Jacksonville, Fl.- A River Town At Work And Play

Jacksonville is the biggest city, by population and by area
in Florida, with over 800,000 people in over 800 square miles.
Jacksonville is located on the banks of the St. Johns River,
which reaches the Ocean about 20 miles east of downtown. The
port of Jacksonville is the largest port on the South-east
coast of the United States, and is run by the Jacksonville Port
Authority, Jaxport. It is a leading port for unloading imports
of automobiles, and employs 7,000 workers. The port handles
8 million tons of cargo a year, including 500,000 automobiles
that are shipped. An additional 38,000 jobs are generated by
port activity. U.S. automobiles are shipped to Puerto Rico
and other locations. There is also a cruise passenger service
at the port to the Bahamas, Mexico and other Caribbean
destinations.

There are a considerable number of colleges and universities
in Jacksonville. Jacksonville University is a private school
located on the St. John’s River. There is also the much larger
North Florida University, a public school that has 16,000
students.

Jacksonville is home to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival that
is held every April and other events such as the Jacksonville
Film Festival, held every May. This festival features a
variety of independent films, documentaries, and shorts
screenings. The Art Walk is a monthly outdoor art festival.
The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art features permanent and
traveling exhibitions. In November 2006, JMOMA was renamed
Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

A feature of the Riverside neighborhood is the Cummer
Museum of Art and Gardens, which is surrounded by formal
Italian and English gardens and is located off Interstate
95 about 5 minutes from downtown. The art collection is
organized from the standpoint of the history of art, from
ancient pieces to modern ones. Nearby is the Riverwalk, a
1.2 mile boardwalk that features restaurants and shops, as
well as being right next to the Cummer Museum of Art and the
Museum of Science and History. Hotels on the Riverwalk are the
Radisson Riverwalk and the Hampton Inn Jacksonville Central.
A bit further south is Tinseltown USA, a huge movie viewing
complex featuring 20-movie screens and stadium seating.
Also nearby is the Friendship Park and Fountain. This is a
really huge fountain, of 200 feet diameter that shoots water up
120 feet. In the night this fountain works in conjunction with a
colorful light show and animated animals and artwork, to
entertain thousands of local residents and tourists. From the
Riverwalk, water-taxis are available that cross the St. John’s
River to Jacksonville Landing. From Jacksonville Landing, you
can continue into the downtown city center area. It has quite
a number of skyscrapers, the highest one being the Bank of
America building, at over 600 feet.

For public transportation, there is the Jacksonville Skyway,
an elevated monorail, which travels through the central
business district as well as buses that travel throughout the
city. Commercial airlines fly to Jacksonville International
Airport, while private planes use Craig Airport and Herlong
Airport. Amtrak stops at a station in the northwest section
of the city. Just outside of the Jacksonville city limits
is the Mayport Naval Station. Jacksonville is also known for
its football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National
Football League.

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