This Florida city offers young professionals, families, and retirees a home filled with vibrant outdoor recreation, eclectic amenities, and more. Check out these 15 pros and cons of living in Jacksonville, Florida!

Pros of Living in Jacksonville

A post shared by @instagram

The Gateway to Florida offers many perks to residents that make it a fantastic place to live. From all of the fun things to do in Jacksonville to the city’s affordability, check out these pros of living in Jacksonville!

Pro: Affordable Florida Living

People looking for an affordable home in Florida should set their sights on Jacksonville! This city offers a cost of living lower than both the state and national averages, and residents can expect to pay less for groceries, healthcare, and transportation. With a median home value of $187,700 and average monthly rent of $1,089, Jacksonville housing is much less expensive compared to nearby cities like Miami. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep more of your paycheck if you move to Jacksonville, as there is no state income tax in Florida!

Pro: Strong Economy

If you’re seeking a city with a robust economy, consider moving to Jacksonville! Jobs in Jacksonville are projected to grow by almost 45% in the next decade. Furthermore, Jacksonville has an unemployment rate of just 3.5%, compared to the national average of 4.7%. A variety of companies thrive in the area, though key industries in Jacksonville include information technology, aviation, finance, insurance, and more. Find a tech-related job in Jacksonville at top companies like Availity and CSI Companies. Build a career in retail with Southeastern Grocers and Winn-Dixie. Or work in finance at FIS, Fidelity National Finance, or GuideWell.

Pro: Great Jacksonville Universities

There are plenty of universities in Jacksonville to choose from if you’re hoping to pursue higher education. Expand your creative skills when you dive into animation, game design, and film studies at Jacksonville University. Prepare yourself for a successful career in health administration, marketing, or elementary education at the University of North Florida. If you’re looking for an HBCU, consider programs like sports management, biology, and forensic science at Edward Waters University. Delve in to subjects like digital media, nursing, and logistics at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Check out programs including criminal justice, business administration, and pastoral theology at Trinity Baptist College. Obtain a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, or earn your associate’s in musical theater, network systems technology, and engineering technology at St. Johns River State College.

Pro: Unique Jacksonville Beaches

With more shoreline than any other city in the country, you can satisfy your need for adventure by taking advantage of the 22 miles of beaches in Jax. Cast your fishing line at Jacksonville Beach Pier, ride your bike along First Street, and head to the SeaWalk Pavilion for live concerts at Jacksonville Beach. Take up surfing lessons, stretch out with beach yoga, and visit The BookMark for your next beach read at Neptune Beach. Grab a drink from Reve Brewing, pamper yourself at One Ocean Resort & Spa, and support local vendors at the Atlantic Beach Arts Market at Atlantic Beach. Discover an extraordinary geological destination filled with tree skeletons, unique soil, and scenic views at Black Rock Beach. Soak up the sun on the beautiful white sand at Ponte Vedra Beach. Or explore a coastal ecosystem filled with giant driftwood trees at Boneyard Beach.

Pro: Plenty of Green Space to Explore

Known as the City of Parks, Jax boasts 80,000 acres of parkland, meaning you’ll find lots of outdoor things to do in Jacksonville to fill your time. Kayak your way through a 60-acre lake, hike over 20 miles of trails, and pitch a tent at Hanna Park. Unleash your kids on the playground, shoot some hoops at the basketball court, and try your hand at disc golf at Ed Austin Regional Park. Enjoy an outdoor picnic, let your kids have fun in the dedicated Kids Zone, and attend a variety of events at James Weldon Johnson Park, the oldest park in Jacksonville. Enjoy a view of the St. Johns River, take a picture of the fountain and sculpture, and fly a kite at Memorial Park. Race through pine flatwoods on your bike, go birding to catch a glimpse of owls, and go geo-seeking at Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park. Or bring your dog to the park, gaze upon the marsh from the observation tower, and launch your kayak at Tillie Fowler Regional Park.

Pro: Fun Jacksonville Attractions

There is something for everyone to enjoy with the large variety of stuff to do in Jax! Take the family to see unique animals like the African lion and Aldabra tortoise, or check out the Savanna Blooms garden at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. Dust off your skateboard and shred the halfpipe at Kona Skatepark, the “world’s oldest skatepark.” Buy fresh produce, support local artists, and eat delicious food at the Riverside Arts Market. Shop until you drop at national retailers like Aerie, Buckle, Coach, and more at St. Johns Town Center. Go for the hole-in-one on the 71-par course, or practice your swing at the driving range at Bent Creek Golf Course. Feel the ultimate adrenaline rush as you dive from 13,500 feet in the air at World Skydiving Center. Or immerse yourself in entertainment as you cool off at Shipwreck Island Waterpark, go for the high score in the arcade, and compete in laser tag at Adventure Landing.

Pro: Thriving Professional Sports Teams

Home to several high-quality athletic teams, Jacksonville is a sports fan’s dream! Cheer on the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) at EverBank Stadium—which also hosts the annual FL-GA football rivalry game. Root for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (MiLB) to strike out the competition at 121 Financial Ballpark. Learn the ins-and-outs of soccer and support the Jacksonville Armada FC (MLS Next Pro), or see the semi-professional Jacksonville Axemen (USARL) muscle their opponents at Hodges Stadium. Or watch in awe as the Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL) skate across the ice or the Jacksonville Sharks (IFL) defend their turf at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Pro: Eclectic Jacksonville Performing Arts Venues

Fans of the performing arts will enjoy abundant opportunities to see live theatre in Jacksonville! Head out to enjoy community theatre in Jacksonville with shows like The Diary of Anne Frank, On The Market, and Alabama Story at at the volunteer-run Theatre Jacksonville. Head out for thought-provoking shows like Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Trouble In Mind, and Jekyll & Hyde at Players by the Sea. Sit in awe of performances like Beatles vs Stones and orchestral shows from the Jacksonville Symphony at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts. Fill up on a carefully crafted three-course meal unique to each show watching Miracle On 34th Street, Escape to Margaritaville, The Wedding Singer, and other classics at Alhambra Theatre & Dining. Immerse yourself in exceptional stories like POTUS and LIZZIE, as well as staged readings at The 5 & Dime Theatre Company. Check out Black and faith-based shows like Drawn from the Water, Harlem of the South, and Dinner with Booker T. at Stage Aurora. Or support original performances or renditions of unique shows like Disenchanted!, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL, and Phantom! The Musical at All Beaches Experimental Theatre.

Pro: Interesting & Fun Museums

You can learn more about the world just by visiting Jacksonville’s many museums! Look through more than 5,000 works of art spanning several thousand years from artists like Winslow Homer and Thomas Moran, or relax at the riverfront Cummer Gardens at the Cummer Museum. Learn more about beach culture with unique exhibits like Wish You Were Here: Tourism at the World’s Finest Beach, Breaking Ground: Beyond Bathing Beauties, and Our Land: Indigenous Northeast Florida at the Beaches Museum. Unearth stories about religious disputes, territorial battles, and the early French presence in Florida at Fort Caroline National Memorial. Spark your kid’s creativity with interactive exhibits like Kids TV & Radio, Winn-Dixie, and Fire & Emergency Rescue Station at the “Hands On” Children’s Museum. Get inspired at exhibits like Creation Station, HEALTH IN MOTION: Discover What MOVES You, and JEA Science Theater at the Museum of Science & History (MOSH). Head over to historic Downtown Jacksonville to immerse yourself in rotating exhibits, marvel at the Norman E. Fisher Collection, or enjoy happy hour during Museum Nights at MOCA Jacksonville. Or travel back in time to early 19th-century Florida to see a depiction of middle-class Jacksonville life at the Queen Anne-styled home, The James E. Merrill House.

Pro: Jacksonville Loves Festivals

Keep your social calendars open—there’s a festival in Jacksonville for everyone! Get a taste of global cultures by sampling delicious cuisine, looking at unique artwork, and attending the Parade of Flags at the World of Nations Celebration. Nerd out when you meet anime voice actors, attend fan panels, and compete in video game tournaments at Collective Con. Snap your fingers to free smooth jazz performances, peruse the Jazz Marketplace, and enjoy the Piano Competition at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Bring the family out for a fun-filled day of celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with face-painting, inflatables, the Jax River City Pride Parade, and other fun events during River City Pride. Gather with friends to enjoy all things pop culture with dedicated tabletop gaming sections, anime cosplay, and lip-sync battles at WasabiCon. Travel to the historic Springfield neighborhood to munch on delicious food, sip craft beer, and jam out to free live music performed on porches during Jacksonville PorchFest. Or help clean up the beach, engage in hands-on learning opportunities, and dance the night away to live entertainment at Florida Fin Fest.

Pro: Food for Every Palate

With tons of great Jacksonville restaurants to thrill your tastebuds, River City is your next foodie destination. Start your day trip to the beach off right with Traditional Eggs Benedict, a Breakfast Burrito, or Blueberry Pancakes from the Beach Diner. Head over to Downtown Jacksonville to munch on Baja-Mexican dishes like the Pescado Classic, Chiles Toreados, and Carne Al Pastor from Estrella Cocina. Try out fresh seafood in Jacksonville with the Seafood Gumbo w/Rice, Fried Clam Strips, and Shrimp Tacos at Dockside Seafood. Fill up on unique pizzas like the T-Rex, White, and The Special from Moon River Pizza. Experience fine dining and French cuisine with dishes like Gulf Oysters, Escargots, and Carolina Trout from Restaurant Orsay. Or feast on Jacksonville BBQ like Spare Ribs, Brisket Sandwiches, and Adult Nuggets at The Bearded Pig.

Pro: Exciting Nightlife

Wondering what you can do in Jacksonville when the sun goes down? Rest assured that the Jacksonville nightlife scene is vibrant and filled with adventure. Burst out laughing at local Jacksonville comedy clubs like The Comedy Zone and First Coast Comedy. Relax after a long day with local jazz musicians three nights a week, and munch on delicious food like Bang Bang Shrimp at The Breezy Jazz Club. Listen to live music acts like Agnostic Front at Jack Rabbits Live or Dixon Dallas at Underbelly. Leave it all out on the dance floor and sip on craft beers like the Kona Big Wave at Myth Nightclub. Spend the evening playing classic arcade games like Pac Man, and try out rotating beers from local breweries like Bold City at Keg & Coin. Or grab a drink and book a lane to try your hand at axe-throwing at Axe Champs.

Cons of Living in Jacksonville

A post shared by @instagram

Jax offers plenty of perks to residents—but as with any city, there are downsides to consider before relocating. Learn more about the cons of moving to Jacksonville below.

Con: Extreme Weather Conditions

As a Florida city, the weather in Jacksonville is known to contribute to natural disasters and otherwise be oppressively hot and muggy. Duval County has a relatively high natural hazard risk, and Jacksonville itself has dealt with floods and several hurricanes in the recent past. But the key is to be prepared! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of safety tips when faced with storms, like preparing an emergency supply kit and filling your car’s gas tank in advance. When not dealing with stormy conditions, Jacksonville residents may face an uncomfortably warm climate. The city’s hot season typically lasts from May through September, which features high temperatures and lots of humid, muggy days. However, Jacksonville is a paradise for those who dislike cold winters and enjoy sunny beach days. In fact, residents can expect over 220 sunny days each year to soak up the sun and enjoy the city’s many outdoor recreation opportunities!

Con: Lots of Pests

The warm climate and variety of freshwater sources in Jacksonville unfortunately provide a great environment for insects and tropical animals to thrive. Some of the most common pests in Jacksonville include ants, cockroaches, house mice, and more. Additionally, because of the abundance of water sources in the area, you may encounter alligators, particularly along the St. Johns River. Though the odds of coming into direct contact with alligators is rare, some safety tips to be aware of include keeping your distance and only swimming during daylight hours. Similarly, Jacksonville pest control companies can help you take care of any bug problems, or you can take measures to pest-proof your home on your own by limiting moisture in your attic and basement and making sure all windows are sealed.

Con: Jacksonville Has Heavy Traffic

You might need to exercise patience during your daily drives in this city. Jacksonville has the third hardest commute in the country. Limited public transportation in Jacksonville and just 2% of workers using it for work commutes are the main reasons why you’ll see so much personal vehicle usage in the sprawling metro. However, there are still a few Jacksonville public transportation services available if and when you need them. Buy a ticket for the Jacksonville Amtrak to get where you need to be. Catch a ride on the St. Johns River Taxi at one of the many stops in Downtown Jacksonville. Utilize the services of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and ride on First Coast Flyer buses, try out the Skyway to get around the downtown area, or take the St. John’s River Ferry to quickly travel between Mayport and Ft. George Island. Download the Beach Buggy App to get free rides to destinations within local beach communities. Or skip a vehicle altogether, and conveniently fly all over the world from the Jacksonville International Airport.


Relocating to Jacksonville? Life Storage has convenient facilities located throughout the city. Rent a storage unit near you today!

This post was originally published 12/26/2019, and last revised on 02/09/2024 with updated information.

About the Author

Life Storage

Rent storage near you at the right price. We'll show you what size storage unit you need, rent you a moving truck and more. We make self storage simple!

Pin It on Pinterest