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JACKSONVILLE: Explore the waterside wonder of Jacksonville

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Jacksonville, Florida is a mesh of art, entertainment and nature. As one of America's largest deep-water ports, the city is famous in the economic world, but it's the eclectic mix of attractions that keeps tourists coming back.

The city is jam-packed with activities. With a full itinerary, it's vital you find a hotel that's located in the central district for easy access to them all. America's Best Inn provides a suprememely comfortable stay for the budget-conscious traveler. The family-friendly accomodation has great amenities including free parking and a swimming pool. The Jacksonville Plaza Hotel and Suites is another affordable option which offers free breakfast and Internet access.

If you're after luxury and granduer, reserve a room at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Located in the business district, you'll be staying steps away from the best museums and restaurants. The first stop on any itinerary should be to visit the Jacksonville Riverwalks. This downtown area spans the north and south sides of the St John's River and is a tourist mecca. The Jacksonville Landing is the most popular stopping point as it's bordered on one side by water and the cty's besst shopping, dining and entertainment venues on the other. If you're interested in American and European art, head to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. The museum holds more than 6,000 pieces in its collection, including artifacts dating back to 2100 B.C.

To explore the history of this world-famous port, visit the Jacksonville Maritime Museum. It features impressive exhibits of artifacts, paintings and photographs, as well as models of ships, including the Mayflower.

As a port-city, Jacksonville is a great spot to take up some water activities. The 21 miles of beaches in the local area give you plenty of space to sunbake and swim. If you'd prefer to keep your clothes on, grab a fishing rod and throw a lin in at the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier. If golf is more your game, you can choose between more than 12 courses in the area or spend many afternoons walking the greens.

Every May, residents and visitors flock to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Billed as one of the country's best jazz events, the city becomes awash with energy and excitement as music artists perform in every venue across Jacksonville. For a local favourite, chomp down on a submarine sandwich for lunch at Ancient City Subs. Indulge in fine dining for dinner at Matthew's with an a-la-carte menu and huge selection of wine. If you're after fresh seafood in this port-city, head to B.B's Restaurant and Bar for a memorable meal.

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