same breath. They are south of Downtown and are mostly residential, with historic buildings aplenty. The Five Points area of Riverside/Avondale is filled with small shops, restaurants, bars and music establishments. The neighborhood has a monthly art walk and is a great people-watching area. If looking to buy, know that the area can be pricey when it comes to purchasing homes.
Moving to Murray Hill
Murray Hill, like many parts of Jacksonville, was once its own city. Also like many parts of the city, a railroad terminal was once integral to life in the community, located to the west of Riverside/Avondale. The area became part of Jacksonville in the 20s—not during the consolidation in 1968. The Murray Hill Theater is in the area, which often hosts Christian rock concerts.
Moving to Lake Shore
Lake Shore, in Southwest Jacksonville, boats residential and commercial homes dating back to the 20s. One of the most notable architectural features is the historic archways at the entrance to the neighborhood. These fell into disrepair but were restored in the last several years. The area is idea for folks who have a boat and want to be near the water; there are a number of marinas in the area.
Moving to San Marco
Another neighborhood near downtown Jacksonville is San Marco. The area has boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and other shopping. San Marco Square is one of the main landmarks. Another draw to the area is Theatre Jacksonville, a community theater group and the oldest in the US. It is located in San Marco Square.
Moving to Sandalwood
The Sandalwood neighborhood is closer to the beach than some, and also not too far from downtown. Sandalwood was a planned development which was marketed as being close to work and to the beach communities. This is still its appeal. The area has, according to some figures, seen a precipitous drop in home sale prices in the past year. This can be good if you are buying.